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Weddings can be very hard on the environment, what with all the flowers, ribbons and printed invites that go with making it a memorable day.

If you want to enjoy your wedding with the satisfaction that you're not making the environment and flowers suffer unnecessary, how about choosing to have your wedding flowers made from recycled materials?

Crafty and creative Tennessee artist Lauren Karnitz makes plastic flowers from materials most of us throw away: milk cartons, straws, medicine bottles and sweetie wrappers. Crafts roses, peonies, magnolias, sunflowers and other flowers, Karnitz have been working in the wedding flowers business for around two years, helping out brides with their bouquets, corsages and wedding cake flowers. And they prove to be relatively affordable as well!

Prices range from $45 for boutonnières and corsages, while flowers from cakes range between $150 to $450 per cake depending on the size and design.

Now that's a wedding bouquet that will last forever...

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All images: Lauren Karnitz

This article first appeared on Bridalwave.tv

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Forget about the toasters, gravy boats and candlesticks if you were planning on sending a present to the royal couple. Prince William and Catherine Middleton on Wednesday requested charitable gifts instead of wedding presents.

Not that the couple would need more traditional wedding gifts - we're sure Buckingham Palace has that covered - but it is great to hear that the modern British royals have opted for a more benevolent approach as they pre-empt the flood of extravagant gifts that typically are gifted at royal weddings.

The statement by Clarence House said the couple is "touched by the goodwill shown them" and "have set up a charitable gift fund for those who very generously may wish to donate to charity to help the couple celebrate their wedding." A total of 26 charities have been personally chosen by Kate and William (see complete list below).

The 29th April wedding is set to reflect the state of Britain and perhaps the world - a time of economic uncertainty and philanthropic need - and the list includes charitable causes in the UK as well as some in Canada, Australia and New Zealand that reflect the couple's close ties to and affection for the three countries.

The couple famously got engaged while on holiday in Kenya which is reflected in charities focusing on wildlife conservation in Africa and beyond.

If you would like to donate to the happy couple, you can do so through the official website www.royalweddingcharityfund.org.

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The full list of charities that will benefit from the fund is as follows:


  • Peace Players

  • Ocean Youth Trust

  • Greenhouse Schools

  • Oily Cart

  • Dance United

  • IntoUniversity

  • Venture Trust

  • Beat Bullying

  • Keyfund

  • A National Voice

  • Association for Children's Palliative Care (ACT)

  • Youth Access

  • Community Foundation in Wales

  • Community Foundation in Scotland

  • Community Foundation in Berkshire

  • Combat Stress

  • Cruse Bereavement Care for Children of Forces' Families

  • Household Cavalry Benevolent Fund

  • Irish Guards Appeal

  • Army Widows Association

  • Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund

  • ZSL

  • EarthWatch

  • The Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary

  • New Zealand Government's Christchurch Earthquake Appeal

  • Royal Flying Doctor Service - Australia

This article first appeared on Bridalwave.tv

spicy_wedding.gifThere are plenty of ethical gift lists to choose from out there now, but By Nature's was among the first, and is still one of the most extensive collections of goodies for brides and grooms looking to start a new life of planet-loving living together.

And to celebrate World Marriage Day (that's on 8th Feb if you were curious!) the ethical emporium is adding one extra free gift to your haul, as all couples registering on that day will receive a wedding spice box full of organic herbs and spices. By Nature will also match 10% of the total amount bought on each wedding list to your favuorite charity. [Via Bridalwave]

Related: Interview: Katie Haines, the brains behind the Eco Chic Wedding & Home Show | Be a green bride with the Indie Wedding Guide

eco-chic-wedding.jpgIf you're planning to tie the knot soon, and don't want to pollute the planet with your celebrations, you're probably already looking forward to the inaugural Eco Chic Wedding & Home Show in March. And being a hippy at heart, I was delighted to speak Kate Haines, who co-founded the event along with Katie Fewings and Michelle Berhardi-Toner.

I started by asking Kate why she thought a wedding show for environmentally conscious couples would be so popular right now - particularly at a time when keeping costs down is also a priority.

Read on after the jump for her answers.

pine26.jpgA friend of mine recently invited me to his forthcoming 'carbon neutral' wedding, which made me curious to know how greener couples are going about lowering their carbon footprints as they tread lightly down the aisle. There are all sorts of options to choose from, including offsetting your guests' travel, an option that's now becoming fairly commonplace, with some really useful carbon calculating tools available online.

But a really charming way to commemorate your wedding while adding something beautiful to the planet is to have a tree planted; a favour your guests can purchase as part of your wedding list.

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If you're planning a green/ethical wedding you'll be well aware that the devil's in the details when it comes to ensuring you don't let your principles slide. Which is why I love the fact that it's possible to find fascinators - possibly the most frivolous of all accessories - that are made from sustainable cast-off fabrics and under the fairest of conditions.

With recycled and off-cut fabrics, Hennumi have created a brilliant range from unwanted fabrics to desirable accessories. Dressed up with fresh water pearls, Swarovski crystals, feathers and vintage mother of pearl buttons, designer Tosin Trim is definately one to watch. Prices are from around £75.

[Via Bridalwave]

vintage wedding dress.jpgA short, pre-loved wedding dress with slightly ill-advised bows is not to everybody's tastes, but I fell for the charms of this one as soon as I saw it. Once you get past those bows (which could easily be removed) the fitted bodice looks to be of good quality, and seen up close, the floral applique is really charming. I personally really like sweetheart necklines, and being somewhat prim, it's a great choice for those who want to go so short in the skirt. I can see this being the perfect dress for a thrifty, eco-conscious bride who wants a bit of sparkle but isn't interested in going totally OTT.

$130 on Ebay

Related: Go '60s with a vintage wedding gown from Elizabeth's Vintage Closet | Vintage 1950s bridal gown from Vintagedress of Bristol [Via Bridalwave]

Liberia.jpgHow much would your dream wedding cost you? In Liberia, where women typically work for a dollar a day, it can take up to a year to save for a white wedding dress. So when Reverend Louise Collins married Liberian Ambassador Alpha Bird Collins, they set up a charity to help the women of the West African nation. Marred by 15 years of civil war, the nation is on the up with its first ever democratically elected female president but the infrastructure is still poor with healthcare and education still suffering.

[via Bridalwave]

wedding_on_the_tube.jpgOne of the main challenges of an eco wedding is how to avoid clocking up C02 en route to the ceremony. You could opt for a green limo, but newlyweds Robert Gray and Stefanie Schmiedel went one step further and took their entire bridal party with them on a tube ride from Dollis Hill to their wedding at Marylebone registry office this weekend.

[Via Going Underground]

Related: Katie's eco wedding part 4: the dress | Be a green bride with the green wedding guide | iChauffeur eco-friendly wedding car hire

green eco wedding dressThe Dress... the story so far.

The dress! Oh, the dress! Yes, the dress has been the bane of my life for the past few months, preventing me from looking forward to the wedding at all, and causing Al no little offence when I continually talk about wanting to cancel the whole thing and continue living my life in unwedded joy.

It would probably have helped if I'd even been into a bridal shop to try some dresses on. But thanks to my need to get something eco-friendly, I was aware that there was no point in trying on dresses I knew I couldn't buy. But, of course, then I had no idea what would suit me.

Eventually, it was this very site that came to my aid.

GG_Wedding_200px.jpgTying the knot in the near future? If you want to make your big day as eco-friendly as possible without losing out on decadence and fun, you might need some pointers on how to get planning -- and the Green Guide to Weddings is a good place to start.

Packed with advice on how to green up your special day, the book includes a detailed explanation of the social, ethical and environmental considerations for your wedding, offering alternative but glam and gorgeous options. There is also a comprehensive directory that covers budgeting, venues, gowns, the gift list, honeymoons and more, ensuring you have all the choice to make your day perfectly green-hued.

eco wedding cake.jpgWedding season will soon begin in earnest, and I've lost count of the couples I know who are planning their nuptials.

But what I find really encouraging is the number of people eschewing the more wasteful, unnecessary elements of a wedding in favour of a simpler, greener and often far more fun alternative. The trend has definitely turned from showing off about how much money you've spent on your big day and creating an unholy mess in the process; now it's all about minimising your impact and using creative solutions to find greener ways of entertaining your guests in style.

The Indie Wedding Guide is a great blog for anyone hoping to make their wedding as eco-friendly as possible.

Related: Katie's Green Wedding Diary #1: The Venue | Katie's Green Wedding Diary #2: The Rings. | Bespoke eco wedding gowns at Gaia House

Katie_thumbnail_profile-thumb-150x264.jpgDespite the fact that I'm still very far away from even venturing into a bridal shop to try on dresses (my sister booked me in for some appointments, but I conveniently came down with the vomiting bug that weekend), we already have the rings sorted out. I'm actually quite surprised by that - and not just because my organisational skills have so far been less than good. I'm surprised because I'm actually really uncomfortable with the idea of wearing a wedding ring at all. I've tried to psycho-analyse myself to work out what the problem is, but I think I just have an issue with wearing a badge to tell people something that is ultimately just my and my other half's business. I always feel a bit odd going into a business meeting with people and spotting their wedding rings. Suddenly I'm party to their private business and can start speculating on what their other halves are like and how they might behave at home.

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If you're into going green for your wedding then the hardest part is finding a compromise between ethical choices and practicality, especially where transport is concerned. What is a bride to do when rain threatens and you have to get to the church on time?

Thankfully iChauffeur offer just the right hire service. Their Lexus Hybrid car is the next best thing to a horse and carriage, or a stroll to the church of course. Running on electricity and petrol the car is a great way to get just the right balance. Find out more form the iChauffeur website. [via Bridalwave]

Gaiahouse.JPGIf like Katie you're planning an eco wedding, finding a dress can be one of the toughest decisions you make. For many brides to be, a truly unique gown means bespoke and if you want to do the eco, ethical options, this design house offers just that. Sussex based Gaiahouse's service offers a design consultation with cut and fabrics to suit, a minimum of six fittings with the final one within 14 days of the wedding. If you can't wait, there's also a ready to wear collection made from 'peace' silks and mixes.

This traditional strapless A-line dress has a gorgeous pleated diamond pattern on the full skirt. Find it in the bespoke section. [Via Bridalwave]

Related: Hemp wedding dresses by Threadhead Creations

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