Looking to have an eco-friendly wedding? Or maybe, you’re just trying to be a socially conscious couple in modern times?
If so, I’ve got the perfect story for you!
After each wedding by one of our WedTexts couples, we reach out to get to them to get their thoughts and feelings about the wedding planning process.
We want to see how they used WedTexts, what problems they ran into with wedding planning and day-of wedding coordination, and we ask what their best advice is for current couples who are currently planning their wedding.
Typically, we get a few soundbites here and there that I can spin into a much bigger story for the blog.
But when I reached out to Taylor Martz after her wedding to Eric Kuczek that was not the case.
Taylor basically sent us an entire play-by-play of her wedding planning process PLUS the thoughts and reasoning behind each decision that they made!!
Thank you, Taylor!
Trust us, after you read this post, you’ll want to thank her too! (which you can do in the comments below)
Even though I have not met her in person, I can tell that Taylor is intentional.
She and her fiancé, Eric, wanted an eco-friendly wedding because they are a socially conscious couple who cares.
Here’s what she did to create her eco-friendly wedding…
First off they used invitations that their guests could put under soil and it grew flowers!!!
And instead of party favors, that are super cute but usually useless, our socially conscious couple donated to eight different charities.
Each table at the reception had a handout with an introduction to the charity and why it is so special to them!
Wait, wait… I’m getting ahead of myself.
Just listen to Taylor tell it.
Keep on reading to get the whole story of their wedding and planning process and find out what other out-of-the-box ideas our socially conscious couple, Taylor and Eric incorporated into their eco-friendly wedding and how WedTexts helped them achieve their goal!
The Story of an Eco-Friendly Wedding by a Socially Conscious Couple
What made you signup for WedTexts?
Living in Northeast Ohio, unpredictable weather is expected. My husband and I really wanted an outdoor ceremony in late October but knew there was always the possibility of rain (or snow!).
I’m a huge planner, so I wanted to ensure the backup plan was airtight and guests would have a seamless experience either way and would feel in the loop and prepared in case there was a change of plans.
What was your favorite thing about WedTexts?
I wanted our wedding to feel like a multi-day “experience” and very intentional.
Being able to communicate in advance of the wedding and ramp up excitement for what was to come added an entirely new level of personalization and “unique-ness” to our whole wedding!
What was your guests’ reaction to WedTexts?
At first, our guests were a little confused when they received a text out of the blue a week prior to the wedding, but ultimately, they were extremely grateful they had the reminders leading up to the big day.
No one needed to ask for directions, the shuttle times, or even where to be for the ceremony or when to make their way to their seat at the reception.
Plus, they couldn’t believe I wasn’t the one actually controlling the text messages – it was all just automated!
What was done at your wedding to enhance the guest experience so that your wedding was memorable and how did that work out?
Instead of giving out “favors” at our wedding, we donated to 8 different charities in our guests’ honor.
We selected charities that affected us, our family, or many of our guests personally and created a small handout to be placed at their table for dinner.
Our guests were able to read through the stories of why we chose each charity and get to know more about the people we honored on the page.
It was really special. We got so much positive feedback from this!
We also went above and beyond to put on a sustainable and eco-friendly wedding.
The wedding industry is extremely wasteful, so we did our best to leave as little a footprint as possible throughout our experience.
We printed all stationery and handouts on recycled paper (through our eco-friendly wedding vendor, PaperCulture – a tree was planted on our behalf to offset our order) and seed paper (guests could plant their wedding invitation under soil and wait for blooms to grow instead of throwing their invite in the trash post-wedding).
In addition, our florist didn’t use any foam (as it’s toxic to the environment), used local & in-season flowers and organically-dyed ribbon, and also helped us recycle and donate our flowers post-wedding to a local women’s shelter to brighten their day.
We even went so far as to hire a composting vendor to compost all the remaining scraps of food from our wedding.
What problems did you face during the wedding weekend and how did you handle them?
It ended up absolutely down-pouring on our wedding day.
Thankfully, we were extremely prepared for our backup plan.
I purchased clear bubble umbrellas well in advance to use for all our pictures so we could still get some outdoors.
I also purchased Scotchgard fabric spray to put on the bottom hem of all the girls’ bridesmaid dresses so that they wouldn’t get wet, muddy or stained when dragging on the ground.
Our coordinator turned around the reception space to be a beautiful, intimate ceremony setting with our guests standing in a circle around us.
It was very special and turned out to be the highlight of my husband & I’s experience – you could really feel the love around us as we stood at the altar.
What problems did you face during the wedding planning process and how did you handle them?
As it got closer to our wedding day, coordinating with all our vendors became tougher.
October is one of the busiest (if not THE busiest!) wedding months of the year.
We really felt that time crunch from our vendors since our wedding was scheduled for the last weekend in October.
Thankfully, we had done the bulk of our planning upfront with each vendor and had kept communication lines open from the start.
Vendors are much more accommodating and understanding when you already have a friendly relationship established well in advance!
What is the #1 piece of advice you would give to engaged couples about wedding planning in general?
I can’t pick just one, so here are my top two:
1) Brides: Make it a joint effort with your husband-to-be.
Turn your “me’s” into “we’s.” Don’t forget this is not “your” wedding or “my” wedding, but rather it’s “our wedding.”
Changing the way you talk about your planning, preparations, and overall day helps shift the mindset.
It’s easy to catch yourself responding to others’ questions with, “Yes, I want to do that for my wedding!” instead of saying “We really want to try that for our wedding!”
You’re becoming a team and there’s no better time to start than before Day 1 of married life. (Pre-marital counseling or mentorship helps with this immensely!)
You might think you’re aiming for 200 guests, but when you sketch it out – you really only come up with 160. That changes your venue options immensely and can save you a lot of money!
Don’t forget, there’s going to be a solid portion (~15-20%) of guests who can’t (or just won’t) attend.
What is the #1 piece of advice you would give to engaged couples about the week leading up to their wedding?
Check-in with your emotions, then check in with your partner.
It’s so easy to get caught in the to-do list the days leading up to the wedding day as opposed to being present and soaking up the last few days of your engagement.
Be where your feet are. Soak in the excitement, nerves, anxiety, and love you’re feeling – because it goes by SO quickly.
What is the #1 piece of advice you would give to engaged couples about their wedding day?
Forget about your to-do list.
There’s bound to be something still on it, but you should go into your wedding day full of confidence that no matter what goes wrong, you’re marrying the love of your life and that’s all that matters.
At the end of the day, you could get married in the parking lot of a Walmart and it would still be the best day ever because you’re finally ONE!
What else do you want to tell us about your wedding experience?
It didn’t go as planned thanks to the weather, but it was OUR plan… and it was perfect.
Not one person mentioned the rain because the day was about so. much. more.
After this, I’m confident we can take on everything with the same outlook we had for our wedding: as long as we focus on one another, this life is going to be pretty great.
Marriage is a covenant that binds us together through the good and the not-so-good, the peaks and the valleys, and the sun and the rain.
Eric proposed in a downpour, and it may have rained harder on our wedding day than any other day in October… but it’s only fitting.
Storms didn’t break us, they made us.
Thank you to all our wedding vendors
Taylor and Eric would like to thank all of their vendors for navigating their wedding day with grace and helping them put on their perfect, eco-friendly wedding.
In the rest of this post, you will find a list of their vendors and below that, a few special shoutouts to the vendors who really made all the difference!
|Bridesmaid’s Apparel & Accessories||Renz Bridal||@renzdresses|
|Caterer||Dishes by Design||@dishes_by_design|
|Ceremony Location||Peacock Ridge Farms||@peacockridgeoh|
|Composting Vendor||Rustbelt Riders||@rustbeltriders|
|DJ||The DJ Crew||@thedjcrewohio|
|Dress Boutique||Abbott’s Bridal||@abbottsbridal|
|Dress Designer||Maggie Sottero Designs||@maggiesotterodesigns|
|Floral Designer||Roots Floral Design||@rootsfloraldesign|
|Hair Stylist||Megan Cox Bridal||@megancoxbridal|
|Invitation Designer||Botanical Paperworks||@botanicalpaperworks|
|Live Music (Ceremony)||Vince Menti|
|Makeup Artist||Love Beautiful Skin||@lovebeautifulskin|
|Month-of Coordinator||Aisle & Co.||@aisleandco|
|Officiant||Reverend Peter Wiley|
|Programs & Favor Cards||Paper Culture||@paperculture|
|Reception Location||Peacock Ridge Farms||@peacockridgeoh|
|Videographer||Dagna Griffin Creative||@dagnagriffincreative|
Baker: Floressa’s Cafe (@floressacafe)
As a bride with specific health needs, I was in active pursuit of a vendor who could meet my requirements gluten AND dairy-free, quality and/or local ingredients, small business, and could create an eco-friendly decoration option.
Floressa’s Cafe was the answer. Not only are they hard workers, their cake is FANTASTIC, they met all my needs, and also delivered a cake that was nearly identical to the Pinterest post I shared with them months prior.
I was extremely thankful to have found the Floressa team and discovered their incredible work!
If you’re a health-conscious bride who doesn’t want to sacrifice the look and beauty of your cake… I can’t stress it enough… THIS IS YOUR VENDOR!!
Bridesmaid Apparel & Accessories: Renz Bridal (@renzdresses)
I am SO happy with my bridesmaid dress purchase! Renz Bridal NAILED these dresses.
The velvet is stretchy, beyond comfortable, has a beautiful under sheen, is quality fabric, heavy-duty, and a very beautiful dusty rose color.
The order process was a little difficult and I wished it could’ve been done through a “custom order” so I could submit an excel document with all my girls’ custom measurements, but that’s a future upgrade to keep in mind for the store.
These dresses shipped on time and I loved supporting a local artist and shop. I originally wanted Jenny Yoo’s velvet collection for my girls, but after finding these dresses at HALF the price, I was sold.
My bridesmaids are sooo happy to be wearing these for a late fall wedding (& the color is absolutely perfect with everyone’s skin tones!) Thank you so much!
Dress Boutique: Abbott’s Bridal (@abbottsbridal)
To be honest, I was an extremely indecisive and picky bride when it came to finding my dress.
Though I knew what I wanted in my head, I had yet to find something to live up to the beauty of what I was in search of.
I had tried over 75 on before coming to Abbott’s (and feeling a bit defeated at the time), but as soon as I walked into the store and saw rows and rows of racks of beautiful wedding dresses (similar to what you see on Say Yes to the Dress in Kleinfeld’s!!), I was overjoyed!
There are SO many options at Abbott’s and you can see everything all at once. It was such an effortless process.
I am forever grateful for Susie helping me navigate that day.
The fitting rooms are large, fit a good-sized group of people, and even had my own nook for me to get ready in.
I was so appreciative of all the women at Abbott’s cheering me along as I went through my appointment.
I had to put on my dress two times before it really sank in that it would be the one.
Abbott’s was extremely professional and so generous throughout the entire process! I loved calling the store, receiving updates, and following along on social media.
They even helped advise me on what to wear under my dress and took care of my “something blue.”
I have sent SO many future brides to Abbott’s and I have yet to not have someone find their dress there! It’s definitely worth visiting!
Floral Designer: Roots Floral Design (@rootsfloraldesign)
I searched high and low for a florist who used in-season flowers, aimed for sustainable and ethical practices, did not use toxic foam, had organic and unique designs that would stand out, and was eco-friendly.
Kaytee was 100% the answer to all my floral dreams!
Kaytee was so helpful in providing advice along the way as we brought our floral vision to life. I wanted something different (in just about every way), and Kaytee delivered.
She has such a gift for design, innovation, and creativity and we were beyond thankful for her expertise.
Even when we ran into some last-minute design issues, Kaytee got on a phone call with my sister & MOH and fixed up the issues overnight before driving up to my Cleveland/Akron area wedding.
I was amazed she was able to turn everything around so elegantly!
I was also insistent my florals were to be donated to a group or charity in need after my wedding and Kaytee helped make this happen for me out of the generosity of her heart.
She’s not only a new mama, small business owner, and incredible florist, but she really does have a heart of gold and anyone would be lucky to work with her!
Hair Stylist: Megan Cox Bridal (@megancoxbridal)
Although I immediately left a review after my hair trial at Heyday Collective, I felt it necessary to reinforce just HOW pleased I was with the way Megan did me and my bridal parties’ hair on my wedding day!
She truly has a divine talent for nailing effortless, lived-in, natural styles that don’t scream “prom”, “hairspray” or “hair so tight you get a headache.”
I’m a really natural and low-maintenance woman and it was important for me to find someone who could help bring my elegant, classic, but statement look together with a hairstyle that would feel “me.”
Megan not only nailed my style, helped me feel confident and beautiful on my day, but she also completely WOW-ed my bridesmaids. Truly. They gushed over their hair ALL night long… they couldn’t get over how well done it was and were beyond happy to have Megan do their hair.
Not to mention, Megan is efficient.
She works well with her assistant and had all my bridesmaids (and my Mom and MIL) done well before makeup!
She was extremely professional.
Not to mention, Heyday’s space is GORGEOUS for getting ready in… a true bridal morning dream. I was so thankful to have space for my girls to spread out, makeup to set up separately from the hair chairs, and an area for food and mimosas.
This space is a dream come true and working with Megan was an incredible experience!
She has a heart of gold.
Invitation Designer: Botanical Paperworks (@botanicalpaperworks)
Eric and I designed our invitations ourselves, but we had them printed through Botanical Paperworks!
This company prints on seed paper which was perfect for our eco-friendly wedding.
Our guests were able to plant their invitation directly under soil and wildflowers could grow in its place instead of throwing away the invitations and creating waste!
Makeup Artist: Love Beautiful Skin (@lovebeautifulskin)
I was very picky about my makeup vendor, mainly because I prefer green & clean beauty and am particular about what’s being put on my body/skin.
This is what led me to Love Beautiful Skin as a bride!
Sarah and her team did the makeup on our wedding day and I was BEYOND thankful for them!
A few weeks before the wedding, we had to change the getting ready location and Sarah & her team drove all the way up to Cleveland from Canton and graciously worked their magic bright & early.
It ended up pouring our entire wedding day, but my makeup NEVER budged through sweat, tears, and rain. And neither did my bridesmaids’! All of my bridesmaids were in absolute love with their looks and felt so confident all day long.
On top of everything, LBS has become my new go-to spa for facials! Not only did they help get my skin ready before the big day, but they have also continued to help me long after the wedding.
I truly love the way Christine runs her business and appreciates her values, morals, and her insanely friendly service and I’m forever grateful I had LBS there for me on our wedding day… and now beyond!
Photographer: Christy Beal (@christyb.photos)
We had talked to almost 40 photographers before we found Christy and realized she was the one and ONLY photographer for us.
She fit within our price range, was an absolute joy to talk to, was professional, had incredible energy & passion for her work, business, and the bridal industry, and also had a stunning portfolio filled with genuinely happy and authentic couples.
The moment you take a look at Christy’s work, you know she’s the real deal – of course, she can get the perfect shots for any wedding, but her work is so much more than that.
Christy gets the “money” shots – the shots my kids will look back on one day and be able to actually feel the emotions their mom & dad were feeling just by looking at the picture.
Christy’s work is timeless, in that regard. She captures the raw, intimate and special moments – not just the highlight reel.
THAT is what we wanted in a photographer, someone who wasn’t afraid to get dirty to capture the real “us.”
On top of it, Christy works alongside her husband, Jesse, on wedding days (they’re a dynamic duo and high school sweethearts, just like my husband and I) and it makes for the perfect pairing because Jesse was able to shoot the guys and make them feel comfortable and less pressured.
Christy & Jesse have truly become some of our best married friends and we have grown even closer outside this wedding experience because their energy, spirits, and love is just contagious.
They are great people and we still feel like the luckiest couple in the world to have stumbled upon their page in 2018.
My husband and I can confidently say the BEST vendor decision of our entire wedding was booking Christy Beal Photography.
Videographer: Dagna Griffin Creative (@dagnagriffincreative)
We searched high and low for a videographer who was talented enough to capture not only the highlights and main parts of our day but to truly capture the raw emotion and passion that would be expressed on our wedding day.
My husband and I have been together for almost 9 years (since high school!) so there was a lot of history involved and family who were all extremely close.
We knew we wanted a videographer who would not only find the perfect way to tell our story on our day but to truly live it out with us while they were there.
Dagna did just that AND MORE! (She met us prior to our wedding to do an engagement video to get to know us and get comfortable together and it was so much fun!! We used the footage to play on loop at my bridal shower and everyone absolutely loved it!)
Dagna is a true artist and skilled in her craft.
We are blown away by her editing and the way she made our day feel like a movie.
I can’t even count how many times people have asked me for her information since I shared our video publicly a month ago.
We are always so excited to share Dagna’s information because she is not only a genius with film and a maker of art but also one of the most genuine and kind-hearted individuals you will ever meet.
We ran into some confusion with billing right before the wedding. Dagna not only assured us we’d get it fixed but extended grace so we could focus on our upcoming wedding a few days away.
In fact, she even filmed our entire day in the POURING down rain without a single complaint (all while pregnant).
You must book her!