wedding dress

Sustainable Wedding Planning Part 1: Attire

Sustainable Wedding: Attire

Sustainable PF and I got married about 15 months ago and we both really loved our wedding day. But it took lots of planning to make is a sustainable wedding!!! Now I was not a woman who had planned out her whole wedding since childhood but I knew I wanted to get married in the fall and I had an idea of what I wanted my wedding dress to look like and thats it!!  After we got engaged and started planning the big day we both agreed that we wanted to make this day as sustainable as possible while still achieving the look and feel we were aiming for: simple and elegant.

Onto the clothing. This was not going to be a super fancy wedding and as such tuxedos and big puffy gowns were ruled out. Instead we looked into renting or purchasing suits for Sustainable PF and his groomsmen. As luck would have it a suit store had a sale on where if you bought one suit, you got another half price. So with four groomsmen, they each got a suit at for $175 (more or less the same cost of renting a tux for a wedding except they got to keep the suit!) and SPF picked an additional suit (a black one as he needed one for weddings and funerals in the future).  His Mom made their ties and pocket squares and these looked very sharp.

For the bridesmaids I wanted to get them an outfit that they would be able to wear again and again (and so far a couple of them have already worn theirs to other events). I first tried finding dresses online for a good price but that was a big mistake as the one dress I ordered came in a completely different colour than was depicted online and the sizing was way off.  Plan B. I went shopping with my sister at a discount store, found a nice dark green cocktail dress and bought one for each of the girls. Another sustainable wedding success! Since this was a fall wedding I did not want my wedding party to be chilly. Fortunately my (to be) mother in law is a professional weaver and expert seamstress so she offered to make little jackets for the women as her wedding gift to us. She found some material on sale that matched their dresses perfectly and she made each of them a beautiful jacket. So all in all it cost each woman about $80 for their outfit which is quite comparable to any other bridesmaid outfit, if not less.

sustainable wedding attireNow for my dress. As I mentioned I did not want a puffy dress but rather a dress with a fitted bodice, a flowing skirt and a bit of a train. I did not want to spend more than $200 on it. Fortunately my mother is a trained seamstress and she agreed to make the dress with consultation provided by SPF’s Mom. So I did quite a bit of research and finally found 2 patterns which my mom merged into one dress. My sisters best friend is also a trained seamstress and a talented designer and she helped with making the dress in addition to making a little jacket for the outdoor ceremony. Our guests, the wedding planner/coordinator and even the photographer couldn’t believe that the dress (see right) wasn’t designed and produced by a professional.  All in all my dress cost approximately $150. To this day I still cannot believe that my Mom made my beautiful gown. I have an amazing Mom!

Now of course my mothers labour was not covered in the price.  However I do know that even if you don’t have a family member or friend to sew your dress, there are still many other ways you can get a beautiful dress without spending a fortune. I know people that have found amazing dresses at second hand stores (and we’re not talking hideous dresses with too much lace and bows) as well as purchasing “newer” dresses from places like the Brides Project which has a tremendous selection of dresses but is also socially responsible.

The day of the wedding there were only a couple of final touches required. I wore a necklace my grandmother gave me years ago. A friend lent me her gold bracelet and we got our hair and makeup done. As I have written about before I have sensitive skin and do not like to use products with harsh chemicals. My wedding day was not any different. I chose to go to an AVEDA salon near our wedding location. All the women got their hair done there and I also had makeup done.  I spent about $130 for my hair and make up and my bridesmaids spent between $25-$40.

All is all, we spent little money on our outfits but all looked and felt great!!

Part 2: Venue

3 thoughts on “Sustainable Wedding Planning Part 1: Attire

  1. A belated congrats on your new life together!!! I am impressed with your expenses. We went out of control on our wedding..this is before I become a debt free divas and saw the light. :) I did however, find $20 sun dresses at JCP Penny and $20 strappie sandals for my bridesmaids – all nine of them!!! They looked phenomenal!!! But what or what could we have done with all the money we spent (cash I am happy to say) on our wedding? We’ll never know…

  2. thanks for the comment Debt Free Divas! wow those are great prices for your bridesmaids-and sun dresses so I would assume they would wear them again and again!

  3. I’m researching ideas for a Halloween wedding. Great idea to have sweaters on reserve, just in case it is chilly. Thanks!

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