During the 2022 Green Elopement Challenge at Old Lystra Inn in Chapel Hill, NC, Green Wedding Guild and ElopeNC members collaborated to create elopement inspiration with a focus on sustainable practices and personalized details. Green Wedding Guild Co-Founder Maria Karagiannis of KaraMia Events partnered with ElopeNC photographer MKM Photography to create a glamorous vintage Hollywood-inspired design with a touch of springtime strawberries, along with some of Maria’s favorite vendor friends.
Sponsors: Green Wedding Guild + *ElopeNC
Planner: KaraMia Events
*Photographer: MKM Photography
Venue: Old Lystra Inn
Dress: Beautiful & Borrowed Bridal
Tabletop Rentals: Southern Vintage Table
Officiant: Rev Kath Dupree
Florist: Event Flouret
Jewelry: Joint Venture Jewelry
Dessert: Sweet Bumpas
Linen Rentals: American Party Rentals
Groom Attire: Indochino
H&MU: Lovestruck Beauty
Couple: Sara & Jacob
A Vintage Hollywood Strawberries Theme
Maria of KaraMia Events says, “I worked with Kate from MKM Photography to decide on a color scheme and style, and from there I put together the design focused around spring strawberries.”
Kate of MKM Photography says, “Maria & I did some design brainstorming to determine our overall theme (which I would call a Vintage Romance & Springtime Strawberry Elopement); we chose rental items from Southern Vintage Table together; I provided a little input on attire; and of course, I photographed the whole shebang on the day.”
Vintage Glam Elopement Attire
This real-life married couple Jacob & Sara were dressed in elegant glam attire inspired by vintage Hollywood. The sleeveless dress had a fitted waist and deep V-neck with a full skirt that accentuated the bride’s curves, and it was elegantly balanced with her groom’s vintage black tie Tuxedo. The Asian-American groom’s attire included a black bowtie and black button covers over a white shirt and black tux.
The classic black and white attire was given a modern pop of color in the jewelry, flowers, and bride’s lip color. “Photographing all the gorgeous baubles that Jen from Joint Venture Jewelry provided was a dream—they were so glamorous!” says Kate of MKM Photography. The jewelry featured a mix of silver and gold pieces featuring diamonds and pink tourmaline which beautifully complimented the bride’s bold pink lipstick, soft glam makeup, and the vintage Hollywood waves for her blond hairstyle. The bridal bouquet included shades of red, pink, purple, and white.
“There is no such thing as too glam for your wedding, no matter how simple that wedding might be,” photographer Kate says, “I regularly see brides debating about wearing full gowns to the courthouse or asking whether a dress is ‘too much’ for their elopement, to which I say, again, ‘There are no rules. There’s no better excuse for maximum fanciness than your wedding.’”
Bamboo Elopement Ceremony Site
For the intimate ceremony, the couple and officiant Katherine Dupree came together in front of a lush wall of bamboo, with no decor necessary. Kath’s pink pantsuit and red notebook added to the color scheme, and the couple held hands and exchanged vows.
Kate of MKM Photography says, “As ever with elopements (and, really, weddings in general, too), there are no rules: pick your favorite spot along a stand of bamboo to exchange vows in front of an officiant who’s wearing a bomb-ass pink suit; put a jeweled pin in your hair in place of a comb; wear the bold lipstick. As much as weddings can be about two families coming together, they are more about the lives of the newlyweds joining together on the same path, and if that means a just-the-two-of-you level of intimacy, then you should do that.”
Sweetheart Table with Strawberries
A sweetheart table was set up under the white tent on Old Lystra Inn’s property. The round table was dressed with a blush tablecloth, vintage red and white plates, and red water goblets from Southern Vintage Table. Red napkins were folded like roses and placed on top of the dinner plates.
A clear and white goblet bowl sat atop two red, vintage books and was filled with more warm-tone flowers matching the bride’s bouquet. The flowers were framed by clear pink candlestick holders and white no-flame candles. A clear bowl of fresh strawberries and a plate of chocolate-covered strawberries were set for the couple.
Planner Maria says, “This could inspire couples who are eloping to know that they can go as big or small as they want – what matters is that the two of them have what they want on their big day!”
Vanilla and Strawberry Dessert Table
Beside the sweetheart table, a wooden cocktail table was set as the dessert table. A vintage cakestand held a small classic vanilla and strawberry cake, which included layers of classic vanilla cake commingling with strawberry jam and vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream. Two vintage plates and forks were set for the couple to enjoy their cutting cake.
Alongside the cake, the dessert table was decorated with another stack of red and pink vintage books, topped with a white milk glass vase and small flower arrangement to bring more pink and red into the scene. The whites and shades of red in the decor perfectly mirrored the vanilla and strawberry cake.
Sustainable Elopement Inspiration
The vintage rentals added a sustainable aspected to the shoot, along with keeping decor minimal to incur minimal wedding waste. Attire was also sourced sustainably, as the jewelry was vintage and the dress was rented from Beautiful & Borrowed Bridal, a consignment dress shop that rents previously-loved bridal attire. Maria of KaraMia Events says, “I love the ability to showcase the many ways a green and sustainable elopement or wedding can be done!”
Kate of MKM Photography says, “Working with Maria opened the door to a number of vendors I had never either met or worked with previously—the only vendors we used for our shoot with whom I had previously been familiar were the venue and all the rentals!
“Elopements have a special little place in my heart and I want to help keep couples’ eyes on them as we move back into the world of more “normal” weddings, and the chance to partner with Green Wedding Guild and highlight the sustainability inherent in a small celebration was very appealing!”