My Fair Wedding

  • Michelle Thomas
  • 08 Jun, 2012

Pig roast and potluck?  BYOB?  Patsy Cline cover band?  These were some of my husband’s early suggestions for our wedding plans.  A picnic affair he called it – I settled on ‘casual elegance.’  We went with open bar, affordable yet outstanding catering, Gatsby inspired attire, and yes, a Patsy Cline cover band.  Guests couldn’t have been happier and we did it all with fair trade flair!

cousin Craig in Gatsby garb          
Weepin' Willows with lead singer Natalie wearing Mata

Wedding season is again upon us, as is my first year anniversary – and PAPER is the traditional first year gift.  If you’re looking for the traditional diamond engagement ring, try a conflict-free option.  Or else a family hand-me-down, like the one my husband gave me – from his Mom – when we got engaged.  I think hand-me-down diamonds are gaining popularity cause, hey, they’re affordable and meaningful. ps. For a little laugh, check out this engagement video.

My bridesmaids and groomswoman ALL WORE MATA.  I used Mata’s Santa Clara dress as the inspiration, and the best part is that the girls still wear the dress!  If you want your flower girls to look cute in fair trade, check out what Global Mamas has on offer.

You can also go the non-traditional route and GET MARRIED in Mata, like a friend of ours who’s planning to walk down the aisle this Fall in our Some Like it Hot dress.  If a white wedding is a must – check out this socially-conscious bridal gown guide.  Also, check out Solitary PearlOlivia Luca, and Tara Lynn.


Some Like it Hot dress (available this fall)

Planning my wedding was an exercise in ‘think global, shop local.’  We reserved a public forest preserve picnic pavilion for the event and decorated it with baskets, picnic blankets, and table coverings from thrift stores nearby.  We used a local florist, and for bridesmaid gifts, I bought silver and 18 karate gold necklaces from local Chicago jewelry designer Dana Reed.  For shoes, I went with Mohop – hand made in Chicago by Annie Mohaupt, Mohop collaborates with a fair trade co-op named Jhoole to make her colorful sari ties (Jhoole made our denim frill bags).

Our Mata jewelry sets would also make fabulous bridesmaid gifts.  And if you order now you’ll get 20% off unforgettable sets like the Crescent Moon, Parade, or Peacock sets (offer expires June 15, use code ‘Sets!’ at checkout).

You can download the Fair Trade Federation’s Fair Trade Wedding Guide for more suggestions.  It’s easier than you’d think to fair trade a wedding, and love doing it!

“Married life requires shared mystery, even when all the facts are known” – Richard Ford

Credit to photographer Sarah Hadley

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