Save Green with a Green Wedding
Five new eco ideas that save money and the Earth! (expert advice)
By: Tracy DiNunzio of Recycled Bride
Photos By: Desi Baytan
Think you'd have to break the bank to have an eco-friendly wedding? Not so! Greener choices can also help you save green, while impressing guests with Earth-savvy style. So go ahead and wear a gorgeous designer gown (or two!), serve delicious organic food, and create an eco-chic reception, all for less than a conventional wedding would cost. Here's how:
1. Reduce, reuse, recycle...and resell!
Buy once-worn and gently used wedding dresses, decorations, and accessories on Project Wedding's classifieds or sites like eBay or Recycled Bride. You'll save up to 90% off retail, and help reduce the demand for newly manufactured items, which conserves resources and energy. And after the wedding, you can resell the very same items to another bride. One Recycled Bride member bought her Vera Wang wedding dress on the site for $3,500, then sold it for the same exact price. She paid only for shipping and cleaning, bringing the total cost of her designer gown to less than $300!
2. Go local & seasonal for food and flowers
Not only will fresh local produce and flowers taste and smell better, they'll save you a bundle! The Green Bride Guide says that the average price of conventional wedding flowers is $2,000, while local organic blooms cost just $200-$400. And when you buy from ethical and local growers, you'll avoid the chemicals, pesticides, and carbon footprint of imported food and flowers. Not sure where to get the goods? Hit up your local farmer's market and ask vendors for leads about catering and flowers for events.
3. Be paper-free!
There are tons of ways to communicate with your guests without spending a fortune on paper invitations and other wedding stationery. Look for online animated wedding invitations which can be coordinated with your wedding website. Virtual save-the- dates, invitations, and response cards are extremely affordable- at just $50 to $200, this saves you hundreds or thousands of dollars over paper stationery. Instead of ceremony programs and menus- use chalkboards!
4. Register green!
What's the greenest wedding gift around? Cash! Requesting monetary gifts for a new home, a honeymoon, or a favorite charity can help you save money and save the planet. You'll skip all the waste generated by wrapping paper, shipping and packaging materials for traditional gifts, and save the carbon generated by sending hundreds of guests to the mall to shop for your presents.
5. Thrifting is thrifty & chic
Have a blast scouring thrift shops for vintage mix 'n match servewear to create a unique and affordable table setting! Find mason jars to hold plants and flower arrangements, and creative centerpiece items like bowls, books, and vases. Candles and other elegant decor items can also be found for a steal at most thrift shops.
Before becoming a wedding recycling superhero,Tracy worked as an artist and writer, and spent many years traveling the world in search of adventure and great chocolate ice cream. When Tracy met Robert, she finally decided to settle down, and so they celebrated with an extravagant wedding that left them up to their ears in once-worn dresses and ties, spare decorations, and heart-stopping credit card bills. Tracy knew that there had to be a better way for women to plan beautiful weddings without the waste—and so Recycled Bride was born. Her blog naturally followed, giving Tracy and the Recycled Bride community a place to sound off and share ideas for creating a smarter, greener lifestyle, on their wedding day and every day.