Ways to Incorporate the Three R’s in Your Wedding

Happy Earth Day everyone! Here are some quick tips on incorporating the three R’s in your wedding plans. We’re talking Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.



Tip: Choose a plated dinner. It is less wasteful than a family style and buffet since you can control portions and not throw away as much food.

Tip: Skip the favors. Many guests leave them behind anyway and they can often end up in the landfill.

Tip: Forgo the layered invite with inner envelopes and tissues. Going for something more simple will reduce the amount of paper waste (and save money).

Tip: DO NOT order enough ceremony programs for every single guest. Most couples/families will only take one program to share. We recommend printing for 70% of the guest list.

Tip: Unless you are serving slices of cake table side as a course, don’t order a piece for every guest. Some guests will pass on the cake and we see a lot of leftovers that get thrown out.



Tip: Find items from past weddings that you can reuse on your day. It could be anything from decorations to vintage plates to the actual wedding dress.

Tip: Rent your items from an event rental company (or through your caterer) instead of buying new. The quality is always better, and you won’t get stuck trying to clean lipstick and grime off of 140 apple green napkins.

Tip: Ask guests to reuse their glass for the night instead of getting new ones every time. We often write this cute little saying on a chalkboard and put it near the bar- “Keep your glass for the night and fill it up with what tastes right.”

Tip: Have bridesmaids pick out dresses that they will use time and time again, instead of purchasing something they are not comfortable in. Same for the groomsmen. See if they have a suit in your ideal color choice and coordinate that with the other guys. Don’t be afraid of it not matching, a mismatch look is totally in!

Tip: Keep those pretty blooms for another day! We like to take craft paper or yesterday’s news and wrap up flowers for guests to take home. The little bundle will be enjoyed for many more days after the wedding.



Tip: Ask your caterer and bartenders to recycle. This is a no brainer! All those cans and bottles gotta go somewhere, and hopefully not in the landfill.

Tip: Compost on your wedding day or choose a caterer who does. This could include diverting their food scrapes from the food prep and even post-consumer food scraps at the event. Collective Resource Inc makes this super easy to do and keep good soil-making stuff out of the landfill where it doesn’t do much good at all.

Tip: Ask mom or grandma or great great grandma if you can recycle their wedding dress by giving it a modern upgrade. We have had a few clients use family heirloom gowns to create a one-of-a-kind wedding dress that was so special to them. Mignonette Bridal can help here, she’s the queen of recycling fabrics and gowns.

Tip: Before you throw away all those mason jars or painted wine bottles you used as centerpieces, recycle them! Glass recycles really well, or better yet- sell/give them to a couple who could use them at their wedding.

Tip: Avoid incorporating items in the wedding that CAN’T be recycled. Especially avoid anything with styrofoam and floral arrangements that use flower foam. I’d also say, avoid tealights with petroleum based candle wax and opt for a refillable option of soy based wax candles from Bright Endeavors.



Our next event has all three R’s incorporated! Join us and the Green Wedding Alliance on April 27th for the 2nd annual Great Wedding Recyclery (a wedding garage sale of sorts) at Loft on Lake. Recently married couples are selling their lightly used wedding goods, and newly engaged couples are sure to score big! For more info and to let us know you’re coming visit the Facebook event page.

wedding recycl_logo
Celebrate Earth Day 2014 today by thinking about how you will go green on your wedding day and every day!



Client Baby Shower: Whaled Themed Eco-friendly Shower

Maya and her sister Sonya wanted to host a shower for friends and family that would be eco-friendly, festive, and relaxing. They chose to bring their closest ladies to Noktivo, a non-toxic spa in Chicago, for a “baby” mani and pedi.

We are so excited that these photos of the shower from Tuan H. Bui. was featured on Hostess with the Mostest! Check out all the beautiful details below.


Noktivo was a great space to host an intimate party and fit the “baby boy whale theme” perfectly. The colors Maya wanted to incorporate included a mix of blues and a pop of chartreuse green. We used three varieties of streamers to add color and interest around the room. The ruffled crepe streamers, bright blue fringed streamers, and sewn circle garland were grouped together as the perfect backdrop for the sweets table. We took the backdrop a step further with a lovely off-center draping of honeycomb tissue globes in a collection of different blues. Best yet, Maya plans to reuse these items in baby’s nursery!

Whale Themed baby Shower
_MG_6937Whale Themed baby Shower
Whale Themed baby Shower
_MG_6949Whale Themed baby Shower
Whale Themed baby Shower

The sweets, from Luscious Layers Bakery, was perfectly set a top a repurposed chartreuse dresser with vintage platters from Nimble Well. The cake, my favorite detail of the shower, featured an ombre of waves with an adorable whale and star cake topper that matched the invitations and paper details flawlessly. We used the whale detailing again in the cute sandwich toppers, flags, and baby boy banner behind the favor table.


Favors where packaged in grey polka dot bags and filled with other eco-friendly spa items that guests could enjoy at home. One last detail to love is the guestbook featuring a baby whale with folded hearts for guests to write in their “whale” wishes. We hand-painted the canvas to create the ombre look and framed it in a shadowbox frame.


Not only was this shower adorable, relaxing, and fun– it was also green! We had Collective Resource compost all of the food waste, decor, and disposables. Since the vendors we used for Maya’s shower are part of the Green Wedding Alliance, we all knew how to throw one heck of a low waste party!

Congrats to Maya and Craig <3


Planner: Naturally Yours Events
Photographer: Tuan H. Bui Photographer
Venue and Favors: Noktivo Spa
Bakery: Luscious Layers Bakery
Rentals: Nimble Well
Food: Mariano’s Fresh Market
Composting: Collective Resource
Invitations: Naturally Yours Events
Guestbook and Decor: Naturally Yours Events
Honeycomb Tissue Globes and Favor Bags: Shop Sweet Lulu 

Inspiration: 1960′s Mod Photo Shoot

This shoot is inspired by the 1960’s style of entertaining with small canapés and bright colors. We are so excited that this shoot was published on Ruffled Blog!
We used vibrant orange and yellow in the florals with accents of green in the foliage. The flowers were featured in a grouping of white modern vases, each with their own unique shape. Our florist, Fab Flora, made sure to use seasonal flowers by working with orange winter berries, yellow dahlias, and white anemones. To compliment these textured blooms, we used a layering effect with different pieces on the table. White linen was accented with a geometrical patterned runner, porcelain white plates sat atop textured wooden chargers, while green and blue glassware added in some color next to the mix-match of wooden and acrylic candle holders. One of my favorite elements in the shoot is the vintage mirror place cards and handmade table number.
The venue, Firehouse Chicago, provide the perfect backdrop with white subway tiles and dark wooden doors. Because it was an old firehouse they even had lightly used furniture from the 1960′s in the basement, ready for our use. We incorporated the mod furniture into our craft cocktail lounge where FIG Catering whipped up some colorful old-fashioned drinks fit for entertaining. They didn’t stop there– FIG Catering took classic 1960′s canapés, like egg salad and pigs in a blanket, and presented them on vintage platters from Nimble Well. Their sweets table featured delicious small bites of grandma’s classic sweets like, pineapple upside down cake and lemon meringue. We added more of a mix-match layered look with different textured platters in wood, porcelain, and acrylic.

The cake from Elysia Root Cakes, featured a square shape, smooth texture, with a pop of color and pattern. The pattern seen on the cake was incorporated throughout our stationery elements designed by Spilled Ink Press. That same pattern was carried over with the sweets table backdrop where we repurposed embroidery rounds painted royal blue and chicken wire as an architectural piece to hang floral elements from.


The whole shoot was perfectly brought together by Tuan H. Bui’s photographs. He capture the drama and excitement of the 1960′s style of entertaining and of our stylish models. Our bride wore a true 1960′s beaded dress with white gloves. Her makeup and hair, done by Debra Petrielli, captured the times perfectly. Our groom drew his inspiration from the Beetles with the skinny a pant and bright blue suite coat. His look was perfectly finished with a yellow patterned tie.


The vendors who made this all possible:

*Planning: Naturally Yours Events
*Photographer: Tuan H. Bui Photographer
*Venue: Firehouse Chicago
Models: Jena Nixon, Gold Noise DJs // Neil Cummins
Dress: Etsy Shop Powdervtg
Hair and Makeup: Debra Petrielli, Freelance Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist
*Stationery: Spilled Ink Press
*Florist: Fab Flora
Cake: Elysia Root Cakes
*Savory Canapés, Sweets, and Cocktails: FIG Catering 
*Rentals: Nimble Well

* means they are part of the Chicago Green Wedding Alliance

Vendor Highlight: Collective Resource

My household/office started composting not too long ago, and it is seriously the most fun I have ever had with garbage! Being that we don’t have a yard, composting always seemed hard to do. But with our GWA friends, Collective Resource, we are able to compost more than just at the events we plan but now at our home/office too.


It is super easy! How it works is you’ll get a 5 gallon bucket delivered and you can choose either a weekly or biweekly pickup, depending on the size of your family/office. They come right to your door to unload the bucket full of food scraps and take them to a commercial compost site. You’ll even get a clean bucket for you to continue to use until the next pickup.

Commercial composting is different than yard composting.  At a commercial site you can compost anything that was once alive, including animal products and food soiled paper. I love knowing that the compostable disposables we use for events (or that product packaging from my favorite seitan company) is getting composted correctly, which isn’t always the case with yard composting methods.

So why compost and create zero waste events? We do it to reduce landfills and to give the vitamins and minerals of food scraps back to the Earth for healthy soil and a sustainable planet. With one easy call, Collective Resource will deliver compostable setups and then come back after your event to pick up everything and compost it.

Naturally Yours Events- Composting at baby shower

Together with Collective Resource and the many other businesses (FIG Catering, Greenhouse Loft, Pollen & more!), we have helped divert 500 tons of compostable materials from the landfill! As Collective Resource points out “500 tons is hard to imagine; picture 100 elephants in a line trunk-to-tail and that’s 500 tons!”


To start saving tons of valuable “food for the soil,” email Erlene [erlene@collectiveresource.us] with your address and daytime telephone number and she’ll hook you up!

  • Jerri Moser - April 4, 2014 - 1:21 pm

    I live in MI, I sure wish there was something like that here. We use to do our own composting. We had bought a compost bin many, many years ago at an outdoor event that we use to attend yearly. It was great because I would just scrape our dishes into a container that I kept inside, but not only our dishes, we put coffee grounds, potato skins, every food item that would normally gone into the garbage can, then at a certain point my husband would put dirt into it nix it up and about Spring/gardening time we would have nice rich dirt to put in our garden and it would all start over again. Great Job Collective Resources and Naturally Yours Events!!!!!!!ReplyCancel

Naturally Yours Events Website 2.0

We are so excited to announce that our new website is up! Take a look around and enjoy all the lovely details.

New Website

Some of the site’s new features include a Home Page with a slideshow of our work and a fresh navigation with links to new areas of the site. These new pages include an In the Press page with all the details on where we have been featured. We also added a page called Client Love where you can read some fabulous reviews from a few of our past clients. Even our Who We Are page got something extra special with new head shots and a team photo, taken by Tuan H. Bui Photographer!

In the Press

The newest aspect of the site we are most excited about is our portfolio page called Our Work. Complete with a mobile-friendly slideshow, our different galleries have useful details about why that client was looking for a planner, how we helped, and some of the vendors they had as their wedding-day-team.

Our Work

A special thank you and shout out to the designer, Pretty Lovely Design. We hope you love the new site as much as we do!

  • Alaina Bos - March 12, 2014 - 9:46 pm

    The new site is gorgeous!! I’m sure it feels gratifying to see all your hard work come to fruition! I especially love the “Our Work” tab and how you’ve detailed all the vendors for each wedding. Congrats!! xoxoReplyCancel

    • Carlene - March 12, 2014 - 9:47 pm

      Thanks so much Alaina!ReplyCancel