Bustle Blog by Liz Beck

Happy Earth Day!

For over 40 years, Earth Day—April 22—has inspired and mobilized individuals and organizations worldwide to demonstrate their commitment to environmental protection and sustainability.

How can your wedding or event be GREENer?  The most important thing we can do is be AWARE and do what we can to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.  The Wedding and Event Industry is notorious for waste and today is as good a day as any for each of us to take another step towards being green.  It can be as simple as letting your wedding planner know that you would like to make eco-conscious decisions.  We will take it from there.
There are always great ideas popping up for ways we can be creative and earth conscious at the same time.  These are just a few that we love…

1. Head to your neighborhood farmer’s market for welcome bag goodies and favor ideas.  Also, talk to you caterer to make sure the produce they use is local.

2. Encourage your friends and family to bypass plastic and paper bags by giving a recycled/reusable bag as your welcome gift.  The Wedding Chicks sell customizable Eco Bags that are adorable.

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3. The iPad…  This is my personal favorite in so many ways but I can honestly say I have almost eliminated my need for paper.  From contracts and notes to photographs and calendars, this is a bride’s dream for organization and simplicity.  As a planner, it is eco-SANITY!
4. Check out the Esty Local page for inspiring goodness from fashion and accessories to stationery and decor.

5. Add a planting tree as part of your ceremony.  Include your family as you add the soil, the seeds and the water.

On the hunt for your engagement ring or wedding band?  Look no further than Brilliant Earth and their conflict-free diamond guarantee.  This week through Sunday they are giving away the below pendant (with ethically sourced green sapphire) with any ring you purchase!

Brilliant Earth Jewelry Giveaway

We challenge you to take on ONE GREEN GOAL and stick with it.

At LBE, we are committing to becoming as proficient as possible on the iPad to eliminate our use of paper all together.  We are also committing to using our Eco Bags whenever we shop (not just when convenient!).

Happy Earth Day…

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Friday Five

This week we have picked some of our favorite alternatives to the standard guest book.  If you are going to have guests sign something, make it fun for them and have it be something you will want to go back and look at 1, 5, or 20 years from now.

Friday Five- Guest Signing for the Modern Couple

1. Interactive Photo Booth- This is not a new idea by any means but it does not mean it is not a fantastic one.  Get a chalkboard, whiteboard, large tablet or anything to write on.  Let guests know what they are expected to write and have the photographer shoot away.  Props really make this a hoot of a time.  Especially come the later part of the evening!  You will be left with unforgettable images of your guests and get a feel for the night and how it progressed…

2. Signed Planter- Guests will love signing their name to a piece of art.  In this instance, guests signed a custom made planter before it hit the kiln.  All of the stationery pieces were printed on handmade printable seed paper and the couple planted it in the completed planter.  The finished product was literally grown from well wishes and love.

3. Well Wishing Cards- Give guests a little more direction when signing with these cards.  ”For a long and happy marriage…” “For a healthy heart…”  ”How to keep your hubby happy…” “How to keep your mrs. merry…”  Coordinate the look with some fabulous envelopes and line them if your book.  This will be an interactive keepsake that you will love looking back at.

4. River Rocks- River Rocks can be used in a variety of different ways when it comes to signing.  Use larger rocks and have guests either sign their name or write they wish.  Smaller rocks can be used for guests to make a wish and place them in a special container so that you have collected all of the well wishes together.  After the event, the rocks can adorn your garden or remain in a special place in your home.

5. A Piece or Art- Looking to create a one of a kind piece of art from your wedding day?  All you need is a blank canvas and paint…  Invite guests to paint one or two strokes on the canvas.  Eventually, you will end up with a VERY unique and possible abstract piece of art.  It will definitely be a conversation piece for decades to come.

Have a wonderful weekend!

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Glamorous and Green

An eco-friendly wedding gown can have several different definitions.  It could mean a designer dress made from sustainable fabrics, it could mean shopping for a vintage gown, renting a previously worn wedding dress or even designing and tailoring your own. You could also fulfill the age old tradition of wearing your mother’ s dress or at least using the fabric to design a new and modern  look.  There are certainly plenty of creative options when trying to be both glamorous and green.

If renting or sewing your own are just not your style, check out these eco-friendly designers.  Some of these designers will even work with you to make a custom gown that is both special and unique . Having a “one of a kind”  means that you can truly make your dress individual by incorporating a sentimental piece of clothing, fabric or jewelry into the design.

Morgan Boszilkov-Morgan Boszilkov is an Atlanta based designer. Her new line of eco-friendly wedding gowns are made in the United States and 5% of profits are donated to environmental causes. Her designs are beautiful, elegant and green.

Wai-Ching- Based out of Seattle, these dresses are edgy and exotic. They are hand-dyed and luxuriously handmade to order using peace silk and hemp fabrics.

Olivia Luca -  Her website walks you through her 7 step design process, starting with skin tone and bodice style. This is a fun way to design your own dress or an excuse to get the girls together to create a personalized bridesmaid dress they might actually wear again. She is Portland-based, specializing in custom bridal and bridesmaid designs.

Annatarian – An eco effective design company in LA. They use the latest in eco-tech fabrics like bamboo, organic cotton, peace silk and hemp.

Threadhead Creations- For someone looking for something simple, elegant and green. They have both ready to wear designs or will custom design a gown just for you.

Gwendolyn Gleason Couture- Using organic fabrics Gwendolyn crafts vintage inspired wedding gowns with a modern twist. Gwendolyn empowers women in India who struggle to find regular work by hiring them to complete the specialty beadwork on her couture gowns.

The Cotton Bride- Couture garden and destination bridal gowns in cotton, silk and linen. Hand made in the USA.

Justin Alexander- The destination bridal collection harmoniously combines rich organic fabrics with natural accents.

Thank you to our fashion guru Bethany for putting this post together!

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Greening Tips- Resources

Being green means different things to different people.  There are so many shades and we do our best to be conscience of the impact we are having on the environment.

Today we thought we would share some eco friendly wedding resources.  Go Green In Style did a great job of putting together a comprehensive list.  We hope you find them educational and helpful.

Eco-Chic Weddings: Simple Tips to Plan an Earth-Friendly, Socially Responsible, Affordable Green Wedding by Emily Elizabeth Anderson

The Everything Green Wedding Book: Plan an elegant, affordable, earth-friendly wedding (Everything Series) by Wenona Napolitano

The Green Bride Guide: How to Create an Earth-Friendly Wedding on Any Budget by Kate L. Harrison

Green Wedding: Planning Your Eco-Friendly Celebration by Mireya Navarro

How to Get Married in Green by Suzan St.Maur

Green Weddings That Don’t Cost the Earth by Carol Reed-Jones

The Green Wedding Guide: Creating a Celebration That’s Elegant and Ethical by Valerie Edmunds

Anti-Bride Guide: Tying the Knot Outside of the Box by Carolyn Gerin and Stephanie Rosenbaum

Organic Weddings: Balancing Ecology, Style and Tradition by Michelle Kozin

Websites & Blogs

Eco Chic Weddings by Emily Anderson, the ultimate blog about eco-chic weddings

Everything Green Weddings by Wenona Napolitano

It’s a Nice Day for a Green Wedding, A blog with suggestions about greening weddings and other events you are planning.

Great Green Wedding

Green Elegance Weddings

Green Bride Guide

Find out how green you are by taking Planet Green’s Quiz.

Have a great week!

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Advanced Recycling

We know events can create a lot of waste and we do our best to guide clients and work with companies who recognize this, such as donating or composting flowers after an event, donating your used bridesmaid/prom dresses or even your wedding gown, etc. But what about day-to-day/household items? Here are a few examples how to keep things out of the landfills…

Do you have a pair of old sneakers kicking around that seem too worn out to donate to Goodwill? You can give them to Nike to make sports fields out of them!

Do you eat a lot of yogurt and put your #5 yogurt cups in the trash or recyling bins hoping they’ll get recycled (if it says #5 on the bottom, they actually cannot be recycled in many areas)? Preserve makes toothbrushes, razors, and other products out of your yogurt lids and cups through the gimme 5 program.

Do you get greeting cards and either squirrel them away or toss them? You could be sending them in to St.Jude’s to make new cards out of the old.

To find out where to send your old sneakers, yogurt cups, greeting cards, and some other items like wine corks, check out the full article on EcoFriendlyDaily.com here.

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Inspiration: Outdoor Dining

At my house we built a long (10+ feet) feasting table under a tree strung with lights. I found a random mix of chairs and painted them all the same color and reupholstered those with padded seats. I stained the table to match the chairs and I am thrilled with how it turned out. Once the rest of the landscaping around it is complete (think little puffs of lavender and bright green boxwoods) I will post some images. In the mean time, have a look at some of what inspired me. I look forward to creating a vibe like some of these for our clients’ events, whether for a shower, birthday party, or small reception. Very fun.

This outdoor patio area has a lot to offer with the fireplace and trellis/pergola. To keep it inviting, the wood table is barely covered with a tablecloth and the chairs are loosely placed around it. Lanterns and boulders add to the warm feel by making the space appear smaller than it is – cozier.

A large iron and stone table and complimentary chairs are inviting underneath the overgrown arbor, complete with votive chandelier. The brick patio clearly defines the dining room area. Note the green glass hurricanes and goblets.

Nature provides the most beautiful backdrop for this dining room, ideal for a daytime event. Mismatched vintage chairs surround tables draped with white linens. By adding accessories and setting the tables for a meal this can be expanded on for a more elegant, rustic, or vintage feel.

Martha Stewart’s peaceful outdoor dining room. The greenery really makes the setting and the matching weathered chairs and table seem very inviting.

And for a slightly ethereal feel, what an amazing canopy with that sort of “no effort” feel. Great pops of color although I think it would work with any shades, patterns, and even in neutrals. Now to seek out a field that is similar to create a dining space…

Hopefully these images inspired you… and will help you look forward to warmer weather ahead.

- Natalie

(Photo Credits: House Beautiful / Canopy – Apartment Therapy)

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Donations in lieu of Favors

Donating funds to a charity or non-profit organization in lieu of giving guests favors has become more commonplace and is a very socially, economically, environmentally responsible way to thank your friends and family for sharing in your big day. It’s a good idea to let guests know that you donated on their behalf. Not because they’re expecting a box of Jordan Almonds but because you’re doing a good thing and your guests might be pleased that in some way they were a part of it.

You may choose to put note at each place setting like in the image below. We paired the informative welcome note with a delicate meringue to dress it up a bit. Try to print the message on recycled or cotton paper if you’re keeping the environment in mind.

Another eco and budget friendly option is to set up a sign near the entrance to your reception. In this case we used a vintage typewriter to display the message about the charities the bride and groom selected. The typewriter fit right in with their wedding style.

Select one or more charities that are close to your heart. From disease awareness to animal rights, there are so many to choose from!

(Photo credits: Welcome – Sara France Photography, Typewriter – Bauman Photography)

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Engagement: Susan and David

Susan and David are getting married at The Lodge at Torrey Pines in less than 10 days. We’re so looking forward to the celebration that will highlight this magical time of year, the rustic quality of the Lodge, and will be complete with a variety of fine food for guests to enjoy throughout the evening.

Bauman Photographers’ blog features their recent engagement session shots, in addition to the three below. Have a look! The photos are very fitting for this beautiful couple who adore the outdoors.

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Invitations: Wood

Check out these laser engraved wood invitations  by Oslo Press.

They offer domestic hardwood veneers in order to be certain that they are not contributing to tropical deforestation and they utilize repurposed industrial extras when creating their wood invitations.  Not to mention, they are unique and beautiful!

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Brant Bender Photography’s 10th Anniversary Party

Brant Bender Photography had  their 10 year anniversary and we helped them put a little party together to celebrate.  Brant has not only been a good friend and a great photographer, but he was also my wedding photographer.  All the more reason to work with him on planning an unforgettable event.  Recently, Brant moved into a charming new studio at the Bernardo Winery which made the perfect setting for his event.

Brant’s responsibility on this particular evening was to relax and enjoy which meant we had to bring a photographer in to capture the event.  That job was left to none other than Jared Bauman of Bauman Photographers.  Thanks Jared.

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Guests were a mix of close friends, previous clients and industry professionals.  They all enjoyed wine and bubbly from Bernardo Winery as well as delectable food from Cafe Merlot, also a resident of Bernardo Winery.  Paula Rae of Rae Florae designed the rustic floral pieces to complement autumn at the winery.

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What is a party without part donuts?  These warm and yummy treats were a hit with adults and kids alike!

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Happy 10th Anniversay Brant Bender Photography!  Congratulations on 10 amazing years and cheers to the next 10!

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