ethical wedding inspiration

Concept: From Emily Vista Photography – The goal of our shoot was to put together glamorous & ethical bridal inspiration. We see a trend in consumers beginning to demand transparency in the supply & manufacturing of the items they purchase and it’s getting much easier to track the supply chain of the items you use.

We did lots of research to gather vendors who utilize eco-friendly/ethical/ transparent practices and products wherever possible. We want to show couples that it’s possible to put together the wedding of your dreams while being conscientious about every element of your day. We also wanted to stray from the ‘boho/hippy’ aesthetic that is often associated with eco-friendly/ethical practices, to show that the variety in style is growing!

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Style: We went for Bold & Glamorous inspiration with a Navy, Fuchsia, Blush, Sage & Gold color palate.

Fun Facts about the shoot: This shoot was 2 years in the making and – at first – putting this together was incredibly daunting. Over those two years, however, the resources & products available grew and planning became easier and easier, reflecting our society’s movement towards conscientious consumerism.

A tornado hit the town where our florist is located 3 days before the shoot. With the city of Newburg shut down, and none of the regular floral deliveries available, she was able to pull together some beautiful eco-friendly arrangements!

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Meeting this goal of ethical/eco-friendly inspiration takes a different form for each element of the wedding/shoot. Below is a description of each element of the shoot and why it can be considered “ethical” 

The Venue: Locust Grove is a non-profit museum and the grounds are home to the historic estate of Samuel Morse (inventor of Morse code). All proceeds from events held there go towards their educational programs.

The Dresses: Both of the looks featured in the shoot came from Pure Magnolia. They create their gorgeous dresses using sustainable & vintage fabric. The dresses are made in Vancouver and the company is always happy to work with brides to customize the look they desire.

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The Cake: Baked by Susan created our elegant, two-tiered navy cake using locally sourced ingredients. After our shoot, the cake was donated to a local food bank. Susan donates leftover goods from her bakery to the local food bank every week. 

The Rings: Bario Neal has a gorgeous selection of engagement rings, wedding bands, and other sustainable & ethical jewelry. They create their pieces using reclaimed and newly mined metals, and all of their diamonds, gemstones and metals are traceable directly to the mine they came from and they also ensure that every person involved in the sourcing and creation of their pieces was paid fairly, treated well.

The Hair Piece & Earrings: Our earrings and hair piece were custom-made by Honey Rose & K, a company that creates eco-friendly, handmade jewelry using antique pieces mixed with modern elements. Their ‘eco-chic jewelry for the modern bohemian’ is sustainable, beautiful and always unique.

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The Flowers: This one was a bit tricky, but fortunately, we found the Good Old Days Eco Florist, who was perfectly equipped to handle our needs. Lynn creates beautiful floral designs using locally sourced, organically grown flowers and eco-friendly materials. She’s incredibly knowledgeable about environmental issues and passionate about changing the floral industry. In planning this shoot we learned that floral foam does not decompose & creates lots of waste. The designs she creates involved no floral foam. Instead, she utilizes chicken wire as a base for her creations. 

The Shoes: The shoes featured in the shoot were from Beyond Skin, which has a vast collection of gorgeous vegan shoes and vegan boots, with all the glitz and glam of non-vegan brands. All their styles are manufactured ethically in Spain using sustainable practices and fair labor.

The Paper Goods: We got all of our paper products from Paper Culture, which uses 100% post-consumer recycled paper so no trees are harmed. They offset their carbon footprint, and plant a tree with every order, resulting in over 650,000 trees planted to date, all of them in areas that are in need of reforestation.

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Rentals: Luckily, this one was easy! Rentals are inherently eco-friendly because everything is re-usable, and re-used! Cartwright & Daughters provided us with the linens & flatware, and North Country Vintage Rentals gave us some unique pieces to utilize for the tablescape and cake table.

Hair & Make-up: Lucy of LC Artistry, and Brittney of BW Bridal utilized only cruelty free brands – makeup brands that don’t test on animal, some of which are also vegan or give back to a cause.

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Glitter: While traditional glitter is made from plastics and ends up in our oceans and food chains, the ladies at Glitterevolution have created a sustainable, biodegradable, amazing alternative. This glitter is top-notch and gives you the ability to craft away, guilt free! It was the perfect way to accent our wedding décor! 

Candles: We combined a few different candle companies, all of whom make their products using vegetable wax, beeswax or soy. These materials don’t produce any harmful byproducts when combusted and are free of fossil fuels.

Other/Misc: We also hit up our local antique stores and fairs for some of the other pieces, repurposing & re-loving candlesticks, vases and other beautiful décor!

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Photography: Emily Vista Photography // Coordination & Design: Scarlett Grey Events // Dresses: Pure Magnolia // Headpieces & Earrings: Honey Rose & K // Rings: Bario Neal // Hair: BW Bridal // Makeup: LC Artistry // Flowers: Good Old Days Eco Florist // Paper Goods: Paper Culture // Linen & Table Settings Rentals: Cartwright & Daughters Tent & Party Rentals // Cake: Baked By Susan // Shoes: Beyond Skin // Cake Table, Nesting Tables, Decanters, Votive Holders: North County Vintage Rentals // Glitter: Glitterevolution // Candles: Danica Designs // Votive Candles: Goodlight // Research Sources: Good On You & The Good Trade // Venue: Locust Grove Estate in Poughkeepsie, New York.

About Sara Burnett

Editor of Burnett's Boards, which she founded to showcase global creativity in the wedding industry. Sara currently lives out of a suitcase while island hopping the Caribbean and beyond. Learn More // Follow on Instagram.