Broke-Ass Tag: eco-chic weddings


A dress made entirely of rubber gloves. Maybe a little too much recycling?

A lot of people think going green means spending more, but if the price of recycled paper and organic produce has you down, don’t fret. The best strategies for reducing your carbon footprint can actually save you thousands.

  1. Buy used: You found your dream dress, but it’s wayyy over your budget. But, what if another bride bought that dress, and wore it for a few hours, annnnd now she wants to sell it to you for half price? It could happen to you. Head on over to your local bridal consignment shop, or online sites like RecycledBride and OnceWed to check listings in your size. You can look gorgeous, save money, and reuse, the essential second step of the reduce-reuse-recycle triangle.
  2. Buy less: Look at the panflute flow chart below. Now replace the word ‘panflute’ with plastic wedding favors, monstrous centerpieces and any other wallet draining items that are going to end up in the trash at the end of the night. Do you need one? No, you don’t.

    A fool-proof flowchart!

  3. Think seasonal: For food and flowers, in season generally means it costs less and it’s grown closer to you, which means it’s probably fresher and less oil was used in transporting it. Request seasonal bouquets and produce from your florist and caterer, and don’t be afraid to ask them where they source their goods.
  4. Go local: Look for local community businesses for your vendors. Not only are these folks likely to build a personal relationship with you and work with you to meet your budget, but they’re also more likely to purchase their supplies from other small businesses. You’ll be supporting your community’s economy and sourcing locally at the same time.
  5. Go digital: My fiancé and I made a Save the Date video that we emailed to family and friends, and instead of response cards, we’re asking guests to RSVP on our wedding website or by phone. We saved paper and several hundred dollars in postage and printing costs. In fact, using a borrowed camera, software that came with our computer and our own mad skills, the website and video were almost free.

Viola! Five ways to go green and stay cheap. Did any of these strategies work for you? Do you have any other eco and budget friendly ideas?

  • 7/2

    Screen printed

    Say it like you mean it.

    Searching for original budget-friendly gifts for your hard-working bridesmaids and groomsmen? Never fear. My fiance and I spent last weekend culling through the Brooklyn edition of the Renegade Craft Fair, a collection of hand-crafted wares by independent designers and crafters, to bring you the latest and greatest bridal part gift ideas.

    All the mind-blowing gifts featured below are under $50 and handmade by independent artists, who may be willing to work with you to customize your gifts. Most are made using sustainable methods and eco-friendly materials.


    Give your girls a place to store lipstick, double sided tape and tissues for when you start bawling at the altar with this handmade ikat and leather Shelburne clutch by Shelter, $49.00. Shelter focuses on using local and sustainable materials, and many of their fabrics, including leather, are made in the USA.

    Shelburne Clutch by Shelter $49.00

    So pretty you could take it down the aisle

    Bridesmaids Back-Up Gift: If your girls aren’t into clutches, check out this reversible hand-printed Hunting Circle Scarf by Bark Decor, $42.00. It’s made from fine jersey cotton and eco-friendly inks.

    Going Hunting Handprinted Circle Scarf, by Bark Decor, $42.00

    A circle scarf for those in your inner circle. Brilliant.


    What to get the sports fanatic? How about a custom hand-cut remake of an Official League Baseball from the 1900s for $39.95. Huntington Baseball Co. creates hand-stiched, pitch-perfect replicas of vintage baseballs. Crafted in limited quantities by a single artist, these are among the finest you can buy. Best of all, William, the craftsman and baseball fanatic behind Huntington, can hand stamp a custom message on each one.

    Official 1900 League Ball by Huntington Baseball Co., $39.95

    Make sure he opens this outside

    Groomsmen Back-Up Gift: If you’re guys aren’t into sports, gift them these men’s cotton handkerchiefs screen-printed with the words “Blow Me” in the corner, $12 for a pack of two.  Witty and functional, what more could you want?


    This could be taken so many ways

    Ring Bearers and Flower Girls

    It’s not just any toy that can teach tykes cognitive skills and help them prepare for future teenage rebellions, but this Matching Tattoos Memory Game by Seven Acre Toys, $35, pulls it off. The twelve Maplewood tiles are laser-etched with six classic tattoos. Children flip over them over and play a game to help strengthen their memory-building skills. All products are handcrafted and made without paints, dyes or stains. While you’re at it, check out Seven Acre’s Mustache Wooden Pull Toy.

    Matching Tattoos Memory Game by Seven Acre Toys, $35.00

    Perfect for the young bikers in training

    Ring bearers and flower girls back-up gift: The kids in your bridal party might be too old for a game of Memory, but not for a knitted friend, like this Elephant from Sweater Toys, $44.00. All Sweater Toys are one-of-a-kind, hand-sewn from recycled sweaters and vintage inspired cotton prints.

    Elephant Sweater Toy by Sweater Toys, $44.00

    Hugable and lovable

    Stay tuned next week for my round-up of envy-sparking registry and wedding ideas from Renegade. Do you have other unique bridal party gift ideas? Share them in the comments!

  • 4/21

    When people who work in the industry get married, magic almost always ensues, so we've got an awesomesauce (and timely) real wedding feature today! It's the stunning wedding of Suthi and Sanjay! Yep, the same Suthi of Suthi Picotte Photography who's giving away a free wedding photography package with us (hurry, you can still enter!). For now though you can enjoy these gawjuss photos and…

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    I have lots of strong feelings about weddings. I don't believe they should result in debt. I do believe they should be a celebration of your personalities, and sing with details that say something about your love. And generally, I don't believe there are rights or wrongs in weddings, because really ... who are we to judge what's right for you, or the next couple?…

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