Green and Glam Wedding Gown [Part 2 w/Pics!]

Via Rachel Znerold
on Feb 5, 2010
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P1011656-1Every bride wants to look glamorous and beautiful on her wedding day…but can you also be 100% organic and eco-conscious?

Last spring I met Kristen, a Northern California gal who challenges herself to live entirely on organic and locally-made goods. She grows her own vegetables and cans her own divine jams (which I have been lucky enough to taste.) She drinks organic, local wine and asks her waiters where they source their produce from. She works for Acre Gourmet, a fabulous farm-fresh, environmentally-friendly kitchen that provides healthy real food for Bay Area school kids and businesses as well as catering for local events. Every single day, she thinks about the choices she makes and their impact on the earth…so why not on her wedding day as well?

That’s when Kristen contacted me about hand-making an eco wedding gown for her romantic summer Redwoods wedding.

(Read my previous blog “Adventures in Making an Eco-Friendly Wedding Dress” for more details of the process…)

She wanted something classic that would fit the surroundings, but also with a bit of a personal flair. We talked a lot about the design that she had in mind and did several different drawings beforehand to get it just right.

Kristen was envisioning a cowl neck top, an empire waist gown with some front pleats, an open back and a little bustle in the back. She had also dreamed of an appliquéd tree on the bottom portion of the dress in a loose-knit organic cotton to represent the deep roots and bond between her and her husband.

Taking all these ideas into mind, we ordered our organic fabrics online from Near Sea Naturals and began the fun part…draping the fabric and building the pattern! I found the texture and weight of the organic poplin and herringbone knit to be easy to work with; they created the perfect balance of eco-friendly and elegant.



I promised to share an update of how the wedding gown turned out after the wedding, and although I’m a few months overdue…I am finally sharing the pictures of the beautiful bride. She was thrilled with how comfortable and classy she felt in her gown, from the vows to the dinner (Acre Gourmet, of course) to the dancing, and she didn’t have to sacrifice her commitment to living an eco-conscious life.

I’m seeing a shift these days, with more and more brides wanting their special day to be green and glam. Working with a local designer, using organic or vintage materials, is one of the best ways to accomplish both! Plus, it’s super cool to be able to  wear a one-of-a-kind gown and feel good about supporting local artists!


DSC09629_wP1011846Thanks so much to Kristen for letting me share her story with you! It was an honor to be a part of her big day. (I adore the picture of she and her husband giving their personal vows down by the river…amazing.)




P1011840Stay tuned! Next up: my other handmade wedding gown project from last summer; made from vintage and organic materials; we were able  to create a jaw-dropping couture wedding gown on a budget!

I’m also excited to be working on three more hand-made wedding gowns for this summer (one in beautiful Boulder, one in wine country and one in Mexico…) using vintage and Scrap materials. One woman is even entrusting me to deconstruct her mother’s old wedding gown to incorporate into her own! (I also did this for my sister’s wedding gown, using parts of my mom’s dress in addition to antique lace of my grandmother’s from the 1890’s!) I’ll be sure to share more stories of green and glam wedding gowns as they unfold! And don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions about the process…I’m happy to help!

Rachel Znerold is an artist and independent fashion designer living the good life in San Francisco, CA.


About Rachel Znerold

Growing up in the Colorado countryside, Rachel Znerold knew early on that she was different…she saw dazzling beauty in decomposing logs and expressed her individuality with wild drawings on her sneakers. Now, as a prolific painter, eco-fashion designer, performance artist and writer, Rachel makes a life out of making art. With a degree in Fine Art and Advertising from The University of Colorado in Boulder, Rachel began to pursue her art career full time. Aiming to share her awe of the world and the art of the everyday, she has taught painting, fashion design, and performance at a variety of schools, museums, and non-profits. Rachel has been commissioned to paint murals in Colorado, New Zealand and Mexico, and eventually landed in San Francisco, becoming a part of the Mission District’s vibrant art scene. Rachel believes art is instrumental in building strong community and a culture of social activism.


4 Responses to “Green and Glam Wedding Gown [Part 2 w/Pics!]”

  1. Betty Bridal says:

    Beatiful gown.

    Alternative ways to be ecofriendly would be to rent a gown or to purchase a gown that has been donated to charity,

  2. Great point! I wore a $5 thrift store gown to my junior prom (waaayyyy back when…) and borrowed one for my senior prom, and no one would have guessed. Rock it!

  3. Have you in your life attended a wedding and reception and have felt bad for the groom simply because he picked the most significant loser buddy to be the best man. It happened to me, we went a very elegant wedding reception and the Best Man’s speech was so awful that it was scary that this person was the groom’s best friend. Once they uncovered the best man, he got up to the microphone and provided this speech: “This couple, Bill and Monica are great and I hope their life is filled with fulfillment and all those things that make a marriage great.” This is what you will get when you don’t plan in advance a speech. When I got married couple of years later I didn’t want my best man to be the topic of discussion for a long time so I sent him this package on how to write a best man speech. It relieved the hassle and his speech was outstanding, relaxed and poignant.

  4. It must have been a big challenge but everything seems to turn out pretty well since the wedding gown you made is beautiful, the simplicity of the design makes it more elegant.