Happy Earth Day! Greening your wedding!

It's Earth Day!  We consider "being green" a lot more than just a trend.  It's been a lifestyle for us the past nine years!

Here are a few ways we do our best to care about the planet as well as a few wedding suggestions keeping Mother Nature in mind.

Locally grown flowers  are the most wonderful kind, and when in season we use lots of them.  There are a lot of farms in Wisconsin, Indiana & Michigan (aside from Illinois) that truck into the city after an early morning harvest so we can pick the freshest blooms from them.  They come direct from the farm eliminating the middle man, extra trucking, extra packaging and extra cost there so that money goes straight to our farmer's pockets.  Many of these farms grow all varieties of crops and do their best to offer organic or pesticide free produce, and we all know how important that is.

This gorgeous bridal bouquet designed by Caleb is comprised of all locally grown flowers.  The bride provided her own canisters as vases on the table which she then up-cycled and used in her home.

We also use lots of vintage vases and other vessels for weddings.  They're rented and we find them while we salvage through estate sales and antique malls, therefore not contributing to the process of MAKING MORE THINGS.  They're old, they're pretty, we like them.  Blue mason jars, compotes, rustic boxes, milk glass, salvaged candle pillars.  Our vintage collection is entirely 2nd hand and not only helps reduce waste by reusing, it also look amazing at weddings.

Photo above from Jennifer Kathryn & Jaclyn Simpson Photography.  Photo below from Dean Thorsen Photography.

You might be surprised to find out how much we love plants around here at Fleur.  And we love terrariums.  Using potted plants at weddings is a wonderful way to stay green as well as offer guests the most lovely take away gift.  See our previous post on how to create your own terrarium!

Photo below by Jennifer Kathryn Photography.

And be non traditional with your party decor!  Wheat grass is amazing!  Use lots of beeswax candles!  There are so many ideas out there, and very simple to find.

Here are a few more great links for greening your wedding: The Green Guide Bride, Eco Wedding and  The Great Green Wedding.

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I also make staff a little crazy with going green.  We reuse all of our floral deliver boxes to ship your flowers to your wedding.  The leftovers are returned to our wholesaler to be reused or recycled.  This may sound a little over the top, but makes a huge difference.., we rarely use paper towels at Fleur.  We have lots and lots of rags to wipe down counters, dust, dry our hands and clean.  When they're dirty I bring them home to launder and use eco-friendly detergent.  We also try our best to limit our water in-take (and we're fixing that sink next week!).  All our soaps and spray cleaners are all from Seventh Generation cleaning supplies and we suggest rather than adding floral "food" to your fresh cut flowers, change the water daily and wash the vase.  Add a few ice cubes to keep bacteria from forming.

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And what do I do at home?  I'm that person that guerilla-style recycles everything.  Since we don't have the blue recycling bins in our neighborhood, Davey and I bring all our paper, plastic and glass to neighborhoods that DO have them.  We also turn off the water while we brush our teeth.  I pay most of my bills online.  We're careful to turn off our lights when we leave rooms and I use wheat litter for Bootleg & Tippie's litter box.

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Our world is very special.  I hope you enjoy this Earth Day and every other day as well.

xo!

fav's

I was searching through my files for something and ended up forgetting what is was, because I started to think about these bouquets instead.  Some of my favorites of 2010.

That photo was by Pret a Poser Photography.  Garden roses.

This one is from Dean Thorsen. Everything about this makes me happy.  Especially the yellow peonies.

I took this photo.  I'm not sure what is the most exciting here, the black eye anemones, the scalloped ranunculus or the velvet ribbon.  It's frosty and delicious.

And once again the anemones.  Oh!  They're killing me!!!  And the begonia leaves.xo!  Thanks to Steve Koo for that image!

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I just wrote two estimates that left me excited.  The last few weeks have been so busy, and yesterday Davey and I stayed in all day watching more movies for Horror Movie Month.  We hit up The Tingler & The Omen. It's gonna start to actually get scary from here on out.  In fact, possibly even tonight.

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p.s.  i'm going to stop writing these posts in the evening when i'm tired.

Sometimes simplicity is best.

Sometimes it's best to keep things simple.  Traci Flowers (how can you not want to be friends with someone who has a last name like that?) and Matt Davis had a *really* rough time when planning their wedding.  Their original wedding venue/planner/florist... disappeared!  Literally.  They had to start from scratch, & the frustration is unimaginable.  They were definitely a little nervous about their wedding, and can't be blamed.  Every wedding nightmare truly happened to them.

Despite all their understandable nervousness, the couple truly combined spirit, simplicity and taste and the end result was an absolutely gorgeous wedding.

Dean Thorsen took these absolutely beautiful photos of their day.

Traci liked her flowers to be very tailored and contemporary.  She loves calla lilies and green cymbidium orchids.

The bridesmaids carried similar bouquets featuring dahlias, wrapped with variegated ginger foliage and peppered with green dendrobium orchid florets.

The boys all wore bouts to match.

Their reception was held in the Altitude Room at the W Hotel Lakeshore.  The view is kind of breathtaking with windows practically everywhere you look.  Candles and submerged flowers are the absolute perfect fit.

The simplicity statement really travels incredibly far.

You can't see from this photo, but all the corks that hold the place-cards read "flowers."  :) :) :)

Sometimes the wedding planning process is harder than you think.  Stress, anticipation, too many people's opinions... it's enough to make you forget why you're marrying the person you're in love with.  That was hardly the case with Traci and Matt.  This couple faced some of the largest wedding hardships that can surface.  Things that simply *are*not*fair*.  Despite all of that, despite their nervousness and despite their stress, these two truly showed their love for one another.  I first met with them as they faced a difficult part of the planning process and was fortunate enough that they chose us to work with them to follow through to the end.  And the entire time Traci and Matt never lost the real reason they were planning all of this.  They were about to be wed.

To make things even better, there was a rainbow that evening.

A little bird told me (our amazing guy who collects the vases at the end of the night) that when he arrived that they and all their friends were in a circle, arms draped over one another's friend's singing Billy Joel's "Piano Man." Those of you who know me well know what I'm about to type... I teared up.

Congratulations to Traci and Matt!!!

Dean Thorsen Photography

I can't boast enough about these photos from Dean.

These are the professional photos from Therese and Dan's wedding just a few weeks back.  They are a m a z in g.

This wedding was also featured on Style Me Pretty, so please take a peek!

Yellow peonies = bliss!!!

Dan's bout had a little cotton added into it.

Those might be the most comfortable bridesmaid shoes ever.

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OH!!!!!!

These photos are amazing.  It was so difficult for me to choose which to feature!!

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A special thanks once again to Thorsen Photography, Lola Event Productions, & Prairie Productions.