Something Old, Something New, and Something Green

A wedding is supposed to be one of the most important events in a person’s life.  In order make their wedding day magical and memorable couples spend thousands upon thousands of dollars (according to Earth911 the cost of the average US wedding is now up to $30,000) and plan the event down to the smallest details. Unfortunately planning a wedding can be overwhelming and couples might not think of the environmental impact involved in throwing the perfect marital extravaganza.  According to Green Bride Guide the average wedding will produce an average of 62 tons of carbon dioxide and 400-600 lbs of garbage.

As a (early/belated) wedding gift to my readers I have compiled some helpful tips for throwing a greener wedding.

Invitations and Other Paper Goods

Between Save-The- Dates, Invitations, RSVP cards, and Thank You Notes many trees are sacrificed in the process of invite guests to a wedding. Though doing everything through email or online RSVP websites would be the ultimate way to reduce a weddings reliance on paper goods ,most brides and grooms want something a little classier and more substantial.  Some ways to reduce the impact of invitations include opting for invitations made from recycled paper or opting for invitations made from alternative fibers like hemp and bamboo. Consolidating inserts and invitation mailings are another way to reduce the amount paper used.


It seems like everyone I know not so secretly dreams of an exotic beach destination wedding so they can feel at one with nature when they get married. Unfortunately exotic destination weddings aren’t a very green option when you consider the environmental impact of all the travel. When planning the location for a wedding try to consider the amount of travel required by guests. Reducing travel time not only cuts the carbon footprint of the wedding but also lessens the stress for your guests.

The Dress

Shows like Say Yes to the Dress show brides spending thousands of dollars on blinged out gowns that they will only wear once.  This is a great option for the many women who want a dress of their own that they can  keep for memories after the wedding is over but a new trend in wedding dresses is buying (and selling) a recycled a gown. Not only does this allow the bride to save money but dress recycling is also eco friendly.

Another, more traditional, dress recycling option is wearing a family member’s old wedding dress and either having it fit at a tailor or repurposing it.

Sites to buy used gowns include: preownedweddingdresses.com, Smartbride Boutique, Recycled Bride, Wore It Once, and Bravo Bride


There are many options for bride and grooms who want to think green when decorating. There are many websites where brides and grooms can buy, swap, and sell decorations.

Sites to buy used wedding supplies include: Recycled Bride, Bravo Bride, SmartBride Boutique Bride to Bride Boutique, My Bridal Stuff and Ruffled.

The Feast

When planning your menu think local or opt for organic catering.  Try to serve food that is in season instead of food that requires a thousand mile journey to make it to your plate. A fun idea is to serve beer and wine from a local brewery or winery.

Also, if you have extra food after the wedding you can plan to donate it to a local food kitchen.


Crafting takes time and energy but it is also a great way to reduce the environmental impact of your wedding.  Crafting is a fun way to personalize a wedding and can be used to improve all aspects of your wedding.  Fun ideas include creating invitations from recycled cereal boxes, making center pieces out of vintage vases and flowers, and homemade wedding favors.

There is a never-ending supply of wedding craft ideas on pages like Pinterest or you can easily come up with one of your own.

Bride and Groom via Shutterstock

by Maddie Perlman-Gabel

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