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Natural Awakenings National

Say “I Do” to a Green Wedding: Shifts Toward Sustainability for the Big Occasion

Jun 01, 2010 03:00AM ● By Tracy DiNunzio

Shifts toward sustainability in the wedding industry are now allowing brides and grooms to achieve the wedding day of their dreams in budget-friendly ways. Couples are using the big occasion as an opportunity to nurture their personal and financial well-being, protect the environment and support their communities. We may all be inspired by their example in choosing these top sustainable alternatives to standard wedding practices.


There’s No Place Like Home ~ From venues to menus, couples are making efforts to reduce their carbon footprint and cut their budgets by keeping celebrations “all in the neighborhood.” Backyard weddings are helping guests cut back on travel, and caterers are responding to clients’ demands for more locally produced food. Wedding favors and decorations come from local artisans and shops.

Floral Options ~ Conventional cut flowers are expensive, plus, they’re grown with pesticides and have a huge carbon footprint, so couples are instead decorating with living succulents and paper flowers. Many will eschew the floral look altogether by using soy candles, fruit and found objects for table centerpieces and bouquets.

Wedding Planning Goes Digital ~ From blogs to Facebook, wedding planning has become an online community affair. “More and more, brides are turning to wedding forums to look for fresh wedding ideas and the latest wedding trends, as well as resources,” says Christine Dyer, founder of Brides are connecting with each other for advice, support and even trading recommendations for vendors and other service providers on community-based social networks like

More than 2 million
weddings take place each
year in the United States.

The Times Are A-Changing ~ Romantics are scheduling their nuptials on weeknights, Sundays, and even early mornings in 2010. It’s less expensive to book a venue or caterer on these days at these times, and as telecommuting becomes increasingly popular, workers have more flexible schedules. Sunrise ceremonies can be bookended by chic mid-week dinner receptions and brunch parties.

Bright Bridal Shoes ~ Bridal shoes in bright and bold hues like fuchsia, emerald green and electric blue are in. Colored shoes are a stylish surprise under a white wedding gown and, unlike white and dyed pastel satin versions, can be worn again and again.

Something Old, Something New ~ The hottest sustainable trend for 2010 weddings is incorporating recycled elements like gently used bride and bridesmaids dresses, pre-owned wedding decorations and vintage bridal jewelry. Brides now joining the wedding resale revolution are using sites like and discovering how easy it is to save money and be a little greener by buying and selling their wedding items.

Tracy DiNunzio is founder and CEO of Recycled Media, Inc., which operates the eco-resale websites and

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