Sustainable Estate Wedding

Real Wedding: Zoe and John

Look no further than the Northern California wedding of Zoe and John for a glimpse of an eco-friendly, low-impact wedding with high-impact style.

Even the groom's proposal demonstrated the couple's flair for homegrown innovations. After a quiet dinner at home for Zoe's birthday, John proposed via an iPhone slideshow he developed and presented to his unsuspecting girlfriend--complete with a tune he wrote and sang. 10 months later, their wedding's personal touches would prove as irresistible as John's request for Zoe's hand in marriage.

For their wedding on a picturesque organic farm and private estate filled with orchards, lavender fields and citrus trees, Zoe and John, with the help of the bride's sister Michelle, a professional wedding planner, used many handmade or vintage elements to keep their Big Day grounded, yet whimsical. "We loved that all the people we love were in one place at one time and we loved how personal every detail was," recalls Zoe.

A pair of cartoon renderings of the bride and groom, designed by John, was woven into a range of elements of the affair, from the invites to programs. Fluffy pom-poms crafted from colorful tissue paper festooned the venue. Plum and peach jam, made from fruit plucked from the farm and presented in jars fastened with twine, served as party favors. Childhood photos of the couple hung from citrus tree branches.

Even the bridesmaids' dresses were made from sustainable fabrics. And when it was time for the first dance and the ritual cake-cutting ceremony, the bride's nephew walked through the crowd carrying a flag announcing the not-to-miss moments.

Eco doesn't have to equal restrained. Zoe and John made sure extravagances also made their way into their special day. A grand total of five wedding cakes, from a rich devil's food cake filled hazelnut cream glazed with ganache to a "Princess Torte" of genoise, whipped cream and fresh strawberries, were offered to their guests.

A wide array of flowers, from garden roses and dahlias to hydrangeas, sweet peas, pom poms, craspedia, dusty miller, feverfew and variegated Italian pittosporum, were used in bouquets, boutonnieres and centerpieces. But it was the bride's classic wedding dress designed by Vera Wang that made the biggest impression, cutting a dramatic silhouette against the rustic backdrop.

--Erinn Bucklan