Photo: Calling all green brides

Diamond Ring (Credit: Tambako).

If you've recently decided to get hitched, you may have asked yourself, "How do I celebrate such an all-consuming event without using a lot of resources and polluting?"

The solution for me was to have a low-carbon wedding — a wedding with fewer greenhouse gas emissions. Consider these options;

The Dress

SmartBride Boutique is a free, local listings site connecting brides both past and present to buy, sell, and save. Search by city to find discounted and used wedding dresses, bridesmaids' dresses, shoes, jewelry, purses, decorations, and more. If you've already been a "green" bride, consider listing your dress to extend its life! There is no charge to sell items.

The Rings

Jewelry made from recycled gold and conflict-free gemstones can be a better option for the green-hearted. Curious how Canadian diamonds measure up? You might be surprised. Mining Watch Canada has unearthed another way to help save the boreal forest and our caribou. See their analysis here.

So before you buy that eco-friendly jewelry, be prepared to ask your jeweler a few questions. Is the recycled metal post-consumer? What are the refinery's environmental standards? (This is important because it's the refining process that releases toxic chemicals into our water.) Lab-made diamonds are the most environmentally friendly and only jewelers can tell the difference. You can also reuse and re-craft a gemstone from a family heirloom.

Today, some jewelry companies use 100 per cent post-consumer recycled gold. This decreases the demand for new gold, which means fewer harmful gold-mining practices. An interesting online option is Green Karat. All of their gemstones are manufactured or lab-made and their recycled gold is refined in facilities that meet strict environmental standards. You can even send in old or broken gold jewelry and Green Karat will either donate the proceeds or give you a credit on a future order.

Want to learn more? We've made it easy for you. Click here to find out how to make your wedding as Earth-friendly as possible.

Lindsay Coulter, Queen of Green

February 1, 2010

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Jul 03, 2014
8:31 AM

Does anyone know of a wet Cleaning company in Toronto>?

Sep 21, 2010
11:57 AM

I’m looking for organic wedding dresses in edmonton. so far i’ve only found one made of hemp and silk. now i know you have to be careful about HOW organic silk is (how it’s extracted and stuff) but is there any other stores that carry bamboo, hemp or organic cotton wedding dresses?

Feb 11, 2010
10:47 AM

Our wedding wasn’t entirely green, but my husband and I tried really hard. We used recycled products, patronized small, local businesses, and tried to minimize waste.

I bought a dress from a consignment store and will be taking it back there so that somebody else can use it too. in Edmonton had a great selection of dresses and the woman who runs it was super-helpful.

I couldn’t give up paper invitations, but used paper that I already had on hand for other projects and 100% post-consumer recycled envelopes. Same with the favours.

We selected a restaurant to host the reception that already had a lovely decor and didn’t do any decorating at all. No decorations were thrown away afterwards, we were able to use their plates and napkins, and it was really easy. (Plus, the staff at Murrieta’s in Edmonton were a treat to work with.) We did have some flowers, because I’m a sucker for that sort of thing, but kept it at three small vases with single stems in each, plus the bridal bouquets. Same with the church — it was beautiful so we added nothing to it.

We sent recycled thank you cards afterwards.

There are other things I would’ve liked to have done, with additional time and money, but we did okay for pulling it together in three months.

Feb 09, 2010
12:05 PM

How about using Cradle to Cradle certified Rock Paper for invites , wrapping, gifts of journals, inkless notepads etc.

A Canadian company called Mitz distributes and also designs with this eco chic c2c degradable paper , No trees, NO water, no bleach used in the production of the paper-. there are knock offs already but only TerraSkin is certified Cradle to Cradle.-a super rigorous certification that is all about a products’ foot print, sources and sustainability.

I use their products because they are also inkless (you can write with pretty much any found metal object — like my house key or ring!) as well as pens, pencils.

hmmmmI saw a TerraSkin dress by Carrie Hayes for Fashion Takes Action in TO, there is a wedding dress with a light footprint.

Feb 03, 2010
10:56 AM

This is very useful Lindsay, thanks! I will definitely past this resource forward to friends. SmartBride Boutique is a fantastic site to get all of the dress and party needs from other brides… what a great concept.

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