I have had a love of stationery for as long as I can remember. With my wonderful mother being an advocate of snail mail early on – I grew up in a world where giving was incomplete without a personal touch. Every gift was followed with a hand-written ‘thank you’, every birthday party prompted by a crafty invitation. These special touches had become a core part of my upbringing, and have sparked an interest in me that has flowered into an absolute passion. 

Because no love story is the same, I take pride in serving a work of art that captures each genuine love, all while delivering a delicate suite that supports the well-being of our earth. When your guests hold your forever keepsake, they will feel the thoughtfulness, personality, and heartfelt design capturing not only your special day, but the moments leading up. When you hold your forever keepsake, it becomes an heirloom. An opportunity to re-live your wedding day, over and over again.

MEET alyssa

Top 3 Tips: Planning An Eco-Friendly Midwest Wedding

Wedding Tips

May 5, 2020

It hit me hard. Okay, I’m not talking about my awful hangover from the copious amounts of wine, although that may be true. Rather, it was complete shock. It was the morning after the wedding. We were sorting through all of the items from the night before. One side of the room declared the toss pile, the other side of the room sat a pile with a holographic question mark hovering above. The clean up crew (aka, my family) looked at each other dazed and confused – “What do we do with this stuff now?”. Don’t be fooled, if you’ve ever cleaned up after a wedding you have felt this panic, too. If you’re still in the process of planning your wedding, I am glad you are here. Here are my top 3 tips to help you plan an eco-friendly wedding. I promise, it’ll help with easing that post-wedding panic!


Now, I’m not saying you have to choose a venue that runs on solar powered generators and has low-flow toilets, but one thing to consider is choosing a venue that cuts down on energy. Consider an outdoor wedding on a farm or a botanical garden where natural light is your best friend. There are endless options to fit every budget and guest list without having to sacrifice modern conveniences such as operating toilets.

If an outdoor wedding isn’t in the cards for you, choosing a venue that you can host both your reception and ceremony at will eliminate the need for guests to travel from one location to the next. In return, this saves on fuel and emissions. Some venues offer plenty of natural sunlight, especially if your ceremony is held in the afternoon. Additionally, when looking for a venue, ask about the products they are supplying. Are they biodegradable? Do they offer recycling or use energy-efficient appliances? These small details add up, I promise!

Outdoor Wedding in Millburg, MI at Sundance and the Secret Garden
Sundance and the Secret Garden
Here are some of my favorite Midwest Wedding Venues that check all of the boxes!

Based on a guest list of 100-120 people, the average wedding produces 400-600 pounds of waste. #YIKES. Millions of trees are toppled every year to manufacture products to wrap wedding gifts, create wedding party favors and print wedding invitations on. Yes, it is crazy, and quite sad if I’m being honest. But, you can offset your carbon footprint by investing in eco-friendly stationery, and it can be super easy. When you choose a wedding stationer, ask if they offer any paper options that are eco- friendly, such as cotton fiber or 100% Recycled Paper. Lavena Creative Co. only uses tree-free papers and occasionally sources printing to windmill-powered printers. Oh, and be sure to double check that they are using Vegetable-Based Inks (those are the nice inks). Aside from these two elements, when you are considering what you want your invitation to look like, think about reducing the number of inserts inside the envelope by directing your guests to your website. We are here to help! Send me a chat today and we can talk through all of your options!

Placemat Card Stationery Design by Lavena Creative Co.
Placecard Design by Lavena Creative Co., Floral Design by Cass and Jean Flower Co., Photography by Alyssa McElheny Photography

If you plan to DIY your florals, I applaud you! But if you decide to hire a pro, consider hiring a floral designer who either sustainably-grows their flowers or sources from another farmer instead of the conventional route. The conventional flower industry relies on mass production of florals by using excessive amounts of water and toxic chemicals. This is not only a harmful influence on our planet, but the workers who harvest the florals. Choosing blooms closer to home rather than those that travel across the state (or world) to reach your tables is the best way to reduce your carbon footprint.

Floral Design by Clara Joyce Weddings
Floral Design by Clara Joyce Weddings
Here are my top 5 favorite florists in the midwest. All of these floral farmers grow their own flowers, design their own bouquets and run such beautiful and authentic businesses.

Marthas Gardens, Dubuque IA   I   Tiny Acre Farms, Des Moines IA  
Indie Floral, Des Moines IA  I  Clara Joyce Weddings, Stockton IL
Cass and Jean Flower Co., Grand Rapids MI

Cheers to Mother Earth, and Happy Wedding Planning!

XO, Alyssa

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