Seven Great Websites to Help Plan a Green Wedding

by - Wednesday, June 01, 2016

A wedding is a great opportunity to make some simple, often cost-effective, and eco-friendly switches, but I know these concerns weren't really on my radar when I got hitched. Lucky for all of your soon to be brides and grooms, tons of resources exist now! I had so much fun poking around reading people's ideas, and I hope you do to. 

A wedding event, on average, emits 63 tons of CO2. To put that in perspective, that is more than one individual in a whole year! So there is plenty of room to make improvements here. Luckily, there are also a lot of good ideas out there.

Remember, the point isn't to do every little thing perfect. No one can do everything, but everyone can do something. I bet you could make all sorts of positive changes without your guests even knowing that they are at a (gasp!) green wedding. Find a few ideas that totally inspire you, and work them in! Here are some great resources to check into if you are thinking about it. 

from Offbeat Bride (most gorgeous dress ever? Maybe)
1. Offbeat Bride- Gah, I loved this site when we were fancied, and I love it now. This site just goes to show that weddings come in all the varieties that humans come in. As long as you are being true to the complex and totally original bunch of details that is your partnership, you are doing it right. Completely empowering that your kooky idea is actually awesome, and much more inclusive than any other site you can frequent. And tons of couples do care about the environmental impact of their wedding, so much so that it has its own space on the site. I like anything that shows that "green" doesn't necessary mean burlap and neutral colors- there is as much variation and creativity with green style as any other!

Favorite Articles- I love their article on throwing an eco-friendly AND cost-effective wedding! It's amazing how often this paradigm shift can save you money! Just don't do the favor skipping thing; it says "we are so grateful to you that we gave your token of gratitude away to somebody else." If you want to skip something, why not be more creative about it? 

2. Green Bride Guide- This topic has its own whole website with tons of important information on how to reduce your weddings waste and CO2 emissions. They make solid arguments for factoring the environment into your wedding right from the start, and they clearly know their stuff. 

Favorite Articles- I actually love the organization of the site best (especially the Learn and Plan section), because you can click on something relatively mainstream like "decor" or "honeymoon" OR you can go to the "recycle and donate section" or the "carbon calculator" page. I love the resources available here, and I hope you check it out!

3. Once Wed- This site is much more chic, kind of born for instagram. When we were planning our wedding, it felt a little out of our league, but I did find lots of inspiration there. They do have posts about eco-friendly steps to take, and some of their advice (like getting as much of your wedding's supplies locally as possible) ring so true. When you can find supplies used, get them used! If you can't, at least get them local! Ruffled has a similar list, but 'i think Once Wed's is a little more thoughtful, even though it is short. Green Wedding Shoes has Eco-Friendly Inspiration as well. 

4. The Knot- Yes, it doesn't get any more basic than the Knot, but that should show you just how common it is to care about this now! If they are taking lots of time to address it on The Knot, clearly somebody cares. Check out their Green Wedding Guide.

Favorite Articles- They have a lot of good information about eco-friendly approaches to wedding dresses, from where to buy them and sell them online (never thought about getting one used? Might be the perfect solution for your pocketbook!) to brands that sell eco-friendly and affordable dresses like Reformation to who still makes their gowns in the US. There is a wealth of information once you start poking around. They also have a nice list of eco-friendly reception ideas. 

from Succulent Wonderland
5. Etsy- When you type in "Eco-friendly Wedding" into the Etsy search, you get 25,000 hits. That's a lot of eco-friendly ideas and products to think about! Rings, favors, invitations, and decor. It's all there, and something might really resonate. You never know! 

Favorite Articles- If that is too much to slog through, Etsy editors have the best eye for finding great stuff that might really get you thinking (and much of which is made in the United States by small businesses, so that is a win!)- DIY Wedding Decor, The Wedding Shop, Reception Decor, or Personalized Touches. Always something new to browse through!

6. Venuelust- This website has a super creative list of potential centerpieces that are more eco-friendly than cut flowers. Really cool. 

7. Wedding Chicks- This website has all sorts of great inspiration, but I love some of the inspiration they put up for a Stylish Eco- Friendly Wedding (I mean, that braid is gorgeous). Need even more inspiration? Check out the Rustic Chic Wedding- so many ideas for being "eco-chic!"

A Few More Places to Look: 

Brilliant Earth- Ethical, Fair Trade, and Vintage rings. Where I would want my ring from now if I could do it all over again, but you can still get your wedding rings from them! But check out their vintage rings the next time you feel like drooling. 

Brides for a Cause- A great place to donate your wedding dress to couples who are facing terminal illnesses- anything from 2010 or later! The dresses are sold too at a fraction of the price to fund the operation! This is the charity recommended by The Knot, but this article can offer you a few more ideas. Is your future hypothetical daughter actually ever going to want that dress? I have trouble with this one, but I think it is amazing if you want to do it. Go you!

Adorned in Grace- This group resells wedding dresses to raise money for sex trafficking victims. Pretty awesome place to donate and help another woman. You could also do Brides Across America and help military brides! They give 2000 dresses away a year, so think of how many dresses get a chance at a second life. 

Wedding Recycle- This awesome site resells basically anything you would need for your wedding- decor, wedding gowns, candles, crafts, and the works. Why buy that stuff new when you can get it for way less money and save perfectly usable things from a landfill? The more you get used, the more money you save and the more good you do. Pretty amazing combination! 

Something Borrowed- This site also has a really extensive list of places to buy and sell wedding decorations so these pretty decor pieces or dresses get more life after you are done with them (or someone else is done). Check these sites! I wish we had; we could have saved so much on lights and other things. Such a good idea, and I bet you could decorate a whole and completely gorgeous wedding just off of these websites. 

Ruffled- This is the used selection I browsed a lot while we were planning, and they get such beautiful and sophisticated stuff (maybe too much for us). You can make a very budget wedding look expensive by using a resource like this one. 

I will try to add to this list! So many amazing places to see, but today is the last day of wedding month, so we will come back to this later. Did you check out the Eco-Friendly Wedding Registry yet? Be sure you do! One of the greatest and greenest steps you can take for your wedding is to eliminate all those Made in China and plastic items from your registry. You have more choices than you think! 

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