Today I’m sharing a really unique and awesome Vendor Spotlight with you!! I first met Carlene of Naturally Yours Events when I was second shooting for my friend Julia. Carlene coordinated a gorgeous wedding at the Chicago Yacht Club and what really impressed me was her ability to coordinate a “green” environmentally friendly wedding, without compromising style and vision.
I can be the first one to admit that I probably had too much of many things at my own wedding and the help of a planner would have guided the decision making process regarding what was really needed and necessary.
Carlene is just the person to help coordinate your day while leaving a smaller imprint on the environment, which I love…especially since I’ve been super into recycling and being “green” over the last couple years!
In the words of Jack Johnson, “We’ve got to learn to reduce, reuse, recycle”. If you’re thinking of hiring a wedding coordinator, consider dropping this Chicago Green Wedding Planner a line!!
All images from this post were provided by Tuan H. Bui Photographer.
Tell me about your business- what do you specialize in? We are anything but cookie-cutter planners and think outside the box to create unique and memorable events. We specialize in planning eco-friendly events and can help couples create their special day with less waste and a smaller carbon footprint. This is more than choosing like-minded vendors but also about the way you think about planning. It can be anything from choosing reusable soy-based candles to planning escort cards that double as favors, to using vintage pieces for decor. We have all the greener tips!
How did you get started? I have always been obsessed with details — whether planning birthday parties at 10 years old, organizing huge trips to midnight showings of super geeky movies, or helping family and friends plan their most important life moments— and I was quickly known as “the planner” among those around me. It wasn’t until after earning a degree in advertising, working for a prestigious wedding photographer, and moving to Chicago that I had that “ah ha” moment: I love to plan events and I rock at it! Pairing my personal and professional commitment to the environment with a passion for details, Naturally Yours Events came into fruition. Now my team and I work with some truly amazing vendors to create unique and stress-free events that are absolutely fun!
What’s your favorite thing about working in the wedding industry? The wedding industry here in Chicago has some of the best and most hard working people I have ever met. It is full of creative energy and this “do-what-you-love” mentality. Some of my good friends are my competition and I wouldn’t have it any other way. It is a supportive and warm industry to work in.
How would you describe your business’ style? I would say I am pretty accessible and down-to-earth. I am easy to talk to and get along with but I really get shit done! My clients and I have been known to have a beer or a glass of wine during meetings and generally have fun together.
How far in advance should clients book your services? I have had clients book farther than a year out and even some as soon as a month out from the wedding day. I would recommend that clients look at booking a planner about a year out. If you are looking for full or partial planning coverage, it is great to work with a planner before you book your venue so we can help you select the perfect one. If you were looking for a day-of coordinator, I would still recommend booking a year in advance. This will allow you to take advantage of all the great tips we provide and our online planning tool.
Where does your inspiration come from? All over! I really love pairing natural elements with industrial elements and a splash of romance (or whimsy).
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working? I love to bike everywhere, try new craft beers, and watch movies at the Music Box with my boyfriend.
What is one piece of advice you think all couples would benefit from knowing? For those couples who want to be a bit “green” we suggest reducing waste. This can also save some green too! For example, don’t waste money and trees by having multilayered invites with RSVP cards, accommodation cards, activity cards, maps, tissue paper layered upon tissue paper etc. Put this information online on your wedding website! Cut back on waste by not including favors as a lot of guests do not even take them home. No matter how cool they are, we end up packing a ton left over at the end of the night. Go simple with décor and choose elements that can be reused and incorporate those into your centerpieces. Finally, less is more for dessert. You do not need passed petit fours, a candy bar, and wedding cake with ice cream. That’s way too much! If you want a cake, don’t feel like you have to have a piece for each person, some guests won’t even take a bite.
How can clients connect with you?