Melissa’s all-outdoor affair initially had the other brides worried about bugs and dirt, but once they arrived, they were quickly amazed by what nature had to offer.

Here are some ideas to help you recreate a similar eco-conscious wedding:

Ceremony
Melissa’s outdoor ceremony featured simple black chairs with yellow bows tied around the back and adorable hanging lanterns nestled in the trees. This eco-conscious bride let the beauty of nature speak for itself.

  • Splurge: If you are looking to produce a more dramatic effect, consider adding flower arrangements and or sprinkling rose petals along the aisle to make the space stand out. Additionally, Chiavari chairs are a great example of a décor item that will radiate elegance and add ambiance to the room. At Melissa’s wedding the bride judges loved the atmosphere, but felt the décor lacked colour.
  • Steal: Remember, your ceremony space does not have to be the focal point of the evening. Instead of purchasing expensive flower arrangements that might only last a day or two, consider sprucing up your simple chairs with colourful seat covers that match your wedding decor. This will not only be visually appealing, but your guests will appreciate the comfortable seating.

Dress
Melissa’s mermaid dress was a showstopper! All the brides agreed that she looked stunning as she walked down the aisle, accented by her jewelled flower headpiece that added just the perfect amount of flair for the occasion.

  • Splurge: Melissa went for a tight-fitting, strapless gown, bedazzled with crystals and little flower details throughout. You too can heighten the glam factor by adding a fascinator or a crystal hairpiece to bring the entire outfit together. Check out bridal magazines for accessory ideas for any season.
  • Save: If you’ve chosen a simple style of dress, think about adding accessories to boost the wow factor and ensure all eyes are on you as you walk down the aisle. To accessorize your look without adding jewellery, try a coloured sash to accentuate your figure. You could easily make the sash yourself or if you’re not the creative type, check out Etsy for those one-of-a-kind options.

Food
Initially, the bride judges were concerned there may be too many organic and vegan selections and not enough for them to eat.  On the actual day, Melissa served up options for everyone.

  • Splurge: If you have guests with a wide range of food tastes, put your money into your meal options. Invest in a gourmet chef that can make anything look and taste fantastic. The more options you have, the more appreciative your guests will be. You could also win them over with a creative dessert like Melissa did, by hollowing out an actual mango and replacing the fruit content with mango sorbet.
  • Save: Inform your guests of the dinner options ahead of time and give them a set of three choices to be safe. This way you are appeasing each guest's dietary needs and saving money by not wasting chicken on someone who may not eat meat.  All in all, be mindful of the types of food you choose for your wedding and always consider your guests' needs. You don’t have to serve up five to seven courses to have a happy crowd.

Overall
From the beautiful hanging lanterns at her reception, to her late-night bonfire and s'mores station, the bride judges appreciated all of Melissa’s personal touches. As Angela pointed out, she felt right at home at Melissa’s eco-conscious affair.

  • Splurge: If you choose to have your wedding at an outdoor venue, you don’t have to party in the dark when the sun goes down. Invest in some up-lighting that could reflect the colours of your wedding instead of the typical white lights. You might even consider bringing in a live band, to give the feeling of an outdoor concert!
  • Save: Think outside the box. Melissa added another personal touch at her ceremony by offering her guests cups of birdseed instead of confetti to throw at them after the ceremony. This was definitely an eco-conscious idea and very unique to the couple. Other options include bubbles, rice or leaves if you are having a fall wedding.

Remember, it’s the little touches that reflect you and your fiancé that will leave a lasting impression on your guests and not how much you spend on your big day. Let your personality shine!

Written by Four Weddings Canada.