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Green Ideas for an Eco-friendly Wedding - Shannon Lochwood

For couples who are committed to green living, planning an eco-conscious wedding does not have to be a difficult task. This is because there are so many options to choose from when it comes to green weddings. If you’re a bride or groom-to-be and you are concerned about the environmental impact of your wedding day, here are a few helpful ideas on how to plan the wedding of your dreams while also demonstrating your commitment to protecting the Earth.

  1. Think Green
When it comes to planning an eco-friendly wedding, some of the first things to consider are the basics of green living. Concepts including eliminating pollution, conserving energy, as well as the popular reduce, reuse and recycle can all help you plan a wedding that does little to no harm on the environment. For instance, you can reduce the number of guests that you invite to the wedding and opt for a smaller, more intimate affair which can help to lower the carbon emissions that a larger group would have caused due to traveling. Also, when it comes to reusing items you can find new purposes for old things. You can use all types of items as décor in a wedding which helps to prevent unnecessary waste. For instance, incorporate items that you have laying around the house and use them as inspiration instead of purchasing new items. Such small steps go a long way towards conserving Earth’s natural resources. Decor such as mason’s jars, wood from the backyard, upcycled furniture, or even empty cans can all be transformed into beautiful decorations in a wedding. One fun way to include recycling into a wedding is to wear eco-friendly wedding rings which are made of recycled materials. The key to green thinking is to to be as creative as possible by choosing the greenest option during every step of the wedding planning process.
  1. Choose an Eco-Friendly Venue & Vendors
By far location, vendor and supplier selection will all have the largest impact on the environment when it comes to preparing a wedding. First, the wedding’s venue, especially if it’s indoors, will require an immense amount of energy to include lighting, cooling, heating and access to water to keep guests comfortable. The same holds true for preparing and cooking large meals for guests. As such, when it comes to eco-friendly weddings one of the first things to do is to start is by choosing a location and caterers who are already committed to saving the planet. For instance, choose venues that are committed to eco-conscious business operations and who have already taken the necessary measures to ensure their location has minimal impact on the environment. For example, the venue could be LEED certified which means the space has been deemed environmentally sustainable. Additionally, for food preparation opt for vendors who are committed to local, organically grown ingredients. This will ensure less pollution from toxic pesticides has been released into the atmosphere and it will also reduce the carbon footprint required to transport ingredients from far away locations. When it comes to suppliers, such as those who create your invitations for instance, also choose eco-friendly companies who want to protect the planet. Try invitations and thank you notes that have been made from recycled paper or simply send electronic messages which will ensure less trees are cut down to produce your stationary.
  1. Options for Greenery & Flowers
One other great way to plan a green wedding is to opt for potted plants instead of cut flowers for your centerpieces or bouquet. While fresh flowers are the traditional go-to option for weddings, couples who are committed to an eco-conscious lifestyle may find it more fulfilling to ensure plants and flowers are kept intact. What’s even more great about this idea is that after the wedding has ended guests can be gifted with their very own plant to take home and care for! However, if using fresh flowers is still on the to-do list a much greener option is to choose domestically grown flowers which do not require long transportation distances. So, while wedding planning does require much thought and effort, you do not have to leave out your commitment to a green lifestyle when it comes to your special day. Try any of these helpful tips for planning your eco-friendly wedding—a day that all will remember while you also protect the planet! Written By: Shannon Lockwood

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Raising The Bar

When we say bar we don’t mean the liquor bar, but instead a dessert bar, candy bar, sundae bar, popcorn bar, and so on. Having a dessert/snack bar at your wedding is a perfect way to add some creativity and give your guests variety. We wanted to share with you 4 great ideas for bars that we thought were very fun and different!

  1. The Donut Bar
Photo: Veronica Varos Almost everyone loves donuts so how could you go wrong with a yummy donut bar? This is great for any of your guests with allergies because you can have dairy free, gluten free and nut free donut options. Not to mention big donuts, and mini donuts. Everything about a donut bar screams ‘YES!’
  1. The Candy Bar
Photo: Pinterest Nothing says ‘Life Is Sweet,’ like a treat. Or 20 different treats. From little chocolates, to sweet gummies, or even candied nuts, you can fill up your guest's tummys with a variety of candies that they can help themselves too. You can also include a variety of sugar free treats for your sugar sensitive guests.
  1. The Popcorn Bar
Photo: Pinterest Caramel corn, chocolate drizzle corn, kettle corn, Chicago mix, you name it. A popcorn bar is a great idea because you can have sweet, salty, and savoury all together! You can also have a variety of seasonings for your guests to choose from to spice up their regular popcorn.
  1. The S’mores Bar
Photo: Pinterest Every kid loves them, and you can’t deny that you do too. A s’mores bar is a great treat to get your guests to interact! This is an awesome idea for people having an outdoor wedding with the option to have a camp fire, or you can actually use tea light candles! You can supply different kinds of chocolate and crackers too. A delicious gooey treat for all your guests to eat! This is only a taste of all the different and fun ideas you can do for your ‘bar,’ at your wedding. You want to have something fun for all of your guests to enjoy where they have the option to choose what they want. Megan McColman

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Healthy Hair For Your Wedding: Damage Control

Unhealthy hair is one of women’s biggest struggles. But not when your wedding day is right around the corner and you need to reverse the damage FAST. Not using styling tools can make a HUGE difference but it’s not always realistic for woman who need to do their hair every day. We have some tips and products for you to use that will help get your hair looking silky smooth for those wedding photos. But remember, everyone’s hair is different, and what might work for you might not work for others. 1. 'It’s a 10' Leave-In Product This has to be one of the most rewarding leave in conditioners you will ever use. This product repairs dry damaged hair, adds shine, smoothes & controls frizz, seals & protects hair color, detangles, prevents split ends, stops hair breakage, creates silkiness, enhances natural body, flat iron & thermal protector. It’s a thicker liquid but sprays VERY well. You don’t need to use too much of this product as it is very rich and creamy so apply evenly but lightly. TIP: Use EVERY TIME you wash your hair and let your hair air dry. After a month of this you will definitely notice the results. 2. The top knot hair mask. After you have a shower and your hair is damp apply “Hask Keratin Protein Smoothing Deep Conditioner Hair Mask.” This deep conditioner is an ultra-restorative, moisturizing hair conditioner that leaves all hair types smooth, shiny and frizz free. The special ingredient blend repairs damage, reduces breakage and helps reduce static and drying time. Perfect for over processed and color treated hair. Free of: sulfates, phthalates, gluten, drying alcohol and artificial colors. After you’ve applied this mask comb your hair back into a top knot bun. The best part of a top knot is that with your hair pulled back it just looks like you have hairspray or product securing your hair in place. You can leave this mask in your hair overnight or to work and nobody will notice. Your hair will absorb all of the product and you just have to rinse your hair (shampoo your roots to remove excess oil) in the morning or at the end of the day. This is a wonderful thing to do on the weekend. 3. Sulfate FREE Shampoo, Conditioner, Leave-In Products. Sulfate is the additive to cleaning products that causes the foaming action commonly associated with soaps. This is usually what helps break down the dirt and oil from your hair. Though sulfate-based shampoos do effectively clean the hair, they can also strip the hair of essential oils as well as irritate the skin. You usually want to avoid sulfate shampoos and products if you experience damaged hair and are trying to repair it. Below are cheaper additions that work just as well and give you amazing results. Marc Anthony Grow Long Sulfate Free Shampoo & Conditioner Marc Anthony Rapid Grow Strengthening Grow Long Caffeine Ginseng Leave-In Conditioner 4. Get a trim every 4 to 6 weeks. It’s very good for your hair to get rid of those damaged goods. And by that we mean breakage and split ends. Now this doesn’t mean to cut your already short hair shorter, but to go in with the sheers and chop off all that breakage. This will help your hair repair itself and increase growth as your hair will break off a lot less. Eventually your hair will appear more and more healthy and strong. For the people who over dye their hair and are left with very elastic strands of hair should most likely consider taking more length off, but if it’s minor a third of an inch will help lots! 5. If you’re using heating tools, avoid a blow drier as much as you can. I know this tip is hard especially if you’re a person who showers first thing in the morning but going without your blow drier as much as you can helps LOTS by keeping more moisture in your hair. Try and avoid using heating tools every single day and learn some up do’s or styles that are just as good. You want to keep as much moisture in your hair as possible. They all little BIG steps to get you on the fast track to healthy hair. You might see a difference right away, or if it’s very damaged it might take some time. Be patient and be kind to your hair! XOXO – Bridal Fantasy

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How To Have A Marriage As Strong As The Obamas

It’s a small world! Our friend, magazine contributor, and extravagant wedding planner Darryl Wilson of D’Concierge Wedding & Events did Michelle Obamas Assistant Kristen’s wedding. We were very so excited to hear that she was doing a tour and stopping in our home City, Edmonton. So to commemorate Michelle Obama taking the time to stop in Edmonton on her tour, we wanted to write a little something that ties back to one of the most admirable marriages in presidential history of her and former US President Barack Obama. It’s said that the Obamas stand out as a beacon of mutual respect and support, devotion to family and children, and strength as individuals. But what makes a marriage work as well as the one they have? Well here’s a couple ideas that you can take home to your partner and hopefully they help you keep your bond just as strong as the Obamas. The Obamas just celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary on October 3rd 2017. Communication: Good communication is what makes a marriage ultimately stay cemented. You need to be able to talk to each other about everything. This includes everything from decision making, marital concerns, and anything that just happens to be on your mind. It is a friendship as much as it is a partnership so you need to be able to communicate back and forth in order to make it work. Loyalty: Being loyal to your partner is something that every individual needs to do. Not only staying monogamous to one another, but staying true to any decision that the other makes even if you don’t necessarily agree with them.  Being a loyal partner is staying true to your other half through the good and the bad. Commitment: You need to commit when the good goes bad. You’re going to experience hard times in your marriage and there will be many many times where you argue and don’t agree with another’s opinion or decision making. You’re going to make some mistakes and in stressful times you might take it out on each other. But with that you can’t just give up on each other when times get tough. When you get married you make a commitment to stay with each other even on your darkest days. You believe that things will get better and all good things take time. Intimacy: It doesn’t matter if you’ve been married for 3 years or 50, holding hands and kissing or being intimate with one another keeps you and your significant other bonded. It’s important to take a break from work or your busy life to spend time with each other to keep that flame always burning. Remember that no job, task, or amount of money is worth damaging your marriage. Laughter: Laughter is the cure for a lot of things. Making your partner smile and laugh keeps your marriage fun and stops it from becoming too serious and boring. It doesn’t matter how old you get, you need to be able to joke around with your partner. Serious relationships aren’t just for being serious, but for having fun and experiencing life together and making each other laugh. Written By: Megan McColman Disclaimer: We do not own the rights to any of these pictures.

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