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Green Bride Guide

I found myself at Barnes & Noble yesterday, pondering over a few ideas I’ve had regarding the way I conduct my eco-conscious business and, out of curiosity, I picked up Kate Harrison’s book, The Green Bride Guide.
This book has a multitude of resources, tips, and inspiring ideas to help make planning your green wedding that much more enjoyable by reducing the stress of searching high and low for the “right way” to plan an eco-friendly wedding. It’s all about the decisions you make that impact the environment and keeping those options in check when it comes to the number of choices you have.

I’m a big advocate of finding ways to minimize our carbon footprint and I commend Kate for writing this book. However, minimizing our carbon footprint shouldn’t involve sacrificing how you remember the special event.
With that being said, the only section I feel misrepresents an area within the wedding industry are her suggestions on hiring a cheap photographer; i.e. Uncle Bob. That has nothing to do with being green and everything to do with being careless when it comes to capturing this momentous day.

Now I’m not saying you should go out and find the most expensive professional photographer out there. Keep in mind, every photographer wants to believe their client chose to work with them because they like the work and not contacted just because the photographer fell within the brides budget.

Nevertheless,  I’m a firm believer of: “You get what you pay for”. It’s sort of like buying that expensive pair of 7 jeans versus American Eagle or GAP jeans. In the long run, you know that quality jeans will hold up ten times longer and typically fits perfect all the way around.

Kate also mentioned finding either a part-time hobbyist or someone straight out of school.

I see a ton of posts on Craigslist for “free” wedding photography and it really irks me. These people are hurting the professionals in this industry who have a passion for their work and have dedicated themselves to the art of wedding photography.

There’s a lot that goes into being a professional and I feel that those hobbyists and newbies are doing a disservice to the brides by being inexperienced.

I understand they have to start somewhere, as I was once one of the newbies, but I had at least three years of experience as a second shooter for a variety of photographers.

Photography and client service are two things I’m extremely passionate about. If you do decide to go the route of hiring someone less than what you had your heart set on, I highly recommend conducting interviews and ask for references as well as see work to back up any claims amateurs make about their photography experience.

And, if you decide that you can’t settle for anything less than what you desire, yet still cringe about spending a little extra, allow me to ease your mind by saying this:

Planning a green wedding will significantly save you money, therefore, leaving enough room in your budget for the photographer you really want.

Why settle for anything less? Besides, what’s the point in designing an album of pictures you hate? Those pictures aren’t just for you, they are for your children and family to look back on and reminisce.

Questions? Comments? Requests? Email us at

Kate Harrison - August 18, 2009 - 6:27 am

I am glad that you liked the book and think you criticism is fair. The book is about going green, but it is also about saving money – and for couples who are really looking to cut back, cutting the band or photographer are options (not good options, but options). That said, I think wedding photographs are extremely important, and encourage couples to find a photographer that meets their needs and who values the earth. There are lots of things photographers can do to be green, including using a digital camera with rechargeable batteries and placing all images online for review instead of making proof prints. In September I am launching a green wedding vendor directory and hope you will join (it is free). You can earn more at

All the best,


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