FEATURED,  Sustainable Bride Guide,  Vendor Feature

Rewriting Rites

Shifting the Wedding Industry Toward Sustainability

Photo by Lyndsey Leach

By Maréa Janae | Dream Catcher Weddings

We set up camp in the backcountry, roasted dinner in foil pouches tucked into the coals of the fire, burnt our tongues sipping hot chocolate, roasted marshmallows on sticks we had gathered, and alternated between belting out off-pitch oldies from mom’s song book and listening to dad read spooky poems out of a tattered book passed down from his father. Looking up at the dark sky glittering with stars and breathing deeply the scents of pine, earth and campfire is where I first remember experiencing the feeling of home. These are the happiest memories of my childhood and where my deep and undying love for the magic of the Earth was birthed.

My memories of feeling inspired and intrigued by the mystical nature of love-celebration ceremonies date back just as far. Somehow, through the consummate cocktail of fate, intention and luck, I fell into a job so perfect for me that I didn’t even have the imagination to dream it up: sustainable wedding planning. As engaged couples travel down a path that tries to ensnare them in the trap of consumerism, I act as their trail guide to keep them aligned with their heart-centered and Earth-conscious values. It’s a heavy responsibility when I take into account that just as we only have one shot at making a wedding day perfect, we also only have one planet to call home.

With the masses of landfill and CO2 waste produced at the hands of the event industry each year, our current route is headed directly toward the decimation of our sacred earth-home. The need for couples to incorporate planet mindfulness into every aspect of their event is truly an urgent one and there are very few wedding professionals putting the emphasis on this that it deserves. That’s why I’m here doing what I’m doing, conspiring with other change-makers to pioneer a path to a more sustainable future for the wedding industry. It’s exciting untrekked territory, one which demands constant creativity and innovation for the many challenges we face. I am honored to be given these blank pages and invited to fill them with the wisdom I learn along the way.

We all know that big changes don’t happen in a single day, nor with a single person. It will take a collective effort to create the momentum needed to reform this wasteful industry back to its roots of intentionality and purpose. I invite you to join me in dreaming up a better future together, one wedding at a time. I am continually working to provide in-depth resources on my blog at dreamcatcherwed.com. I will also be publishing advice in this column moving forward, so if you have any questions for a sustainable wedding planner, please send them to marea@dreamcatcherwed.com.

With love and gratitude for the Earth and her inhabitants, 

Marea Bowser, Owner and Lead Planner, Dream Catcher Weddings 

Featured Photo

📸 Lyndsey Leach Photography⁠
💄💇🏻: Glammed Up Designs + Lipstick and Scissors Artistry
👗l: Dalliance Bespoke⁠
👸🏻@wadingwithlexi⁠
💮 Perennial Posy⁠
Elopement Package: Wildflower West Collective⁠
Dessert: Runaway Bakeshop⁠
Officiant: Weddings with Clinton⁠