Wildlife-friendly Wedding Guide

Wedding Outfits

Something old. Buy a previously loved vintage dress. New wedding dresses require the use of raw materials only to be worn for one day. Vintage dresses can be cheaper, unique and often still look new since they’ve usually only been worn once.

Photographed by Sarah Baillie
“I bought my dress from a bridal shop that sells donated used dresses. My dress didn’t require new materials to be made and the proceeds go towards combating sexual abuse and exploitation in my community.”


Something borrowed. Unless you’re planning to save your dress for someone you know who wants to wear it, it’s really just taking up space. Wedding dress rental is cheaper and also means no new raw materials. Rental has long been the norm for suits, so why not dresses?

Pick sustainable materials. If you are having a wedding dress or suit custom-made, choose natural fibers like organic cotton or organic silk and avoid polyester.

“My dress was handmade by a local dressmaker using unbleached raw silk and lace (not local, but as close as can be).”


Choose a style you can wear again. You probably don’t have many occasions for a ballroom gown, but if you go with a simpler design or one made of material that can be dyed, you’ll get multiple uses out of it. For suits, if you’re not renting, go with a style that’s versatile for other events. A suit comes in handy for work meetings and special occasions more often than a tux does.

Let the bridal party dress themselves. If you give bridesmaids and groomsmen a color scheme, instead of a single outfit option, they might be able to use something they already have or borrow something without needing to buy anything new.

And if they do have to buy new, it’s more likely to be something they’ll wear again. Giving your bridal party flexibility uses fewer resources and costs them less. It also makes for happier friends and better pictures, as they’re likely to be more comfortable at your event.

“I let my bridesmaids pick their own dresses (I just picked a color), and no one needed to purchase one for the wedding, they just used what they already had or borrowed.”


Donate or sell. Once the party’s over, donating or selling your wedding dress or suit will help a future bride or groom make an eco-conscious choice for their wedding. It can help out a couple who may not have a lot to spend on clothes get their dream wedding.

Next: Rings

Previous: Decorations


Photo Credits (top to bottom): Sarah Baillie.