Get Your Eco-Friendly Wedding On: Q & A with The Recycled Bride
Spring is almost here, which means so is wedding season. We talk wedding cakes, flowers, Alicia Silverstone's wedding -- and being green AND saving money with Tracy DiNunzio, who after her own wedding (yep, that's Tracy pictured) was inspired to launch RecycledBride.
MindBodyGreen: What is Recycled Bride?
Tracy DiNunzio: We are the first eco-friendly wedding resale website. We connect buyers and sellers of pre-owned wedding items -- everything from wedding dresses and accessories to bridesmaids shoes, decor, and more.
MBG: What's easy (and green) when planning your wedding?
TD: Having your wedding at a location that's close to where most of your guests live is the most significant thing you can do because it cuts down on transport, and therefore carbon. And it actually makes life easier for everyone!
MBG: I like the sound of that! What about the menu?
TD: Incorporating more plant-based options is always a good way to go. Most weddings offer an entree choice, and it's best to make at least one of those options a pasta or vegetable-based meal. The more that you can incorporate organic and locally sourced foods, the better.
MBG: Speaking of a plant based menu, someone who's a fan of your site is Alicia Silverstone -- can you tell us about what she did for her wedding?
TD: Alicia had an all vegan wedding, and everyone just loved the food -- especially the meat-eaters, who were surprised at how tasty it was. Instead of cut flowers, she used onions, sage, and vintage carafes of wine for centerpieces.
MBG: Wedding dresses can be expensive. What's a way people can save money on a dress and be greener at the same time?
TD: You can save a lot of money by buying a pre-owned dress. Most of the wedding dresses on Recycled Bride are at least half the retail price -- and it's greener than buying a newly produced, manufactured, and transported dress.
MBG: If someone is interested in buying a pre-owned dress, what questions should they ask?
TD: Find out the seller's exact measurements! You can always make a dress smaller, but you can't make it bigger.
MBG: What's the coolest wedding cake you've seen?
TD: I tend to like more unusual, edgy styles. I love this Van Gogh-style cake by Love Street Cakes, where the frosting has the texture of oil paint. And this dulce de leche cake by Momofuku Milk Bar has an appealingly deconstructionist feel. It's cool because it's naked -- no frosting, no fuss. (Both pictured below).
MBG: What about flower arrangements?
TD: More florists are working with succulents and cacti, which are really
chic-looking and sustainable. Succulent plant arrangements can be taken home and planted after the wedding, unlike cut flowers, which are usually grown
with pesticides and imported from South America, then thrown away after the wedding.
MBG: What's the coolest/most inspiring thing you've seen someone do for their wedding?
TD: I just saw a wedding at the Detroit Institute of the Arts. Instead of taking photos in a hotel lobby, the couple was posing in front of paintings by Alex Katz and Kehinde Wiley. A couple in Spokane is funding their entire wedding by recycling aluminum cans. It's going to take 400,000 cans to get them there.
MBG: What inspired you to start Recycled Bride?
TD: I was surprised by the amount of waste generated when planning my own wedding, and I felt that there should be more resource-sharing platforms for brides. It's the only day in our lives that we're willing to spend tons of money on single-use products, and we don't think about the resources and energy that's used to create these things. A wedding dress, for example, usually costs thousands of dollars and makes its way through a chemical dyeing process and three different countries before arriving in your local bridal boutique. Then you wear it for one day. You wouldn't buy a car and drive it once, so why do that with all these other expensive, energy-intensive items?
MBG: What's next for you?
TD: We have lots of exciting plans! First, we're bringing our eco-resale platform to several other markets, starting with this week's launch of RecycledTyke.com for baby and kids products. People respond really well to our resale boutiques when they find out about the environmental, social, and financial benefits of this kind of shopping, and they get excited about being a part of it. I think that Recycled Media is at the forefront of a resale revolution.
For more on Tracy and Recycled Bride: