I flew well off  The Big Shwop radar to become an over excited  eco-wedding planner for Marcus and me. The wedding was  at Wai iti in Taranaki on 3 April 2010. It was a beautiful weekend, camping at the beach, filled with wonderful family and friends, fun and games, and lots and lots of  very special moments.

The Big Shwop hugely influenced me in putting the wedding together.  We were keen to get married without buying things simply for one day and then discarding them. We relished the challenge of putting it all together without ripping the earth off for its resources. We weren’t fanatical though – yes, people flew long haul (ouch!) and we did buy some fresh cut flowers (though locally grown and seasonal) but we tried hard to make our choices conscious and this made a heck of  a difference.  The coolest thing was that this approach inadvertently resulted in a huge number of  the eco-friendly details being made by friends and family and this created such a lovely shared feeling to the whole event.

Upcycled plastic flower bouquet

The flowers and buttonholes for the bridal party were made out of recycled swimming toys and billboard vinyl by the very talented Margaret Tolland.

My sister Anthea hand knitted a gorgeous shrug for me to wear in case it was cold. I wore it heaps because it felt so ultra filled with love. And my dress was made right here in Wellington, at Sophie Voon.

There were loads of details and loads of help: my Aunty tirelessly sewed together all the vintage pieces of material that I had collected to make the tableclothes, a friend baked our wedding cake, all the lanterns were recycled tin cans beaten with holes by my girls. We hand made all the place names too and the flags, and….and….and…..

But in the end, all those eco-details totally paled in comparision to the effect our decision to stay at the beach for three days with everyone had. We decided that the least we could do to compensate for all the travelling was to lock ourselves in with everyone for some quality time. And with eighty dear family and friends, in the back waters of Taranaki  hanging out together without cell phone reception, or internet, or shops – that is just what we got.  On the days either side of the wedding, this down- time together resulted in beach fires, and cave explorations, three legged races and an appreciative audience for some beautiful sunsets. It was awesome.

Strolling on the beach
Hanging out next day
Three legged relay madness - two teams of twenty ready to hit it.
Beautiful sunset the day after

So yeah – that is what I have been up to. Chrissy and Inga have equally been busy about the landscape too. But – as you may have guessed we are back to The Big Shwop, starting the plans for our best one yet. Keep your eyes peeled shwoppers!

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