Five Simple Way to Green Your Wedding Attire from the Green Bride Guide

Whether you’re planning a casual beachside event or an elegant black tie affair in a grand ballroom, it’s important that your attire (and your bridal party’s!) match the style and feel of your Green wedding. Luckily, you don’t have to sacrifice your look to make greener choices.

Wedding attire is typically made up of one-time wear pieces, and many wedding gowns are made from unsustainable materials that are often dipped in bleach and chemicals. Bridesmaid dresses retire to the closet after just a few hours of wear, and unfortunately, formal tuxedos don’t really lend themselves to everyday wear.

To help you and your bridal party get the look you want on your wedding day, check out these eco-chic alternatives so everybody from your from to the bridesmaids can dress to impress while still being green.

bride-bridesmaid-mermaid-fishtale-wedding-gownPre-loved and Good as New:
Brides often consider their wedding dress to be the ultimate expression of personal style on a day where all eyes are on her, and because of this, most prefer to purchase a new gown. But consider this: just because a dress has been worn before, doesn’t mean that it cannot represent your unique style, whether you’re looking for a show stopping ball own or a sleek mermaid. Used wedding dress sites such as Smart Bride Boutique and Recycled Bride offer brides once worn wedding dresses including designer brands for just a fraction of the cost.

Vintage is a very hot wedding trend right now, and browsing vintage shops and websites gives you a chance to take something old and transform it into something new. You can personalize these garments and update them to create the ultimate dream dress. If the dress is not in the best condition, try contacting a member of the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists to learn about options for returning your vintage dress to its former splendor.

A Little Help from Mother Nature:
If you prefer to have a brand new wedding dress, consider finding a dressmaker or designer who uses sustainable materials for their creations. Couture designers such as Claire Pettibone and Adele Wechsler offer a selection of gowns made from sustainable fabrics, offering brides the opportunity to wear their favorite designer and also be environmentally responsible. Other designers work exclusively with eco-friendly fabrics such as hemp silk and 100% organic cotton. An added bonus of eco-fabrics is that they are often soft and comfortable, all the better for dancing the night away!

bridesmaids-sunflowers-cobalt-blue-bride-straplessChoose Your Own Bridesmaid Dresses:
Some brides envision a row of bridesmaid in matching dresses, but the truth is that no two women look the same in a single dress. This is the exact reason why bridesmaids often wear the dress to the wedding then retire the garment to her closet. A popular eco-trend is giving bridesmaids a specific color or designer and allowing them to choose their own dress within those specifications. This will ensure that your maids are comfortable and confident in a style that fits their body type perfectly.

groomsmen-wedding-party-ocean-city-suits_0B.Y.O.S (Bring Your Own Suit):
It can be really simple to green the attire of the men in the wedding party. For more formal weddings, renting a tuxedo is an eco-friendly way to employ re-usable clothing while still looking sharp.
For a more cost effective alternative consider asking the groomsmen to wear their own suits and simply purchase matching ties or shirts to coordinate. If any of the guys choose to by new, encourage them to purchase their wedding day attire with future use in mind.

shoes-short-wedding-dress-bridesmaid-colorful-vintageHappy Feet:
Lets face it, brides; there are not too many occasions other than a wedding where bleached white shoes really fit the bill. Consider once worn wedding shoes from other brides, and then re-sell them after the wedding.

You can also be on trend AND eco-chic by choosing a shoe in your favorite color, ensuring that they’ll reflect your style and get plenty of use while your bridesmaids can wear or purchase shoes in a common neutral color.

No matter what your style or vision for your wedding day fashion, you can your bridal party will be looking your best (and probably saving money!) with these eco-chic attire options.
Photo Credits:
Brides: Smart Bride Boutique
Bride with bridesmaids: Bird in Hand Photography
Groomsmen: Jay Crihfield Photography
Shoes: Luce Bella Photography

Kate runs one of the most comprehensive guides to planning a Green wedding out there. Her site is chock-full of great tips on how to create an eco-friendly wedding, whether you’re just looking to go paper-free or taking it all the way with a carbon-free day.

about the author
Kate Green Bride Guide's CEO, Kate L. Harrison, has a JD in Environmental Law and a Master's from Yale in Environmental Policy. She planned her own green wedding in 2007 and wrote the best selling green wedding book The Green Bride Guide: How to Plan an Earth-Friendly Wedding on Any Budget(Sourcebooks, 2008). In 2009, she founded www.greenbrideguide.com to help couples use their weddings to promote social and environmental change and support the local green economy.

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