VKH Adores: The Letter L

L is for:

Lace

We VKH kids are not simply eco-friendly, but classy as well.  And what better way to say “class” than with a touch of lace?  Paper or fabric – for invitations, bouquets, centerpieces, wedding dresses – lace is a simple and elegant way to add some glamour to your special day.

(Photos courtesy of Martha Stewart.)

In Chicago, we adore Vogue Fabrics for their selection of lace and bulk fabrics, with locations in Evanston, Chicago, and Lansing – all easily accessible by public transit, vehicle, or walking if you want to be really green and “ambitious.”  Visit their website at www.voguefabricstore.com.

Bolero jackets are trending, as are shawls.  The bolero-style is a dramatic, couture addition to any bridal gown, serving as an accessory without adding the weight of jewelry. Shawls are quite feminine and can serve a functional and fashionable purpose for Autumn or outdoor weddings, and can be used after your wedding day for both casual and dressy occasions!

(Photo courtesy of AlexBridal on Etsy.)

(Photo courtesy of WindyCityKnits on Etsy.)

(Photo courtesy of AmandaArcher on Etsy.)

Lavender & Lemons

Oh yes, please!  The marriage of an Herbes de Provence staple and a refreshing mediterranean citrus fruit results in a partnership that will last happily ever after!  Perfect for a spring or early summer wedding, lavender and lemon are two colors – and flavors – that are sure to make your wedding a memorable, zesty success!  You can often find lavender at local farmers markets, and lemons can be purchased as bulk items from co-ops and grocery stores (of course if you have your own lemon tree, then you have no excuse NOT to make use of its fruits!)  The scents are aroma-therapeutic allowing your guests to be happy and relaxed through your reception.  VKH happily gives its stamp of approval to this more than beautiful inspiration.

(Photos courtesy of WeddingColors.com)

(Photo courtesy of PassionateAboutBaking.)

LEED-Certified Venues (like the Greenhouse Loft)

VKH is committed to Eco-conscious event planning, looking for green & sustainable options every step of the way when planning and implementing an event.  One way to help identify the right venue option is to look for a LEED designation.  LEED stands for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design and consists of a rating system to designate buildings, homes and neighborhoods eco-friendly.  As Wikipedia states “LEED is intended to provide building owners and operators a concise framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.”

One of our more exciting recent venue finds is the Greenhouse Loft, located in our own hometown of Chicago, IL.  They claim to be “the country’s premier sustainable event venue” and indeed they’ve earned the highest LEED designation of Platinum, fulfilling nearly all of the possible criteria measured in the LEED system.  You can see the incredible list of sustainable building details on their website. The space is flooded with natural light and feels clean, simple and open with a rooftop “sky” garden for additional space. Plus with fairly reasonable rates, finding a reception space that’s earth-friendly doesn’t have to break the bank!

(Photos courtesy of Greenhouse Loft.)

Linens

There are plenty of ways to dress a table for a wedding.  Depending on your theme/concept, tablecloths can be a pricey necessity, for both rental and DIY solutions.  And the debate between which is a better investment is just as tricky. On the one hand, renting guarantees you a good and service for 1 day from a source that is not decreasing crops of hemp, cotton, or bamboo; but it’s a large chunk of change to spend on something you can’t keep, and there is no guarantee that the company you rent from uses naturally occurring bleaches and dyes in their linens.  On the other hand, using organic cotton, hemp, or bamboo fabric supports free trade, is a renewable resource, and can be kept for life to be reused as is, recycled, up-cycled, and repurposed, AND it’s compostable.  Rental linen costs can start at $7 and go up to $50, and mostly come in package deals you cannot control.  Organic fabric can be purchased by the yard or wholesale, and has an average cost of $14-$16/yard.  If at last 70% of your wedding is in support of our planet – its people, flora and fauna – then choose your linens accordingly, with regard to your budget, time, and available resources.  Ideally, it’s a good thing  to use compostable, recycled and recyclable options rather than decorations you use once and toss or have to give back.

Organic burlap table runner collection

(Photo courtesy of BebeBumbleStudio on Etsy.)

Online Sellers of organic fabrics and linens include Bambeco, Eco Sleep Shop, Hemp Emporium, The Bamboo Fabric Store, BuyCheaper, and Pristine Planet.

Lawn

(Photo courtesy of UniqueEventDesign.)

Lawn weddings and receptions can be some of the loveliest events in the world.  Natural lighting can save equipment expenses, naturally occurring flora and fauna can serve as decor,  and the overall mood of you and your guests can be assuredly joyful.  Sounds simple, doesn’t it?  Well – L is for the laundry list of do’s, don’ts, hints and tips when planning a lawn wedding. The reality behind this lovely, natural, joyful, and simple wedding option is much more complicated than you might think.  Don’t let that scare you – an informed bride is a wise, calm, and happy bride.

Location: The size of the lawn must comfortably accommodate your guests for the ceremony and reception, if desired, with sufficient nearby parking for all guests.  Guests will need to use the restrooms as well so make sure there are adequate, covered structures accessible.  If the lawn is located in a locally or nationally sanctioned park,  don’t forget to contact the appropriate parks department to get a permit for an outdoor wedding.  Choosing a park’s lawn as the site of your wedding or reception requires LONG-LEAD TIME, sometimes up to 6 months in advance for reservation. Be sure to ask about rules concerning trash removal, candle or torch lighting, and wedding photography.  Can everybody hear? When you picture your dream wedding at the beach, you’re probably not hearing the roaring of the waves, the rushing wind, or the locals running and screaming around you (oh yes, kids AND adults do this).  Look into renting a sound system with clip mikes for the bride, groom and officiant. Your DJ or band may be able to arrange this for you if necessary.  And as for those pesky flying things, be sure to include citronella candles or eco bug repellents  so that your guests won’t spend the whole ceremony swatting at the air, especially if you’re near a wooded or low-lying water area.

Libations & Larder: Make things tasty outside.  Does your caterer have experience planning an outdoor wedding menu?  Make sure they’re planning things that will keep well outdoors in the heat or cold.  For warm weather conditions, avoid things like mayonnaise salads or dishes which must be served cold unless you/they have the proper storage for those items.  Since alcohol is dehydrating, consider serving a variety of lemonades, teas and punches.  Likewise in cooler weather conditions, stay away from cooler dishes, and maybe consider serving warming beverages like hot chocolate, tea, coffee, or brandy and whiskey!

Local Weather: Think about what the weather will likely be at the time of day and month of the year.  Sunny and hot?  Don’t leave your guests uncomfortably melting – have on hand ice-cold bottles of water, fans (handheld paper or electric/solar-powered), sunscreen, or a shaded area.   If it will be cold and damp, make sure you tell guests that so they can wear extra layer, or provide umbrellas and lap blankets just in case.  The ideal outdoor wedding location has an indoor location waiting just in case. Many brides and grooms opt to have their ceremony outside and reception inside. In a pinch, the tables can be scooted to the back of the room during the ceremony.  A tent is another option, but only for light to moderate rain storms.  A heavy rain will soak the ground underneath, leaving guests with soggy and muddy shoes.  Make sure any tent you rent is sturdy so it won’t flip over, and that it has thick and weighted sides.  Many outdoor weddings suffer from windy conditions.  Avoid light fabrics like chiffons and china silks in your dress and the bridesmaid dresses.  Tell your hairstylist that you’ll be having an outdoor wedding so she/he can plan a style that won’t leave you with Fraggle hair!  Men in the wedding party should use pomade or other styling products.  Tell your guests in a printed insert so that they can plan accordingly, and ALWAYS have a back-up location.

Look:  Flat, spacious lawns are best for parties. If the lawn is uneven, steeply sloped, or filled with obstacles, it can cause issues for you, your planner, and your guests.  Make arrangements for or confirm proper lawn care, particularly fertilization and weed control,  to keep the grass healthy; furthermore hedges, trees, and flower beds should be meticulously pruned and weeded.  Repair and clean fences, patios, decks, and the exteriors of all additional buildings on or near the lawn.

(Photo courtesy of Weddingom.com.)

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