Ahh, the steps to planning a wedding. They are many and varied and will sometimes make you feel as though you have two left feet and no balance whatsoever. Try to be in each moment as much as possible, even if it’s an unpleasant one with a terrible DJ during his interview. The actual day is gone in an instant and the whole thing is about your life together, not just one day, so plan accordingly (and I do mean the double entendre there) and enjoy all of the steps, not just the ones on your first dance.
There are other green wedding guides out there, I’ve seen them, but they tend to be to-do lists for the bride. I remember being a bride, and she already has too much to do. So here is my comprehensive list to finding the people in the Bay Area who will do the green wedding work for you.
GREEN IDEA BOOK or WEDDING FOLDER:
I’m pretty green, but I love idea books and pretty magazine pictures. When making an idea book, use the library or the internet first, then buy only the magazines that really had something you want to tear out and show to a caterer, or baker or florist. Recycle the magazine when you’re done, or if you’re really crafty you could use it to hand make paper for your wedding invites.
GREEN WEDDING PLANNERS
Marryl Brown Events – Montecito/Santa Barbara
Vibrant Events – San Francisco and the Greater Bay Area
Karine Brighten Events – San Francisco Bay Area and beyond service from a green certified business.
GREEN WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHERS
What is a green photographer, anyway? There is a certification process out there and The Green Photographer provides it, along with a well thought-out and in-depth list of ways to go green that don’t just apply to photographers. Just a few of their requirements include, buying used gear, using rechargeable batteries, printing with an online printer, using a white board (with non-toxic markers – that’s my two cents) instead of sticky notes, video conferencing instead of meeting in person and using only digital equipment. Green photographers in and around the Bay:
Alex Ho – South San Francisco
Ellie Grover – Northern California
Gustavo Fernandez – East Bay
Nita Winter and Rob Badger – Sausalito
Rebecca Wilkowsky – Oakland
White Glove Books – Green wedding books, available only through professional photographers.
GREEN WEDDING WEBSITE HOSTS
Green Bride Guide and MyWedding.com bring you a free wedding website with Matching Invitations.
GREEN WEDDING DJ
A green DJ or band is much like a green photographer, in that they can buy used equipment or instruments, purchase carbon offsets for travel and electrical usage, and in general be mindful to reduce, reuse and recycle in their offices and personal lives. I found one “green” DJ in San Jose, California:
I couldn’t find a green wedding band in Northern California. That doesn’t mean they don’t exist, but no one is touting their sustainably-purchased instruments as of yet. These bands are at least local, which is better than flying in your favorite New York band.
South Bay Express – Bay Area
Swing Fever – San Francisco
GREEN OR ORGANIC WEDDING CATERER
Back to Earth Organic Catering – Berkeley
Cool Eatz – Palo Alto
Laura Stec – Portola Valley
Organic Chef Catering – San Francisco
Rogue Chefs – Half Moon Bay
GREEN WEDDING GOWN
Deborah Lindquist – Online. Organic, handmade gowns.
Rawganique – 100% organic hemp wedding gowns.
M.L. Marsh for Poetic Justice – Organic, fair-sewn wedding gowns.
Natural Bridal by Morgan Boszilkov – Organic, sustainably made in the US wedding gowns.
Conscious Clothing – Hemp and silk wedding attire.
Tara Lynn – Organic, natural and repurposed fiber gowns made in a solar-powered studio on vintage sewing machines.
Annatarian – Wedding gowns made with vintage and remnant fabrics as well as peace silk, organic cotton and bamboo. They can also incorporate sentimental pieces – your mom’s wedding dress or a piece of family jewelry.
GREEN WEDDING SUIT or TUX FOR HIM
Finding a green tux or suit is a bit of a trick, unless you can afford to have one tailor made. If so, it’s probably worth the money – there is nothing like a tailor made suit. Otherwise, you have the Rawganique options below, or you can buy yourself an organic shirt and rent yourself a tux. Renting, on the one hand, is pretty green you’d think – reusing and all that. But those tuxes have to be cleaned and it’s not by hand with eco-friendly soap. Check with your local tuxedo renters: Selix,
Rawganique – 100% organic hemp suits – they are actually gorgeous: elegant, well-cut, a lovely color. Not at all a hippie look!
Selix – Tuxedo rentals – Selix is all over Northern California. They wholesale to other companies (you’ll notice this if you look at their website), but if the retail location is called Selix, they own their own dry cleaning facility in Hayward and use green and eco-friendly dry cleaning practices.
Men’s Wearhouse – Tuxedo rentals – They have locations all across the country. I talked with corporate and they were poorly informed on their dry cleaning practices, though stated they do use a green washer and dryer for wet cleaning, but that doesn’t apply to dry cleaning tuxedos. I would use a local, independently owned rental before MW, if possible.
Tuxedo Wearhouse – Tuxedo rentals in San Jose and Milpitas. They are independently owned and use green dry cleaners.
Next: Invitations, Cakes, Jewelry and More
GREEN WEDDING INVITATIONS
Twisted Limb Paper offers handmade and 100% recycled invitations from a carbon-neutral studio.
Woman Craft offers handmade paper made by women working to create new beginnings.
Green Field Paper makes plantable seed paper, hemp paper and custom invitations.
Online invitations are the greenest, see this Care2 post for several options.
GREEN BRIDESMAID DRESSES
Conscious Clothing – Santa Fe
GREEN AND ORGANIC FLOWERS
Loop Event Arts & Interiors – Wedding Flowers and Event Design in the Bay Area – Servicing San Francisco, Napa Valley, Sonoma, Marin, East Bay and the Peninsula.
Grandiflora – Serving San Francisco, Wine Country and the greater Bay Area.
Oak Hill Farm – Located in Sonoma. Chemicals have not been used on the property since the 1950s.
Organic Bouquet has been leading the charge in organic flower farming to curb pesticide use for the health of growers, farmers and florists.
GREEN WEDDING JEWELRY
Sustainable jewelry is a post of mine highlighting facts you might not know about diamonds and their richly colored alternatives, as well as California-based sustainable jewelers.
GREEN OR ORGANIC WEDDING CAKE
Edith Myer – San Francisco and Monterey Bay Areas. The only certified organic wedding cake designer in the Bay Area.
Ghalia Organic Desserts – Los Angeles
Swiss Delices – Castro Valley
Whole Cakes – Online. One hundred percent organic and natural cakes.
GREEN OR ORGANIC WEDDING CAKE ALTERNATIVES
Coco Zen – Pacifica. Organic, sustainable handmade chocolates.
Kara’s Cupcakes – San Francisco, Palo Alto. Organic ingredients and sustainable storefronts and office.
Wholesome Bakery – San Francisco. Vegan baked goods and special orders.
GREEN WEDDING FAVORS
Bliss Weddings Market – Online
Gorgeous and Green – Online
OTHER GREEN WEDDING RESOURCE SITES
10 Steps to a Green Wedding by The Green Life, Sierra Club’s blog
The Discerning Brut - “Fashion, food and etiquette for the ethically handsome man.”
Etsy – There are many handmade, organic products to be found on Etsy.
I intend to update this guide and welcome any information, resources and comments you have!