Saturday, February 20, 2010

Meet the Author - Live and in Person - TOMORROW!

Only at the Mid-Atlantic Green Wedding Showcase - TOMORROW in College Park, MD ~ Meet Kate Harrison, author of the Green Bride Guide!

AND - Kate will be at the show from 1pm to 5pm, and at 3:30pm, she will be giving a talk on how to green your wedding - stylishly and with an eye on your budget! We've seen this presentation before - it is not to be missed!

A little bit about the book...The Green Bride Guide is a comprehensive, easy-to-access resource for anyone interested in planning a green wedding. It provides readers with general advice and specific eco-friendly ideas for making their wedding more beautiful and more sustainable. The Green Bride Guide emphasizes elegance, ease, individual taste, and the sense that there’s no need to give up a treasured ideal of a wedding in order to lessen its impact on the Earth.

Using a simple chronological structure, The Green Bride Guide makes planning a green wedding easy.

Chapter topics include: Engagement, Location, The Eco-Chic Bride, Greening the Groom and Bridal Party, Green Save-the-Dates, Invitations & Wedding Websites, Sustainable Flowers, Transportation, Guest Comfort, The Green Ceremony, The Green Reception, Green Food & Drink, Green Music & Memories, Green Gift Giving and Receiving, and Green Honeymoons.

Each section offers low, medium and high end ideas, with resources and web links in each category to help you plan a green wedding on any budget. The Green Bride Guide is an invaluable reference tool for any environmentally conscious pair looking to start their lives together in a way that is consistent with their values and beliefs.

Her book is great - copies will be available for sale at the Show!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Cuisine & Rentals through Green-Tinted Lenses

DC Rental & Design Cuisine believe that remarkable events can be created without remarkable costs to the planet. Within the walls of our businesses, we recycle through Single-Stream Recycling, use ENERGY STAR qualified products and lighting, and only clean with Green Seal Certified products. We also electronically submit proposals or use post-consumer waste recycled paper goods. We also encourage staff to use public transportation to events or carpool as well as provide bicycle racks and storage cases to encourage bicycle commuting.

At DC Rental, we provide a variety of specialty furniture, bars, cocktail lounge furniture, tables, linens, china, all coming from the same warehouse and reducing our carbon footprint while offering one stop shopping. We also reduce emissions by implementing a no idling policy with our trucks. We offer a wide selection of reusable china, glassware, flatware, and platters to minimize single-use products. We sew all of our linens in house and launder them internally to be reused. We also offer linens that are Oeko-Tex Standard 100 Certified.

Within the kitchen at Design Cuisine, we donate all unused food, recycle 100% of our cooking oil for the production of biodiesel fuel, and pre-rinse all dishware with re-processed water which saves thousands of gallons of water annually. We make all our ice cream and sorbet in house, use hormone free and local dairy products, and utilize local farms and seasonal produce. We also only purchase fish and seafood on the Monterey Bay Seafood Guide’s “Green” List.

We will recommend to you all local and organic beers, wines and spirits for your beverage needs. We also offer bulk presentation options to combat the waste that is incurred with individual packaging.

Most importantly- we look at our company and events with green tinted lenses. We communicate with supplier about our green business practices and partnership expectations. We partner with other environmentally and socially sensitive businesses and we continuously lookout for new ways to incorporate eco-friendly practices into our business

By either using either our catering service or our rental side for your wedding, you can create an easy one-stop shop for your green wedding needs.

Creative Parties: Same great quality. Better for the whole world.

Creative Parties and Green Paper Studio offer a wide variety of eco-friendly products for brides and all of those holding events or in need of stationary.

Beginning with our basic recycled papers and envelopes in 18 different colors and 17 different sizes and shapes of cards and envelopes, our offerings grew to bamboo papers, papers made with rag, or scraps from fabric manufacturers, and even elephant dung paper. Creative Parties offers invitations, menus, programs, place cards, escort cards and much more. We have papers that can be planted after use so your guests can "grow" plants as the marriage grows!

We are proud that many of our options are priced competitively with regular products. Now all of our in house printing is soy based, and all at the same price as our previous printing options.

Our creative staff can create almost anything that a bride and groom can imagine! Creative Parties was awarded the ISES DC award for best graphic design for 2009. This is our 8th award for graphic design. We were also accepted into the Maryland Green Registry in August 2009 for a variety of green initatives within the company, including environmentally friendly products, solid waste/material use reduction and energy efficiency.

On the environment….

We are finding is that as a reseller, we need to take the responsibility of offering more and more eco-friendly products at the same price as other products. We don't believe that being ecologically-responsible should have to be a choice; it does not have to cost more money; it should just be a way of life. People need to find like-minded partners and take small steps!

Visit the showroom at 8011 Woodmont Avenue; Bethesda, MD 20814-3020 or call us at (301) 654-9292.

Blue Sky Films: the DRESS!

Through the incredible lens of Tonya at Blue Sky Films....


The Mid-Atlantic Green Wedding Showcase "Dress Reveal" from Blue Sky Films on Vimeo.

$15 until midnight tonight!


Now is the time to get your tickets for the Mid-Atlantic Green Wedding Showcase!
Tonight, Friday February 19th, advance online ticket sales will end at midnight.

You will still be able to buy tickets at the door on Sunday the 21st -
but the price will go up to $20 per person!

Save $5 per person - get your tickets today!


All tickets include a Swag Bag, one free drink (organic wine, beer or cocktail), admission to the showcase, ManCave and Aveda Institute Eco-Fashion Show and 5 raffle tickets to use for our awesome door prizes!

Don't miss the coolest, most stylish
and only eco-friendly wedding show in the region!

REVEAL!

There's nothing quite as incredible as watching a project go all the way from the very beginning to the very end. Like the 80's Dress. This wedding gown was $25 in an antique shop in Ellicott City, Md. It was probably all-that back in 1982 - with loads of beads and appliques, as well as a huge butt bow and several-yard-long train. While it's looks were decidedly dated, we looked at this dress and saw potential: yards and yards of fabric in great shape; beads and lace that were perfectly usable - and worth well more than $25.


Enter master dressmaker, Barbara Deckert. Barbara took this dress from 1982 and remade it into a work of art. Barbara Deckert started sewing over 40 years ago and has been sewing professionally for over 21 years. She is the author of two books, Sewing for Plus Sizes: Design, Fit and Construction for Ample Apparel and Sewing 911: Practical and Creative Rescues for
Sewing Emergencies. She has written for numerous national publications such as Sew News, Threads, Butterick Home Catalogue, BBW, and The Wedding Pages. She has been interviewed by dozens of national magazines and newspapers as an expert on sewing and custom clothing, such as Women’s Wear Daily and Real Simple. She has appeared as a guest on the television programs America Sews on PBS and Sew Much More on HGTV. She is a charter member of the Association of Sewing and Design Professionals (ASDP). Presently semi-retired, she accepts only a limited number of commissions per year.


Here are some of the facts of the job...

Recycled materials from the original dress include the poly shantung and poly underlining, beaded lace motifs, lace trim, pearl buttons, beads, pearls, sequins, and crinoline netting.

From the original dress, only a handful of postage stamp-size shantung pieces, a few unembellished lace motifs, and a small piece of net remain.

Several of the large beaded lace motifs from the original gown were “played forward” to embellish another bride’s custom gown. (Image immediately below of 2nd gown that utilized lace motifs from original 80s gown)


The front and back of the original dress were used intact; the train became the overskirt on the new dress. New materials include fifteen yards of Amity Peace Silk, corselette materials, and biodegradable silk in green and purple.

· Total labor: 77.25 hours.

· Deconstruction of original dress: 20 hours.

· Drafting: 4 hours.

· Hand sewing 28 roses: 11 hours.

· Ruching and beading contrast band by hand: 6 hours.

· Original dress cost about $25; Peace silk and China silk cost about $550; approximate cost of dress (labor plus materials) would be about $5,000.


And the final, stunning recycled gown...



A close-fitting sheath, mounted on boned corselette, of off-white, re-purposed, poly shantung with front and back V neckline, center back zipper embellished with pearl buttons and asymmetrical, off the shoulder decorative strap embellished with hand sewn roses made of shantung, gold Amity Peace Silk, beaded lace motifs, and moss green China silk leaves and tendrils; dropped, asymmetrical waist with contrast shaped band of closely hand ruched and beaded gold Amity Peace Silk embellished at side front with roses, leaves, and tendrils; gathered, circular shantung overskirt with asymmetrical front split, trimmed with triple ruffle of shantung, Peace Silk, and lace, revealing gold double layered Amity Peace Silk underskirt with ivory cotton Cluny lace edging at hem, and attached crinoline; detachable, nine foot long train in Austrian-style ruched gold double layered Peace Silk with Cluny lace edging; silk six foot long wrap in purple with narrow hems.

See this stunning gown come to life on Sunday at the Mid-Atlantic Green Wedding Showcase, as model Jeanette shows off how great the 80's can look -recycled- on our catwalk!

On TV: the Mid-Atlantic Green Wedding Showcase

On Wed February 17, the Mid-Atlantic Green Wedding Showcase was made "famous for 15 minutes" - by Washington Business Tonight and News Channel 8. Reporter Ben Eisler stopped by the Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center in College Park to learn more about our event.

Ben chatted with Tracy from Creative Parties in Bethesda about her extensive line of eco-stationary. Her collection, called the Green Paper Studio offers brides & grooms 30% to 100% post consumer recycled papers for invites, thank-you's, menus and more. Even gift wrap is available as part of the line!

Event Origins provided everyone with some cool recycled cardboard furniture to relax on...

and Cheasapeake Bay Roasting Company was on hand with samples of full and medium roast coffees. Which were super delicious.

Tonya, from Blue Sky Films, also took video of the media interview!

And... here it is...
the news broadcast from Washington Business Tonight
and online News Channel 8 story about the Showcase!

Riggs: Sophistication with Warmth

On Sunday the Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center will host the Mid-Atlantic Green Wedding Showcase. We invite you to learn more about this beautiful space and stop by on Sunday to see it in person!

The Riggs Alumni Center is more than a building. It’s a story that continues to be written. It was created based on dreams and memories of thousands of individuals that wanted to not only create a series of conference rooms attached to a banquet hall but also create a venue that was elegant, warm and welcoming; they succeeded.

Many hotels and conference centers can only offer guests a room to hold their wedding, reunion, office party or seminar but at Riggs we offer more than “a space.”

Because of the spirit of family and friendship that first inspired its creation and guided its construction, the Riggs Alumni Center perfectly fills that need to make any event an unforgettable occasion. Whether one is dreaming of a garden party for 10 or planning a tradeshow for 1,000, we can make their event a success. In addition to our professional event staff, travertine marble floors, clerestory windows; we also feature complimentary state-of-the-art audio visual including LCD projectors, plasma-screen TVs, teleconferencing, and high-speed wireless.

Some of our green initiatives include but aren’t limited to encouraging the caterers on our list to implement practices that support our green initiatives. Our staff works diligently to ensure lights are off in offices and meeting spaces when vacant. In addition, the lights in some areas of our event spaces operate on a timer and shut off at a certain time. Some of our more recent efforts include hosting an eco-party where each staff member was issued a coffee mug for their use while in the office. Some of our efforts include decreasing paper usage and utilizing online registration for our alumni association events - we have worked to eliminate paper products as much as possible. When possible, we strongly encourage the use of e-mail and/or electronic delivery for various business transactions. Our recycling efforts include the recycling of cans, bottles, cardboard, paper, and magazines in our office space and we have recycle bins throughout our entire building.

For the bride & groom…

  • We encourage couples to consider having their wedding and reception at the same venue. Imagine, the ease and convenience of having your guests in one place. Perhaps a small intimate ceremony in our Gardens with the reception a few feet away in our marble hallway that feature ceiling-to-floor length windows for guests to enjoy the scenery.
  • When choosing vendors, focus on those vendors that practice sustainability. It is much easier to maintain sustainability when those working closely with you on this special day share a common goal.
  • For our Maryland Alumni, what better way to celebrate than to have Testudo make an appearance and celebrate your special day with you, your family and friends.


a Vision for the Bay


The Chesapeake Bay Foundation is a not-for-profit, member-supported organization committed to saving the Chesapeake Bay.

Our vision is for the Bay and its tributary rivers to be broadly recognized as a national treasure, and to be highly productive and in good health as measured by water clarity, lack of toxic contaminants, and abundance of natural filters in the water and on the land. We have a significant challenge ahead of us.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s headquarters are located at the Philip Merrill Environmental Center, one of the world’s most energy-efficient buildings. It incorporates natural elements into a fully functional workplace, which has minimal impact on its Bay- and creek-front surroundings.

All materials are made of recycled products or created through processes that don't damage the environment. The Merrill Center is the first building to receive the U.S. Green Building Council's Platinum rating for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). The facility fully incorporates green initiatives like recycling, water conservation, energy efficiency, and more.

The Philip Merrill Center is an excellent location for a smaller Bay-front wedding. Also, CBF has a new easy-to-use program that allows couples to create a customized page on the CBF website (including your own text and photos) to collect donations in lieu of wedding gifts.

For the bride & groom…

  • Choose sustainability over convenience.
  • Actively look for ways to reduce your impact—from recycling, to using environmentally friendly cleaning supplies, to biking/walking instead of driving.
  • Plant a garden or a rain-garden.
  • Eat locally grown organic foods, including pasture-fed meats.
  • And find any way you can to consume less!


Reduce what you can, Offset what you can't

Carbonfund.org is the leading carbon offset provider in North America and will be doing the carbon offset for the Mid-Atlantic Green Wedding Showcase. Our mission is to combat climate change and that’s what we do everyday. Carbonfund.org exists solely to hasten the transition to a clean energy future.

From our partnership with WeddingWire.com to our CarbonFree® Weddings program, we have been helping couples green their weddings for a number of years. Couples can log onto our site, calculate the carbon footprint of their wedding and choose carbon reduction projects to reduce that footprint to zero. We offer couples the ability to use our CarbonFree® Events logo on their invitations, websites, and at the wedding as well as help them talk about how they’re making a strong environmental commitment.

For the bride & groom…

Follow our slogan – Reduce What You Can, Offset What You Can’t. Make your carbon footprint something you’re always thinking about and strive to cut it down as much as you can. There’s always going to be things you cannot cut back – perhaps your commute, some vacations, or heating your house; so offset the remaining carbon footprint with high quality, third party certified Carbonfund.org carbon reduction projects.

For offsets that are validated to the highest standards, project-type choice, transparency and more, make Carbonfund.org your choice. Click here to learn more. Carbonfund.org is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Green Bride Guide: Every Choice Makes a Difference


We are proud to be partnered with Kate Harrison and her team at the Green Bride Guide as one of our sponsors for the Mid-Atlantic Green Wedding Showcase. Kate wrote the book - literally - on how to green your wedding. It's a great read and if you don't have it, you definitely need to pick up a copy at the show on Sunday!

The Green Bride Guide is the most credible and comprehensive website for couples seeking eco-friendly wedding ideas, products and services. It offers the largest directory of eco-friendly wedding vendors in North America, a green wedding experts section, pictures and stories from dozens of real green weddings and much much more. Part of our mission is to create a place for like-minded couples gather and share stories, tips and experiences with one another. At present, about 13,000 unique couples visit the site each month.

The Green Bride Guide is committed to promoting environmental awareness and social change by offering ideas, facts, pictures and resources for planning a green wedding. Our goal is to help couples lessen their environmental footprint - by decreasing consumption, choosing renewable and sustainable products, composting, recycling and carbon offsetting.

The Green Bride Guide website is published by The Green Life Guides, LLC - a company that is committed to "walking the walk" (to being as green as we possibly can be). The following are some of the ways we incorporate our values into daily life at The Green Life Guides, LLC:

  • Supporting Renewable Energy Our hosting company uses 100% wind power. This website is carbon negative, which means we actually ADD electricity back to the grid! We also provide visitors with a carbon calculator, so they can quickly and easily calculate the carbon footprint of their event and offset it.
  • Paper Products ALL of The Green Life Guide's paper goods are 100% recycled with as much PCW content as we can find. Our business cards and thank you cards are printed on 100% PCW recycled paper with soy inks. Whenever possible we communicate via e-mail and pay bills online to minimize waste. Our office recycles everything it can, and even our furniture is reclaimed and repurposed.
  • The book, The Green Bride Guide: How to Plan an Earth-friendly Wedding on Any Budget was printed on FSC certified recycled paper. When you buy the book directly from the author, Kate ships it in a recycled paper mailer with vintage stamps.
  • Live Events In 2009, The Green Life Guides, LLC began a partnership with CT Green Scene to produce several live events in the New England area. All of the food and flowers are organic, the events are powered by solar power generators and we use recycled and reclaimed runways for the fashion shows. In addition, we donate 10% of the proceeds to environmental charities.
  • Vendor Selection Transparency is extremely important to us. Every vendor and product in our database has been carefully screened by our staff and we have developed a five leaf rating system to assess each company's commitment to the environment.

For the Bride & Groom…


The myth that green weddings are more expensive is one we are working hard to dispel. By buying local seasonal flowers, using recycled elements, and incorporating things you and your friends already own into your decor you can save you up to 40% of your wedding! For more information see "Save $11,000+ on Your Wedding by Going Green."

It is easier to go green in some parts of the country than others, and if you live outside a major metropolitan area, it may be almost impossible to find green vendors. Check our Green Wedding Directory to see what is available in your area.


If you can't find what you are looking for, you can find worksheets in the back of The Green Bride Guide to help you talk to florists, caterers and other service providers in your community about simple changes they can make to help you green your wedding.

One of the most basic ways to create a sustainable event is to use local, seasonal and organic elements whenever possible. When foods and flowers are in-season in your area, they don't need to be shipped hundreds or thousands of miles. This reduces their carbon footprint and cost. Even if your caterer is not organic, most will work with you to create a menu that incorporates as many local and seasonal items as possible. Additionally, every season offers its own unique combination of locally grown (organic) blooms, and you can discuss what is available in your area with your florist or local flower farm. Lastly, using the season for inspiration can provide natural elements for your decor, such as seashells, smooth stones, or beach glass you collect and make into name cards for a summer wedding.

The Green Bride Guide was created around the idea that whether you make one small change to reduce waste, or go totally organic from the silk of your dress to the icing on your cake, every choice makes a difference!

Going green is a process that should be enjoyed. When you choose to incorporate green elements in your event you increase the demand for sustainable goods and services, help raise awareness about important environmental issues and reduce your impact on the environment. Your wedding may be the one time in your life when all the people who love you are together in one place. There is no better way you as a couple to showcase your values and being your new live together.

This is Kate! She was a green bride, too!

Come as a guest to your own event!

CCI Creations is a full service wedding and event planning and design company, specializing in Stylish…Sensational…Sustainable weddings and events.

The event planners at CCI Creations have mastered the fine art of wedding and party perfection, by weaving creativity, incomparable style, and luxurious personal service into each event experience from the earliest planning stages to the final details. We are known for attention to detail, superb organization, eco-friendly practices and extensive knowledge of green event planning resources. We also so carry sustainable invitations, favors, d├ęcor and AV equipment rentals.

CCI Creations “Green” Mission Statement: CCI Creations Event Planning is committed to inspire and educate clients and business partners about quality eco-friendly best event practices, products and vendors in the local Washington-Baltimore Metro area. We are socially responsible event planners who practice sustainability in our own business. We recycle, and reuse as many things as possible. We use sustainable products, print only when necessary, and offer green or eco-friendly products and solutions whenever possible. We look for opportunities to partner with other green vendors on every event. We buy and recommend local, organic, and biodegradable products and are committed bringing sensational style and sustainability to every event we touch!

For the Bride & Groom…

If you are looking for the perfect sustainable destination wedding or honeymoon, contact us today and let us help you find the perfect "Green Globe Certified" location! And be sure to hire a knowledgeable green event planner to help you locate green resources that are local suppliers for organic food and flowers.

Stephanie Courtney, Accredited Bridal Consultant
CCI Creations Event Planning
410-913-0111


Relax, enjoy, repeat

At The Inn at Tabbs Creek, we have really tried to set ourselves apart from the rest of the pack as far as bed and breakfasts go in that we wanted to upgrade and preserve an old house on a beautiful piece of property, but also wanted to offer modern amenities. We are not your grandparents' B&B!

You will not be dining off of fine china and crystal, or tiptoeing around expensive antiques or colonial furniture. You will, however, be welcomed to enjoy the house and grounds, take the canoe or bikes out for a nature tour, have a glass of wine on the dock, or take a dip in the pool. Then in the evening, catch a nice meal at one of our unique local eateries, sleep in really comfortable beds with all natural latex toppers, on bamboo and organic cotton sheets, with your own private and modern bathroom.

In the morning, you will awaken to locally roasted organic coffee and a full, delicious breakfast featuring local and organic food whenever possible. You might then set out on a kayak adventure, take a paddle-boarding lesson, fish and crab off of our dock, or take a local sailing tour.

Then catch a gorgeous sunset, and, well, repeat...We love to get to know our guests and make sure everyone is having a relaxing and fun getaway. It is great when a spontaneous oyster roast, bocce game, cook-out or guitar playing session just happens among guests, and that is part of the magic of what we are trying to create at The Inn at Tabbs Creek.

We have remodeled the facility using as many green materials and practices as possible, reusing as many materials as possible, and using sustainable products for any new building or construction. As we are located right on the water, we only use organic fertilizer in our gardens, and eco friendly cleaners, laundry detergent, soaps, shampoos, etc. so as any runoff will not affect our beautiful creek off the Chesapeake Bay. We also installed a water system that uses reverse osmosis filtration without the use of chlorine or other harmful chemicals. We encourage our guests to reuse their towels and sheets to save on laundry and electricity (but will gladly provide fresh linens on request).

One of our greatest goals is to continue to support our local economy by providing as many local food products as possible, and working with the local restaurants and businesses to help provide our guests a wonderful small town experience in a community dedicated to preserving their natural surroundings by promoting eco-tourism.

This year, we are focusing more on eco-friendly package weekends that involve low impact activities such as cycling, kayaking, paddle-boarding, eco-caching, and bird watching.

With our county being surrounded by water, it is the perfect location for nature lovers. We also hope to complete our organic fruit and vegetable garden this year, which will enable guests to learn more about simple organic gardening practices while enjoying the produce right from our backyard.

We have just started to book our Inn as a venue for small weddings, (100 or less guests), but also see our place as the perfect spot for a romantic couples retreat. We have only been in full operation for a little less than a year, but have already had more couples come to celebrate their honeymoon, anniversary, or just to escape the hectic life in the City. Although we do rent out the entire Inn for Family Reunions, otherwise children under 14 are not permitted, which then allows for couples with children to feel as if they are really getting away for an "adult" vacation. We feel like this would be the perfect spot for a bachelor or bachelorette week end party as well, or future in-laws or families to get to know each other better in a relaxed atmosphere.

For the Bride & Groom…

  • Keep it relaxed and fun!
  • Buy potted houseplants, herbs, and perennials for decorating, then give away to guests as favors, or plant around your new home.
  • Use creative containers for wildflowers, candles, and centerpieces rather than buying new vases, etc.
  • Go paperless whenever possible: email invitations, set up a wedding website with directions, activities, information and registries.
  • When renting glassware, think of creative ways to label each glass with a ribbon that guests can write their name on, (easier to keep up with and not dirty more over the course of the reception).
  • When using disposable dishware, choose biodegradable products
  • Have plenty of recycling containers on site if providing beverages in cans or bottles
  • Feature local and seasonal food from local restaurants and/or caterers...give guests a taste of your "region" from the produce to the wine.
  • Brides, consider wearing your mother's dress! A good seamstress can update it as you like and arrange for a proper fitting.
  • When family and friends ask if they can help, let them! You will be amazed at how many talents might exist within your own circle of family and friends who are eager to pitch in.

Greg and Lori Dusenberry, 804.725.5136

The Inn at Tabbs Creek