Hi Adrienne! (I resisted the urge to do the Yo Adrienne thing, becuase that probably makes you want to punch people.) Here’s a new segment idea about wedding leftovers. It could be honed in and focused more on just the wedding dress aspect, or just the resale aspect, or it could be broadened to include even more creative options for using “wedding leftovers”. Thanks so much for the opportunity to run these by you, I really appreciate it! And please let me know if you list your dress on Recycled Bride, so I can push it onto the homepage “New Arrivals” section. ~Tracy

Wedding Leftovers

There are 2.4 million weddings every year in the United States. So what happens to all of the wedding dresses, bridesmaids dresses, and decorations after the big day?  More and more brides are getting creative with their “wedding leftovers”. This segment gives viewers some great ideas for recycling wedding leftovers, and takes a look at the growing trend of wedding resale:

1. How many brides are recycling and repurposing their wedding leftovers? How big is the trend? David’s Bridal says that 16% of all brides are planning to resell or donate their wedding dresses. That’s about half a million wedding dresses that will be looking for a new home this year, either through resale or donation.

2. So what can a bride do with her dress after the wedding? The possibilities are endless! First, many brides donate dresses to Brides Against Breast Cancer, where they’re resold to benefit breast cancer research and education. Creative brides can also repurpose the dress, having it shortened or dyed to wear again, or even made into a lovely quilt for their marital bed. Finally, brides can resell wedding dresses through local consignment shops or on any number of websites, including RecycledBride.com

3. Why would a bride want to sell her wedding dress? With brides spending an average of over $1,000 on their dresses, many feel that they shouldn’t let such a big investment just sit in the closet. Resale lets brides recoup a big portion of what they spent on the dress in the first place — most dresses sell for about 50% of their retail price. Another great reason is that it’s a form of recycling that’s eco-friendly. When a bride buys a pre-loved dress, she reduces the demand for a newly manufactured gown and saves the resources that go into producing it. There’s also a great feeling of good karma when you share the dress that made you feel beautiful on your big day with another bride who might not have been able to afford it otherwise.

4. But what about all of the other wedding stuff? There are 9.6 million bridesmaids dresses worn each year, and don’t we all have a closet full of those bridesmaids dresses that we’ll never wear again? One way to avoid this is to choose rewearable bridesmaids dresses, like the new Purely Alfred Angelo line, which are meant to be worn again. Bridesmaids can also have dresses reworked into new looks by a tailor, or resell their dresses online as well. Decorations can also be resold, or you can do what we call wedding precycling: find other brides in your area via a site like TheKnot.com or Brideshare.net, and band together to share your decorations and the related expenses.

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Go Green and Save Green This Wedding Season

How to reduce your budget and your carbon footprint during wedding celebrations

Just in time for wedding season, this segment tells brides, grooms, and their guests how they can make small changes to maximize their budgets and minimize their consumer waste while still having a beautiful, luxurious event. A lot of people equate “going green” with “spending green”, but these Earth-friendly choices are kind to your wallet as well:

Flowers — Flowers are natural and Earth-friendly, right? Wrong! Conventional cut flowers actually have a huge carbon footprint. Most varieties that are popular for weddings are grown using pesticides and then transported here from South or Central America. Then we spend thousands on them, and they die a week later! Try replacing flowers with succulents, which are beautiful, cactus-like plants that live forever. They can be used as centerpieces, bouquets, party favors, even hair accessories. This creates value, because you trade a one-time-use wedding decoration for something that’s a permanent, green fixture in your home or garden.

Location, location, location — Guest travel is one of the most expensive and carbon-heavy parts of a wedding. Couples should try to plan their wedding in a location that’s convenient to the majority of their guests. If you’re already committed to a destination or out-of-town wedding, try to arrange a way for guests to carpool and share accomodations. There’s no better way to make friends with other attendees and save, save, save.

The Menu — Go local to reduce the carbon footprint associated with food transport. You’ll also save a ton of money and reduce your environmental impact by cutting down on the meat in your menu. Instead of offering the typical beef or salmon options, try making one of your entrees vegetarian, like a pasta selection. And skip the meat-based appetizers in favor of delicious plant-based options like cheesy polenta cubes or mini gazpacho shooters.

Registry — What do you think the greenest gift in the world is? It’s cash! A cash gift doesn’t come in a bunch of wrapping paper, doesn’t have to be imported or shipped, and is the most efficient way to let the bride and groom get exactly what they need to start their married lives. There are even cash registries online now that let guests contribute to a honeymoon fund or a down payment on a house.

Attire — For many women, their wedding dress is the single most expensive item they’ll ever wear in their lives. Wedding dresses are also really labor and energy-intensive to produce. So all this time, energy, and resources go into it, and then it gets worn just once! You wouldn’t buy a car and drive it one time, why do that with an expensive dress? Instead, think about buying what we call a “pre-loved” wedding dress, or selling yours after you’ve worn it. It’s a form of recycling that saves you tons of money and reduces the demand for newly manufactured dresses.

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