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Life & Work with Emily Thomas and Maria Karagiannis

Today we’d like to introduce you to Emily Thomas and Maria Karagiannis. Them and their team share their story with us below:

Emily Thomas and Maria Karagiannis met in the Toward Zero Waste group on Facebook in fall of 2019 and, after realizing they were both planners who value sustainability, decided to meet in-person for coffee. They talked about how important vendor education is in shifting the wedding industry in a greener direction, and it was there in that coffee shop that the Green Wedding Guild was born: an organization aimed at raising awareness and educating wedding professionals about sustainable wedding and business practices. The Green Wedding Guild officially launched in March of 2020, just at the onset of a global pandemic, and so all educational content was made virtual from the beginning. This ultimately allowed the Green Wedding Guild to reach a larger audience and expand its membership across the United States and parts of Canada.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Launching a business in the wedding industry during a global pandemic posed a significant obstacle, however we adapted and were fortunate enough to find a silver lining in the uncertainty. Shifting our educational workshops and content to be online allowed us to expand our membership beyond our local area of North Carolina much more quickly than we had initially planned.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
We specialize in supporting wedding professionals and couples in adopting greener practices. We are most proud of the sense of community within this organization and to work with so many talented wedding pros working toward a greener industry.

How can people work with you, collaborate with you or support you?
Wedding professionals may join the Green Wedding Guild by applying on our website (, and we are always looking for new ways to collaborate with other like-minded individuals and organizations! We love to bring in experts on various topics to help lead monthly educational events for our members. If you would like to collaborate, please send us an email at


  • Membership is $150/year

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Jaclyn Auletta, Copper Key Photo, Rose Trail Images

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