How To Have A Green Wedding

Green weddings are hard to do. Whole industries are built around lavish weddings. Not to mention the waste that is created by the wedding itself. Guests often travel from great distances. Flowers go straight to the bin after one day. There are uneaten meals. And that new, expensive dress? Usually it gets worn once. It’s hard to avoid these realities. But there are ways to make your wedding day greener. And the benefits can be huge. Here are five tips to a greener #1 Source local. Where ever you’re getting married you can offset travel of you, your guests or both by using service providers that work and live in the place you’re getting married. The economic benefits to this can't be overstated. Essentially your money is sustaining the local community. Doing this will help to preserve the area and its people the way you remembered #2 Choose a wedding venue that practices sustainability. When shopping wedding locations, ask about sustainability measures. What is done with the trash? Is any extra food provided to the local shelter?  Does it offset the footprint - so to speak - either through hosting special events for local organizations, make donations or volunteerism? It never hurts to #3 Before you choose that elaborate peony, ask your florist first about local flowers for the season you’re planning to marry. And if you do source flowers with a different season - often shipped from abroad - ask the florist whether they are Florverde-certified. Florverde standards include minimal water use via drip irrigation and rainwater collection; hummus fertilization; boilers with air pollution filters; sulfur vaporization; integrated pest control for 46 percent less pesticide use; and environmentally sensitive waste disposal. Also, make arrangements for someone to take the flowers afterwords to a senior center, shelter or food kitchen where others can enjoy #4 Instead of gifts, ask guests for charitable donations and research local non-profits in the area your marrying. If you’re giving to a larger cause, find out if the organization provides services in the location you marry, again to preserve the area and its people the way you remembered it. BTW, there are a number of registries online like #5 Keep the lid on that guest list. I’m reminded of the round up of scouts just outside Colorado Springs at the turn of the century. The imprint of that get together 100-years-ago can still be seen today. That may not be the case at a local wedding venue, but every person you invite travels, consumes and wastes. So keep your guest list for the most important day of your lives down to the most important people in your lives. Speaking from experience, it’s a lot more fun that way too!  More great green wedding tips can be found online here, here and here. All images are from Cassie and Will's wedding at Hillside Gardens. A lovely and local green wedding location in Colorado Springs. Happy planning! — Sean

How To Involve Your Children In Your Wedding

As a photographer I’m privileged to witness some incredible relationships and love stories. But there’s one relationship that is always very special - that of parent and child. If you’re remarrying or just doing a vow renewal and your children are present? Then here are some tips, below, for making your children feel loved and welcome at your wedding. I’ve also included some wonderful images from recent weddings where children got to be a part of their parent’s wedding day.daughter-walking-with-parents-wedding-garden-of-the-gods-clubTip #1 Make your wedding a family activity. I recommend having your children in your suite as you’re getting ready. Odds are good they’ve never worn anything like the outfits you wear on a wedding day. Having a parent in the room with them makes them feel more comfortable and special.getting-ready-wedding-the-broadmoorTip #2 Take some time before the ceremony to share a moment with them. Make sure your photographer is present. Your children often will not remember the day nearly as well as you do and a photograph of this moment will be treasured forever.mother-son-wedding-the-broadmoorTip # 3 You're the focus of attention on your wedding day. Because of this children often feel lost. Make certain they are celebrated just as much as you are. Let them walk you down the aisle, include them in your vows and do ask them to play a piece of music during the ceremony. mother-daughter-son-wedding-colorado-springsTip #4 Have your children with you during the toast, cake cutting and bouquet toss. These are fun activities. To be the center of attention is a lot more exciting than sitting and watching. father-daughters-wedding-the-broadmoorTip #5 And don’t forget! Small children must absolutely have a nap before the wedding:) — Sean


Thoughts On Style

colorado-springs-wedding-photographerDo you remember the blue tuxedo? How about the black and white picture of the couple with just the flowers in color? Or how about trashing your dress? And will putting Star Wars or Jurassic Park in the background ever get old? Whatever the next new thing is, probably won't be tomorrow. And wedding photography is the sorry proof. When you look back later, you can’t help but ask yourself, "What was I thinking?” Honestly? Style is a ruse. A charade. A polite veil hiding what's really important. And the worst part about style is that it grows up to be cliche. The more people that practice a certain style? The more cliche it becomes. What if we stop thinking aboutcolorado-springs-wedding-photographerstyle and start thinking about substance? Have a conversation with your 60-year-old self. What is it that will be important to that person? I think moments. Especially moments between loved ones. Those are never about style, but about something more. Moments will last longer than any stylish picture that’s all the rage right now. Here's a thought. What if we ignored style for the entire wedding day and just thought about having meaningful moments instead? How would that change your view of your wedding photographs when you look through them on your 25th wedding anniversary? — Sean


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