Earth Day on April 22nd reminds us to be a little more eco-conscious of the world we live in. However, being sustainable and considering our planet’s resources should be something that is thought of year round! One small step is looking at how you can be more sustainable for your wedding. And no, you don’t have to wear a burlap sack and expect all your guests to go barefoot.

Photo by Cattura Weddings

There are a lot of ways we can plan weddings with an eco-friendly approach. A great way to start is to work with vendors who are like minded in their green initiatives so they can guide you in the right direction. As members of the Green Wedding Alliance, Naturally Yours Events has a network of amazing vendors who all have a green perspective on weddings.

Let’s look at some ways you can have a more sustainable wedding!

Paper Goods: It’s okay to have paper for your wedding, just be responsible about it!

Photo by Allison Williams Photography, Invitations by Botanical Paperworks

Online save the dates or an online RSVP for your invitation will cut down on the amount of paper you use and it will save you some money too! Other ways your paper can do double duty is with your ceremony programs. Choose to have a sign with the ceremony details instead of printing anything or just have enough programs for every other person since most guests come as a couple or a family.

Go one step further with your invitations and choose a vendor that prints on seed paper so your guests can plant your invitation after the wedding is over! Additionally, pick soy-based inks and invitations without metallic, plastic finishes that are harder to recycle. Then, keep your invitations to a minimum and share information for other details on your website instead of having individual paper inserts (like info on hotels, transportation, and welcome parties).

The Bar: Go Local and Reduce Plastic!

Photo by Ed & Aileen Photography

Chicago has so many great local options for craft beer plus sustainable wines & liquors. Plus you’ll pay more homage to your city that will be fun for guests!

Skip the individual plastic water bottles during ceremony and instead offer guests a water station with fun flavored waters with glassware or compostable cups!

Recycle, recycle, recycle. Don’t let those aluminum cans and glass bottles end up in the trash by checking to see if your venue and/or bar staff recycles.

Beauty: Natural is beautiful!

Going natural doesn’t mean you have a bare face. You can still doll yourself up and choose a vendor that uses cruelty-free, vegan, or natural products and tools.

Photo by Anna Zajac, Makeup by Nika Vaughan Bridal Artists

Catering: ‘Tis the season to eat eco-friendly!

Photo by This is Feeling, Catering by Big Delicious Planet

When it comes to food always try and eat based on what is in season and what is local. For your wedding menu, choose lots of veggie options or a full vegetarian meal as the amount of water and energy used is significantly higher for meat options.

Work with a caterer that composts and recycles, like those that are a part of the Green Wedding Alliance. Additionally you can hire a composting service like Collective Resource to work on responsibly disposing of your food waste.

Rentals like plates and glassware are going to be more sustainable than using disposable plastics or paper goods. But if you need to use disposables for your dessert or appetizers, consider using biodegradable or compostable products like bamboo plates and utensils.

Favors: Less is more!

Let your favors serve double duty as an escort card, offer a favor that is a consumable tasty treat, use as little packaging as you can, or skip the favors all together and consider donating the funds you would have used to an eco-friendly charity!

Photo by This is Feeling

Florals: Eco-friendly never looked so good!

Let’s get this out of the way first – flower foam is a no go. It’s toxic, made of mostly plastic, and there’s way better alternatives that florists can use.

As with food, choosing local and in season flowers will always be more sustainable and cost effective. Then make arrangements to donate your wedding flowers or choose centerpieces like potted plants that can be easily given away as favors to a lucky couple at each table. It’s also a great idea to make sure you’re working with a florist that composts all organic waste at the end of the night.

Photo by Jennifer Shaffer Photography, Florals by Flowers by Stem

Hopefully, these few ideas will help you take a step in the direction of having a more sustainable wedding. Looking for more tips? We’d love to work with you on your green wedding vision! Let’s connect but first let’s all go appreciate being outside on this beautiful Earth day!

Chicago couple, David and Irene, took Naturally Yours Events on an Icelandic adventure planning a very personalized wedding in breathtaking Reykjavik.

They wanted something intimate and natural focused on celebrating with loved ones surrounding them. Without even meeting all their vendors or seeing their venue space beforehand, we executed a gorgeous night with a jazz band, an eight course meal, traditional Nordic wedding cake, and seasonal blooms and greens to accentuate the table. Oh, and guests enjoyed some of the best craft beer Iceland has to offer. Skál!

Photos by Caroline Ghetes Photography

A romantic, soft color palette complimented our bride Irene so beautifully! She sparkled in the Iceland sunlight.

Let’s go for a stroll in Iceland…

Food and atmosphere were the top two priorities for Irene and David as they planned their wedding. So, the restaurant, Iðnó, served as the perfect backdrop for Irene and David’s intimate reception centered on friends, family, and good times.

Serious cake goals over here! This is a piece of artwork and I can eat it?? The kransakaka is a Scandinavian delicacy, yum!

Both being musicians themselves, Irene and David decided to have a jazz band who kept all their guests entertained during dinner and dancing all night long!

A beautiful last shot to a wonderful evening! Til hamingju með það (Congratulations) to Irene and David who just celebrated their one year anniversary this month. May you always find those quiet moments to share a dance and a kiss or two.

Wedding Planner: Naturally Yours Events, Carlene Smith
Ceremony Venue: Hallgrimskirkja
Photographer: Caroline Ghetes Photography
Videographer: Zomei Video Productions
Florist: Auður blómabúð – blómaverkstæði
Reception Venue: Iðnó
Live Band: Reykjavik Swing Syndicate
Hair & Makeup: Duc Ho
Bridal Attire: Inbal Dror – Dimitra’s Bridal
Invitations and Paper Goods: Steracle Press, LLC

In Chicago, winter means polar vortexes, ‘dibs’, and always allowing extra travel time. It also means you can have a beautiful setting for a cozy, elegant wedding. When Billy and Kate originally came to Naturally Yours Events, they had their hearts set on a city, summer wedding in an industrial space. However, in a blink of an eye that vision changed after a visit to a Wisconsin country club where Kate’s family were members. A few different couples in her family got married there and as soon as Kate and Billy thought about it in the context of their wedding, they knew it was the perfect fit.

Right before their big day, a giant snowstorm came through and blanketed the entire grounds in picturesque white snow! With the help of Naturally Yours Events, this snow king and queen ruled their day by injecting their personalities into the space. They wanted to make their wedding feel like them and not like any of their family’s who had been at Big Foot Country Club previously.

They incorporated Chicago influences they would have wanted for a city wedding like growlers from local breweries, signature cocktails featuring liquors from their neighborhood distillery, KOVAL, in addition to personal touches like ‘Game of Thrones’ reception signage! Look through their magical day below captured by Couple of Dudes Photography.

How sweet is Billy’s face when he first sees Kate?!

Billy and Kate’s wedding party was nothing short of winter royalty with cozy shawls, mismatched blue and gray dresses, and classic dark gray suits.

We love these natural escort cards featuring an elegant gold and navy design reminiscent of the scales of a pine cone!

During the band’s break, Billy got on the mic and performed a surprise song for his new wife!

“More than the greatest love
The world has known,
This is the love
That I give to you,

Lyric from “More” by Bobby Darin

May life always feel like the joy of walking in a winter wonderland! Happy Anniversary Kate and Billy!


Ceremony and Reception Venue: Big Foot Country Club
Wedding Planner: Carlene Smith, Naturally Yours Events
Ceremony Musician: Matt Brown, Old Town School of Folk Music
Ceremony Officiant: Rev It Up Chicago
Photographer: Couple of Dudes
Videographer: Imagination Designers
Florist/Lighting: Atmosphere Events Group
Live Band: Great Life Music
Bakery – Cakes: Cacao Sweets & Treats
Bakery – Donuts: Stan’s Donuts & Coffee
Hair Stylist / Makeup Artist: Clear Waters Salon and Day Spa
Accommodations: The Abbey Resort
Transportation: Jones Travel

The team at Naturally Yours Events had a busy and exciting year, planning over sixty events, celebrating team engagements and expanding the wedding expo, Wedtoberfest, nationally! Every year we love reminiscing about our clients and couples who make us love what we do! Take a look back with us as we prepare for many more great events in 2019!

Wedtoberfest Styled Shoot for IndieWed Lounge at Ravenswood Event Center

Photo by Ryan Moore Photography

Wisconsin Wedding at Big Foot Country Club, Billy and Kate

Photo by Couple of Dudes

Wedding at Loft on Lake, Kerry and Bill

Photo by REM Photography

Destination Wedding in Iceland at Iðnó, Ceremony at Hallgrimskirkja, Irene and David

Photo by Caroline Ghetes Photography

KHK Foundation Fundraising Gala at White Eagle Banquets

Photo by Friend of KHK Foundation

Erickson Business Coach Event at Loft Lucia

Photo by Ingrid Bonne Photography

Wedding at Intercontinental Hotel, Sara and Ryan

Photo by Noelle Adams Photography

Wedding at Cafe Brauer, Megan and James

Photo by Ed & Aileen Photography

Wedding at Greenhouse Loft, Shira and Marty

Photo by Laurel + Prairie Photography

Wedding at Row 24, Summer and Craig

Photo by Mari Trancoso Photography

Wedding at Morgan Manufacturing, Lily and Cameron

Photo by Mark Trela Photography

Wedding at Chicago Cultural Center, Charlotte and Abhit

Photo by Sam Hurd Photography

Wedding at Greenhouse Loft, Jade and Andy

Photo by AJ Fotography

Wedding at Renaissance Schaumburg, Ceremony at Holy Family, Michelle and Nick

Photo by Shauna Veasey Photography

Wedding at Lacuna Lofts, Elizabeth and Tory

Photo by i Luv Photo

Wedding at Ovation, Vanja and Chris

Photo by Jennifer Shaffer Photography

Michigan Wedding at Acorn Theater, Ceremony at Jean Klock Beach, Betsy and Anthony

Photo by 430 Studios

Wedding at The Joinery, Jackie and Keith

Photo by Ed & Aileen Photography

Wedding at Independence Grove, Yen and Mark

Photo by Sprung Photo

Wedding at Ravenswood Event Center, Ceremony at St. Benedict’s, Melanie and Kevin

Photo by Redwall Photo

Wedding at The Joinery, Kelsey and Karl

Photo by George Street Photography

Wedding at Artifact Events, Ceremony at St. Alphonsus Roman Catholic, Carolyn and Jimmy

Photo by Dabble Me This

Wedding at Room 1520, Liz and Aaron

Photo by Thistle and Twine

Wedding at Lacuna Lofts, Stacey and Chris

Photo by Uttke Photography

Wedding at Marriott Lincolnshire, Tanya and Saumil

Photo by i Luv Photo

Wedding at Ivy Room, Ceremony at Loyola University Chapel, Karie and Ryan

Photo by Brooke Alaina Photography

Wedding at Garfield Park Conservatory, Deidrea and Will

Photo by Allison Williams Photography

Wedding at Firehouse Chicago

Photo by Cling & Peck

Wedding at The Quadrangle Club, Ceremony at Rockefeller Chapel, Michael and Milkie

Photo by Juancho SC Photography

Wisconsin Wedding at The Barn at Back Acres, Emily and Brad

Photo by Cattura Weddings

Wedding at Catalyst Ranch, Kathryn and Marc

Photo by Studio Finch

Wedding at Lacuna Lofts, Ceremony at St. James Chapel, Patrick and Liz

Photo by Loren Weddings

Wedding at Stratford on the Park, Ceremony at St. Michael’s in Old Town, Joanne and Nathan

Photo by No Hidden Path Photography

Wedding at 19 East, Stephanie and Donald

Photo by Peter Gubernat Photography

Wedding at Kiwanis Park, Jamie and Pete

Photo by Ryan Moore Photography

Wedding at Greenhouse Loft, Kari and Greg

Photo by Brooke Alaina Photography

Aaron’s Bar Mitzvah at Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Photo by Steve Scap Photography

Wedding at Ignite Glass Studio, Kelsey and Chris

Photo by Micah Sedmak Photography

Wedding at Loft Lucia, Elizabeth and Alex

Photo by Timothy Whaley & Associates

Wedding at Camp Wandawega, Mary Kate and Ben

Photo by Anda Marie Photography

Wedding at Zia’s Lago Vista, Ceremony at Lincoln Park Gardens, Amy and Drew

Photo by Cage + Aquarium

Wedding at Thalia Hall, Laura and Aaron

Photo by Studio Finch

Wedding at Chicago Marriott Schaumburg, Lauren and Sagar

Photo by Elizabeth Jane Photography

Wedding at The Rookery, Jessica and Andrew

Photo by Ingrid Bonne Photography

Wedding at Loft on Lake, Jillian and David

Photo by Blake Jackson Photography

Wedding at Zhou B Art Center, Jennifer and Matt

Photo by Cage + Aquarium

Chicago Wedtoberfest: Wedding Expo at Artifact Events

Photo by Ingrid Bonne Photography

Michigan Wedding at Mill Creek Barn, Michelle and Antonio

Photo by This is Feeling

Wedding at Columbus Park Refectory, Meghan and Chandler

Photo by Emily Williams Photography

Wedding at The Joinery, Rani and Jason

Photo by Ed and Aileen Photography

Wedding at Kitchen Chicago, Tiffany and Laura

Photo by The Still Life Photography

Emily’s Bat Mitzvah at Chevy Chase Country Club

Photo by Naomi Epstein Photography

Minneapolis Wedtoberfest: Wedding Expo at The Lumber Exchange

Photo by Mark Fierst Photography

Wedding at Germania Place, Ceremony at St. James Chapel, Tiffany and David

Photo by Cage + Aquarium

Wedding at Greenhouse Loft, Lena and John

Photo by This is Feeling

Wedding at Ovation, Jamie and Vytas

Photo by Henington Photography

Wedding at Low Res Studios, Leah and Sean

Photo by Artisan Events

Wedding at The Joinery, Andrew and Emily

Photo by Anna Zajac Photography

Elena’s Bat Mitzvah at City Winery

Photo by Ingrid Bonne Photography

Wedding at Byron Colby Barn, Tiziana and Tony

Photo by Alyssia Evans

Cheers to all the clients and vendors we worked with this past year. Thanks to you we earned The Knot Best of Weddings 2019 award! We are honored to be a top wedding planner in Chicago and look forward to planning more wonderful events in 2019! Happy New Year everyone!

When we asked TJ and Gina what their hobbies are, they responded with “nerding out”! After meeting through OKCupid they bonded over their mutual interest in Harry Potter and decided to carry the theme into their wedding. The venue of The Library set the scene perfectly for these two bookworms and their day was filled with personalized, magical details all captured by Aubrey Jane.

The bride’s bouquet featured a mix of real and paper flowers made from the pages of Harry Potter novels and the groom sported a yellow bowtie with his house’s (Hufflepuff) details. The wedding party was all coordinated in the colors of Hogwarts houses – yellow, red, blue, and green accented with silver and black.

TJ and Gina lovingly exchanged vows under a woodsy Chuppah with a Hogwarts flag backdrop. The ceremony blended the couple’s backgrounds with both Catholic and Hebrew blessings – plus some readings from the good book of Harry Potter and a goblet of fire unity ceremony! 

Guests felt like they stepped right into Hogwarts with all the magical elements incorporated into the couple’s reception – from the ‘Three Broomsticks’ sign above the bar, to the Owl Post card box, to the individual wand favors which doubled as escort cards. Dinner tables were named after chapters from the books and adorned with potion bottles and book pages.

“After all this time?”… “Always” said Snape.

Butter Beer cupcakes? Yes, please!

The Magical Vendor Team

Planner: Naturally Yours Events
Venue: The Library at Lasalle
DJ: Birds & B-Sides
Photographer: Aubrey Jane
Floral: Flowers for Dreams
Caterer: Inspiration Kitchens
Bar Staffing: Drinks on Me
Bakery: The Drunk Baker
Hair Stylist: Solo Salon
Makeup Artist: Ryan Alexander
Bridal Dress: Bombshell Bridal
Bridesmaids Attire: Brideside
Groom/Groomsmen Attire: Menguin