Dec 16, 2010

“Are You A Cotton Bride?” Contest

Eco-Beautiful Weddings Magazine and Blog presents the “Are You A Cotton Bride?” Contest!

Want a Free Cotton Bridal Gown by Chris Kole of The Cotton Bride?

Click Here for the “Are You A Cotton Bride?” Contest Explanation, Rules and Regulations.

See what Chris Kole and The Cotton Bride are all about here:

Enter to Win one of these 3 dresses by writing us a note here!  Let us know a little bit about your wedding plans and what are you doing to go green with your wedding!

We will pick the winner on February 15th, 2011!

Good Luck!

NOTE: Why is The Cotton Bride Eco-Friendly? Many high-end couture wedding gown designers that design their dresses in the United States and Europe ship their designs off-shore for production with appalling working conditions for cost savings (which is ironic as couture gowns are more expensive by nature) and most are not using cotton. The Cotton Bride produces every single one of their wedding gowns by hand (which is the definition of true couture). Chris Kole designs each dress from sketch to final fitting using fair-wage labor and fair-trade cotton fabrics (mostly from Italy and the US) right in New York City! Chris Kole is always looking for luxurious fabrics and will provide organic cotton fabrics when available.
While some cottons may be produced with pesticides, U.S. cotton growers use 50% less pesticides than they did 25 years ago, they use 45% less water than they did 15 years ago and all while growing 2/3 more cotton on 1/3 of the land. Why? The demand for cotton has never been larger as it is has literally become “The Fabric of Our Lives”!

UPDATE – WE CHOSE OUR WINNERS – THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR LEAVING ALL OF YOUR AMAZING COMMMENTS!!!

http://eco-beautifulweddings.com/blog/
  1. Polly Evans-Thomas says:

    I have had a love affair with cotton for as long as I can remember. I am even planning to use cotton for my centerpieces!

  2. I AM GETTING MARRIED JUNE 4, 2011. THERE ARE SO MANY REASONS THAT A COTTON GOWN WOULD HAVE A WELCOME PLACE IN MY WEDDING CELEBRATION. FIRST OF ALL I LOVE COTTON. ALMOST MY ENTIRE WARDROBE IS COTTON BECAUSE IT IS COMFORTABLE AND FLATTERING AS WELL AS EASY TO CARE FOR. IN ADDITION A COTTON GOWN WOULD BE MADE OF MATERIAL THAT I COULD WEAR TO OTHER EVENTS IN THE FUTURE. COTTON WOULD BE EASY TO REFASHION OR EVEN DYE FOR FUTURE LOOKS BEYOND MY WEDDING EVENTS.

  3. These are just the type of dresses I have been looking for. I am having a beach ceremony and backyard reception and the flowy cotton with lace detailing is perfect!

    I have started to look at dresses but they are all so heavy and over worked. My wedding is simple and I want a cotton dress to reflect that.

    The details that we are starting to put together include jars, vases and other glassware repurposed for centerpieces with wildflowers or fabric flowers. Burlap borrowed from a friend for table runners and candle lanterns for lighting. Our favor will be Mason jars that double as drinkware that our guests can use all night as their glass and take home with them as well.

    Being a cotton bride will allow me to be comfortable and still feel beautiful when I walk down the beach to marry the love of my life.

    I would love to be chosen so that my dress matches my vision for a simple and beautiful eco-friendly wedding.

  4. Jackie Olapinis says:

    I was so excited to see this…

    I am just starting my wedding planning process and needing a beautiful dress. We want a green celebration and I think cotton is so lovely! I just saw the video of the new collection and I love that short dress…it would be perfect for me as we hope to get married in August of 2011! We don’t have a lot of our plans in place, but we we know we will have our invitations online and a vegan reception!

  5. Catherine Franchot says:

    For our green wedding day we hope to have it in my parent’s backyard using tables that my dad will make for us from reclaimed wood from our old barn. We will only have about 50 guests and I plan on making cobblers from peaches that are grown from a local orchard as dessert – no wedding cake. My mom is going to make the linens for us and I want to have flowers from her garden for my bouquet. Our centerpieces will be her tea cup collection. I really don’t have the budget I want to have the dress of my dreams and I just love the look of The Cotton Bride from their website! PLEASE PICK ME!!!

  6. Holly Baumert says:

    When I read about this contest I could not contain my excitement. We are getting married on Sept. 17, 2011 on a gorgeous goat farm in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. Yes, you read it right, a real goat farm. I grew up on a farm in the midwest so it really mean a lot to me that my fiance was ready to exchange vows in a pasture (yeah!!). The farm owners work very hard to practice sustainable farming and maintain diversity in their gardens and with their livestock.

    We had originally wanted to do a destination wedding in Puerto Rico but the logistics of flying everyone so far were not working out and not very environmentally friendly. We chose a spot closer to home (we are in DC) and the simplicity of it all is wonderful.

    We are working to keep all of our wedding vendors local to the Valley. Our caterer works with local farms to use in season vegetables and beef from a nearby farm. I am going to use in season, flowers from a local farm and do my own bouquets and centerpieces. As part of having our wedding on the farm we get to use all of the centerpieces/decorations that other clients have donated to the farm. As you may have guessed our budget is tight and my fiance and I are paying for our wedding ourselves. We have been working very hard to save and spend less to make this happen.

    I have been looking for wedding dresses and fell in love with A Cotton Bride. Unfortunately we cannot fit it into the budget. One of these dresses would be fabulous as I walk through the garden and into the pasture to meet my fiance and say our vows. I have been shopping at consignment stores and for used dresses but a beautiful, simple, clean cotton dress would make my heart sing. I may live in a city now, but at my core I am still a genuine farm girl who loves nothing better than a fabulous cotton sun dress.

  7. I’m “greening” my entire wedding from the top down: carbon offsets for my long distance travelers, recycled paper for all my printing and signage, gently used reception decor from previous brides and then, donating my flower arrangements to a nearby women’s cancer center. By going green, I hope not only to set a good example for my family and guests, but also to save money on the big day! These dresses are gorgeous and fit in perfectly with my light, airy theme and with my concern for the planet and people!

  8. These gowns are beautiful! We are getting married September 17, 2011 and while we haven’t made many plans yet, I am excited to plan as “green” a wedding as possible. I would like to use biodegradable dinnerware or buy regular dinnerware and donate it afterwards. I would like to have the ceremony/reception outdoors so not to use much electricity. I would love to have a local caterer that uses organic, locally grown food. And for my favors I want to give out small pots with the seeds of our favorite flowers for our guests to grow. Just a few ideas so far. I love reading everyone else’s comments to get more.

  9. Tandi R. says:

    These dresses are gorgeous! We are getting married on June 25, 2011 outside at a lighthouse on the water, very near the beach. We are going very earthy (Simplistic Elegance is my thought) with our wedding with the gentlemen in khaki colored linen suits and sperry shoes. My flowers include cattails and grass. Because of this, I want a dress that is very natural as opposed to the heavy, over-the-top traditional wedding dresses. These eco-friendly dresses are not only beautiful but are elegantly simplistic. This is the first dress that I’ve seen that completely embodies my vision for my wedding. Our florist uses locally grown flowers from nurseries nearby to cut down on fuel emissions. Our caterer used to be “first-mate” on her father’s fishing vessel (about 5 miles away is the local fisherman’s warf) and uses locally caught seafood which is better for the environment and helps support local small business owners. As much as possible, I want to rent supplies so they can be reused as opposed to purchasing items that I won’t use again.

  10. Grace says:

    My fiance and I are getting married on July 8th, 2011 outdoors in the vineyards. Our wedding is incorporating all things whimsical with a romantic mid-summer nights dream feel. A cotton wedding dress would encapsulate all things natural and tie together all the other natural elements of our wedding: tree branch centerpieces, tea leaves buffet table (for favors in place of a candy buffet), wooden tree stump table number holders, cotton hair flower pieces for the bride and bridesmaids and wooden frames for all pictures displayed in the foyer. I’m a cotton bride!

  11. Sandy says:

    These dresses are so gorgeous, I would love to have one! My fiance and I are getting married in September, 2012, hopefully in the fall. I want to DIY as many aspects of my wedding as possible! I am going to enlist my family and friends to help with the desserts, I’m going to have a candy buffet with homemade candies and thrifted apothecary jars, and I’m having a local soda company create a custom flavored soda for my guests to take home as favors. We are looking to be marred in a local reception barn, which is absolutely stunning. I already have so many paper lanterns that I made to string up along the rafters and beams to give it a whimsical feel. I’m also making my bouquet out of vintage flower brooches that I’ve collected from working at a vintage jewelry company! Good luck to everyone else, and good luck to myself as well! :)

  12. Sandy says:

    *** I’m so sorry! Typo! September 2011! The precise date is still being worked out.

  13. I decided to buy a simple, pre-owned wedding dress that was originally bought at your average, run-of-the-mill wedding salon & I was instantly attracted to the casual style. Unfortunately, my dreams of being boho and comfortable were a bit crushed when I realized the fabric doesn’t breathe. At all. There is no hope of getting a different dress because our $10k budget doesn’t allow for it, and the current dress (a $100 internet find) was too good a bargain to pass up.

    Our budgeted June 2011 wedding is going to be infused with green details: Homegrown food from the local caterer; secondhand decorations borrowed from friends or purchased used at local fairs and events; DIY fabric flowers we can repurpose as home decorations; TOMS for the whole bridal party & our families. It’s important for us to buy local and support our hometowns, and we’re having a blast working with small businesses and neighbors.

    I would love to be a cotton bride because it would be beautiful and comfortable! I’ve had photos of some lovely dresses with lace accents by the Cotton Bride tucked away in an inspiration folder, and it would be amazing to have the chance to wear one. :)

  14. I fell in love with The Cotton Bride Collection almost 3 years ago when I first became engaged. Despite the fact that these dresses are way beyond my budget I continue to come back to look at them. I can not see myself wearing any fiber that is not natural, it just would not be me.

    I am often referred to by my closest family and friends as a little “crunchy”. I enjoy things that are natural and have been a true earth lover since I was young. I have been a vegetarian for much of my life, practically before I knew what a vegetarian was and my fiance, Tyler has been in alignment with my beliefs and values since we met over 10 years ago. He is a stone and brick mason and I am a soon to be Recreation Therapist (I will sit for certification, October 2011). I plan on working with individuals who have cognitive and physical disabilities.

    Our wedding date has been set for September 17th, 2010. It is going to be an outdoor/barn wedding at a very unique, but me, venue called Sunnyslope Farm in Alton, NH. A true DIYer I am making many of my own natural, rustic decorations and also my own invitations (yes, on recycled kraft cardstock).I have always been creative and crafty, I even sew but am not brave enough to take on my own dress, though I have toyed with the idea. Our complete menu will be vegetarian and although we haven’t chosen a caterer, the local vegetarian restaurants tend to use local produce which is always a great thing. We are also excited because we will be able to compost any food waste right on Sunnyslope Farm. We want to have a fun celebration but we also want to do it responsibly and with respect.

    We are not super formal people and I would never want something that doesn’t reflect who we are. We are light, natural, easygoing, outdoors people. To me, that sounds like the Cotton Bride.

  15. Our wedding date is September 17th, 2011 not 2010 as I stated above!! That wouldn’t make much sense anyhow. Good luck to everyone!

  16. sunkissed says:

    My wedding plans are not finalized but I know and understand the importance of going green. So far, I definitely plan on sending online Save the Dates/Invitations and using organic, seasonal flowers.

    The most important lesson that anyone can learn is that adding “green” elements to your wedding does not mean you’re compromising on our wedding day–Your wedding can still be chic and memorable :)

  17. I am so in love with these dresses!
    My main reason for having a wedding is to celebrate the union between my fiance, me, and God. However, I know that weddings are do a tole on the earth and often times they aid in the problem of factories oversees.

    My wedding is July 23rd, 2011. The ceremony is at Purple Haze Lavender Farm and the reception is at my church. We are on a very very small budget, so most everything we will use to decorate will be diy or given as a gift from family and friends. We are sticking with a rustic/chic wedding theme. Our flowers will be bought from a local farm and arranged by my mother. My father-in-law will marry us. Our friends and family will be our musicians. And we are planning on using a local wineries wine. The most beautiful part of our wedding is that everyone will be playing a part and hopefully that will help to lower our carbon footprint.

  18. Jesserose says:

    I just found the Cotton Bride website, and I love the design of the dresses! They are simple, elegant, organic and beautiful.
    I’ve been reading and learning more and more how to change my lifestyle and values to reflect a life that is responsibly stewarding the earth’s resources, from home-made and chemical free cleaning materials to the clothes I wear to the food I eat and where everything comes from and who it affects along the way. As I’ve been planning the wedding (July 9, 2011) with my fiance, we’ve been looking into different ways to cut down on a consumerist wedding and make it simple, fun and green- the celebration of our new life together! Our theme is Whimsical Nature, because we’re getting married outside on a historic venue on a conservation land management area (Corvallis, MT) and we’re incorporating many organic and eco-friendly items- starting from our invitations to the wedding party clothing to the food etc. We’re super excited!
    One of my biggest concerns has been the wedding dress- where it comes from and what I will do with it. I’ve been most looking at used/pre-owned wedding dress, and after I get married, I would like to resell the gown to give joy to another bride out there!
    It’s great to know there are designers who are going through the effort to make not only resource friendly wedding dresses, but also thinking about the affect our consumerist society here in North America has on the world, and how to produce beautiful wedding dresses without modern day slavery!

    Cheers!

  19. Kristi says:

    I’m your girl!!!!! I’m 40 and getting married on a extremely limited budget because my fiancee and i have 5 children……each! Yeah, each! This will be a second wedding for both of us, and we’re soo excited about our June, 2011 wedding. I love fresh flowers so i will be getting those to use in the mason jars and mismatched vases i’m collecting from antique stores, thrift stores and even The Goodwill. We have been single parents for several years and so as you can imagine, our budget for a wedding is limited but i’m having soo much fun knowing that as i’m buying these used items there’s a story behind each antique piece i’m buying and a home that they came from. They are items that belonged to someone else and that can be kept or passed on again when we’re finished using them. My parents planned most of my first wedding, over 20 years ago and i’m really, really having soo much fun planning my DIY wedding. I will be keeping our ceremony and reception simple but beautiful. I have not found a dress yet. I know what i’m looking for but have not found it. I’d LOVE to wear a Cotton Bride Collection Dress. I would not only feel comfortable but i would feel beautiful and it would be the perfect dress for my children and my husband to be to see me in on our Wedding Day!

  20. I have previously posted on here and I can’t stop dreaming about a Chris Kole dress so I thought I would share a few more plans that we have.
    So, I was thinking I was making my invites but I have put an ad on Etsy to have someone make them for me but, I am doing them with as little waste as possible. No extra envelopes, papers, etc. They will also be on recycled cardstock, our save the dates as well as reply cards are postcards, eliminating an extra envelope and bringing down postage costs. You can check out a sample of what our save thhttp://eco-beautifulweddings.com/blog/eco-friendly-wedding-green-giveaways-freebies/are-you-a-cotton-bride-contest/e dates look like at: http://www.etsy.com/listing/53060874/earthy-and-economical-save-the-date . Another one of my wedding plans is to get this fabulous wedding band from green karat.It is made from recycled gold , the band is of flowers! It is the O’keeffe ring. Green karat also has a registry where family and friends can send in their old gold and they will use it to create your ring, how awesome is that? You can check them out here: http://shop.greenkarat.com/from-the-artists-studio-c6.aspx

    Good luck, again!

  21. I was so excited to see this contest! I have been looking at Chris Kole’s website ever since I got engaged, and I am in love with his dresses but could never think of affording them.

    I am a cotton bride in the truest sense, and that is part of my wish to have an eco-friendly wedding overall. My fiance and I are having e-invitations to go paperless, and are having our wedding in a city park. We are also doing a potluck dinner to really create a communal event, and asking everyone to use organic ingredients. In addition, we are buying used plates, silverware, and decorations at a thrift store to reduce, reuse and recycle! We are buying our flowers from a local farmer, and we will compost everything at the end of the day.

    I love Chris Kole’s dresses because they are stunning, cotton and made in the USA. What more could I possibly wish for. I hope I win the chance to wear one of his amazing dresses!

  22. My fiance and I are getting married on May 13, 2011, and winning one of these gorgeous dresses would be PERFECT for us!

    Our wedding is VERY eco-friendly. To start off, we are getting married in the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina, and the whole theme of our wedding is that we embrace the beauty in all things natural. We are not having any paper decorations that will later be thrown away, but instead we are just using mother nature’s scenery, which in our opinion is more beautiful than anything created by man- except perhaps for Chris Kole’s stunning dresses.

    Thanks for the opportunity, it would be amazing to win!!!

  23. My fiance and I are planning a wedding in the mountains of Wyoming. We are doing everything local, DIY, and recycled, from local wildflowers in mason jar centerpieces to locally caught trout and brewed beer. We want a low-key, vintage inspired wedding that is not only sustainable, but enjoyable to all of our guests! We’re skipping all the excess paper products and borrowing anything that can’t be reused or donated. Having a beautiful cotton dress from Chris Kole and The Cotton Bride would be the perfect gown to compliment our down-to-earth and locally-grown wedding. The dresses are not only elegant and unique, but they are made in the same fashion that we regard our planet: with sustainability in mind! I would love to surprise my fiance with a dress that he loves, and respects our plans for the wedding!

  24. Hello and Happy 2011!

    My fiance and I are so excited to get married this year. We are having an outdoor ceremony and reception on June 25, 2011 surrounded by our fabulous family and friends and by gorgeous tall oak and willow trees! A cotton wedding dress is exactly what I am looking for because it will be the most perfect fabric for me to enjoy the beautiful summer day in. I know a gauzy cotton wedding dress will be a fabulous compliment to my vintage wedding which includes mismatched and repurposed china plates and sea glass vases that I am slowly collecting at second hand shops. My wedding colors are green and white – HOW PERFECT IS THAT?! I want to be a cotton bride. Thanks, loves xoxo cottons and kisses.

  25. We are having a small outdoor wedding in September. We live in Northampton, Ma which is a very “green” area both in nature and way of life and we plan to incorporate that in every aspect of our wedding. Our favors will be rosemary plants and will double as table decor. Our china will be a mix match or family antiques both his side and mine. My rings are my great grandmothers and other jewelry is from his side of the family. His tux is his groomsman attire from his sisters wedding and although I was looking at used gowns this would be a beautiful alternative. I love that it is not only made of natural ingredients but made in the United States. I would be honored to wear such a beautiful and thoughtfully made gown.

  26. Rachel says:

    Greg and I are having a chic city wedding in September, in Chicago. Our caterer uses locally sourced food, a 1 page invite will limit paper, and both our ceremony & reception will be in the same spot, reducing transportation. I’ve just started seeking out a beautiful used gown, also. It’s more fun to make less impact.

  27. My fiance and I have been engaged since labor day of last year and are planning our wedding for August 27th in our sleepy Kentucky town. We had originally planned to go to the beach with our closest family and friends to decrease our impact since a large part of my family is in Florida. However, our plans changed after my grandfather was diagnosed with cancer. Our beach fete has become an organic country celebration and a short cotton bride dress would complete the look and feel of our day.

  28. A South Florida wedding is our dream,
    With friends, warm weather, and good cuisine.
    All I need now is a comfortable outfit
    to wear without scratching, sweating, or nonsense.
    If only I could avoid that mess,
    by having an eco-friendly cotton dress!

  29. Angela Morgan says:

    I am a first-time bride at 36 who will marry the love of my life on June 4, 2011 in the church my parents were married in. We are committed to doing our part to help protect our environment. We are diligent recyclers in our home lives and will carry that commitment into our marriage. We will have trash recycle stations set up at our wedding dinner reception.

    We are be giving guests at our reception a favor card on recycled paper telling them a donation has been made in their honor to one among several of our favorite eco-conscious charities.

    I am handmaking our programs and favor fans as DIY projects and each of the projects involves using recycled paper and all will be printed on eco-ink.

    A cotton bridal gown is the perfect choice for our natural wedding because it will be a focal point of the ceremony and a great chance to emphasize our commitment to eco-conscious living and convey simple elegance.

  30. Kirsten says:

    We plan on having our wedding at our house this summer, in Vermont.

    We have spent the past 5 years working on our 200 year old farmhouse. We recycle everything we possibly can…we have recycled the siding from our barns to build a family dining room table and other furniture that we use throughout the house.

    We are trying to use as much as we can from our own property and incorporate it into our event. We are trying to keep our wedding simple and elegant and down to earth. The wedding invitations will be on recycled paper and our centerpieces will be potted flowers that can be taken home and planted.

    My wedding gown will top it all off, I can picture myself in a natural cotton dress on a nice summer’s day with a warm breeze blowing across the field.

  31. When I was eight years old, my mother took me to a small tailor shop to have my First Communion dress made. Her dream was that my Communion dress be made of eyelet. I was in a big Anne of Green Gables stage, and I dreamed of having puffed sleeves. In the end, we both got our wish… Even though all of the other girls were in much fancier dresses made of silks and satins and lace, I felt just beautiful in my simple eyelet dress with puffed sleeves.

    I’ve never been the type of woman who dreamed about her wedding day. I figured I should dream about the man I’d marry, not a wedding. Then I met my fiance, and when he proposed this past Christmas, I started hoping that maybe I’d get to wear a cotton wedding dress all over again.

    My fiance is works as a JAG attorney in the Navy, and he’ll be relocating to Seattle, WA in April. I have to finish law school myself, so I won’t be joining him until the summer. When I do, I’ll be studying for the bar and searching for a job in education law. Between relocating, graduating, and preparing for a bar exam, my wedding planning isn’t – to say it kindly – too far along. To be wholly honest, I’m not entirely sure what goes into an eco-friendly wedding, but I’d like to plan ours so that it is. I’ve enjoyed reading the others’ comments to get ideas :-).

    In sum, I’m 26 years old, and I’ve been a bridesmaid more times than I have fingers to count on. I’ve seen all of the satin, lace, and silk wedding gowns my loved ones have worn, and while every gown was beautiful, not one of them seemed…well, like me. Then I saw The Cotton Bride website for the first time, and I really felt as if – here they were…the wedding dresses that I’ve been NOT dreaming about. I would love to wear one of those dresses on the day I marry the man I love. I’d love it even without puffed sleeves.

  32. Amber W. says:

    My fiancé’ and I have scheduled our wedding for June 18, 2011. The ceremony will be held in my hometown church. We’ll be ‘green’ with our ceremony decorations because we aren’t having very many! The church was built in 1884, and is beautiful in its own right with stain glass windows, old wooden pews, and an antique organ. The only décor will be an aisle runner (reused from another bride) and pew bows (reused from a stash of ribbons that my mother-in-law has tucked away), and a unity candle (reused from a friend’s wedding). The programs will be printed on recycled paper by my very own father who is a printer by trade.

    Our reception is located halfway between where the majority of our guests will be traveling from. Therefore, it will be less of a drive (and fuel) for everyone involved. We’ve also suggested on our wedding registry that guests not use wrapping paper if possible.

    Our caterer is located within our venue; therefore, they are not wasting extra fuel and dishes to bring the food to us. Our caterer also uses much of the local produce that is grown and harvested in the surrounding community. Additionally, we will be renting the china and linens from our venue (saving not only waste, but money as well!) Our venue will be decorated with in-season and locally grown flowers from a family friend. All of them will be repurposed as take-home gifts for our loved ones to enjoy. My bridal bouquet will be placed at my grandfather’s headstone, as he recently passed and is very special to me.

    I have also tried to be ‘green’ in other ways such as: promoting my bridesmaids to use dresses/shoes/jewelry they already own that match our color scheme, having the men rent instead of buy tuxes, decorating with family and friend’s vases/mirrors, repurposing gorgeous handmade napkins and runners from another bride, using my mother and father’s cake topper/cake knife/toasting flutes, hand making our favors, doing my own bridal make-up, and bringing containers to box up any unused food at the end of the night.

    Most people have great misconceptions about being ‘green’. It isn’t impossible, it isn’t all-or-nothing, it isn’t cheap, and it most certainly isn’t a trend that will fade. Being ‘green’ is simply savvy! I’m proud not only of the ways I’ve been able to make my wedding more eco-friendly, but proud of all the other brides who have commented so far on all the ways they’ve contributed (not to mention they’ve given me a few more ideas to try!)

    How can I possibly explain how fantastic it would be to be a Cotton Bride? I naturally tend to pick cotton in my everyday wardrobe because it breathes better, as I don’t do well with heat (read: I’ll faint). Therefore, finding a wedding gown is somewhat of a challenge. I was stumped on how to find something that was playful, elegant, comfortable, and green. I am BEYOND THRILLED to find out that “The fabric of MY life” makes wedding gowns, too. Not only are the dresses ‘green’, but they are stunning, fainter-friendly, made in the U.S.A., and are created by individuals who have decent working conditions. Thank you for this lovely opportunity. Whoever the ladies are who win will be thrilled!

    Good Luck Ladies!

  33. I’m 41 and getting married (first time for us both) on a extremely limited budget because my fiancee just his job last October. Due to his unemployment our wedding will now be small. We plan to wed on June 25th by a river in Colorado surrounded by beautiful mountains.I would love to wear a Chris Kole’s cotton dress, because it will fit our nature themed wedding. Plus Chris Kole’s dresses looks like I will be able ride my blue vintage bike down the isle without the fabric making it impossible to do so. We are keeping it simple, by doing no party favors, but instead donating money to nature conservancy and the national parks. All flowers will be from my mom’s garden and will be displayed in mason jars from her pantry. My mom and I will make fabric banners from my mom’s scrap fabric collection. All flatware, and Chairs will be borrowed from my mom’s local church. I would be honored if I won a dress from Chris Kole’s. Thanks for giving brides an opportunity to win a dress from this fantastic designer! Good luck to all!

  34. We are having a farm-to-table wedding on a small 4-acre vegetable, flower and chicken farm. All the linens will be vintage/used, as well as the plates. We have begun to collect them at thrift stores. It’s going to be very homegrown and cottony feeling. :)

  35. Lindsay Byron says:

    Hello! Thank you for this opportunity! I got engaged on Christmas day, but had to leave for Europe one week later (not returning until May). I tried to find a dress before I left, but there wasn’t anything in my price range that I loved. I almost bought a dress that was very pretty, but the lace was so itchy, I could hardly stand to wear it for 15 minutes, so I decided against it. Then my grandma offered to let me wear a beautiful lace dress that her mother made, but it is so delicate I would be afraid to dance in it! We are getting married in the mountains in August and I’d like to wear cowboy boots… a cotton dress would be the perfect solution! It would match our rustic theme, be comfortable to wear all day and your designs are beautiful. Thank you for reading this.

  36. Jessica says:

    Recently engaged, so we don’t have much planned. We want it to be simple and green.. and fun. Making paper flowers and centerpieces, no registry, taking donations for our local animal shelter.

  37. I must say, if I were a fabric, I’d have to be cotton. The delicate but resilient and natural characteristics of the fabric is something I find similar to my own personality. Pure, simple, and lovely is exactly what cotton reflects to me. The fact that it can be transformed into something exquisite and refined just shows how versatile it is.

    As a graduate student in international development I absolutely understand the importance of sustainability practices in everyday and (not so) everyday wear, including wedding dresses. I’m currently at New York University and many of my classes are held in the historic Silver building, one that has a tragic history of sweatshop labor. While it may be within our budget to purchase clothes made offshores, the reality is that our fashion comes at a high price, in human lives and with regards to the environment. As a result, I was so excited to read about the Cotton Bride contest. I met my fiance while volunteering with the Peace Corps and am continually committed to international development issues, which is one of the reasons why a cotton dress is so appealing to me. Knowing that my wedding dress is made using ethical and environmentally friendly practices is exactly what I want my wedding (and life) to be about.

    We are planning a very intimate New York wedding (possibly Brooklyn) for this summer to early fall either at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens or Prospect Park (two of my favorite places) and hope to incorporate gently used items with a rustic feel found from flea markets and second-hand stores throughout the city. While real flowers may be an option, I think putting together fabric bouquets and boutonnieres (with cotton of course!) will be an eco-friendlier way to incorporate decorations and reuse for future decor. We’ve also decided on New York as a location since many of my family members live nearby in New Jersey, which will reduce traveling (and fuel) costs for everyone. And of course, I’m very excited at the possibility of incorporating a Cotton Bride dress!

  38. Aimee Hillebrand says:

    I’m so excited for this! I’m so happy I stumbled across this before the chance to enter was over. This would literally be the icing on the cake.

    Alright now down to the nitty gritty. I live in Maine with my fiance. We live on a few acres of sustainable land. As a homeowner I’m always obsessing about what we’re putting out as far as waste. We recycle everything possible and compost. I refuse to use anything chemicals that are not made from the 5 main ingredients necessary to clean pretty much everything, vinegar, citric juice, baking soda, castille soap & borax. I never throw things away that can be donated. I love the dump and goodwill. We’re not broke we just think it unnecessary to waste.

    Clearly I’m going to bring this eco friendly attitude to our wedding. I had no budget that I particularly had to stick to for our wedding. We’re choosing to have it at a local historical site (Saint Gaudens). Preservation! The reception will be at my family’s house primarily so that people have the option to tent out in the backyard. My stepmother is a big antiquer. Collectively between my crazy yardsaling and her shop we’ll make all the decor for the wedding. The flowers will be grown at a friend”s house and since our wedding is in September, it’ll be approaching the end of the growing season. She’s agreed to let us use her field of wild flowers. I’m a graphic designer and our shop is so wasteful with our paper samples. I make us keep them all just in case. I will design my own invitations and all signage for the wedding. I’m actually really excited about this. I plan on silkscreen printing them if I can figure out how. All rentals are coming from local vendors and most things rented are reusable to make sure there is little trash. Candle light will be our primary lighting. We’ll have lit walkways and hanging lights as well.

    I love your dresses. It would be incredibly hard to decide just one (I’m sure I’ll figure out a way though haha). They scream my name and the whole feel for our wedding. I do feel like for all the effort I make with no expectation of reward this would be greatly rewarding with the gesture of such a beautiful, perfect dress to accompany our perfect day!

    Good Luck Ladies! I’m happy to see that so many of you are taking “green” into consideration!!

  39. lindsey k says:

    for our october 01 picnic wedding, we are making almost everything ourselves. our invites are going to printed at home on recycled paper with eco inks, our flowers are going to be picked from a local grower, decor is being made and resourced from a bag of fabric i found in my parents’ basement, and food is served on bamboo disposables. the favors we are giving out are little tree seedlings for our guests to take home and plant.

    i absolutely love these gowns and the fact that there are a ton of short dresses to choose from too, which is perfect for our outdoor celebration. love!

  40. ananda says:

    I’m so happy to be engaged to the love of my life and we intend to get hitched in May of 2012. We enjoy keeping our home ‘green’ wherever possible and I want that vibe to carry over to our big day. A cotton wedding dress would be a welcome addition toward that goal.

  41. What a cool collection! My fiance and I are getting married in May, and are trying to go green and local all the way. We’ve decided to get married in Boston within distance of public transportation, having reserved a block of hotel rooms right on the subway. We will be using a local school bus vendor to get folks to and from our wedding location, a nonprofit boathouse right on the charles. The boathouse is LEED certified, totally energy efficient. Best of all, our fees go toward the organization’s adaptive and youth rowing programs. We’ve been collecting used decorations for the past 9 months (vases, led lights and lanterns) and are working with a local farm to grow all of our flowers, which we’ll be planting into containers for our guests to take home. For food, we’re working with a catering company to use all local, seasonal, and (as possible) organic produce and meats. We’re using local breweries and distilleries for drinks. Finally, we’re going “paper lite” by doing electronic save the dates, information, and rsvps. It’s a total labor of love in all ways, but we can’t wait to have a wonderful time and show our guests how great a sustainable wedding can be!

  42. Alyson Adams says:

    These dresses actually look like I would enjoy wearing one! I am a gardener so I am in jeans and a t-shirt everyday and rarely wear dresses. Cam, my fiance, asked me to be his wife in San Francisco on December 11, 2010 with a backdrop of holiday lit boats along the harbor. Our plans, so far, are to be married on September 10, which Cam noted will be easy to remember… 9-10-11, at Aptos Village Park. Cam and I’s biggest support has been friends and family who have all wanted to help with our big day. Our cake will be made by a friend’s mom and will be tiers of rum bunt cakes; a simple mix of white dahlias, chartreuse feverfew and white yarrow will be grown by a friend who’s an organic nurseryman and then placed in awesome old blue mason jars; lawn games such as croquet and bocci ball, a huge bubble blower, ping pong and horse shoes will be set up by my dad for fun activities at our picnic wedding! I am so excited and have only begun to think about a dress, but comfort will be key to enjoy the day and nothing is more comfortable than cotton!

  43. Cotton endures. It gets stained, washed, and worn. It is both flexible and durable, both crisp and soft. It gives in all the right places. It breathes. It serves well. Cotton has stood the test of time…it is pure and lovely.

    I’d love a cotton wedding dress, not just to ameliorate my green lifestyle and my green wedding, but to symbolize the beginning of our marriage–a marriage that endures, that serves well, and that is pure and lovely. A marriage like cotton.

  44. Brittany T. says:

    I love the idea of a cotton gown – every other dress seems so stiff and heavy, I would love to have something to wear that is cotton. For my wedding in September we’re trying to be green. Our venue is very sustainable and partially powers their buildings by solar panels. They’re also going to work with us to include local and seasonal produce for our meal.

  45. Thank you so very much for the opportunity to win! We are DIY everything and all of our decor is made from upcycled materials! No vendors, very few things with shipping, just plain old elbow grease and creativity! Anything that we are are purchasing is from etsy – from handmade artists who share the same values that we do! –

    My best friend is a vegan chef at one of the top restaurants in Denver – so we are going to put her skills to work along with my own as well as my fiance’s using all locally grown organic produce and ingredients. We are staying in Colorado for our wedding which will cut down on travel, but we are moving soutbound as my fiance’s family lives in Arizona. Traveling a bit closer to them will cut down on the footprint they create to reach us. We are renting a house so that everyone can share one space rather than creating multiple spaces requiring cleaning and linens and disposable shampoos…. as cute as those single servings are – what a waste!

    We are also going with Deposit a Gift – a cash registry website so that we don’t wind up with an abundance of STUFF we do not need.

    Every aspect of our ceremony will be green… check out our wedding blog if you’re interested in more details!

  46. FullBodyPrayer says:

    My outdoor garden wedding is planned for October 1st, 2011. I have been looking for a natural dress with a bohemian but classy feel and the Cotton Bride is that exact dress!

  47. Cedarwood is an eco-passionate historic farm wedding venue in Nashville, and we work with about 80 brides each year. We adore Cotton Bride gowns because they are perfect for a southern farm or countryside outdoor wedding. We would love to offer a Cotton Bride dress to one of our confirmed 2011/2012 brides at our upcoming style open house Feb. 26. Every bride deserves the best on her wedding, and we wish all those who entered the best of luck!

  48. Laura P says:

    These gowns are so beautiful! I have been looking for a green option for my dress, and have considered pre-owned, but it is difficult to search (over and over) for the dress I want on the multiple pre-owned websites out there. I love that the Cotton Bride is making beautiful dresses as an option for new but eco-friendly wedding dresses.

    We are trying to make our wedding as environmentally friendly as possible. We do have some guests from across the country, and will be buying carbon offsets for them, as well as everyone who will be driving. For those from out of town, we will give them a carpool option with local guests/family instead of renting their own cars and going separately to wedding events. Paper products will be minimal and made out of recycled paper. Any extra info (directions, hotels, etc) will be on our wedding website and communitcated to less “tech-friendly” guests through phone calls.

    For the ceremony, we are using minimal decor (the chapel is already gorgeous) – just a chuppah made of bamboo poles with my fiance’s father and grandfathers’ prayer shawls to form the top. For the reception, we are using repurposed books and jars for centerpieces and minimal flowers (thinking of using cotton bolls!). We are having the caterer source as much as possible locally, and borrowing cake stands from family or shopping at flea markets if family does not have enough. We were not going to have favors, but then figured that leftover dessert, packed in recycled take-out boxes, would be perfect as a sweet takeaway instead of wasting delicious food.

  49. We aren’t renewing our vows until May 2012 which is our 5 year anniversary and when I graduate from nursing school. We eloped in May 2007 very impulsively and have never even exchanged vows. We’re having a very bohemian, hippie outdoor event with about 75 people. It’s at a gorgeous art studio that makes all sorts of blown art (including the blue birds of happiness) and I’ve always dreamed of having a lovely event there. A cotton dress would add just the right touch to this special event!

  50. My partner and I are getting married in my grandmother’s backyard in western MA in October 2011. We’re trying to make our celebration as eco-friendly as possible–we won’t have flowers, we’re having a vegan buffet made with local produce, we’re using compostable dishes and tablewear, we’re using email save the dates and a wedding website for most of our info, and we’re cutting out anything that feels unnecessary and not “us.” We are asking that guests donate in lieu of gifts or give using an online cash registry.
    I have been searching for a dress that will fit our casual, non-traditional ceremony and reception. My dream dress is made of organic, vegan-friendly, sustainable materials dyed with natural plant-based dyes. The embroidered cotton of the “Fireflies” collection is beautiful and exactly what I have been searching for!

  51. Susan says:

    The Bride Wore Cotton: A Love Story

    Once upon a summer, in the smoldering land of Atlanta, a young Southern gentleman knelt in a garden of a thousand flowers and asked a sweet Southern lady to be his bride.

    The ring was old, but new to her (just as she had dreamed it would be). From the moment he slipped it on her finger, she knew that because they treasured the earth as well as each other, their love would forever be growing and green.

    They would marry the first week of June, and invite the earth into every corner of their wedding. Her office would become the perfect green roof to shelter their guests, blooming with flowers and bright with natural sunlight (she couldn’t wait to dance the night away in her eco-fabulous heels, instead of walking the halls in her work boots). Together, they sent save-the-dates that saved the trees, gathered organic food and flowers from nearby farms, and pledged not to let anything that could be saved go to waste. They made the most of what was around them, refashioning and recycling what the earth had given them, and shunning those offerings from lands far, far away.

    And then there was the dress.

    The bride-to-be, who spent her days muddy-kneed from planting trees all over her beloved city, wanted a dress that would be soft and white; as effortlessly beautiful as the flower she would wear in her hair. But when she set out on her quest to find a second-hand dress, she found every gown was too large and heavy for her light heart. And the noise they made! The way they scratched and dragged! Where was a dress that moved like the breeze and felt like the sun on her skin?

    Then, out of the corner of her eye, she caught a glimpse of something light, and lacy, and lovely. It was soft and white, and effortlessly beautiful. As she neared the wondrous garment, her eyes widened and she whispered, “Could it be? Is that…cotton?” When she touched the flawless fabric she could feel the earth and the sun in it. When she slipped it on, her heart swelled, her head spun, and she knew – this gown was made for her…

    Because it felt like a summer sundress, but made her feel like a princess.

    Because it reminded her of the trees and the plants and the man that she loved.

    Because it was a simple, cotton dress, and she was simply a Cotton Bride.

    ***

    My name is Susan Pierce (soon-to-be Mrs. Pierce Cunningham!) and this is our wedding story. I want to thank you for giving me this chance, through your eco-enchanting magazine and the magic of Chris Kole, to give our story a fairy-tale ending – and our new life together a fairy-tale beginning – by making me a real Cotton Bride.

  52. Michelle says:

    We are very excited to preserve nature with our wedding. We are outdoor people that love life, the earth and the beauty of both. We are trying to decide location. Whether we decide the beach or a mountain top, we know we want our wedding to minimally affect our surroundings. Cotton would work perfectly we do the 5,000 elevation gain to mountain summit we are looking to get married on.
    Please help us to make our day even more special with your wonderful creations.

  53. Living sustainably has become so important to me, and now that I’m newly engaged, it’s something that I’m excited to have our wedding portray about our life together. I found The Cotton Bride online not too long ago; what a beautiful and natural way to be married! We’re going to try and reuse items from consignment stores in our decor rather than purchasing new decorations. We are going to use seasonal flowers, but truely my goal is not to use too many flowers at all since they really just get thrown away after the wedding is over. Instead, I’m going to use plants, grasses and succulents instead. Overall, we want this to be a wonderful and beautiful event but more importantly we want it to reflect who we are and what’s important to us and how we live our lives. What’s better than to show people that it doesn’t have to be an opulent affair to be fun and gorgeous. Thanks for the opportunity.

  54. Rhian S. says:

    We are planning on an outdoor ceremony in the ponderosa pine forests of northern Arizona. We are hoping for a casual yet sophisticated backyard wedding feel and a cotton dress would fit in perfectly! We are also trying to find a number of ways to have a green wedding. We are using a lot of items from our house to decorate the venue and only purchasing new items that we plan to use in our house. We are also using less paper in our invitations than the average invitation and I am making felt and vintage button bouquets instead of using fresh flowers.

  55. Amanda B says:

    My fiance and I are so excited to get married this year. We are having an outdoor ceremony and reception on June 12, 2011 surrounded by our fabulous family and friends and by gorgeous tall palm trees! A cotton wedding dress is exactly what I am looking for because it will be the most perfect fabric for me to enjoy the beautiful summer day in. My fiance and I have been purchasing decor for our wedding from thirt stores and yard sales to recycle!

  56. elaina herndon says:

    September 24, 2011. Berkshire County, MA
    A golden fall day.
    A magical Oak tree.
    A sacred fire burning.
    Honoring the magical elements of nature.
    Home grown flowers and food.
    A beaming bride-a magnificent groom.
    Children laughing.
    Giving thanks and giving back.
    Simplicity.
    Love and cotton.

  57. Erin Grimley says:

    For our fall wedding, we are currently ordering seed to grow most of the food for the reception ourselves. We are organic farmers beginning our first year running a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and plan on using our lifestyle as a model for our wedding. A dress by Chris Kole of The Cotton Bride would fit in perfectly.
    We are also growing all of the flowers for the bouquets. As I mentioned, the food and flowers will be raised using organic methods and will be cultivated with our electric tractor. Sounds like a lot of work, I know, but I am so excited just planning for it. I can’t wait!
    Additionally, I block print and plan on doing the save the dates and the invitations by myself on recycled paper. Like I said…a lot of work, but I’m so excited.

  58. Monica Zachar says:

    Daniel and I met six years ago, first holding hands beneath piles of soft blankets cuddling in groups with tens of friends on a dirt road, among the farm silos of grain, just to star gaze. It was an outing we loved dearly. The fabric smelled of life, sleep, and air, the kind that you brush off and carry around forever.

    Now in the polluted city of Chicago, I find myself seeking nature that seems to be disappearing. As an artist, I am drawn to the elements that are pure and genuine. I sculpted human figures from scraps of metal, hand-build great tree trunk ceramic forms with pounds of clay from the earth, and attempted to paint the splendid details in the texture of bark and petals using my fingers as my tools.

    I want nothing more than to celebrate my love for my best friend on our wedding day, feeling the same softness wrapped around me, holding me close, and breathing with me as we again hold hands under the stars. A cotton dress, laced with fabric that is pure, is perfect piece to a wedding created of birch tree branches collected from the storms, zinnia bouquets and centerpieces gathered from my mother’s garden, and antique decorations remaining from a lively history. A dress that is sculpted with the intention of honoring the value of the earth, detailed with love, and created to provide comfort on the most important of my life.

  59. Lindy says:

    Hi there! I love these dresses from the Cotton Bride!
    I’m a pretty simple gal and although being in a long term committed relationship has always been important to me, actually getting married hasn’t. For six years, I’ve been telling my beau that we didn’t really need to make our love official by getting married. Well, who knows what came over me but …I changed my mind.
    We’re both very conscientious people and living a sustainable lifestyle is important to us. We’re passionate about being vegan and eating locally and organically. We also compost, recycle everything we can and are strict about our energy and water consumption. Overall, we live pretty simply.
    Neither of us is really the traditional banquet hall type so we’ll be having a vegan barn yard picnic on a friend’s property in June. All I really want is for our wedding to be simple, sweet, out in nature, and most of all…fun! The ceremony will take place on the top of big hill that is referred to as “the top of the world.” It’s a beautiful place and overlooks a beautiful valley and mountains.
    We’ll be doing almost everything ourselves with help from family and friends. The will be prepared by a couple who have a nearby organic farm who also do delicious catering. So, the food they make will come straight from their farm. We’ll even be serving their homemade elderberry wine. Many of the side dishes will be prepared using ingredients they canned from last years crop. To top it off,they make their own bread, seitan, and tempeh, everything we need for a vegan picnic. They also use all compostable plates, cutlery, etc. made from corn. So awesome!I’m so happy to have found them.
    After the wedding, we’re all staying at a campground that’s about two miles away. It’s going to be super fun!
    Finding a wedding dress has proved to be the only glitch in my wedding planning. I’ve searched specifically for a vintage cotton wedding dress. I only want cotton. It’s the only way to be comfortable outside on a summer day. The vintage search hasn’t gone so well. So, when I found out about the Cotton Bride in your magazine I was so excited! I am totally in love with one of their dresses from the Firefly collection! It feels like it was made for me! Their style is so simple yet elegant and so unique to them. Their are no dresses out there that have the same level quality and the fact that they use sustainable materials makes them perfect. They’re beautiful!

  60. I would love to be a Cotton Bride. I have dreamed of wearing a Chris Kole wedding gown since before I met my fiancé, Fred. Sorry to be a bit cliché—I love the touch, feel, and look of cotton; it is the “fabric of my life”, followed by silk and linen.

    About Us
    I’m originally from Oregon; Fred is from Haiti. We met at All Saints Episcopal Church in Sunnyside, NY in August 2007. We are unemployed students (or recent graduate in my case) loaded with loans and paying for our own wedding. I have a background in art history and color (from FIT in NYC) and am a natural foods chef (from Natural Gourmet Institute in NYC) who just finished grad school in communications at Columbia (and yet to be employed full-time). I work with a non-profit twice a month at a public school in Harlem teaching children how to prepare healthy snacks and meals. Fred studied medicine in Haiti and France and is now in grad school at NYU-Polytechnic. Our mantra: “healthy food + healthy planet = healthy, happy people”. My dad passed away from an unexpected heart condition at age 43—I was 13. Since then I have been committed to promoting the health of all people as well as our planet.

    Our Wedding
    New York-Green-Budget Wedding. These words don’t really belong together, but that’s who we are. We are challenged by every decision, including my gown. We are planning an August 2011 New York church wedding (hot, I know, which is another reason why I’d love to be a Cotton Bride) with a simple, yet elegant cake and punch reception. Fred’s uncle plays in a string quartet, so they will play during the reception—no electricity needed.

    Our plan is to reuse, recycle or donate every element. We will be using recycled paper for invitations (no extra envelopes, etc.), and locally-grown organic vegetarian food and local flowers. Most of our guests will be coming from the New York area, which will reduce our carbon footprint. We will be borrowing a vacation home at Lake George for our honeymoon. We will be going to Oregon for a West Coast reception and I would love to wear my gown again there. I would like to alter the gown and wear it even more (or donate it to a bride in need). With pride and gratitude I would be honored to work with Chris Kole as a Cotton Bride. Thank you for this opportunity and all the best to the other brides!

    Thanks,
    Stacy

  61. Ohhh! It would be an honor to win one of these dresses. Actually this is not the first time I’m getting married, but it is the second time. I’m marrying the same man! Our first nuptuals took place in our home, civially, and we now plan to have God as our witness next summer. About us and our wedding. We are both work at home parents and that isn’t going so good, but we are continuing with our wedding plans. We are having a eco-friendly asian chic style wedding. We will be doing everything ourselves and we thank our family for helping our dreams come true as well. It will be a joyous and sad day. Why sad? Because we both lost our fathers a few years ago and we will be honoring them at our wedding as well. I am a “Cotton Bride” because I am passionate about wanting our children to grow-up in a non-toxic world where they can enjoy the outdoors and indoors equally, without being afraid of any man-made materials that may harm them. I want to translate that into our wedding as well and show everyone that a wedding doesn’t have to take a chunk out of your pocket nor mother earth!
    Thank you & best of luck to all the “Cotton Brides!”

  62. Oh goodness where to begin…? Well My wedding date is set for June of 2012 so I have plenty of time to make almost EVERY thing for the wedding and reception.

    I want to make the invitations from scratch, on home made paper, and organic ink. I’m going to grow all of the food to give to my guests. For my brides maids I’m making them their necklaces and earrings from home made clay!!

    All of the decorations will be hand made or recycled. The streamers that will show the way to the guests seating will be old fabric I find around my house, the table linen will be hand sewn. The candles will be bees wax from a friends bee farm.

    EVERY THING for my front yard wedding will be hand made with love. I thought about making my own dress but I’m not the best sewer in the world and know I would do something wrong, But when I saw your website! OH I was in AWE!! your dresses are just right for me.

    I’m a country girl stuck in the swing-in ’50s. I love your tea length dresses. The look of them, vintage yet country’ish.

    The dress I (may) win, will go so perfectly with my all green wedding.
    I have so many ideas for the wedding I could be here for the rest of the day. But I will share just a few more ideas,

    I plan on giving away the napkins and table linens to the guests who would like them instead of just throwing them away. I will use old mason jars as drinking glasses and candle and flower holders, so that when they are done being used I may reuse them for canning that years garden harvest.

    That is my green wedding. Out of the norm, back woods, swing dancing wedding. This is going to be the most unique wedding anyone in our family has ever seen. But it will be me! And winning one of these dresses will not only make me look a part of that wedding, It will make me FEEL like one of a kind. The kind of girl my fiance’ fell in love with. :)
    Thank you for the chance to win one of your Beautiful Dresses.
    Thank You. ~*Caitlynn

  63. LauraW says:

    This summer in Shakespeare’s Garden (Central Park, NY), my fiancé surprised me with the best moment of my life. As we walked up the flower-lined path, reading quotes from Shakespeare’s most famous plays, I wasn’t the least bit suspicious. At the top of the hill, he had laid out a romantic picnic, my favorite flowers and the most memorable engagement I could imagine! We spent the rest of that Friday night walking through the park, enjoying an incredible and unforgettable dinner, then a making few visits to surprise our friends.

    After our engagement this summer, and because I just started a Master’s program in a state halfway across the country, we’ve been taking the whole process slowly. We’ve been casually dreaming up ideas for our perfect wedding for either this summer (2011) or next (2012). Our ideal wedding would be much like our engagement (and the summer farm weddings described below): simple yet elegant, FUN, outdoors (wooden picnic tables, sunflowers in mason jars, local food, etc.) and our closest friends. Now it’s just a matter of what our budget allows (it’s just he and I – well, he, since I’m in school – putting it on).

    Over the last few months, my family and friends have accompanied me to a few different places to try on wedding dresses. Time and time again, the dresses felt stiff, suffocating, stifling or just “not me.” I’m a country girl at heart and I wanted the feel of cotton, of something natural, but nobody knew where to find it. Then I found one place.

    I found the Cotton Bride (and visited this December). I wanted to find a look that was elegant and beautiful, yet as comfortable and lightweight as possible. With such skepticism from other retailers, I never thought it would be possible. Chris Kole has created something truly unique and special. Nothing I’ve tried has offered such natural elegance – and still made me feel like myself – as all of the dresses at the Cotton Bride. I never thought I would be somebody who tried on the dress and “just knew” which one was right. At the Cotton Bride every dress fit and felt just right! Every time I walked out with a new dress, my friends said “now, this one is YOU!” It was as if it was meant to be. I left that night exhilarated! I can’t put into words how incredible it would be to win one of these dresses for my wedding. It would absolutely make my day complete!

    *I acknowledge that my entrance in this contest may be null and void as my wedding date is not yet determined, but I figured I would at least let all who’ve posted here to look at the Cotton Bride even if you don’t win this contest. I’ve looked around and haven’t found anything that compares in quality, comfort, and romantic and timeless elegance.*

  64. Nadine says:

    I am absolutely in love with so many of the dresses I see on The Cotton Bride website. The Diana in particular is my dream dress. I live in Arcata, Ca and my amazing fiance proposed to me in Mendocino, Ca on a romantic weekend at the end of a 5 mile hike in the Jug Handle Park- after 3 1/2 years together. My fiance is a local architect whose design philosophy for building is similar to what Chris Kole’s are for dress design.
    I love the outdoors and try to leave a light footprint in every aspect of my life. Our wedding date has been set for September 4, 2011. We plan on having our reception at a local restaurant that uses only local, organic ingredients in their absolutely amazing food. The ceremony will be on a nearby beach at the end of a short hike through the redwoods.
    I honestly visit the Cotton Bride website every day, hoping and dreaming that somehow I will be able to afford the dress I want! I’ve tried to cut budget in several other areas of the wedding to move some money over to the ‘dress’ budget but it hasn’t quite worked. Ha. We are trying to have an eco-friendly, yet elegant wedding that reflects who we are as a couple and what we stand for in our lives. Having a huge budget and spending more than necessary does not follow that path. However, I keep being told I have champagne taste on a sparkling cider budget. Lol.
    I found this contest because I googled “used cotton bride dress” hoping maybe a bride who wore one was going to sell her dress! Told you I was obsessed! I can’t bring myself to commit to another dress as I keep holding out hope for the Cotton Bride…….
    I don’t know how else to say it: PLEASE choose me and you won’t regret it. I feel myself, my fiance and my beliefs emulate what you believe a Cotton Bride to be. To see the twinkle in his eye when I meet him at the end of the aisle in a dress like these………..ahhhh sweet perfection on a sweet day.
    Thanks for considering me!!!!!
    -Nadine

  65. Maggie says:

    We’re planning a wedding on an old ranch in Northern California.
    Think: Olive grove ceremony, barn dance, mexican feast, and whiskey!
    We’re planning on making and re-using as much as we can.
    Think: Handmade harvest tables, homegrown flowers, and and handknit placemats.
    We’re planning on having a ton of fun.
    Think: 80’s dance party, Irish family toasts, and lots of friends.
    We’re broke as fuck.
    Think: Artist and teacher.
    Love the designs! Thanks for having this contest!

  66. One of my bridesmaids just introduced me to this amazing line and I am in. love. Thanks for the chance to win a lovely dress!

  67. Melinda R says:

    We’re having a small ceremony overlooking the ocean. I’m wearing my grandmother’s wedding dress and a pair of Tom’s shoes (buy one, give one). Our wedding is green because we aren’t having dozens of people travel to attend and we’re reusing (dress, chairs from work, etc).

  68. There are two things that wedding planning has revolved around since our engagement: budget and having a wedding that really reflects our personalities. As with most brides, my fiance and I are on a tight budget for our wedding. Despite some help from our parents, we are always looking to save money – we didn’t want to spend a small fortune! We have discovered along the way that having a more eco-friendly wedding is not as expensive as it seems!

    One of the small ways we are saving money, but adding lots of character, is by consciously using recycled and recyclable materials for decorations, etc. Rather than spending lots of money on new fancy glass vases, we’re re-using empty jars, wine bottles and cans we’ve saved. That way, rather than being tossed out after the wedding, they can continue to be recycled. We love wine, among other things, so this has been a fun way to incorporate it into our wedding in a unique way.

    My fiance is from Maine and has a deep appreciation for nature and the outdoors, so that has greatly influenced the direction of our wedding. Our colors even include green and brown! Our wedding ceremony will be held in a gorgeous garden in the summer (my favorite season), and we are using a caterer and a florist that use almost exclusively local, seasonal ingredients, flowers, etc. Even at our home in Brooklyn, we try to be locavores as much as possible, so ensuring that our wedding reflected this was really important to us. And amazingly enough, “buying local” is also helping us save money.

    As for the dress, cotton couldn’t be more perfect! Summers in NY are very hot and humid, and I’ve been hard-pressed to find an elegant dress that I can imagine wearing and dancing in all through a hot summer night! I tend to get overheated easily in warm weather, and cotton dresses are the staple of my summer wardrobe. The Cotton Bride dresses are so amazingly beautiful and unique and I’ve often had to do a double-take to confirm that some of them are cotton! Light and airy (in dress and spirit) is exactly what I’m going for, and I would be very blessed to win one of these dresses! Thanks for offering such a great giveaway!

  69. Courtney P. says:

    Thanks to everyone for sharing such inspired stories about their upcoming weddings. It reminds me, when I am perched at my computer pulling my hair out, that I am not alone in this crazy journey of planning a wedding with style and a commitment to good design, despite a tiny budget!

    I am a DIY girl at heart and always have been. I am the best friend or dutiful sister that plans all the events and makes sure that all the details are taken care of. And, now its my turn—frankly I am freaked out. We are planning a November wedding at an apple orchard in Indiana. I can literally DIY my way out of a paper bag to make ends meet and the end result will be amazing and eclectic, but this wedding dress thing has my back against the wall!

    So, while my bridesmaids are all thin, tall, and stunning, I am on the opposite end of the spectrum. Committed to getting healthy by the wedding and on my way, but no matter how many reps on the treadmill, I will never be a thin bride.

    Chris Kole respects the beauty in all women and all shapes. His dresses are amazing. The cottons, the lace — truly to die for. The beauty with the Cotton Bride dresses is that even I could have one to fit this “challenging” frame. I wont have to sacrifice a beautiful dress, just so I can have something that I fit into. Please save me from one of those over-adorned poly-satin numbers with a heart cut out on the back and sleeves!

    I would be so proud to wear a Chris Kole gown…and I firmly believe despite my size or maybe even partly because of it, I would look beautiful in it on my wedding day (as we all would) because good design and good craftsmanship can transform a dress from tragic to transcendent.

    I wish all the ladies that took the time to blog about their special day the very best. Every bride deserves to feel amazing on that day. And, to the sponsors of this contest, I say THANK YOU for thinking about the little-budget people! :)

    xoxo.

  70. Meridy says:

    I am a cotton bride.
    My groom is a cotton groom.
    My flowers are going to be cotton flowers.
    Our wedding is going to be a cotton wedding.

    Our wedding is in a friends backyard. Guests that local are going to ride their bikes to our wedding. Out of town guests will be taking the bus or the shuttle we are providing. We are going to lay down blankets instead of renting tables to cut emissions of the truck that would have to drive the rentals around town.

    But most of all, do you know how hard it is to sit on a blanket in a typical wedding dress? Impossible. On my wedding day I want to be able to enjoy the picnic feeling that my guests will enjoy. I would love to be able to have a dress that matches the feel of our wedding day. The Cotton Bride collection has that dress.

  71. madelynne says:

    I am getting married in October 2012 and have just begun wedding planning. I am so overwhelmed by costs and choices! I have quickly come to realize that the easiest way to get the wedding of my dreams is by reusing things for decor.

    I want to get married in a beautiful church and have a reception in an old loft downtown. Our colors are going to be grey, white, and yellow, with green accents. We are going “green” by using biodegradable confetti, re purposing old bottles, votives, and candles, and using lots of plants that can be replanted (rather than picked flowers). We also want to make lots of decorations from things we have around the house, such as tissue paper.

    A cotton bride dress would be perfect for me because I love to dress up, but I also love to be comfortable. I wear jeans on a daily basis and when I go out, I get really dolled up.

    Being an architect-in-training, I have the utmost respect for people that are trying to go green. It is very hard to do and requires lots of extra time, energy, and effort. I commend the efforts of The Cotton Bride and would be so proud to wear one of their dresses!

  72. Chelsea says:

    Our wedding is going to be a laid-back non-formal affair with our closest friends and family. We are going green by doing all e-vites, e-save the day, and a wedding site/blog to avoid wasting paper. our rings will be conflict-free or even wooden bands. all food and flowers will be organic and locally grown. i’m even thinking of having gardening seeds as our favors!

  73. Sarah D. says:

    A cotton dress would be wonderful, cotton is so light and airy! Our reception is going to be all vegetarian, our invitations only have one piece, with the rest of the info online and there are going to be very few flowers, if any. Whoever wins this is a very lucky gal; good luck to everyone!

  74. Caroline says:

    What amazing dresses–this is such perfect timing! I am planning my wedding for August 20, 2011, and one of the factors that has had me going around in circles is what to do about “the dress.” I am the bride that Chris Kole was talking about in this interview: nontraditional (in almost every way) and wanting to make my wedding a unique, personal event. We are planning a simple outdoor wedding on my aunt’s property out in the country, and rather than spending money on all the things the wedding industrial complex would have us think are important, are focusing on making our day a big party to celebrate us, our families, and friends. The ceremony will be short, and the party to follow will be long.

    A personal standard that I apply to every area of life is to be as eco-friendly as possible, and my wedding is no exception. To that end, I am using as many vintage, thrift store, and otherwise reusable items as possible for decoration. I am sending e-vites rather than paper invitations. I will be using local, in season flowers, and I will locally source as many food items as possible. I want my dress to reflect this standard as well. In addition, I want to be pretty on my wedding day, but I also want to be comfortable. My personal style is not anything like the dresses I see at the average bridal store, and I had almost resigned myself that at least one of those things I wanted in a dress would have to be sacrificed. These beautiful, comfortable, eco-friendly dresses are the answer to my dilemma, and I will be waiting on pins and needles to see if I am chosen to receive one :)

  75. Jennifer says:

    We’re planning our wedding in San Clemente, CA. Half of our guests are flying in from Sweden and Norway. In order to save money and a little less stress on the environment (AKA hotels) we’re renting a beach house for the bridesmaids and groomsmen to all stay at. All of the food served at the rehearsal dinner and at the reception will be organic or locally grown with many vegetarian options (since I am one). The party favors are all upcycled, recycled, or thrift store bought. We won’t be using any flowers because I refuse to buy regular flowers with all their pesticides. So we will be making our own flowers from recycled newspapers and magazines. All the wedding reception gifts and bridesmaids gifts will be purchased from thehungersite.com which donates food for every purchase. So far we bought/donated 400 cups of food. I would love to proudly wear one of the cotton wedding dresses to top off my eco-friendly wedding <3

  76. Jennifer says:

    Oh I forgot to add that my wedding is this summer 8/19/2011 and my birthday is valentines day so this would be a great birthday present!

  77. Susan says:

    I am just beginning the planning stages of our wedding, but I find myself always coming back to elements that are simple, beautiful and honest to myself. I am slightly amazed at the concept that little girls are princesses and grow up to have big princess weddings. It is so far from the reality of our everyday lives.

    I want our wedding to honor our lives together and be a celebration of our decision to spend our lives together. I want to be outdoors and serve delicious organic food and live music. Our centerpieces will be natural fabrics and oranges. Our cake will include Texas pecans from my grandmother’s front yard. And I hope to wear a beautiful cotton dress designed by Chris Kole.

  78. Emily A. says:

    I haven’t picked a date or a venue yet, but I know I’m going to take several steps to reduce my wedding’s carbon footprint – like having the ceremony and reception in the same place, filling our wedding menu with delicious, local fare, and making sure my dress and my bridesmaids’ dresses are eco-friendly, and ethically produced! :)

  79. Jim and I (Monica) met in San Francisco, CA as we caravanned our way up to the magical destination of Black Rock City for Burning Man 2010. We were both “virgins” to the experience and we fell in love on that dusty playa, sharing food and drink, riding across the desert on our bikes from sunset to sunrise, dancing to our favorite music, and connecting with beautiful people young and old.

    Before going to Burning Man and meeting Jim, I didn’t believe in soul mates but we have this unified passion to help one another, and our sisters and brothers across the globe. We personify green living on a daily basis, Jim being a holistic healer, massage therapist and DJ/producer of electronic music, and me being a green event organizer in California. We both practice yoga and meditation, support ethical businesses and fair trade practices, eat organic/local foods, compost and recycle, and bike or use public transportation as much as possible. We surround ourselves with those that love and want to protect the Earth and its resources just as much as we do.

    Exactly a year later on Thursday, September 1, 2011, we will be unified by our friend Janine, founder of Green Wave non-profit (inspiringwavesofchange.org) who will officiate our Indian-themed wedding at Opulent Temple during sunset. The theme of Burning Man 2011 is “Rites of Passage,” and we couldn’t be happier to have our first wedding celebration witnessed by our loved ones and the thousands of people that make the trek out to the middle of nowhere Nevada.

    In planning our wedding, we will communicate via a wedding website instead of sending out paper invitations. We will also have an online wedding registry where we will request gifts that are locally produced, use eco-friendly goods and materials, and that will provide a donation to our favorite non-profit, Green Wave with every purchase. We will also be reusing materials from Janine’s eco-wedding last September and have some of our talented artist friends help with décor that can be reused and/or repurposed.

    The traditional wedding will most likely be on a San Diego beach (where I grew up) and rent a green home or venue nearby for the reception. We’ll have eco-transportation (hybrid or electric car) to and from the reception, and have our guests stay at a local green-friendly hotel. We want the event to feel like “home,” where we can host an intimate dinner with our family and friends, and enjoy biodynamic, locally produced/organic wine, beer and non-GMO food/appetizers, with a delicious vegan wedding cake to end the night!

    The reason we chose an Indian-themed wedding is because our honeymoon will be in alignment with the dawning of the Aquarian Age in Rishikesh, India, along the sacred river banks of the Ganges, where we will honor and celebrate the love for all people, the earth, and for one another (http://11-11-11yoga.com/).

    Jim and I are designing our rings out of recycled metals and conflict-free diamonds or a natural precious stone. We want to feel good about what we wear and support for the rest of our lives! For our wedding attire and that of our wedding party, I would like to have us all wearing some form of recycled, vintage, peace silk, or organic fabric/material.

    When I came across The Cotton Bride and this promotion, it truly spoke to me, and I especially love the style of the Adey dress. This style is what I’m looking for…classic, effortless, cotton, eco-glamorous! It will look amazing in pictures with a desert, beach, or sacred river bank in the background. The dress will receive a lot of exposure, and it would be an honor to support your business. Thank you Mr. Cole for believing in the sustainability movement and for making many brides blissful and eco-beautiful!

  80. The venue I’m getting married at on July 31st this year is completely green – they recycle and purify their own drinking water, their furniture is reclaimed wood and the actual site of it is a rejuvinated old car mechanic’s shop! In addition, I am making all of my decorations from flowers and yarn – which I plan on giving away as favors. We are also doing an “iPod” wedding saving energy at our venue. We have also encouraged our guests to take the bus or carpool to our venue’s site! I plan on personally driving my Prius to and from!

  81. I’m getting married June 4th 2011 in panhandle of florida, so a coton dress would be amazing in the heat.
    We are giving live plants, we’ve grown, as favors.

  82. Rachel says:

    I’m getting married July 15th 2011. We are going green by buying most of our decorations from thrift stores as well as making them ourselves. One of the requirements for purchasing items from the thrift store for the wedding is, can we reuse this item later (i.e use it to decorate our new home?)?, and is it something the guests would love to take home at the end of the night? Going along with our believes of vegetarianism our reception will be vegetarian and our cake vegan. I would absolutely love to have a cotton wedding dress, not only would it feel amazing in the summer heat, but I would be wearing a vegan dress.

  83. We have just started planning our wedding and both want it to be as ‘green’ as possible which started with my fiance’s grandmother’s engagement ring! So far we’ve planted seeds and bulbs so we can grow most of our own flowers, started collecting glass jars and bottles for table decorations and food tins to make tea light holders. I am a jeweller and hope to make sea glass and pottery pieces as favours for the ladies! We haven’t even sorted a date yet but my dress snooping online led me to The Cotton Bride and the dresses are simply beautiful!

    Love this site and hope all you other brides to be have a fabulous time!

  84. Alyssa Brown says:

    As my love and I plan our farm wedding in Northern California for April 9th of this year, we find ourselves reinforcing that we each want the other to be him or herself. This extends beyond my fiancé letting his hair grow and wearing sneakers and me going through the day without makeup or mirrors; it is sharing a commitment to allow the event to develop organically, with the contributions of family and friends. The integrity of the earth will be showcased in many details. I am making our invitations from paper and envelopes that can be planted to yield wildflowers later in spring. I am beyond proud that my mom is knitting our bouquets, using hand-dyed yarn that she spun herself from the fleece of her own sheep. In fact, we will not use any cut flowers, but will instead choose decorative pieces that we will treasure long after the day we are wed. My brother will craft a wooden arch for us that can later grace his garden for many years to come. We will eat on compostable flatware, toast with glasses from thrift stores, and use solar energy to power our first dance of the reception to our last.

    Thus, we will be as considerate of the environment and as grateful for the bounty of the land as we are of and for each other, but the event will still take its toll. Given that we will travel a great distance (across the country) to be near my family for the wedding, the need to offset carbon emissions crosses my conscience. Equally, looking for natural fiber-friendly gowns has also proven difficult–but a cotton bride finds a way!

    I smile when I think about the combination of elegance and toil that must go into the design and execution of a cotton bride’s vision. There is something effortless about the material, something so tangible and quotidian; at the same time, the cotton gown represents the kind of homage to the earth for which an eco wedding strives. To harness energy from renewable resources to create a symbol of great love: I admire that process to no end. To carry myself into my wedding day draped in this idea and this fabric would be an act of grace that I would remember with every footstep.

  85. KHbride says:

    We are getting everything local. We’re using flowers that are grown in the area, and food that is all locally grown. We are having a beach wedding, so a lot of the decor will be the natural beauty of the ocean. We’ve also arranged a shuttle for our guests, to cut down on individuals having to each drive (also to get everyone home safe and sound).

  86. I’m working with a darling Eco friendly bride on a serious budget. Nothing would make me happier than to be able to provide her with one of these stunning gowns! (she doesn’t know I entered this contest for her). The appliqué flowers are fantastic and would be an inspiration for reception decor! wish me luck in winning this for Natasha.

  87. Hey there! We are going quite ‘green’ with our wedding; our wedding project is called ‘Project: Priceless’ and in just over 3 months of work, has gained serious notoriety. Our goal: to beg, borrow, trade, and loan items for our wedding so that we have a completely free-of-charge event. We’re encouraging previous brides and existing bridal businesses to donate/trade/loan items that are going to waste or are stuck in storage. So far we’ve had over 14,000 hits on our blog in just four months, and have received over 65 offers of used (and new) items. We are really working hard to have a ton of local goodies (focusing on the ‘100 km’ idea) and we’re still stalwartly seeking some specific things, like *biodegradable* cutlery and flatware. We are even helping other brides to find some key missing pieces to their own weddings!

    You can check out our blog at http://www.projectpriceless.blogspot.com

    Thanks for the opportunity to win a dress!

  88. Our wedding will take place at my family property on June 25, 2011. We are making our favors, the food, the centerpieces, and working with a very small budget. All of the vendors are local, the flowers and food are all seasonal, local items and the wedding is being planned with the intent to have the smallest amount of waste possible. Our linens are being made by my mother out of fabric we found at an estate sale – and the centerpieces will be incorporating my vintage camera collection, my grandmothers tea collection and flowers we are growing on the property. The favors will be jams made from fruit grown organically on the property, and the desserts (no cake) will be made from ingredients locally grown or grown on the property. Cotton would be a perfect choice for my dress as we are getting married in the middle of the summer, in an all outdoor event. The wedding is vintage/rustic inspired, and will be focused on comfort, and sharing a day of love — not how over the top we can make the decor look. Im a little bit hippie hes a little bit punk, so our wedding is going to be somewhat non traditional, and a non traditional dress would be perfect! PLEASE PICK ME!! :)

  89. Kfloveinme says:

    I just started my wedding plans & we are doing our best to be green. First, we are having our wedding in the caribbean..outdoors. The only decoration I would need is the beauty of our earth. That also means that we will be having waaay less people then we would if we had it at home in NY. That will save us lots of green. LOL! Next, we are looking for the perfect eco-invites & seriously considering sending evites. Also, I plan on making my bouquet out of recycled paper. I’m doing research on how to do it. Lastly, making sure that all foods grown locally.

    Thank you for a beautiful giveaway!

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