Tootie Urrutia and Kyle McClain got married at the The River View at Occoquan and the day was filled with unique and eco-friendly details, such as Betta fish centerpieces, sustainable invitations, and charitable donations. The pair, who met at a Bible study at their local church, both share a passion for giving back to their community and environment. So, naturally they made sure to be ethically responsible and socially conscious when it came to to choosing their decor, favors, and more. “We really wanted to make sure our guests felt the intentionality we put in all of the details of our wedding to represent us as a couple,” says Tootie, adding that even the florals they used were locally grown to limit the environmental impact of importing them. Want to know the other ways they were community-minded during their wedding planning process? Check out their green celebration below for all kinds of eco-friendly wedding ideas—including their super fun fishbowl centerpieces!
The Eco-Friendly Wedding Invitations
Tootie and Kyle chose Paper Culture for their teal and metallic foil invitations because the stationery retailer specializes in eco-friendly custom cards. For each order the company plants a tree, which “promises a negative carbon footprint for each purchase,” says Tootie.
The Socially Conscious Florals
When it came to their florals, Tootie and Kyle chose Cedar & Lime, Co., a florist that donates a portion of their proceeds to anti-human trafficking organizations, and supports a sustainable floral industry. The DMV-area florist sources their blooms from local flower farms whenever possible to ensure that they provide gorgeous (and socially conscious!) blooms to their couples. This was a major selling point for Tootie and Kyle and allowed for them to utilize a variety of local flowers throughout their wedding, such as this bouquet filled with ranunculus, tulips, poppies, peonies, anemones, hellebores, and bleeding hearts.
The Meaningful Ceremony
Because community is such an important part of their lives, the couple also incorporated friends and family in a big way. “I knew I wanted to honor the family and friends who helped Kyle and I get to such a special day,” Tootie says. So, they gave all their guests a small candle to hold during their unity ceremony. When it was time for the couple to light their unity candle, they had the last guest on each side of the aisle pass their flame to the person next to them. The flame traveled all the way down to each of their parents who then used it to light the couple’s candle. “It was such a special visual display symbolizing the [role each guest] has played [in our lives],” recalls Tootie.
The Charitable Favors
In lieu of passing out traditional favors at their eco-friendly wedding, the couple donated food to families in need, instead. “The week after we got engaged, Tootie traveled to a nonprofit in Guatemala,” Kyle says, explaining that they both love to help others. So, the couple decided to highlight the ministry and nonprofit by distributing baskets of food to the various families Tootie met during her trip. They placed signs at each table to showcase that a donation of food was made for a Guatemalan family that Tootie had met during her travels. They also included photos and details of each family on a display table in the lobby of their reception.
The Betta Fish Centerpieces
As for decorating their reception, Tootie and Kyle opted for live Betta fish centerpieces for a special touch. “I had heard about people using live fish in centerpieces, and knew I wanted to do it,” says Tootie. She worked with her florist who “prepared the water with special fish-safe chemicals and fish-safe floating plants” and chose only female Bettas, because they tend to get along better. Tootie is quite the animal lover, so she spent time researching the most hardy fish while figuring out the safest and most ethical way to execute the design plan. “I didn’t want anyone to take a fish home, because you can’t guarantee they’re prepared for one.” Instead, Tootie took home the colorful fish and says they are now thriving in her tank months later.
Photographer: Taylor Rose Photography | Venue: River View at Occoquan | Planning & Design: All the Dainty Details | Florist: Cedar & Lime, Co. | Invitations: Paper Culture | Catering: Great Blue Heron Catering | Dessert: Megan Floyd (cupcakes); Out of the Bubble Bakery (vegan cupcakes) | Hair & Makeup Artist: Kat Aragon | Bride’s Attire: La Bella Bridal Boutique | Jewelry: Brilliant Earth | Groom’s & Groomsmen’s Attire: Calvin Klein from Macy’s | Bridesmaids’ Attire: Revelry | Music/Entertainment: JD Duff | Videographer: Le Moment Capturer: