Styled Shoot: Eco-Friendly Style in Hocking Hills

Local vendors teamed up to showcase inspiration for sustainable weddings.

Emma Frankart Henterly
Columbus Monthly
Eco-friendly styled session in Hocking Hills

“The wedding industry is wasteful,” reads a recent email to Columbus Weddings from local photographer Elizabeth Nihiser. “The average wedding produces 400 pounds of garbage and 63 tons of CO2. Micro weddings are trending this year, but my hope is that they continue even after we start gathering once again in larger numbers. Planning a small, intimate celebration is just one way to reduce waste and have an eco-friendly wedding.” 

We recently published tips for planning a sustainable wedding, and many of those practices are put to use in the styled elopement shoot that Nihiser also sent in her email. 

Nihiser worked with several other Central and Southeast Ohio vendors to create a scene that showcases inspiration for sustainable weddings, she writes. Florist Sarah Shaffer of Shaffer Creative Co. used locally sourced materials—fresh plants from her garden, bamboo from her neighbor’s farm and recycled blooms from a real wedding that had taken place earlier in the week—to create the arrangements and bridal hairpiece (inspired by the 2018 Heavenly Bodies MET Gala) for the shoot.  

Other sustainable practices used in the shoot include a rented suit, a gown made from recycled materials, favors with a green message, and a tablescape consisting of found and recycled materials. 

If you’re picking up on the natural chemistry between the models in this shoot, it’s because they’re an engaged couple in real life. Cary Bowers proposed to Billie McCord last year on a hike near their property. The date—Feb. 2—is especially cute because it’s a palindrome: 02/02/2020. 


Photography: Elizabeth Nihiser Photography 

Coordination: Reagan Canaday Events 

Venue: The Hangar at Hocking Hills Scenic Weddings 

Flowers: Shaffer Creative Co. 

Gown: Fable Dresses 

Suit: Generation Tux 

Hair and makeup: Savannah Gordon and Jennifer Eshelman 

Officiant: Douglas Cherryholmes 

Dessert: Penny’s Pastries 

Favors: Pins from The Burning River Co.