I’ve been dreaming about doing an ethical styled shoot for a while now, and it finally happened! It’s always so exciting to see your vision come to life. When I was planning my wedding last October there are so many things I wished I had known as far as doing things in an ethical and sustainable way. Since then, I’ve learned a lot, and I want to share all that information! Let’s face it, weddings are expensive. Tons of time, effort, and money go into planning them, so wouldn’t it be great if we could at least feel better about the companies we are investing in, and be able to repurpose items and give back in the process? While there are resources out there if you’re trying to plan a sustainable wedding, finding those resources in one collective spot can be challenging. I love that things are moving more in that direction, so I wanted to do my part and help provide a platform for brides and grooms to use if they are interested in incorporating more ethical options in their wedding planning. My goal in this post is to highlight the local Portland vendors I partnered with, who are all doing incredible things in the wedding industry to bring about change, as well as provide a list of other ethical vendors if you aren’t located in Portland, Oregon. So keep scrolling if you want to see images from this shoot as well as inspiration on planning your wedding in a more ethical and sustainable way!
STYLING // Greater Good Events
Greater Good Events is a women-owned, run, and led event, design, and coordinating company. They are located in New York and well as the Pacific Northwest. They focus on events for the socially eco-conscious consumer or non-profit. They’re there to make your dream wedding come true, so you can focus on your something borrowed and blue. They take pride in working with eco-friendly vendors, to reduce our lasting impact on the environment, while making a strong impact in our communities. The do this by sourcing fair trade, ethical and locally grown and produced products, using reused and recycled items where possible, and setting up donation opportunities, from remaining food and florals to decor and clothing.
FLORIST // Small Yard Flowers
Small Yard Flowers provides happiness through flowers in a sustainable and ethical way, which is achieved by sourcing from local wholesalers and practicing organic growing methods at Small Yard. Arielle Zamora, who owns the company, grows the flowers on her own micro farm in her back yard in St. Johns, Portland and aims to ensure that the flowers for your business or event are as organic, local, and fresh as possible. She also provides wholesale cut flowers for other local florists.
MUA // Kelli Thomsen
Kelli Thomsen is a Portland, Oregon native specializing in skin health & wellness. She does both hair and makeup for wedding and events in the Pacific Northwest. She holds her Facial Technology License and is a professional makeup artist experienced in bridal, fine art and portraits. Kelli is an airbrush educator and an advocate for clean beauty and promoting healthy skin. Kelli has passion for plant-based & clean beauty, because of the way it changed her life and how she's helping others feel. She began to value makeup for it's highlighting qualities and her message is to embrace your beauty and own your wellness. When you come to an appointment with Kelli, expect to get recommendations to replace anything toxic in your health and beauty routine. It's become her calling to make sure we are all learning to protect our precious bodies.
DRESS // Adorned in Grace
Adorned in Grace Bridal and Formalware is a nonprofit retail shop in SW Portland and Gresham that raises awareness and funds for the prevention of sex-trafficking and support for its victims. The retail space is donated and the shop workers are volunteers. Proceeds from bridal shop sales fund all other Abolition Now ministries and support survivors in their road to healing. Adorned in Grace also unites churches and anti-trafficking organizations in our community to bring the issue into the spotlight and pursue solutions together.
jewelry // Sseko Designs
Sseko was started to enable high potential, talented young women in Uganda to continue on to university. These young women work for Sseko in the nine-month gap between secondary school and university, saving part of their income for university. They receive life skills training, are paired with professional mentors and get valuable formal work experience. At the end of their term, Sseko matches their savings 300%. Sseko also hires full-time staff primarily from non-profit partners. These women come from all walks of life and face a challenging job market. Sseko is bridging the gap. By creating an environment of dignity, honor, and dedication, Sseko Designs provides the opportunity for women in East Africa to end the cycle of poverty and create a more equitable society.
other ethical options for weddings
bridesmaid & bridal dresses
Not Perfect Linen (Etsy is a great place to look for hand-made items)
Lena Medoyeff Bridal (Portland)
Blue sky bridal (Portland/Seattle)
Something Borrowed Blooms (silk flowers)
Potted plants or local and in season flowers are also great options
Betsy and Iya (Portland)
Mint jewelry Co (Portland)