By Michelle Ray


This vegan wedding styled shoot at The Atrium at Meadowlark was inspired by my connection to The Kind Bride. Along with efforts to embrace all things vegan, the creative vision of this shoot included one of nature’s most beautiful botanical gardens, just a short drive west of Washington DC. 


A connection with the military

Through military connections, I was thrilled to partner with Carissa Campbell of Campbell Events who styled this shoot with elegance and a unique boho flare.  Our goal was to weave eco-friendly design elements with vegan materials and food to create an eco-ethical-green wedding concept. It is our hope that this “green wedding” concept will inspire our current and future clients in their wedding planning process. 

Vegan Wardrobe?

Yes… Many individuals do not know that many materials commonly used for wedding attire (like silk and wool) are not vegan friendly. Our bride and bridesmaids wore elegant BHLDN gowns, which were in perfect condition, though purchased used, for our eco-friendly concept. Re-purposing materials is one great way to embrace all things eco-friendly and reduce waste (while also saving money). I loved photographing the ice pink gowns with delicate lace trim. Rose gold rings and back necklaces were a unique adornment for our models. The groom wore an organic suit from The Groomsman’s Suit. The dark grey, light pink and off-white attire was a perfect match!


Hair and Make-up 

Several talented hair and make-up artists participated on our luxe-boho styled shoot. Their attention to the vision- elegance in the boho up-do’s, natural flawless make-up and their use of vegan-friendly products made magic! The bride’s hair adornments were perfectly woven into the boho style. Praises to our make up artists Mary Nelson of Daisy Head by Mary and Victoria Ronan and hair stylists Sussy Hylen of Hylen Spa and Zuhal Sarwary working with Aveda.  

Linens and Florals that take the Cake

Carissa did an amazing job arranging all the florals and securing the perfect linens for our project. Bayith, a Brooklyn-based rental company has set themselves apart in the industry as a company dedicated to supporting ethical events and to giving 10% back to clean waterways. Carissa used her design skills to create all the bouquets and floral arrangements using vegan-friendly and earth friendly materials.  And one unique eco-friendly element for our shoot was the use of NC-based Piper, Paper and Petal’s up-cycled florals made from antique sheet music. Mixing florals with up-cycled paper products demonstrated that Carissa’s eco-creativity had no limits. In addition, Carissa styled the eco-friendly, made from recycled materials, wedding invitation suite by Minted. And finally, our lemon marble cake was provided by Sylvia Magalon of Camoille’s Delight.


The Dream Team

The highlight of this project was working with my past wedding couples and their vendors, whom I am fortunate to call friends. The bride and groom, Danielle and Ryan hold a special place in my heart as I shot their engagement and wedding in 2018. Ryan is a military service member whose job requires 100% dedication, leadership in service and readiness. Danielle works with young people; no doubt she is making a difference in the lives of students. This couple shares a special connection that is always a joy to photography. Likewise, our second set of models Caitlin and Adam embody sincere faith, joyful service, and kindred connection. Further, Diquan Coleman of Marcellous Studios captured the key moments and behind the scenes of our day on video.

Our Host and Final Thanks

And a final note of thanks to our host, Bettina Theilacker, Events Coordinator at the Atrium at Meadowlark. Having a background in wedding planning, she welcomed us to the Atrium with enthusiasm for our theme. I am grateful for her support with the styled shoot and I am eager to plan future collaborations. The Atrium is a beautiful venue, which has an outdoor feel and is perfect for lovely year-round weddings! My thanks to everyone who took part in this amazing experience! It’s was a joy to share this experience with you!

Additional vendors:

Photography: Michelle Ray Photography

Vegan Menu Design – Brittany Reed of Brittany Shelly Designs 

Assistant on Styled Shoot: Jerie May Trejo 

Brittany Lapiska of Pipers Paper Petals

Potomac Floral Wholesale



Editor’s Note: With this visually stunning and festive feature The Kind Bride team wishes you all a very happy and compassionate Thanksgiving! 



Michelle Ray  is a military spouse living in Northern Virginia 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.

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