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Going Zero Waste Elopement: San Francisco, CA

In the midst of one of the wildest seasons of disasters, between earthquakes, hurricanes, and wildfires, we have never been more encouraged by our audience of change making, waste-reducing, intentional living, and loving couples. We see you! Your attention to the environment, the waste, the need, and the love you have to offer the hurting world around you has not gone unseen. Thank you all for using your love to love others and waste less. Today we’re sharing a zero waste elopement from none other than the founder of Going Zero Waste and we couldn’t be more inspired by their story! Read what she had to share below.
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We had a big zero waste wedding planned in November. But, we decided to call it off and move it up to May and we eloped.
We did a big backyard bbq to celebrate with friends and family. Our goal was to produce no trash and we were really successful!
We did the backyard bbq potluck style. We bought a whole bunch of bread from the baker in our own cloth bags. I took my crockpot down to the butcher and had it filled with brisket. I also made a whole bunch of pulled jackfruit and let everyone else bring the sides.
We rented cornhole boards for entertainment. The day after we ferried into the city and met up with our immediate family for our City Hall ceremony.
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I wore a dress I got second hand. Justin wore a suit he’s had for a while. My mom picked up the flowers and the cake plastic free from whole foods. She brought my cake carrier to get the cake to-go to avoid a single-use disposable one.
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 After our intimate ceremony and photos, we had brunch at Kitchen Story SF and ate cake on real plates with real forks, of course.
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Participating Vendors:
Bride: Going Zero Waste | Photography: Allison Andres | Cake and Florals: Whole Foods

“So What Can I Get You for Your Wedding?” via SoKind Bride

“So What Can I Get You for Your Wedding?”  

Written by: Lorelei G. Voorsanger, SoKind Registry User

It should have been a question that filled us with delight and anticipation, but when our friends started to ask us what they could get us as wedding gifts, both Mark’s and my face dropped. “A new salad bowl? Some dishtowels? A set of steak knives?” Nooooo!!!! You see, we are so rich. And I don’t mean the kind of rich that you might be thinking, with three houses, five cars, and money to burn. Not that kind. But we’re so rich with love and family. And we’re especially rich with stuff. STUFF. This was the second marriage for both of us, and when we came together to blend families, we looked around and realized we had at least two of everything. Two sets of frying pans, two sets of camping gear, two toasters. Two sons and two… no, wait… THREE daughters. See! We had some to spare! We pared down most things to just one (but kept all the kids), and still, our garage and storage areas were bountifully full. View More: http://jonibilderback.pass.us/loreleiandmark Hmmmm…. Could we get away with being stern about our “no gifts” policy? We gave it some thought and decided that either people might think we’re grouchy and not grateful, or they would haul off and get us yet another set of pillowcases (we have 68 pillowcases… no joke) that we really don’t need. We had to find a way to redirect our guests to something that we could feel good about receiving. That’s where our SoKind registry came in. We brainstormed with the kids about activities that the whole family could feel good about (donations to causes we care about, passes to the local pool so we could all splash around on a hot day, home-cooked meals to give the kids a break from my weird dinners) and a few lovely indulgences for our honeymoon like a massage or bicycle rental or hotel room view upgrade.  Since we didn’t know where or when we would be able to go on our honeymoon, the “credits” to apply toward our romance at a later date were perfect. It couldn’t have fit our personalities more! We customized our registry to the hilt with a background, funny descriptions, goofy family photos, and creative requests for gifts. The kids showed it to their friends, proud that our family wasn’t asking for fine china, but instead for donations to specific charities. Then, at our picnic-in-the-park wedding reception, as Mark and I were having a friendly hula hoop competition (I won) and eating our body weight in BBQ and cornbread, we overheard our friends saying: “Did you see their registry??!! It’s HILARIOUS! Here. I have it on my phone, I can show you.” We were delighted and flattered to hear people raving about how creative and fun and thoughtful it was that we put our own spin on the wedding gift tradition. View More: http://jonibilderback.pass.us/loreleiandmark And I’m pleased to report that (aside from a cheese grater that stands two feet tall. What is THAT????), we received the most delightful “gifts.”  A piece of artwork made by a friend who had just traveled to Thailand and brought back materials to make a collage, a rum cake, a coupon for a couple’s massage, movie tickets, and many more thoughtful gestures. We didn’t get any more STUFF to clutter up our garage!!! For more information, visit SoKind Registry.

Weddings That Waste Less: Angela + Kyle, St. Petersburg, FL

This past Earth Day our amazing BSB vendor, Kera Photography, captured the wedding day of one SUPER GREEN couple. Angela and Kyle came together at an amazing non-profit venue, St. Petersburg Woman’s Club, to celebrate their love for each other, their community, and their environment. They intentionally choose not to purchase any new decorations for their wedding and up-cycled and thrifted the entire wedding day vision. They also used biodegradable plates and utensils and collaborated with the caterer to incorporate as many seasonal and locally sourced foods as possible. BONUS POINTS: their cake was completely vegan, and they worked with a local brewery to make the wedding day brews on tap vs. serving non-local canned/bottled brands! AngelaandKyle-656 Not only is wasting less and going green a large part of their lifestyles, they also serve the community in huge ways. Kyle is on the board of a non-profit called Creative Clay, they provide resources and supplies to make art available for adults with disabilities. Angela also volunteers for several organizations supporting the St. Petersburg, FL area. Take a peek at this sweet day, you can almost smell the potting soil from here. AngelaandKyle-5 AngelaandKyle-10 AngelaandKyle-33 AngelaandKyle-56 AngelaandKyle-87 AngelaandKyle-117 AngelaandKyle-120 AngelaandKyle-131 AngelaandKyle-162 AngelaandKyle-166 AngelaandKyle-260 AngelaandKyle-430 AngelaandKyle-432 AngelaandKyle-443 AngelaandKyle-501   AngelaandKyle-313AngelaandKyle-340AngelaandKyle-662AngelaandKyle-645 Participating Vendors: Photography: Kera Photography | Planner: Special Moments Event Planning | Venue: St. Petersburg Woman’s Club | Hair and Makeup: Studio KG and Loft 19 | Catering: Chives Innovative Catering | DJ, Photobooth, Lighting: Nature Coast Entertainment | Bouquets: The Bride’s Bouquet | Linens: Connie Duglin Speciality Linen

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! Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 2.44.02 PM   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. Blog 1200px-0083 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. Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 2.19.45 PM 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! Blog 1200px-0035 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. 1175_061213 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 Wedding-World-Changing-Day-Promo-14 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 ALP_7608 Photo by Image Clairity Decomposable Bamboo Utensils vs. Polished Silver © EVERPHOTO www.everphoto.net www.facebook.com/everphoto 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. BLACKSHEEPBRIDE (6 of 61) 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! 225903_446643672053078_1378420870_n 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! IMG_0179 Photo: Rachel Gomez Photography    IMG_0178     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!