Saturday, February 26, 2011


The Mid-Atlantic Green Wedding Showcase is tomorrow!!!
We look forward to seeing everyone there and the advance buzz is BIG ~

Check out our coverage... then stop by and check out the show!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Gwendolyn Gleason ~ Eco-Chic Fashion Pioneer

Couture Wedding Gowns for the Earth Conscious Eco-Chic Bride!

"Stitching nature and elegance into 'Divine' Couture! Pioneering new territory for the Bridal Industry! "

Just being made in natural fibers does not make it Green. Mine are made in organic Textiles and Peace Silk, clean through the textile finishing process!

Gwendolyn has researched and sourced authentic "Green" fabrics & make special textiles to meet my specifications! Four months spent in India, produced organic cottons, linens and a fine Peace Silk that is non-violent. Most silk kills the worm in the harvesting of the cocoon. Peace silk allows the worm to live, eat it's way out of the cocoon, and then the fiber is twisted into a fine yarn for weaving a luxurious fabric. This fabric has the "highest frequency" on the planet because there is no negative emotion in the harvesting of the fiber. What better to be married in a dress that is made in a SACRED SILK (tm)!

The gowns have linings that are organic as well, unlike most designer gowns in the industry. This insures the Bride is cool & comfortable as well!

Having been a successful New York Designer, working with Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom & Saks Fifth Avenue and many more private shops with her own label, Gwendolyn felt it was time to merge her authentic side with her love for beautiful bridal and evening wear.

Exploring green, but doing it on an elegant sophisticated level......and so gave birth Eco-Chic Couture.

Gwendolyn creates her Eco-Chic Couture Collection of bridal gowns, hats, fascinators and bridal accessories with a definite European romanticist flair and nostalgia. She transforms luxurious earth friendly organic fabrics into works of art. Pieces that are in essence, Timeless...

AFR: Fresh & Distinctive Furniture Rentals

AFR assists in creating event experiences which are fresh, distinctive, and unique. They provide exceptional rental furniture solutions for special events, corporate meetings, and trade shows nationwide.

AFR guarantees quality, style, competitive pricing, and exceptional customer service. Strategically located, AFR has the ability to offer consistency on a national basis. They have added several new collections including our new exclusive RS Signature Series, where we have created custom lounge furniture and alternative dining to compliment each other that you will not see anywhere else! They also have the ability to brand our collections, making the décor not only beautiful but functional!

Alternative dining is extremely popular. They have added several collections to accommodate the change in industry. They also provide residential, corporate, and office furniture as well as the event and trade show division.

Green Values: Christine Barker Photography

We are bridal photographers who specialize in capturing the intimate, informality of wine-country styled weddings. We are a boutique photography company, and that means that we specialize in only shooting weddings. We shoot weddings because we most value our close friends and family. We believe that when a close group of people come together to support the bride and groom, the pride, the love, and the energy is one of the greatest examples of the true meaning of family.

All of our preferred vendors have to go along with Christine’s three business values. They have to be handmade, they have to be eco-friendly, and they have to withstand a long period of time.

Green Ideas for the Bride:
We love the idea of a bride making her wedding dress, hand making party favors, or even hand-making her invitations. We love to see other people who are passionate about showing their own time, love and hand in the details of their wedding. It also allows for opportunity to recycle items in the process of hand-crafting a unique element of their wedding.

Nothing but Blue Sky - Again!

We are excited to welcome back Blue Sky Films as our videography partners for 2011!

Blue Sky Films is a remarkable team of documentary filmmakers who all share the same passion for telling stories with extraordinary motion imagery. Our Approach is simple. We work one on one with each couple, we film their day unobtrusively without the use of bright lights, interviews or tacky effects, and we craft a custom edited film which is true reflection of the momentous occasion. The finished product if something that has to be seen and not described.

Check out their portfolio on vimeo...

How We're Green

Blue Sky recycles cardboard, plastic, paper, and aluminum; practices energy saving techniques such as: turning off computers and lights when not in use, we use energy-efficient light bulbs, car pool to weddings, we donate to the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, we have a paperless work environment.

How You can be Greener

Recycle Food and Paper from the event. Use paperless invitations or invitations on recycled paper, make donations to green companies in lieu favors, use local vendors or products, use vendors who support green initiatives, or use flowers that are in season. Become aware of what you can do to help make your wedding green, have your event all in one location.

Check out the rockin video Blue Sky Films did of last year's Mid-Atlantic Green Wedding Showcase in 2010!

Tickets, Tickets, Tickets!

Don't forget to pre-purchase your tickets to the Mid-Atlantic Green Wedding Showcase for $15 each before midnight tomorrow!

Tickets will still be available at the door for $20 each.
See you at the show!

Memorable & Individual: Federal City Catering

Federal City Caterers is an off premise caterer comprised of five owner-managers and four additional account executives, each with extensive experience in the local and national catering markets. Federal City provides catering services for the U.S. Department of State, the Pentagon, the Library of Congress and the Vice President’s House. We also cater to many other government agencies, large corporations, law firms, associations, and private residences in the Washington area. Federal City is also on the approved list of caterers for every major museum and notable public space in the Washington and Baltimore metropolitan areas.

Because we cater so many different types of events, Federal City believes in custom designing each one to meet the client’s needs. We do not have pre-set quarterly menus, like many other catering companies. We take into account the overall theme of each event, the budget, the client’s tastes or dietary concerns and come up with a truly delicious and unique menu. This individual approach to catering ensures that your event will be a memorable one!

Stick to seasonal and local food selections! Federal City will provide locally grown and sustainable food items (and décor) based on menu selection. All of Federal City’s food products are considered “local” by FDA standards (within a 400 mile radius). However, we prefer to hit the mark even closer to home by sourcing as much as possible from farms in Western Maryland and the Eastern Shore as well as Southern Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Herrington on the Bay: Gorgeous Green on the Waterfront

Herrington on the Bay offers one of the most pleasant landscapes for Waterfront Weddings on the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. And if you choose a different venue, our Event Designers, Coordinators, Chefs and staff can help you make the most of your special day at any wedding site.

New sustainably designed menus offered by Herrington include Regional Chesapeake Cuisine, Healthy Decadence, and Authentic Global Fare.

Lavishly landscaped grounds feature expansive sandy beaches, intimate Bridal Lawns, and a new, mile-long Eco-Walk Trail. Your guests will enjoy natural marshes, wildlife habitats and a pristine view of the Bay that is rarely seen anywhere else. All with the benefits of a world-class resort.

We are happy to see the current trends toward Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability. This has been part of our own culture from the very first day. Eco-Lifestyle means that every decision we consider involves a thought process as to sustainability and impact. Our Green Team meets regularly to ensure prompt, appropriate choices and is currently engaged in a certification process, which involves a commitment to continue this method of decision making long into the future.

The Herrington Resorts have been recognized for decades for going the extra mile, for making the kinds of choices that build a better future for us all. While these efforts have been costly, they are also very rewarding. They have helped us to provide one of the best examples in the world.

Herrington on the Bay is located at the Most Environmentally Sensitve Marina, Herrington Harbour South, Rose Haven Maryland, as awarded by the National Marine Manufacturers Association in 1999 as well as the Boating Industry Magazine, 2006. To see more:

Herrington’s Chefs are committed to offer the best in Sustainable Chesapeake Cuisine. They purchase products from Maryland and regional farmers, watermen, and vendors who offer sustainably raised and harvested produce, beef, oysters, crabmeat, shrimp, fish, eggs, and more. They bake all breads and desserts in-house with organic and natural ingredients. Organic herbs are grown on-site, and used in food preparation. Chesapeake Bay Roastery coffee is served, an eco-friendly, local roaster. The wine and beer lists include sustainable and organic options. Reverse Osmosis Filtered water is offered and proceeds benefit the Chesapeake Bay Trust.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Patchwork Catering: Fresh Green Catering

Patchwork Catering is a boutique, owner-operated catering company where you have the opportunity to work directly with the chef-owners to custom tailor your wedding day reception and rehearsal menus that fit your specific taste, lifestyle and budget, all while taking a sincere approach to not only providing a wedding catering experience that you want and expect, but doing it with a conscientious effort towards resource conservation and management while utilizing locally sourced, seasonally fresh, sustainably farmed ingredients and artisan products.

Because Patchwork Catering is the fresh face of green catering in Baltimore, Maryland, our recent experiences have found us in contact with brides and grooms who are looking for creative, budget friendly solutions to their wedding day reception catering needs. If your wedding dates are flexible, you may consider booking your wedding date during off-peak seasons as many event spaces and catering companies offer more favorable rates during the months of January through March, July and August when compared to peak season rates. For those couples having outdoor summer weddings during the months of July, August and September, having a reception that features the very best of the local growing season can help maximize your food budget as well.

Chef Jacki’s current favorite summer wedding buffet concept is one that mirrors a farmer’s market display which features freshly prepared imaginative salads served alongside a colorful selection of grilled flatbreads, kebabs and sliders served with unique and enticing marinades, toppings and condiments that not only have broad appeal, but get you and your guests ignited with satisfaction in their enjoyment the food. This concept is an excellent way to have a visually stunning food display that allows for variety and flexibility all while keeping the menu and staffing manageable which in turns helps keep you aligned with your budget expectation.

It really does take a lot of hard work and perseverance to make for a green wedding, and choosing a caterer that utilizing locally grown, sustainably farmed ingredients will have one of the biggest impacts on greening your wedding day. Other ideas include choosing tap water over bottled water, organic sodas, beers and local wineries. Ditch the disposables or if you must use disposables use those which are compostable or made out of recycled materials. One fun and fresh way to green your wedding is to give edible favors that reflect the season--freshly picked cherries in a small paper bag with a personalized stamp, a small packet of seeds or a potted plant is a wonderful way of thanking (and reminding) your guests of your specially shared occasion and experiences together.

When it comes to greening your wedding there are many options from which you can choose from, and the amount of planning and preparation can be staggering, but it is important to keep in mind while you’re making these decisions and figuring out where to make sacrifices and where to be steadfast, the most important aspect in this process is having your wedding day be one that which reflects you, yourselves above all else.

Green Earth Travel: Vegetarian Vacay Experts

Green Earth Travel is our Grand Prize Vacation ~ 5 days/nights at the Samasati Nature Retreat in Costa Rica, including all meals daily and all taxes ~ sponsor at this year's Mid-Atlantic Green Wedding Showcase. We are excited to share more about them, in their own words...

Vegetarian travel is one way to make your honeymoon a trip you will never forget. Green Earth Travel specializes in vegetarian travel. Since the word vegan is unknown to some, we have been collecting information on how to travel as a vegan. We are taking a different approach to travel in the last couple of years. We want to promote humane and volunteer vacations. In other words go and have fun, but also do it humanely. Don't go to zoos or circus-instead visit with an animal sanctuary or better yet volunteer with one of our sanctuary trips.

Destination weddings to an eco-resort are a great way to make your wedding unique!! Or on your honeymoon volunteer at an animal sanctuary and then head out camping!

We practice what we preach. We use LED lights and have signed up for the Clean Currents. We are a vegan/vegetarian household (except for the cat). We use 100% recycled paper and we do recycle paper and plastics.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Did you see us on Weddzilla?

The Mid-Atlantic Green Wedding Showcase was featured on Weddzilla's blog today!

Be sure to stop by and check it out!

Join Us at RIGGS!

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.

Tara Lynn: Nothing Artificial

With her genuine, earthy style, Crystal Bowersox sang her way to the number two spot on last season’s American Idol competition. And now, pausing from her singing tour, she has brought that same authentic style to her wedding, wearing an earth-friendly gown made of hemp and cotton that was created by Tara Lynn (, a small local business in northern Vermont with a solar powered studio.

“The gown is a simple princess line with an open back; a machine-knit hemp twine strap crisscrosses in back,” says designer, Tara Lynn. “Crystal loves sunflowers, so we put a hemp twine sunflower appliqué in front with French knots in the center of the flower and accented with bits of crystal and glass beads that I’ve collected over the years from yard sales and second hand stores. Crystal also liked a seashell wedding gown on our website, so we created a macramé train of hemp twine with seashells all over it.”

Tara Lynn works by hand and on vintage sewing machines to create one-of-a-kind wedding gowns from natural, organic and repurposed fibers that are shipped throughout the U.S. and around the world. Her work has appeared at a number of art shows around the country from New York to Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco and more. Tara Lynn designed the evening gown worn by Ashley Wheeler, Miss Vermont, during the Miss America pageant.

Tara Lynn’s mission is to create fashionable, high quality, natural fiber clothing that…Enhances awareness of environmental issues; Supports environmental organizations; Maximizes resource efficiency; Supports the local economy; Exemplifies a sustainable business.

“Beauty is not artificial. Natural clothing is sexier than lifeless textiles made from hazardous materials. When woman wear my clothes I want them to feel strong, smart and powerful. Stylish women set the example for the next generation. The fashion industry is full of artifice. It camouflages the decay and destruction of production. Look more closely and industry can no longer conceal the ugly,” says Tara Lynn.

Tara Lynn Scheidet, the owner and designer of Tara Lynn, makes custom hemp wedding gowns and created a collection of wearable art jackets dedicated to endangered species. The studio, situated on 92 acres and run off solar electricity, is nestled in the heart of the North East Kingdom of Vermont. Since the company started in 2005 a number of local talented women have worked with Tara Lynn. They all stand behind the same mission to increase awareness of biodiversity, promote sustainability and be proud of what they do and the clothing they make.

Since 1999, Tara Lynn has been designing custom, eco-friendly wedding gowns. Tara Lynn’s eco-friendly bridal gowns can be made of hemp/silk, hemp/cotton, organic cotton and unique hemp blends that look and feel luxurious. Tara Lynn will create a custom bridal gown especially for you. It can be simple, traditional or embellished with Tara Lynn’s unique artwork. In order to get the most out of your investment and the earth’s re-sources, Tara Lynn can design your eco-friendly wedding dress so it can be worn for another special occasion. Tara Lynn will custom design you a wedding dress that makes you feel special and beautiful on your wedding day.

Tara Lynn creates and sends her custom, made-in-Vermont wedding dresses to brides all over the US and even Europe—distance is not an issue!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Retropolitan: Ultimate Vintage Chic

Our name defines the essence of our chic boutique. Tucked away in the heart of historic Ellicott City, Maryland, Retropolitan Fine Antiques and Vintage is the ultimate vintage shopping experience.

All images by balance photography

Each nook and cranny of our charming space is filled with exquisite hand-picked treasures from every era and all parts of the world. Our beautiful displays are sure to entice you and excite your imagination. Come visit us and you will take pleasure in our unique shop filled with one-of-a-kind items that will awaken your own sense of style.

Our attentive staff can help you find the perfect unique gift or a fabulous wedding gown – that thoughtful keepsake to spark a memory, commemorate a new celebration.

Our selection is constantly changing, and we bring only the finest goods to our shop. You can be sure that each visit will be different from your last. We are regularly bringing in beautiful merchandise for you, and our search takes us on adventures all over the world.

For the wardrobe specialist of film, theatre, television, video or print, we have an extensive array of vintage clothing and accessories from the Victorian Era, Roaring ’20s, 1930s, ’40s, ’50s and ’60s. These pieces will also appeal to collectors as well as to those attending or sponsoring theme parties or other special events. Whether you are looking for a complete ensemble or just the right vintage shoes, hat, gloves or other accessories, we can accommodate your needs.

Cindi and Caitlin Ryland opened Retropolitan’s doors in 2003 to offer clients an opportunity to bring beautiful objects from the past into their homes and everyday lives. Since its inception, Retropolitan’s mission has been to provide upscale yet affordable treasures to all, and the store’s layaway policy is only one example of our desire to make luxury available to each customer.

Retropolitan’s showroom is filled with unique antique and vintage items. Our staff is always delighted to assist brides as they search for perfect attire and accessories for their special day – or for thoughtful gifts for bridesmaids and parents. Retropolitan's wide selection of vintage apparel, handbags, gloves and head wear are sure to delight! We are proud to be returning to the Mid-Atlantic Green Wedding Show for the second year as participants in the Eco Fashion Show!