Eco-Friendly California Wedding

Garden Weddings

This California wedding is right up our alley — creative centerpieces, gorgeous photography from Katrina Louise, and a happy couple that’s as cute as can be. Danielle and Shawn filled their wedding day with succulents (a perennial fave) contained in colanders and strainers pulled from secondhand shops and garage sales. We love this eco-friendly and low-cost approach to reception decor!

Eco-friendly wedding

From the bride, Danielle: I envisioned a simple/elegant/beautiful day filled with small unique details. I have always done things my own way and I wanted to have artist freedom. The best way to explain the process is to think of an oil painting, all the thousands of tiny strokes of color that eventually surfaced the most magical beautiful day we would ever experience. We wanted the whole day to feel like we felt when we listened to “Over the Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole.


Eco-friendly wedding

succulent boutonnieres

Eco-friendly wedding

blue tan bridal parties

Our wedding was the most magical, romantic and simple vintage feel. We built it to our custom needs and created a whimsical week of love. We created and designed all most everything ourselves (fiance and I). We were on a year-and-a-half-long treasure hunt for items to be re-purposed for the wedding. We hit up second hand shops, garage sales, craigslist, some new items and friends donations to build the day.


Eco-friendly wedding

ringbearers holding signs

Eco-friendly wedding

bride groom recessional

Eco-friendly wedding

vintage typewriter decor

Eco-friendly wedding

succulent wedding ideas

Eco-friendly wedding

We cloned and grew most of the succulents that we used as centerpieces and planted in the old random items I scored. We created the cool dessert pedestals that were merely spray painted candlesticks that we siliconed to plates/trays. We trekked up to the garment district in LA and bought table linens/napkins cheaper than the cost of renting linens. How could I forget about the table names that my hubby sewed lace on the card stock name tags. We had all original wacky names that meant something to us.


Eco-friendly wedding
succulent wedding centerpieces

Eco-friendly wedding

sunlight wedding portrait

Eco-friendly wedding

Any advice for brides planning their weddings now? My main advice is do not be scared to go against the grain and do what truly inspires you. Everyone will give you their opinion and strong suggestions of what you SHOULD do, follow your heart. My advice is to use craigslist and thrift stores to save a ton of money. Remember that the guests will not remember the silverware you used or other things you may think you need to pay too much money for. I would also advise people to take the help that your friends/family offer, there are so many details and it all helps. Create a funny line, or a “happy place” that you and your partner can think of when you want to pull your hair out. Too Blessed to be Stressed was our motto!


Eco-friendly wedding
bride first dances

Eco-friendly wedding


View all images from this wedding in the gallery

Wedding Music:
Groomsmen’s Processional: “The Cave,” Mumford & Sons
Bridesmaids’ Processional: “Over the Rainbow,” Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
Bridal Processional: “Buckets of Rain,” Bob Dylan
Recessional: “My Love is Your Love,” Terry Linen
First Dance: “Make Me Feel Your Love,” Adele

Wedding Location: Carlsbad, CA / Wedding Photographer: Katrina Louise / Wedding Venue: Levyland Estate / Wedding Flowers: Bride and family + friends / Wedding Dress: Igigi / Bride’s Hair: Diana Dawning / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Overstock.com / Groom’s Suit: Macy’s / Wedding Caterer: Smokehouse Catering / Wedding Cake: Andrew’s Creative Confections / Desserts: Cake Invasion / Wedding Music: DJ Don Juan / Officiant: Bride’s Uncle / Wedding Invitations: Printing Center USA



17 comments
  1. Tonya

    How fun!! Danielle you looked beautiful.

  2. Karis

    I love the succulent centerpieces. So pretty!

  3. Le frère de la mariée

    It’s a wonderful wedding! You are a lovely couple!

  4. Moe

    Beautiful doesn’t have to be expensive. There are a ton of ways to be creative and inventive without breaking the bank.

    Congratulations to you both!

    PS: Thank you so very much for featuring a plus-size bride. Beautiful doesn’t always conform to society’s standard either.

  5. Koru Kate {Koru Wedding}

    I adore this wedding, especially the Just Married chalkboard sign!

  6. Katrina Louise

    thanks for the lovely feature! danielle and shawn had so many creative details and really made their wedding all about them!

  7. Kim

    Such a beautiful wedding! Love all of the details, and the bride and groom are such a beautiful couple!!

  8. bali wedding organizer

    Beautiful !! I can’t believe I was lucky enough to find this article. I love this kind of content because it gives a lot of great inspiration. Nice post, I’ll bookmark this page and visit your page frequently to read another great share from you.

    Thank you

  9. Hot Chocolates - Clayton

    Awww… gorgeous.. simply gorgeous. xoxo

  10. Isabelle

    I absolutely LOVE this, so much happiness and true emotions in this wedding. Amazingly captured by the photographer, honestly one of the best I’ve seen in a looooong time!!

  11. Naomi

    These are so gorgeous! What a lovely wedding!

  12. Bonnie Berry

    Beautiful couple and stunning photography.

  13. Kristen

    Beautiful wedding, and beautiful bride! I love how these images are full of glowing light- radiant!

  14. Bev Hollis

    Spectacular wedding, gorgeous couple, amazing photos. Congrats on this lovely event and thanks Ruffled for featuring!

  15. Kim

    Beautiful bride and beautiful photos! I love how light and airy the wedding feels!

  16. Hannah

    I really love the succulent plants in the colanders and sieves. What a great way to reuse those old discarded utensils.
    It was such a beautifully sunny day too. Just perfect.

  17. Meg @ GalaPal.com

    Oh, wow. I can really see the love here. What a sweet wedding!

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Photos by:

Katrina Louise

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