Sunday's New York Times had an article called "How Green Was My Wedding" (registration probably required), about environmentally-friendly weddings. People have been coming to us for organic and natural fabrics to use for formal attire since we started business, and I've definitely noticed an upswing in interest over the last year. I've lost count of the number of women who've worn wedding dresses with NearSea Naturals fabric, but it always makes me smile.
If you're considering greening your wedding, these are the fabrics that seem to be most popular:
Our natural hemp/silk charmeuse is far and away the most chosen fabric for wedding gowns (it's available in sand, autumn, topaz, espresso, and black for slightly less-traditional gowns and stunning bridesmaid and mother-of the-bride dresses, as well as amazing groom and groomsmen wear.)
Our Natural Hemp/Raw Silk has a different but very appealing feel, perfect for summer weddings or a slightly casual look. If you search for "silk" on our site you'll see other silk blends (hemp/silk, flax/silk, etc) that can be sewn into gorgeous formal items.
Our knit superfine crepes are available in natural and colors including zinnia, sky, leaf, geranium, earth, dark blue, and black. These are very light, floaty, flirty knits -- thin and semi-transparent and absolutely stunning. When layered you get an amazing look that's so beautiful. The Natural Crinkle-Cut is another knit that could make a very interesting, atypical yet extraordinary outfit.
As far as I know, nobody's made a wedding dress with our cactus woven crepe yet, but I keep suggesting it simply because I think it would work wonderfully. It washes up to have a splendid texture, and I'd love to see it sewn into a sophisticated gown. If I weren't almost-ten-years married myself, I'd have to make a wedding dress for myself out of this cactus woven crepe!
If you're planning a winter wedding, check out our organic wool fabrics -- the natural would make a stunning bride's suit or gown and the colored versions are perfect for a gorgeous autumnal bouquet of bridesmaids' outfits. (Check them out in navy, forest green, eggplant, chocolate brown, bright red, and black.)
We have a wide selection of laces that are phenomenal for trimming wedding attire, ranging from delicate accents to much more extravagant highlights. There are sweet buttons that will work well to emphasize your outfit as well.
I haven't forgotten the men, of course -- they're an integral part of most weddings, and there are so many choices that aren't simply a penguin suit. The hemp/silk charmeuses that I mentioned above do make glorious shirts, and several of our hemp fabrics and sustainable blends work incredibly well too. Some of my favorites include Natural Sophisticate, Natural Hemp/Organic Cotton Muslin, Sand Hemp/Tencel Plain Weave (and the natural and other colors too), the cream sueded hemp cotton (taupe and slate too), and the Light Summercloth. The Artichoke Coordinate has eye-catching gold flecks, which can help give the groom a bit of glamor he's so often lacking. Natural Vellum , Mandala, and Bird Tracks are all hemp fabrics that can seem plain at first glance but are incredibly ravishing upon a closer look.
As important as the clothing is, of course, there are other aspects where going green can make a difference. We can't help you with everything, but here are some ideas we've had. Our organic candles add glorious mood lighting and make wonderful favors as well. Our alpaca ruanas are bridesmaid gifts that will be remembered and used for years to come (much better than adding to the collection of monogrammed mirrors and such that grow dusty and unused...). Tablecloths and napkins are so easy to make and can be wonderful to have as a memory of your special day around for years to come (we're still using napkins from my dad and stepmom's wedding more than twenty years later). Use a simple, plain fabric like summercloth or chambray, or try something a bit more colorful like artichokes or eggplants. Consider compostable table wear if you don't want to use actual dishes and silverware, and serve as much organic food as possible. (There are some amazing organic chocolates out there that would make desserts appreciated by almost everyone, too. If you want to know if they're really as good as they look, we're always willing to sample any that you feel like sending our way. :)
Our hand-woven rugs and organic merino blankets are unique, luxurious, special gifts that will beautifully decorate any newlywed couple's house. His and Hers jackets can make any honeymoon a bit cozier and more enjoyable, and of course you can wrap any gift with a piece of beautiful fabric and some cloth tape for the bow. If you've got enough time to craft a present, consider knitting a glorious gift with our bevy of sustainable yarns. And our Luxurious Wool Pile is a gift either by itself or crafted into a bed topper, a wrist rest, or so many other creations.
Of course, everyone has different thoughts about and plans for their weddings -- these are simply my suggestions and you might choose something completely different. There are times when I would almost consider divorcing my husband just so we could re-do our nuptials, because there are so many more options now than there were years ago. (We might choose to marry in the same location, though -- Kalani Honua was a marvelous place, and it was so splendid to spend time with our family there. I do have to mention that there weren't any nude workshops or anything similar while we were there, though.)