Go Green or Go Home: An Eco-Inspired Cover Shoot

Photos ByThe Jon Hartman Photography Co.

Jenna Nelson's picture
Written By
Jenna Nelson
July 14, 2016
The Vision

With more and more couples taking the initiative to introduce environmentally conscious practices into their special event, we couldn’t help but take note of the botanical vibe that is turning up on Pinterest boards and in style shoots throughout the digital world. All it took was a quick search of “eco-friendly weddings” on Pinterest and the editorial team at WeddingDay fell down a deep rabbit hole of woods, textures, foliage, earthy tones, natural light and metallics. 

Our vision took us to Grand Rapids, Michigan, one of the Midwest’s most popular and thriving travel destinations. Beyond its trendy vibe, Grand Rapids was named “America’s Greenest City” by Fast Company Magazine and has received worldwide recognition for its commitment to sustainability. Needless to say, we couldn’t deny the city’s vibrancy, reputation and network of brilliant vendors who lent their talents to our cover shoot. 

One such vendor was Cassie Celestin, owner of White Dress Events, a boutique planning firm, whom we tasked with giving life to our vision. Although our editorial team swarmed her with ideas, Cassie went far beyond our initial concept and designed a brunch-themed wedding, complete with mimosas and vegan/gluten-free bakery treats from Rise Grand Rapids. 



The DÉcor

There was so much to love about the decorative pieces used in this cover shoot. Mixes of modernity and rustic were fused throughout the setting using rentals from The Rental Company, linens from Elegant Linen Design, signage by I DO Signs, and crafted woodwork from The Project Barn. The tablescape shined with mixed metals like copper chargers, silver flatware, and gold-and-silver-patterned china. A mid-century vintage whiskey hutch was brought in for the doughnut and coffee station adding to the wood décor and brunch theme. 

Geometric pieces were used throughout including a custom geometric wood shelving piece that was used for the brunch bar. The hexagon shapes of the shelves matched the stationery. 

Creative signs were also used throughout the spaces, but rather than using chalkboard signs, wooden painted boards were used with fancy script. 

Other touches included coffee beans used for escort cards and organic linen bags filled with coffee beans as a guest favor—perfect for the environmental, brunch theme. 



The dress

BIANKA Bridal rose to the challenge of finding a gown that featured a modern style, yet fit into an organic setting. The team was determined to feature Designer Hayley Paige. Taking inspiration from the venue, florals and color scheme, the BIANKA team selected a Behati gown. The Behati gown is an ivory, geometric, organza ball gown featuring a Moroccan-beaded back, full skirt, and V-neck bodice. They felt this particular style best represented their vision of a classic-yet-modernistic and linear wedding.




The Venue

The light and airy, botanical feel we aimed for seemed fitting for a conservatory or greenhouse. We were drawn to the idea of large windows inhaling natural light. The most perfect venue revealed itself in the Grand Rapids Downtown Market, located in the heart of Michigan’s trendiest tourist city. The Downtown Market boasts two spaces that we found were fitting for our theme: one, it has a large conservatory filled with luscious greenery and expansive windows showing off the downtown area and two, it holds a banquet room with gorgeous wood floors and pallet-inspired walls that gave off a bamboo, rustic feel. 

The banquet room served as the ceremony space, using the wood wall as the ceremony backdrop. The reception took on a more festive approach by making use of the greenhouse and its hanging plants, stringed lights and floor-to-ceiling windows. Gorgeous views of the cityscape were within reach at every turn. 



The Stationery

Jamie, owner of Jamie Lynne Creative designed an invitation suite that played on the environmental beauty and simplicity of the Downtown Market. By introducing FSC-certified papers and soy-based inks, Jamie embraced the eco-friendly concept but emphasized her personal creativity with a modern typeface, playful script and illustrative foliage. The pops of copper she used added the extra touch of earth-meets-urban.





The Hair & Makeup

Krystle Waivio, our hair stylist assessed all of the alluring details of the Hayley Paige gown and matched its feminine and flirty feel with our model’s hair. She gave the bride pieced-out textured curls with subtle volume in the crown before sweeping it over the shoulder to show off the gown’s intricate back. The bridesmaids wore low up-dos with subtle details to match the simplicity of their gowns. 

MAC Cosmetics stole the spotlight and played up on our bride’s most stunning features. Makeup artist Angie Miller used MAC’s bronze eye shadow to define the model’s eyes in combination with Viseart’s neutral palette. Her creamy skin was perfected with MAC’s Studio Fix Fluid foundation while her high cheekbones were emphasized with MAC’s Pink Swoon blush. The finishing touch was NARS Audacious lipstick.






The Floral

Eastern Floral, the Market’s in-house florist, arranged a rich array of foliage and texture to match the “green” concept. The florist intermingled Dagger fern, parvifolia, silver dollar eucalyptus, bay leaf, air plants, succulents, tobacco grass, lisianthus, spray roses, fiddle head fern, seeded eucalyptus, Sahara roses, variegated mini pittosporum and honey bracelet, resulting in the organic, textured look that brides are after right now.







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