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Saying “I Do” to Sustainability



Matt Genders Photography

Now more than ever, there has been a call to be living more sustainably. The effort it takes to give back to the planet requires us to be a bit more mindful. However, learning new ways and habits can feel time-consuming and a bit overwhelming– trust me, I’m right there with you!

Personally, I believe any small step forward is worth celebrating. So why should that be any different when it comes to sustainability? To encourage and inspire couples, I wanted to prove that even your wedding day is an opportunity to work on it. With that and the help of some very talented vendors, we set out to showcase how easy (and subtle!) sustainability can be.

When selecting the venue for the shoot, we chose the newly opened hotel 500 Pearl. Repurposed from the old Buffalo Christian Center, it is a part of Buffalo’s larger historic building revitalization bringing new life to the downtown area. Their Grand Aeries ballroom is a great example of how you can honor original craftsmanship while still sprucing up and modernizing a space.

Matt Genders Photography

The spark behind my sustainability focus was Tangerine Rentals, a new luxury bridal wear rental service. Many brides dream about their perfect white dress. However, it can be a lot of money for one-time wear. Similar to Rent the Runway, founder Demi Skipper Sudekum wanted to provide brides luxury options to rent for a fraction of the price. The added benefit? It’s a naturally sustainable business model! We chose this Rime Arodaky jumpsuit because the tulle and lace bodice just screamed Springtime! Additionally, the stunning train just made this piece feel so incredibly unique.

Matt Genders Photography

Another sustainable aspect worth highlighting is the flowers. From my perspective, floral designer Christy Muck of Wild Blossom Hollow puts more love into her arrangements than most. That’s because she is not just a designer, but a grower as well. Each fall she handpicks what blooms will be planted in her fields located in Forestville, New York. Most florists or floral designers rely on wholesalers or crops from their local farmers. By cutting out the middle man, Christy reduces carbon emissions from shipping and doesn’t need to use pesticides to keep them alive for travel. Breathe in this organic bouquet, Mother Earth is absolutely glowing here.

Matt Genders Photography

Some smaller sustainable details include; the groom’s tie which is made from a recycled fiber by REPREVE, as well as the compostable wheat straws for the cocktails from Little Green Panda. Altogether, these are simple and actionable choices that could be made on your wedding day!

I encourage you to check out the many other wonderful local Western New York vendors that contributed to this. It truly was such a dream to work with all of them and bring this design concept to life.

Matt Genders Photography


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