The first wedding I ever remember being in was of a close family friend. She was marrying her high school sweet heart. I was honored to be a hostess with my baby sister. We got beautiful light yellow dresses and our hair curled for the big occasion. It was my first time experiencing a wedding on the beach.
Now that I have captured all of your attention. Welcome! I am elated to finally share with you all some real, candid, joyous, and memorable moments of my white wedding experience this past March 16th. Like many of us I had crazy expectations and ideas of my white wedding for years. I thought it would be everything I ever dreamed. And in many ways it was. I was surround by loved ones and I was celebrating love with the man of my dreams.
But leading up to the special day, I started having new dreams for my big day. Influenced by my new zerowaste and minimalist journey, I wanted minimal decor, no unnecessary wedding things, save on paper and food. I wanted to it be the image you think of when you think “sustainable wedding”. I really wish I could title this post the “sustainable wedding of my dreams”. But the reality is I can’t say that.
There’s so much to say on my experience so I will be dividing my wedding post into two. In Part 1, I will highlight things leading up to the big day including moments where some good efforts were made towards a sustainable wedding and some not so much.
In the beginning I felt so on top of it. I, of course started on Pinterest, like most Millennial women and planned out my entire dream wedding. I had ideas for flowers, colors, dresses, venues, wedding bands, fun reception games, and the list continues. Next I hired a wedding planner knowing that my white wedding would quickly be overwhelming on my own with school and work and my African family.
Then I started coming up with my own ideas to having a sustainable wedding.
My wedding planner recommend that I used the knot.com to create my wedding website. It was easily the best move I did in reducing my wedding waste. It would later become a source for guest to find out all things wedding information like venue details, hotel accommodations, and our registry. It also reduced the amount of questions I received personally when I could redirect people to the website to answer their questions.
Right from the beginning I knew I didn’t want to send paper save the dates or invites. I wanted to send evites. I have heard people say it’s not as nice but I didn’t care. I knew this would be one of the easiest ways I would cut back on my waste and save money. I ended up sending wedding invitations via email. My wedding planner made a beautiful digital invite and off it went to my potential guest. I was so proud of myself for following through with this idea.
My next concern was the venue. For most couples this could bring a lot of stress finding the right one. I really wanted to have our wedding in Tampa, Florida for it’s where Kojo and I met. But things don’t always work out how you plan. I ultimately decided on the Citrus Club in downtown Orlando. This venue ended up being a nice fit and putting together my vision for my special day. I was able to cut waste in transportation because my ceremony and reception where in the same venue. Guest only had to drive to one venue.
My accessories were special and jewelry I liked. I bought some jewelry from the mall and not a second hard store like I would have liked. There wasn’t enough time in the day to find pieces of jewelry I liked enough for my big day. A very special piece was my necklace given to me by my incredible God Mother the day before my white wedding.
What some would arguably say is at the center of it all. The dress. I started out so positive with how I was going to select my dress. I was sure I was going to buy it second hand or rent it second hand. I spent hours looking at websites like stillwhite.com gaining ideas and seeing what dress spoke to me. But ultimately it didn’t work for me and I ended up going through three dresses but finally deciding on the first dress I got from a boutique, was the one. Sad it wasn’t second hand but happy to know I loved my wedding dress.
About a year of planning led up to my big day. It seems like a lot of time until you start putting in graduate school, internships, investing in relationships, needed breaks, investing in other projects. Then there doesn’t seem to be enough time in the world to do every small detailed needed to avoid waste.
I’ll be honest the process of creating my big day was incredibly stressful and eye opening. There are just so many little things to consider with a wedding. It’s legit insane! Crazy thing is I had an extremely helpful wedding planner named Ann-Marie with A.M.A. Experience by my side. But all that stress melted away when he saw me for the first time in my white dress.
Photography: LVphotography LLC
Now comes the juicy stuff. Part 2 coming soon…