‘We aren’t the size 8 cover girl type, but I think she’s absolutely beautiful.’

‘Here we both were swiping away at our phones laughing at the thought that we would ever find anyone we actually connected with on a dating app. We both swiped right for each other, and it was a match. A week later and Britta was nervously sitting in a bar two pints deep already as Chelsea wandered around the city trying to find where the bar was. From that day forward, we have been thanking the dating app gods that they brought us together. The relationship has been nothing short of magical and we never truly knew what love was until we found each other.

“After we met online, Chelsea ever so casually asked when we were meeting up. I tried at all costs to avoid answering because I was so nervous as I had never met anyone off an app before, and I thought Chelsea was a pro by this point. Funnily enough, when we met up I couldn’t stop talking [it was the pints], and Chelsea was the nervous one.

I really do praise the Hinge gods, because, before Chelsea, I could never fully accept my sexuality or who I was. Through her strong sense of self, she completely drew it out of me in a way I had never thought possible. Now I live loudly and proudly in the queer community, something I had longed to do.

I love myself for who I am more than I ever dreamed possible thanks to Chelsea, and I can’t believe the first blind date I ever went on turned out to be my wife so quickly.”

– Britta

Weddings are glorious, beautiful days of celebration, but those days also come with an extensive amount of waste. Nobody wants to miss out on adding all the gorgeous details to making their day perfect, but there are ways to go about it that are more considerate of the environment. For some, it may seem daunting altering your wedding to a more eco-friendly one. I think people would be surprised by the abundance of sustainable wedding ideas and options available for a greener wedding.

In our everyday lives we are consistently making an effort to be more environmentally conscious, and it makes sense to reflect those values in a wedding. The whole process for us opened our minds to the array of options available for greener weddings and made obvious the wild amount of waste that can go into a wedding if you aren’t conscious.

By doing this shoot, we enable others to be inspired and educated about ways to improve their environmental footprint. The people around us inspire us and we hope that we can be an inspiration for future weddings and that they look to this shoot and create a day that was as beautiful as ours.’

A note from Make-up Artist, Inez

When we received confirmation from Sue with our shoot date, we had two weeks to get our act together. We wanted to work with a real couple as that creates the realness, the vibe, the sparkle that we were looking for. We also knew we wanted a couple that was a bit different than what we see most of in the wedding world. 

As much as we would’ve preferred zero size requirements, because of the short time frame we had to work with some pre-loved dresses that Jennifer had and so we had to put some limitation on sizing. 

Chelsea’s mum saw our post on Facebook and immediately sent it through to her daughter. Within minutes we had a direct message from Chelsea with an adorable photo of her and her girl Britta. She explained that they love op-shopping and that Britta has made her much more aware of her environmental footprint, which she loves. She wrote, ‘we aren’t the size 8 cover girl type, but I think she’s absolutely beautiful’. 

So did we – match made in heaven. 

They went above and beyond, being super responsive, open, and visiting Jennifer’s studio to fit the garments before the shoot. It has also been an absolute delight getting to know them a little, enjoying their energy and following their creative and romantic lock-down adventures on Instagram, ranging from creating a restaurant experience at home for their anniversary to a drive-in cinema in their car and camping in the living room.

All of our team are very passionate about sustainability, each in our own unique ways. With this shoot, we wanted to show that your wedding can be just as beautiful, just as special but with less harm on the earth that these kinds of events inevitably have. We want to help create awareness around how the wedding industry can be harmful to the environment and how that impact can be easily reduced. If couples know what the options are, they can pick and choose what they want to do and where they can make a difference. It’s up to all of us to create this awareness so that couples don’t need to go out of their way anymore to create a more sustainable wedding day, but it becomes the new normal.

We were so lucky to find Marc from GRAM Sustainable happy to work with us on providing our team with some delicious zero-waste snacks that would be a great addition to any wedding! GRAM wants to make it easier for people to live more sustainably by selling an expansive range of bulk food, home cleaning, and personal care products – all free from single-use packaging and at affordable prices.

Looking back, we were so lucky that our shoot was booked when it was in March, not long before our country went in lock-down, and we wouldn’t have been able to do it for months to come. Our day was still so (relatively) light and worry-less. But the events that followed during the last couple of months have also helped create awareness around how we can improve, how we can take better care of ourselves, each other, the earth we live on, and all the human beings inhabiting it. May this terrible situation create an environment susceptible to change. Change for the better, a better future for all of us, including the earth.

The Melbourne-based creatives that brought this sustainable styled wedding together:

Katie Reeve – a life celebrant who delights in everyday real-life stories. She wants to help the couple celebrate their unique story. Her aim in life is to live as eco-friendly as she can – a journey that is forever evolving. This can be seen in her work, with her focus on the beauty of nature providing the scenery which allows the couple to truly hold the focus.

Kylie Knight Photography – a photographer with a candid and fun style who loves photographing eco-friendly weddings and tries to help couples by suggesting options that create less impact on the environment. Kylie lives a vegan lifestyle and really cares about animal welfare in our society.

Nat owns The Graceful Bloom – a floral studio in Warrandyte. Nat sources locally grown flowers and uses reusable, recyclable, upcycled, or natural products in her floral design. She’s part of the #nofloralfoam movement and so none of her creations include the very damaging and toxic floral foam. She also doesn’t use synthetic ribbons, wrapping paper or any other single-use plastics.

Jennifer from Love Me Twice – a platform for brides looking for pre-loved and sample dresses [which was set up almost 12 years ago]. This way, brides could have a quicker turn-around time, get a more affordable dress, choose a more eco-friendly option, or get access to dresses they otherwise wouldn’t have access to. Jennifer is also a bridal designer who loves to use fabrics from pre-loved dresses for new custom creations.

Inèz is a cruelty-free hair & makeup artist – She is passionate about making her clients feel beautiful and at their very best. She’ll listen to their unique requirements and work together with them to create a look that enhances their natural features and conceals their insecurities. All the products in her kit are carefully considered, and tested. She tries to run her business and her life as sustainable as possible, for example by using fewer disposables and where unavoidable more sustainable disposables (e.g., without plastic, from recycled/recyclable/compostable materials), buying second-hand clothes, using an ethical bank and a green energy provider for her business and home.

Sue runs the beautiful Mimosa Glen Homestead Cottage and Woolshed – originating in the early 1880s in the Macedon Ranges, about 100 km north of Melbourne. At Mimosa Glen, they are very mindful of their impact on all their surroundings and strive to constantly improve to provide an ethical wedding venue.