Cactus Inspired Sustainable Stylized Shoot: Northern California

When a group of lifelong friends gather in a cactus grove and let their creativity run wild, magic happens. At least that is the case for today’s sustainably stylized inspiration shoot!

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As a little girl, Elise of Elise Aileen Photography, fell head first into a cactus, resulting in a trip to the hospital and, many years later, the idea behind the creation of this cactus crown shoot came to life. When Elise asked our friend, Mack Floral Design, to collaborate, she was enthusiastic but unsure of how to pull something like that off. Cactus, it turns out, isn’t her go-to for crown making materials. Still, she was inspired by the varying shades of green, the richness in texture and the simple fact that she had never seen one before. After scouting for months to find the perfect Northern California wine country location, she discovered a giant cactus grove on the side of the road, coupled with an abandoned house. It was perfect.

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The shoot features blooms in caramel, indigo, burgundy and blush pink tones, and is accessorized with cherished décor, sustainably sourced from their travels, thrift stores and even their families’ heirloom china cabinets! The heart of the shoot rests in the subtle personal details and in the stories of the women who brought it to life. The table is anchored with a treasured keepsake – a Fulani blanket picked up from a local craftsman in Nigeria where Mack Floral volunteered for the Rafiki Foundation (an organization that she continue to support from afar which serves orphans and widows in ten different countries in Africa). The vintage Nicaraguan cigar box pays homage to the place Elise met and married her husband, and where she continually returns to volunteer for eye care clinics. One of the models serves as an ambassador for Save the Storks, an organization that partners with local pregnancy centers to increase training, tools and resources for expecting mothers. The passion fruit cake was specially crafted by Hollie Fortkamp of Beloved Bakery and features a glass-globed terrarium with a protea perched inside. Afterward the cake was enjoyed by the San Francisco Perspectives Class, an organization that educates and empowers people to serve the global community. The flowers were repurposed (de-prickled!) and spread color and cheer at a local hospice center.

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For all the creative couples looking for inspiration for their big day, we charge you: Be bold! There is beauty in abandoned places, in prickly materials, in creating your vision with the people that matter most – the ones you’ve grown up with, who understand you. Select vendors who share your values, who source sustainable products and design with purpose. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different materials and to incorporate unconventional things. At the end of the day, the flowers were beautiful, the cake delicious, and the pictures perfect, but the real joy was in the camaraderie we felt and the opportunity to share our labors of love long after the shoot was over.

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Vendor List:

Photography: Elise Aileen Photography | Floral Design: Mack Floral Design | Cake: Beloved Bakery | Hair: Ali Pedersen | MUA: Cristina Lopez | Model: Claire Dwyer | Model: Trista Ann Marie Eazell

Ultimate National Park & State Park Wedding & Engagement Round Up

“From California to the New York Island
From the Redwood Forest, to the Gulf stream waters…”
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We are so grateful to each and everyone that took the time to share their National and State Park weddings, engagements and proposals with us this week. As National Park Week comes to a close, please don’t stop there. Our National Park Services are in desperate need of our love and support, so let us do our part and honor the land that was made for you and me (cheesy, much?)
We hope you enjoy our National Park Week Finale Round Up! (Credits below each image)
White In Revery | Ocala National Forest, FL
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Laura Goldenberger Photography | Joshua Tree National Park, CA
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Bergreen Photography | Yosemite National Park, CA
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The Hearnes | Zion National Park
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Dave Shay Photography | Lake Raleigh Park, NC
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Jessica Schilling Photography | Planning + Styling: Moxie Bright Events | Florals: Martha Claire Floral Design |Signs + Invitation: Calligraphy Nerd
Sweets: Nicole Bakes Cakes | Dresses: Solstice Bride (white dress) and Joanna August (black gown) |Hair + Makeup: Angelina Panelli | Joshua Tree, CA
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NV Maui Media  | Maui Rainforest, HI
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Rachel Gomez Photography | Rebecca Schoneveld Bridal | Rocky Mountain National Park, CO
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 A Tale Ahead Photography | Uvas County Park, CA
www.StevenMillerPix.com | Steven Miller Photography Orlando
Steven Miller Photography | Grand Canyon, AZ
View More: http://tabmccausland.pass.us/karlaanddavid
Tabitha Photography | Moss Park, FL
View More: http://christopherjulie.pass.us/lisa-and-shaun
Christopher + Julie | Designed/Planned: Oak and Honey Events | Cuyahoga Valley National Park, OH
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Carmen Alvarez Photography | Butano State Park, CA
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A Tale Ahead Photography | Yosemite National Park, CA
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Cat Lemus Photography & Cinema | Castlewood Canyon State Park, CO
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Bergreen Photography | Sequoia National Forest, CA
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Amanda Matilda Photography | Colorado National Monument, CO
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Kristina Staal Photography | Montauk Lighthouse National Monument, NY
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Logan Smith Photography | Mt. Rainer, WA
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Square 8 Studio | Somewhere Between Sequoia National Park and Yosemite National Park
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WAYS TO GET INVOLVED DURING NATIONAL PARK WEEK!
Did you know that the National Park Services has over 12 billion dollars of outstanding repairs and needs across the 2000 parks and forests they maintain? Go grab your annual NPS Pass today and help support the future of our planet for generations to come!April 15-16 and April 22-23 : Free Admission to any National Park in the United StatesBuy a National Park (Forest) Pass (for $80). There are also FREE Passes available for active military, and students in the 4th grade, as well as discounted passes for Seniors. Learn more HERE.Find the closest park to you and volunteer or support their fundraising initiatives!

Eco- Friendly Wedding that Gives Back: Ashley and Chris

Happy Earth Day to all of you! What a great day to encourage and remind us to use our planet wisely and with more intention every day of our lives and not just once a year! We wanted to feature a wedding that was sensitive to sustainability, giving back and eco-friendly alternatives and we found just the one, courtesy of our amazing BSB vendor, Oak and Honey Events.

View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris

We love what the bride had to share about why it was important to have a sustainable wedding day:

‘Chris and I have always been very eco-minded, but after purging most of our belongings and moving to Costa Rica in 2012, we had a whole new appreciation for reducing waste in the world. Chris proposed with an estate ring from the 1930s—we both love that it has a story and a history. From there, we found Melanie Tindell of Oak and Honey Events, who specializes in sustainable events, and she guided us toward a day we could really be proud of!’

View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris

The couple was committed to keeping their wedding as environmentally friendly as possible by up-cycling a lot of their wedding decor, as well as sourcing locally. Spice of Life Catering provided delicious, sustainable, and locally grown food for the couple’s big day. Ashley and Chris also re-sold their wedding items at The Recycled Wedding Boutique, so that other couples could give their items a second life. In addition, prior to their wedding, the couple volunteered at the national park at which they were to be married, planting trees.

View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chrisView More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris  View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chrisView More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris  View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris       View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris  View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chrisView More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris  View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chrisView More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chrisView More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chrisView More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chrisView More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris  View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chrisView More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris

PhotographyJanelle Putrich Photography | Event Design & PlanningOak & Honey Events | VenueHines Hill Conference Center | FloralTwig Floral + Event Design | Wedding Dress (skirt)Something White | CakeHummingbird Bake Shop | CatererSpice of Life Catering | MakeupMKleinman Artistry | HairFringe and Foundation Studio | DJDJ Goodwin | BartenderSweet Water Caravan | Tent and RentalsMiller’s Party Rental Center

10 Ways to Waste Less on Your Wedding Day!

According to Green Bride Guide the average wedding produces roughly 400-600 lbs of waste, per event. Between left over food, flowers, decor, etc there is a lot of waste that comes along with that Pinterest Perfect Wedding Board most couples desire!

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So let’s talk about 10 ways your Big Day can WASTE LESS !

1. Food :

One of the biggest wastes that can be avoided on a wedding day is FOOD! Buffets, cake, prime rib, untouched cocktail hour veggie platters, the possibilities are endless and sadly I have seen it all land in the trash! With hunger at an all time high, it seems so silly to take perfectly good food and throw it away, when there are organizations everywhere across the world taking waste food.

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Photo by Gray Kammera Photography

When I was in LA, last year, I had the opportunity to tour the L.A. Kitchen and learn how they are using unwanted waste food to make amazing dishes for assisted living communities and also employing aged-out foster kids and the previously incarcerated members of society to learn a trade in culinary arts! These places exist all around the country, find a food bank in your area via Feeding America or a food rescue center via The Food Rescue Database.

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Image via Feeding America

Disclaimer: It is common for caterers or food service providers to push back because of the substantial liability for such food donations. Thankfully any good-faith food donations are free from such liability due to the latest federal government law 42 U.S.C. 12672, the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act.

 

2. Flowers:

Imagine the scene… The Bride and Groom are on their way off to their honeymoon and the clean up team is hard at work. As they put away the chairs and dishes they notice one thing they are unsure of what to do with…. Thousands of dollars worth of left over flowers! ‘What should we do with them, we can’ t take them back on the plane’ and the perplexed helper regretfully places piles of fresh roses and hydrangeas in the trash bin!

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Photo by Gray Kammera Photography

PLEASE FRIENDS! There are so many organizations out there ready to take your leftover flowers and uplift and inspire those in hospitals, nursing homes, or rehabilitation centers. Do the research, call ahead and let them know you want to donate these blooms to their cause. They will even give you a tax-write off for your love offering!

Random Acts of Flowers, Petals with Purpose, Floranthrophy, Repeat Roses are just to name a few of the organizations ready to take your blooms.

Video via Random Acts of Flowers

 

3. Gift Registries: 

Back in the day, couples would leave their parents homes and have to make a home from nothing and hence the wedding guests would bring them all the welcome home goodies their newlywed hearts would need. Nowadays the statistics show that couples are getting married later and later in life. They want to have their careers in place and independence aligned before nuptials are even thought of so most of those engaged love birds already have a lot of crap! So let us do our wedding guests a favor and skip the gifts! OR consider a gift registry that doesn’t involve wrapping paper and plastic wrap.

Here are a few charitable/sustainable wedding registries that can help your wedding impact others:

Heartful.ly– A gift registry that empowers couples to fund life changing projects around the world.

So Kind Registry – A registry and wishlist service that encourages the giving of homemade gifts, charitable donations, secondhand
goods, experiences, time, day-of-event help, and more

-OR-

If you do still need goodies consider a few fair-trade online options:

Bambeco– Recyclable, sustainable home goods that give back.

West Elm– Support fair trade and often local artisans in each store, West Elm is the perfect one stop shop for any soon-to-be newlywed’s love nest needs!

ZOLA – You can combine all of the things/brands you might need for your new home under one roof and then ship all the goods at once and reduce your waste/carbon footprint. You can also fund a honeymoon, portion of the wedding costs, or donate to charity as well.

 

4. Transportation:

Carpool, Uber, Bicycle, Smart Car, Moped, or charter a boat taxi to take your bridal party to the reception! The eco-friendly options are endless!

 

5. Favors:

Having been to my fair share of weddings I’ve seen a variety of cheaply made wedding favors that no one will ever use again and it breaks my heart. Try sponsoring a child, or redirecting your favor budget toward the charity you plan to support, such as these sweet doggie cookies that support a local dog shelter.

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Photo By Alissa Dineen

 

6. Paper Goods/Invites: 

Paper goods can be one of the most obvious waste makers, but it is equally one of of the easiest parts of the wedding that can lead to positive change. There are so many options like:

Recyclable/Sustainable Paper Types, design shown below by Citrus Press Co. / Photo by Regina As The Photographer

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Or if you are a bit more new school, try an e-vite, or video wedding invite, etc and save some trees and postage along the way!

 

7. Function vs. Fancy

Fancy is fun, we get it! There is a certain level of exclusivity and experience that comes along with black tie affairs, however they aren’t always the most functions and sometime the more wasteful events can be those that are the highest end people with the abilities and budgets to make more sustainable choices. This is where functionality comes into play… The best things in life are simple, functional and intentional… Here are a few examples:

Glass Jars to take home vs. Champaigne Flutes

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Photo by Image Clairity

Decomposable Bamboo Utensils vs. Polished Silver

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Photo by Emily Dykema

Ceremony Programs that double as Pop Corn Bag Holders (or any other reception treat you might choose)

© EVERPHOTO www.everphoto.net www.facebook.com/everphoto

Photo by Emily Dykema

8. RENT AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE

Renting is far more waste-preventing, and minimally impactful to the environment than flat out buying things you’ll never use or wear again. Literally there are rental options for practically every aspect of your wedding day process,  your dress, your tuxes, the bridesmaid’s dresses, your decorations, you name it and it can most likely be rented!

Here are few rental companies to consider:

Menguin – Tuxedos

Borrowing Magnolia– Wedding Dresses

Rent the Run Way– Elopement, wedding attire, rehearsal dinner garb.

Happily Ever Borrowed– Rentable Bridal Accessories, Veils, jewelry, etc.

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The biggest misconception about DIY Weddings is they will be better on the pocketbook, but after the time is spent buying the materials and flea market finds to put the projects together, you are in better use of your time, dollars and energy to rent the things you are trying to faux-antique and you will save yourself space after you’re married.

Not only will it save you money, it will be reused multiple times by others and treated just like new!

9. Reuse/ Reduce/Recycle

This is obvious friends. If you have reusable goods, save them aside, donate them to your local non-profits, half way houses, etc. Reduce and Recycle what you can! Set out separate bins for recyclable trash vs. regular trash vs. compost… When given the opportunity people will make the right choices.

 

10. Composting is your friend! 

At the end of the day, if you aren’t able to find a non-profit locally that will take your flowers, or food…. COMPOST your biodegradable waste, so the earth can benefit from your waste in a productive and positive manner, like using it in a co-op garden vs. ‘wasting’ good soil nutrients in a land fill. COMPOST NOW has pick up services across the nation ready to grab your garbage and turn into garden goodness!

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BONUS!

11. Buy with Purpose!

Even if you have the budget dollars in the world, or would rather buy new, do so with integrity and value businesses that put the environment and humanity first! A few examples of sustainably-minded wedding brands are Rebecca Schoneveld Bridal, MiaDonna Eco Diamonds!

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Photo: Rachel Gomez Photography 

 

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Now Happy Waste Less Wedding Planning to You and Have an Intention and Impactful Earth Day! Let us make every day about helping making the world a better place!

State Park Wedding: Holly & Ben- Stonewall Jackson State Park, WV

Here is our second installment of National/State Park Wedding/Couple VIDEOS features! This sweet hillside wedding was brought to BSB by Rebecca of WV Motionworks! We love this wedding for many reasons, the live blue grass band, the local community vendors, they potted a tree during their wedding ceremony and most importantly …. their love for each other and their love for nature! We’re particularly fond of the bride’s vows:

‘I vow to always be your camping partner….even if you forget the tent poles…’

State Park: Stonewall Jackson State Park, WV | Videography: WV Motionworks | Venue: Stonewall Resort | Florals: Blooms Florist | Cupcakes: Bonnie Belle’s | Photography (Featured image): Britani Edwards Photography | Hair: Emily from Tonique’s Trilogy | Make Up Artist: Flawless Faces by Megan