Bridal Diaries: Cora Hilts
When it comes to planning the most important day of your life, the pressure can be immense. However, there’s no escaping the fact that it is just that, one day. We follow the stories of real life brides that planned, and executed sustainable weddings. Here are their Bridal Diaries.
Cora Hilts is the Co Founder of honest style platform Reve en Vert. In 2018, she married her fiance Jamie in a beautiful outdoor ceremony at her family home in Maine. Creating an environmentally aware day was utmost in their minds as they planned their wedding. The result was a simple, but elegant wedding that drew on but also celebrated nature. We spoke to Cora about her ethical choices and why going green was a no brainer. She also shared some brilliant tips to make every wedding a greener one.
The Vendeur: Your dress was so elegant, where did you find it?
Cora Hilts: My mother actually found it for me….I was quite busy with work in the lead up to my wedding and feeling a bit overwhelmed at the idea of finding not only my dream dress, but a sustainable one. My mom had seen a white silk slip dress on Reformation and knew I wanted something simple so ordered it for me in the hopes we could make it perfect. With her tailor we did!
TV: How did you choose your bridesmaid’s dresses?
CH: I was lucky enough to be able to call Mara Hoffman’s head of sales, as I had seen a few dresses in her Summer collection that I loved and were all incredibly ethical. I also had shown my three best girlfriends and let them pick which dress they wanted from her collection. The most important thing to me was that they could get dresses they would all wear time and again. That’s one of my top tips for a sustainable wedding, let people in your party wear things that aren’t a one off!
TV:Where did you source your flowers?
CH: My mother actually grew them all for me! We live in the countryside and she was able to plant the seeds for exactly what I wanted that Spring. By the time the end of August came around and it was wedding time they were all in bloom. So we literally only produced exactly what we wanted and needed.
TV: Where did you get married and how did you go about choosing your location?
CH: We got married in my parent’s front yard – we live right on the ocean so it was the only backdrop my husband and I felt we needed as we really wanted a wedding quite rooted in nature.
TV: Did your sustainable thinking extend to your honeymoon or mini moon?
CH: Yes! We went to a great little bohemian hotel in Naxos, Greece for a week called Naxian On The Beach. Everything there is made with natural, local resources and the food is pretty much all from the island as well. It was beautiful and a little out of the way which is very us – the only problem was that single use plastic is still such a huge issue in Greece – plastic straws everywhere!
TV: What did you choose to eat for your wedding reception?
CH: I was keen to have a vegetarian wedding but my husband was a little less so. We met in the middle on this one! We served lobster which is local and sustainably sourced in Maine. My mother literally got all the lobsters that day from a wharf five minutes down the road. We also served a mushroom tagliatelle for all our plant based guests. The appetisers were all locally sourced and we got the vegetables from our farmer’s market. About a month before, my mother and I went there and secured everything we could for 100 people to be grown locally and in season. Supporting your local farmers is one of the best ways to go about having sustainable food at your wedding!
TV: How did you decorate the wedding venue and reception?
CH: We used potted plants to make an aisle on the lawn so they could be reused, and we had reclaimed wood chairs for seating. We used a combination of dried flowers and candles for the decor, and we also had reclaimed wood tables that had been made by a local carpenter.
TV: What was your wedding cake?
CH: We chose an organic buttercream cake from a woman who lives about 20 minutes away. It was decorated by my mother with leftover flowers from my bouquet.
TV: How did you encourage your guests to take part in your day in a more eco friendly or ethical way? (for example; travel to the venue, weddings gifts, favours, leftovers etc.
CH: We didn’t give out any goodie bags or souvenirs as I think that is just such a waste and no one knows what to do with them after the wedding I don’t think! We did have mini bouquets of dried flowers on everyone’s plates that we encouraged people to take home and few of my girlfriends still have these in their homes which makes me so happy! We also did paperless post invitations only and no paper to save on trees, and we had zero single use plastic at the wedding.
TV: Were there any aspects of your wedding that you found hard to plan in a sustainable/ eco friendly way?
CH: Yes – we had the wedding in Maine at my family home which was so important to me but it did mean that most of the guests had to travel by plane from Europe due to the fact that my husband is from the UK and I went to school in Paris. So the carbon footprint of the wedding was not great in that way. In hindsight, we should have asked everyone to offset their flights as their wedding gift to us. It’s something I would suggest for anyone now planning a wedding as we missed the boat on this! (Terrapass can help here)
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