By Daniela Degrassi
Patricia Carolina is a young woman of great passions and a gentle heart. Her love for nature, a healthy, sustainable lifestyle and bridal gowns inspired her to start her eco friendly wedding planning agency Green Weddings by Patricia Carolina, specializing in serving her hometown area of Cologne. In this exclusive interview, I loved chatting with Patricia Carolina about her company and the status of eco-friendly weddings in Germany.
This is a ritual question here at The Kind Bride: when did your vegan journey begin?
I’ve been vegetarian since I was 15 years old. Then I started to eat more healthy and clean, so I tried also more vegan food. And more than 4 years ago, I went 100% vegan.
What’s your background and when did you start your event planning company?
I’ve been working for almost 9 years now in the health-insurance industry but I always thought about doing something completely different. Two years ago, I decided that I would like to work in the wedding Industry, because I am so crazy about bridal gowns, weddings and romantic moments. To prepare for my self-employment as a wedding planner I started to work in a bridal shop next to my main job. In Germany, you can take a course at the industrial and commercial chamber. That’s why I can even call myself a certified wedding planner.
When I think of Germany (and other northern European countries), I feel people are so focused on sustainability and more mindful in general about consumerism. How popular are vegan and eco-friendly weddings in your area?
Yes that’s true. In Germany, young people in particular are interested in sustainability and open to a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, a trend is already developing for green weddings and many environmentally harmful traditions such as the rise of plastic balloons or white doves are omitted. But vegan weddings are definitely still a special feature, as many couples decide on meat in the menu, to please the guests a favor. I am in the process of embracing that and turning couples to incorporate their way of life and ethical convictions into their wedding as well. I think that a wedding day must first please the couple and they should not make their convictions for wrong reasons.
What type of services do you offer to vegan couples?
My services include everything from the recommendation of the service providers, the concept, the day planning to the support on the day of the wedding. I offer various packages, including the full planning of a wedding. In addition to the wedding planning, I offer also ceremonies as a speaker.
How does a typical wedding consultation work?
When the couple contacts me, we make an appointment. It’s just a casual meeting over coffee and we talk a little about the wedding, the couple’s expectations and what kind of service they need. I then create an individual offer and if the couple agrees, we’ll proceed as planned. I work closely with the bride and groom to implement the wishes in the best way possible keeping an eye on the costs and organization, so that the day runs perfectly and everyone is happy.
Are you available to travel outside your area?
I have specialized in the greater Cologne area, as I know the right service providers here as well. But I’m also open for a destination wedding.
What’s the main concern you see from couples wanting to plan a non typical wedding?
Often the couple are all happy about someone being there on the day of the wedding and organizing everything, so they can enjoy their day. Regarding a vegan wedding, they are of course pleased when I can recommend good service providers. Some caterer are still struggling to think of more than just fruit salad and vegetable sticks when they hear the word „vegan“. So I help the couples to create a tasty menu in cooperation with the caterer. Of course, the consideration of environmental friendliness is also part of my job.
What advice can you give to couples to implement more green practices into their wedding?
It’s best to think about which resources you use for the wedding and how to minimize these expenses. Good examples are:
– Carpooling for guests: saves co2-values.
– Catering: choose vegan, fresh, organic and seasonal. And please not too lush. Unfortunately there is always a lot of thrown away!
– Decoration: use eco and animal-friendly materials. To rent is always better than buy everything new and then throw away. Disposable plastic is a no-go!
Do you have other projects you’re working on besides planning green weddings?
I am currently planning a styled shoot with spring impressions for the end of April. I also set up my own network for eco-friendly and vegan wedding service providers and a bigger event is also on my to do list, but that remains secret for now 🙂
What are you looking forward the most in future years in the vegan wedding industry?
I am convinced that more and more couples are opening up for the topic and dare to celebrate a partially or even completely vegan wedding. And when the time comes, I am already available for the couples with my expertise and passion.
All photos from this feature are from a styled shoot, credits below:
Planning, Wedding Design & Ceremony: GreenWeddings by Patricia Carolina – Patricia Herskamp
Photos: Liebe in Grün – Simon Veith
Location: Kornscheune Orr
Cake & Sweets: Pennycakes
Bridal Gown: Victoria Rüsche
Suit & Bow: Uli Schott the unknown brand
Hair & Make-up – Catrin Assenmacher
Calligraphy: Maja Trommler
Bride&Groom: Janina & Max
Couple: Hanna & Benni
A feminist and independent spirit since she could remember (her childhood heroines were Pippi Longstockings and Katharine Hepburn) Daniela Degrassi found her creative outlet as a lifestyle photographer, working mainly in Northern California where she lived for 15 years before moving back to her native Italy to continue to be her autistic sister’s primary caregiver. Vegan since 2014, she found a perfect way to carry her message of compassion while celebrating her love for the wedding industry launching The Kind Bride in February 2018.