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Green When You’re in a Wedding

My sister is getting married next weekend. Second wedding for both, but they’re planning quite a party, I think in part because my sister’s first wedding was, shall we say, less than what she wanted. They eloped.

Since I’m just a bridesmaid, I have little say in most of what is going on, and traditional weddings are pretty hard to make green anyhow. But I am thinking on what I can do for my part.

My sister gave us some wonderful flexibility in some ways. She wanted all the bridesmaids to wear different color and style dresses. But did she ever stress over the selection of dresses. Really had to fight for the one I got, and I really hope to wear it again. My husband’s first comment was that he’d love to make an excuse for me to wear it again. So that’s hopeful.

Then again, I have two other formal dresses I kept just in case I could wear them again. One really did get worn more than once. I would have loved to use either for this wedding, but let’s just say that having two kids does terrible things to the hips. The poor dresses just don’t fit anymore. My 5 year old now has her eye on them, though.

Of course, an alternative to having that dress sit in the closet is to donate or resell it. Formal dresses can be reused by other people too.

Shoes were a bear for me this time. I always get shoes I can reuse for a long time. But, blaming pregnancy again, I’ve gone from a size 9 shoe to a size 9-1/2. An utterly miserable shoe size to try and buy, and of course this means my old ones, still in good enough condition that I’ll be donating them somewhere, don’t fit me comfortably enough for a wedding.

I’m really not sure if buying shoes locally is better than buying online, since odds are you aren’t going to find a local manufacturer and they will have been shipped from somewhere before, but given how much time it took me to seek out shoes, I think I’ll do most of my shoe shopping online now. Every single shoe I liked locally did not come in my size. So much gas wasted, so far as I’m concerned.

And of course, they’re shoes I can use for less formal events or just because I want to wear heels that day.

Getting to the wedding is another factor to consider. I’ve carpooled anytime I didn’t need to bring the whole family for something; one of my sisters just about has to pass my house to get most places so it’s easy for us. Add in husbands and kids, and we’d have trouble even fitting in a minivan or SUV. 4 adults and 4 kids all of various car seat ages really don’t fit in the average single vehicle.

Instead of a traditional present, my husband is doing photography for them. In fact, I like how they’re handling the photography. Instead of having the usual disposable cameras on the tables, they’re setting up laptops with card readers, and encouraging people to download their own photos onto the computers. Digital cameras are so nearly universal these days that they should get some great shots.

Participating in a wedding is a tough time to think green. So many factors can be completely out of your control. But you can still focus on ways to reuse or buy reusable as necessary, and to reduce the waste produced by any gifts you give. While still having a wonderful time, of course.

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