We love weddings and everything that comes with them, but at the end of the day—after all of the dancing, eating, drinking, and happy tears—there’s a lot of stuff left over, stuff that often ends up in the trash. No one’s proud of it, but thankfully, there are ways to help lessen the effect your big day has on the world around you. We asked our experts for five tips to make your wedding a little more low-impact.
There are all sorts of ways to get what you want for your wedding without buying it brand new. There are a plethora of gently-used wedding dress sites, like OnceWed and Still White, where you can get the dress of your dreams (including designer finds like Vera Wang and Elie Saab) for a fraction of the price. Looking for items like votive candles or cloth napkins? Tradesy has an entire wedding page (that also includes menswear and bridesmaids’ dresses), and eBay just might have you covered.
Seek Recycled Materials
Rent Instead of Buy
Of course, you’ll have the least impact by renting items instead of purchasing them at all. You know you can rent furniture, flatware, and tuxedos, but did you know you can also rent bridesmaid dresses (we love Vow to be Chic, and Rent the Runway is perfect for that on-trend mismatched look) and even your wedding dress? Again, the Rent the Runway collection is incredible for a non-traditional bride, and Borrowing Magnolia has designers like Pronovias and Hayley Paige.
Consider Vendors Carefully
If you’re really committed to a low-impact wedding, seek vendors who feel the same way. Look for vendors who give back, whether it’s donating flowers to local hospitals or donating their time to local charities. Find those who prioritize green practices, like using reusable water bottles in welcome bags. When you’re interviewing your vendors, don’t be afraid to ask! Most will be more than happy to tell you what they love to do to make the world a little brighter.
Register for Charitable Donations
Got everything you need at home? Instead of kitchen upgrades, ask your guests to donate what they might spend on a gift toward a cause you (or they!) love. You can also opt to skip those favors and instead put that money toward a bigger donation to your charity of choice.