By Michelle Ray
Recently I had the chance to work with a super-star creative team on an ECO-ETHICAL project in Dallas, Texas at the Discovery Gardens. This blog post is in part shared from a TRIPLE header styled wedding-intimate elopement theme put together with short notice, but still turned out amazing! While there were many contributors on this creative collaboration, Seychelle Wilmouth was in large part the catalyst. Our roads intersected at The Kind Bride’s Worlds’ First Ever Vegan Wedding Fair in Los Angeles, CA in 2019. Projects like this get me excited because I love to CLICK FOR A CAUSE!!!
Seychelle shares her perspective on this inspirational collaboration: “2020 has been a big year for all of us -it has been the year to slow down, contemplate and readjust. The wedding industry has been quite devastated this year, wedding celebrants and vendors alike felt the anxiety as COVID looms to alter the way we plan wedding celebrations. Roanne and I felt that since we were at a pause earlier in the year, it was the perfect time to reassess who we are and what we do and offer at Silviyana. We truly believed that sustainability is a journey, that being green is not a wide brush-stroke approach, it is more complicated than that. We wanted to focus on inviting our clients to take ‘journey with us for a better world.’ Working with all of the talented creatives in this collaboration photoshoot is an example of how we can appreciate the journey and not the destination. Aligned with a common vision, everyone came together to bring you photos to inspire you to take the eco-conscious leap for your wedding day.”
“Whether you join us today interested in going green or a bit skeptical about the green movement, we take you on a journey to first understand how we are different by providing you with real data behind our eco claims. We are accessible by giving you the opportunity to try on any of our dress styles in the comfort of your own home, commitment-free. Should you be joining us today looking to plan a micro-wedding or eloping, we offer rental options on all our dress samples, so you can enjoy your big day without the price tag commitment. Or if you are looking to really go eco glam and create an eco gown that truly speaks to you – we offer custom eco gowns and you get to choose the design, fabric, embroidery thread, beading! Whatever your sustainability journey, feel inspired that you can make a difference!”
One of our models was none other than Jessi Stringer- Miss Oklahoma Earth, whose mission is to bring environmental awareness to her platforms- in particular the beauty/pageant world. “I truly believe my sole purpose in life is to leave this earth better than I found it. Through greener architectural practices, inclusive and evolved city planning, and intersectional Environmentalism, I hope that my mission [at least] evokes curiosity about your personal impact when you strive to live a more sustainable life.” says Jessi.
Model Mary McFarland shared, “Working with a passionate and creative team to bring a concept to life is what I enjoy most about modeling. When the opportunity came to work with this exceptionally talented group on a concept with a cause, I could not wait. As a Texas native and also a Native American, the details of the story being shared were close to my heart and a true inspiration. The end result came out beautifully. I’m so thankful to have worked with a team dedicated to earth conscious living and beauty.”
Model Darwyn Walker II provided his own vegan-friendly wardrobe (no silk/no wool) and accessories. “As a model I am always looking for way to create an impact more than just a photoshoot. When approached about this eco-friendly shoot, I was in love with the concept. And I knew that there was potential to create something truly inspirational. The final product was beyond my expectations. It was all due to a great team, beautiful location and stunning wardrobe/accessories.“
Let’s talk a bit about these dresses provided by Silviyana. Did you know that you can create organic gowns made from plants like pineapple and banana leaves? Silviyana (as was previously featured on The Kind Bride) considers the carbon footprint in the process of creating, shipping, and delivering her gowns. Now that is eco-conscious!
Kolbijane is the creative mind behind this gorgeous necklace and earrings -pieces that honor Jessi’s Native American heritage.
My friend and design support extraordinaire Kristine Wellborn helped pull together a whimsical romantic and earthy feel which matched the vibe of our garden backdrop! We found amazing pieces like the wine glasses at a second-hand store and florals were created with the support of a locally sourced wholesaler!
Besides the amazing models, gowns, jewelry, and florals, we had amazing VEGAN cupcakes for our intimate elopement themed eco-friendly styled shoot! Unrefined Bakery is always a home-run for my family, but I got to share the love with the team and showcase this lovely and tasty addition to our perfect shooting day!
Many thanks to our Hair and MUA Brittany Bailey of She is Art Beauty who did an incredible job using animal cruelty-free products! Further, I was excited to highlight diversity in our shoot! In addition to including models of Native American descent, we also worked with a young black model from the Dallas Ft. Worth area.
Thanks to everyone for lending us your talents and heart on this eco-elegant and vegan-friendly project!
Michelle Ray is a military spouse living in Northern Texas who is passionate about shooting green weddings. She is working on a green wedding planning certification, a wedding planning course, a green business certification, and a book that will help couples planning a wedding. (Stay tuned on IG to connect and for more info!) In the meantime, check out Michelle’s involvement with The Kind Bride World’s First Ever Vegan Bridal Show. Read Michelle’s articles