Watch their beautiful ceremony and get expert green wedding planning tips!

In last week’s Tie the Knot Tuesday I introduced you to the adorable newlywed couple out of D.C., Virdina and Kevin. This week, you actually get to watch a snippet of their fabulous wedding! The duo had their green nuptials designed and executed by some of the industry’s best bridal professionals. So, I caught up with the super-talented Katie Martin, a veteran wedding planner based in the District to get the 411 for Triple B on planning a green wedding that won’t break the bank.

Check out Virdina and Kevin’s heartfelt wedding video and witness just how stylish a green ceremony and reception can be:

Black Bridal Bliss: Virdina and Kevin’s wedding was so fresh and modern. What green elements did you incorporate into the affair?
Katie Martin: For the ceremony, we did not have altar flowers – we kept it simple by just using the garden at The Decatur House. Their personal flowers were all from either local or Dutch farmers sent on commercial flights. We used refinished wood to custom make a stage that we’ll use again in-house. Virdina did not have bridesmaids but instead all of her close girlfriends dressed in pink. For the reception, guests were treated to tapas so we did not have to use a ton of plates along with linen napkins. We also had an all- organic bar.

BBB: Exactly what makes a wedding “green” or “eco-friendly”?
Martin: It is hard to say that a wedding is completely green or eco-friendly. You can carbon-offset a wedding to reduce the footprint you are making but being realistic is where I come in. Putting your money and investment for your wedding into local vendors that give back to the community is where you should start. Ask what they are doing to protect the environment. If they laugh or say “What?”, take your money elsewhere.

BBB: What are 5 ways future brides on a budget can go green on their wedding day?
Martin: Don’t have a ton of attendants. When you do, you have to buy them flowers, they have to buy a dress that they may never wear again and you end up having to buy them gifts and accessories.
Ditch the programs. Unless you are having a ceremony where the audience needs to read or sing something, it is easy to pull off.  If you do have programs, only print for about 70% of your guests as most couples will only pick up one.
Skip the aisle runner. Most photos of the ceremony never show the aisle so it may not be that necessary to have one. Keep in mind that if you do have an aisle runner, buy a real fabric one as opposed to those paper thin varieties that will make you trip and take years to biodegrade. A fabric aisle runner can be washed and reused for several weddings to come.
Don’t give your guests prepackaged favors. The favor industry is cute but incredibly wasteful. We love candy and dessert bars. This way your guests can eat the favor right then and there. Or if you have a bag for them to take the candy away in, find biodegradable ones.
Don’t serve red meat. Catering is your number one source of your carbon footprint at your reception (second only to all of the transportation that has to happen to get your guests to your wedding). Red meat leaves the highest carbon footprint of all foods. Serve chicken or seafood.

BBB: What is the biggest misconception people have about green weddings?
Martin: There are three. One – all green weddings have to be green and brown in color…totally ridiculous.  Two – green weddings are cheap and lack imagination.  Three – that they are expensive. “Green” weddings can be any color and in any price range. [Bridgette’s Note: And as Virdina and Kevin revealed, green nuptials certainly don’t have to lack style or creativity!]

BBB: Why should more couples consider a green wedding?
Martin: If every couple that plans on getting married makes one green choice in their wedding, it can literally change the world. With millions of couples getting married all around the world every weekend and sometimes during the week….just think of the impact.

For more information on Katie and her passion for planning fab weddings and helping save our planet simultaneously, click here.