24 September 2007

A different way to get your wedding supplies

I am not big on acquiring new items for eco-friendly wedding planning. I prefer to re-use resources that are already out there. If I do get something new then I do want an eco-friendly alternative, but those costs can add up so in my case I need to pick and choose what elements I want to buy new. There are ways to have a nice wedding without sacrificing every little frill you want. Some of my tips include:

1. Question if you really need/want to include a certain element in your wedding
2. Find out if a friend has any leftover resources
3. Go into a cooperative agreement with people to re-use the same resource between weddings
4. Buy used
5. If you buy new find an eco-friendly alternative

Here are some examples from my own wedding planning for each of these tips.

1. Question if you really need/want to include a certain element in your wedding


I am not trying to pack a million things to take down to Costa Rica for the wedding and am using that as one of my motivations to really consider what things we want. My fiance saw monogrammed aisle runners from other peoples' wedding planning and thought that I wanted one. This was a miscommunication on our part, so I reluctantly planned on making one. When I was going over our wedding planning list one day I asked if he really wanted one and he realized I didn't. The monogrammed aisle runner concept is gorgeous and seems to be a staple at weddings now, but I don't want one. I am happy to have sand under my toes at the wedding. It is simple and beautiful in my opinion. I am also happy not to buy all that fabric.

Besides the aisle runner there are a lot of cute details I see my friends doing that I personally cannot justify the paper consumption for. This includes menu cards, table signs, etc. It is a little hard pushing myself not to "keep up" with cute things I see others doing. I have to remind myself to stay true to values we are trying to base this wedding on and I also have my awesome wedding coordinator that keeps me accountable about my motivation for my actions.

2. Find out if a friend has any leftover resources


I was unsure about doing the adorable Martha Stewart inspired lace and paper bag luminaries. Our grounds for the wedding and reception are pretty big and they could come in handy but I didn't want to buy packages of doilies and the rest of the supplies. Well a friend of mine had her wedding this past April and made them. She had a few packages leftover and instead of selling them to me she suggested I make an undisclosed donation to a charity she is heavily involved with. I made a donation to a national canine rescue program for large dogs (Cane Corso Association of America) and she sent me supplies. I was out of my head about this concept. Her doubly generous offer was over the top and pushed me into the "yes" category for these luminaries.

3. Go into a cooperative agreement with people to re-use the same resource between weddings

I know some women from a board on the knot that responded to a post by a bride that was married in late spring that had leftover supplies. They all coveted her silk orchids and have arranged to buy them and use them their weddings in October, November, and then December. They will be used for at least four weddings, that is cool.

4. Buy used

This doesn't have to be tacky just because it is used. I mean, just consider it "vintage." When things weren't looking like they were working out for my wedding band I took inspiration from my engagement ring and ended up buying vintage. My 1920's engagement ring now has an accompanying wedding band that dates between 1915 and 1936. New resources don't go into the production of an item since they were already originally utilized for production at an ealier date (and hopefully used by someone else)... it is just another form of recycling. I gotta say, I love eBay for this. Try to use local sellers if you can because of the transportation costs of getting goods to you.


5. If you buy new find an eco-friendly alternative

OMG, there is a crazy proliferation of new stuff you can buy that is in varying degrees of kind and eco-friendly. It seems like the earth friendly weddings blog goes on and on with all kinds of stuff to buy. I think there is an inherent irony that this industry attempting to conserve resource use has such a diversity of products. I find myself considering consuming products I would never have had an interest in before if they weren't eco-friendly. I ALWAYS have to check myself about buying new stuff to justify if I need it, want it, and will really use it. It is an interesting balance between wanting nice things and realizing that I don't need too many nice things. One of the nice things that I love is the organic cotton dress shirt by Boll Organic for my fiance. Affordable earth-friendly clothing for him has been in a pain in the ass to come by, so this shirt is a big YES in my mind.

5 comments:

Terry said...

I know it's been said before, but it's worth mentioning again on this post that we are planning for the reuse of many of our wedding supplies after we're done with them.

A lot of the things we take down with us are going to be left there for our planner to reuse for any other events that she plans. For instance, instead of paper cups, we're going to get some sturdier cups at a local market, and leave them behind for reuse.

Our plates, however, will be banana leafs, which aren't that reusable. :)

bunnybride said...

our cups are going to be recycled wine bottles made with the glass cutter

the local recycling program was halted for a few months but Dawn is trying to get some further use out of those materials before they go to the recycling plant

janineb said...

if you want/need more luminary bags, I have a whole bunch of the MS ones from Michael's that I ended up only using at my RD. I would be happy to send them to you. I have 2-3 packages of 8 I believe? They are blue, not kraft colour though. let me know!

Jennifer said...

I have to agree with you about my site. Earth friendly companies are great, but lately I've been trying to devote more time to adding more sustance to my posts. Unfortunately, it's taking more time too which is why I haven't been posting as much. If you have any ideas, I'd love to hear them.
Anyway, I have about 50 bubble blowing wands. If you're interested, I can send them to you. Just let me know. :)

bunnybride said...

Hi Jennifer. I hope you didn't find my post offensive. As you can see I use your site as a resource so I don't turn my nose up at it.

If you want to talk about content you can e-mail me at bunnybride018 at gmail dot com

However, you know my site is tiny and I hardly get any traffic. I don't know how helpful I can be.