A Pretty, Purposeful Wedding

Mindful, joyful choices for your big green day

November 26, 2010

Call it a reaction to conspicuous consumption or a desire for a more down-to-earth, authentic experience, but either way, a growing number of people are choosing to incorporate personal and environmentally sensitive details into their big day. And the results are more stylish than ever before. Here is your very own wedding dossier?say "I do" to these gorgeous, environmentally friendly dresses, cakes, invitations, and more.

Locally grown and organic flowers are lovely alternatives to imported blooms, which are often tended by underpaid workers exposed to harsh pesticides.

  • Avi Adler New York event planners and designers Avi Adler and David Stark incorporate edible flowers, herbs, fruit, and pods into their stylish modern arrangements. 718-243-0804
  • Ariella Chezar The naturalistic arrangements of this Massachusetts-area designer and author often include organic and locally grown flowers. 518-584-8798
  • Harvest Moon Flower Farm Located in Spencer, Indiana, this farm creates wedding bouquets and arrangements from organic flowers grown on the property. chapdale@bluemarble.net
  • Oberle Botanical This northern Colorado company offers locally grown cut flowers. 970-581-5672
  • Organic Bouquet Order fresh-from-the-farm organic flowers via the Internet. You can also arrange for your local florist to order organic blooms wholesale. 415-331-4750
  • Sweet Pea Gardens & Greenhouses This organic cut-flower farm in Surry, Maine, specializes in sweet peas. 207-667-4730


Masters of detail, organic wedding planners help thoughtful couples make delicious and beautiful choices that are ultimately also kind to the planet.

  • Organic Weddings Massachusetts-based Michelle Kozin put organic weddings in the mainstream with her consulting service, Web site, recycled paper invitations, and book, Organic Weddings. 617-367-1807
  • Rising Sun Catering This San Francisco team is devoted to sustainable and organic elements in every aspect of a wedding, from local seasonal food to hemp table linens. 650-589-0157
  • Stelle Events Monica Pallie marries style with sensitivity to the environment in her wedding-planning company in San Rafael, California. 415-218-8223
  • 3Citron Caterers This Washington, D.C.?based event planner and caterer is geared to health-conscious cuisine and respects simplicity in food and decor. 202-342-3400

You'll look enchanting in a pre-owned or custom wedding dress found on eBay, at a vintage shop, or through the designers and organizations listed below.

  • The Bridal Garden Proceeds from the sale of secondhand and overstock couture and designer gowns go to a New York children's fund. 212-252-0661
  • Conscious Clothing Crystal Miller produces a line of custom-made hemp wedding gowns priced from $525 to $2,000. 505-982-7506
  • Christina Hurvis Couture This California-based designer incorporates vintage and heirloom fabrics into romantic one-of-a-kind bridal gowns. 415-896-0116
  • Making Memories Breast Cancer Foundation This Portland, Oregon, group sells fabulous secondhand and designer gowns at its shop and at 50 traveling trunk shows. Proceeds are used to grant wishes to people with terminal breast cancer. 503-252-3955
  • Preownedweddingdresses.com Brides can purchase or sell used wedding gowns on this Web site. Designs from Amsale, Carolina Herrera, and Vera Wang, among others, are available at good prices. e-mail: lee@preownedweddingdresses.com


Talk about bands of love: These jewelers go out of their way to ensure that their diamonds were not traded to fund civil wars or rebellions in troubled African countries.

  • Erica Courtney This California designer, who gives actively to children's charities, is dedicated to using conflict-free stones. 323-938-2850
  • Mia & Kompany Designer Mia Koniver is passionate about raising her large Hollywood clientele's awareness of the issues surrounding conflict diamonds. Fred Segal Couture, 310-458-8100
  • Jeanine Payer Located in San Francisco's original jewelry building, this small workshop uses old-fashioned artisanal techniques to create exquisite gold jewelry. 866-359-3579
  • Tiffany & Co. The classic jeweler has an excellent reputation for buying from environmentally responsible metal mines and from diamond processors and sellers who know the origins of their stones. 800-526-0649

A cake made with organic and local eggs, butter, and flour can increase the bill by 40 percent, but the taste is worth it. Many conventional bakers will substitute organic ingredients upon request.

  • The Alternative Baker This baker, located in New York State's Hudson Valley, offers conventional, sugar-free, and vegan cakes with unbleached flour and local eggs and butter. 845-331-5517 or nybaker@aol.com
  • Cakes By Lisa In Bloomington, Indiana, Lisa K. Farkas makes a wide variety of ornate vegan and organic wedding cakes. 812-935-5606
  • Citizen Cake Elizabeth Falkner's fantastic architectural and traditional-style wedding cakes are made with organic and local ingredients from the San Francisco area. 415-861-2228
  • Cleaver Co. Laurie Srebnick uses farm-fresh New York State eggs, butter, and cream in her moist and flavorful cakes. 212-741-9174
  • Hippie Chick Bakery This Amesbury, Massachusetts, business specializes in vegan, gluten-free, and organic cakes. 978-388-6644
  • Lotus Cake Studio The beautiful organic and vegan cakes made by this Philadelphia baker can be delivered as far north as New York and as far south as northern Virginia. 267-736-4749
  • Lovin Sullivan Cakes New York baker Kate Sullivan, author of Kate's Cake Decorating, works with organic ingredients by request. 212-691-4330
  • Sweet Life This Eugene, Oregon, shop specializes in wedding cakes with organic ingredients. 541-683-5676

Favors and Keepsakes
Handmade and artisanal gifts for the bridal party and guests add a personal touch to every celebration.

  • Andover Accents Andover offers classic wedding favors made from earth-friendly, sustainable materials, including plantable seed papers, flower bulbs, and herbal soaps. 888-783-8518
  • Chocolate Decadence This company makes dairy-free vegan chocolates; lactose- and casein-free varieties are also available. 800-324-5018
  • Ecoparti.com All the fun and modern party favors on this site are biodegradable. 877-473-8257
  • Idofoundation.org In place of a conventional wedding favor, couples can contribute to the charity of their choice through this comprehensive Web site
  • Just Soap This Massachusetts company blends all-natural, biodegradable, and cruelty-free soap using bicycle-powered machines. 877-969-7627
  • Lumia Organic Candles The petroleum-free candles are made from organic soy grown in Colorado. 303-440-1295
  • Madisyn Taylor at IIKH A hand-poured soy-wax votive candle set from Madisyn Taylor makes the perfect bridal party gift
  • The Savannah Bee Company Elegant bottles of organic Tupelo honey will delight every member of the wedding party. savannahbee.com
  • The Spirit Goat This Utah company offers handcrafted goat's milk soap and lotions. 435-245-5960
  • Viva Terra This online catalog is dedicated to exquisite organic and environmentally sensitive products, from herbal sachets to recycled-board scrapbooks. 800-233-6011

Travel light by counteracting the pollution produced by cars and airplanes.

  • The Better World Club This eco-friendly auto club and travel agency invests in greenhouse-gas-reducing projects, such as tree planting and wind power, with every plane ticket purchased. 866-238-1137.
  • Evo Limo Service Taking the tradition of a clean getaway to a new level, this Los Angeles?based company hires out environmentally friendly hybrid limos by the hour. 310-642-8600
  • EV Rental Rent a hybrid vehicle in Arizona, California, Virginia, or Washington, D.C. 877-ev-rental.
  • Trees for the Future For $40, this Maryland-based organization will plant 400 trees—the estimated amount it will take to offset one vehicle's emissions in its lifetime. 800-643-0001

Send the right message with elegant tree-free and recycled-paper invitations.

  • Green Field Paper Company Since 1992, Green Field, based in San Diego, has produced handmade paper from recycled junk mail, hemp, and even the papery skins of garlic bulbs. 888-402-9979
  • Kate's Paperie The New York mecca for stationery offers many stylish recycled paper, cotton fiber, and linen options. 800-809-9880
  • Krell & Company This Charleston, South Carolina, stationer represents artisanal presses around the country, many of which use 100 percent recovered cotton-fiber paper. 843-723-4505
  • Not Just Paper Based in Durham, North Carolina, this company offers a large selection of recycled and chlorine-free paper. You arrange for the printing. 919-688-6886
  • Paper Place This Austin, Texas, stationer features handmade, 100 percent cotton, and postconsumer- waste papers. 512-451-6531
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