Friday, February 4, 2011

Recycled Bride Reveals 2011 Hottest Sustainable Wedding Trends

Recently I received an email from Recycled Bride with 2011's hottest sustainable wedding day trends. I thought I would copy and paste these ideas into this post to help get the creative juices flowing on how to craft them into your own plans.

1. Diamonds are no longer a girl's best friend: Inspired by the sapphire ring that Prince William gave to Kate Middleton, alternative gemstones are all the rage for engagements in 2011. Brides will express their individual style and avoid conflict diamonds, with rings made of colored stones like sapphire, emerald and rubies with diamond alternatives like moissonite and synthetic diamonds. Another alternative to staying eco-friendly is to buy and shop local.
See AB's past article on eco-wedding rings.

2. Chalkboard chic: Stylish slate signs will take the place of paper wedding programs, seating cards, and menus. Chalkboard signs can be made to look elegant and fancy or sweet and rustic, and can be created inexpensively at home using scavenged picture frames, chalkboard paint, and a little creativity. Reducing paper waste at your wedding never looked so stylish!

3. Weddings go local: Farmer's market menus and locally sourced favors and gifts are hip as can be this year. By doing their wedding shopping locally, couples minimize their carbon footprint, support their local economy, and delight guests with unique details they won't find elsewhere.

4. The "Staycation-moon": The popular staycation trend meets the honeymoon as couples skip the expense and carbon footprint associated with honeymoon travel in favor of romantic hometown adventures. Picture a week of museum visits, local theater and sporting events, park picnics, bucket-list adventures, and romantic dining -- no luggage required! Staycation not for you? Check out this mini blog post on green hotels.

5. Intimate weddings: Weddings with small guest lists create less waste, offer more warmth, and give couples tons of flexibility when choosing a location. Intimate wedding celebrations range from elegant multi-course dinners in hotel penthouses to backyard barbecues featuring local bands and brews.

A backyard wedding may not sound appealing to those of you who live in the city (or just don't have much of a backyard). But there are other options (maybe a friend outside the city?)  Check out a past articles on backyard wedding tips and backyard wedding themes to help get you inspired to think outside the box.

6. Cocktail wedding dresses: Short wedding dresses are all the rage, and just about every major bridal designer has debuted a knee-length collection for 2011. A cocktail-length dress can be worn again, and many are just as formal and elegant as a long gown. Look for tons of short and sweet styles for sale on Recycled Brideright now.  Dress makers on etsy also offer an array of different tea length dresses. Check out this past article on Vintage Inspired Dresses under $700.

7. Paperless Invitations: Electronic wedding communication is easier and prettier than ever, with companies like Glo offering stunning, interactive online save-the-dates, reply cards, invitations, and more. E-mail invites are less expensive than paper and help to reduce wedding waste. 

I have a hard time with this trend. I am a big fan of all things paper. And something about receiving an invitation via email just isn't the same as getting a pretty invitation in the mail. (Let's face it - who doesn't like opening something that isn't a bill from the mail)  So if you are like me, there are alternatives to the evite.  Check out this past article on invitation company, Foosie Designs (or go directly to her shop on etsy or website for more info. And please note she is currently having a sale on all wedding items right now on her site!! )

8. Greener Gifting: Registries have gone green, with tons of new options for brides and grooms who want to receive ethically-made gifts and support the sustainable economy. Two of our faves are the Green Bride Guide Shop and The Knot's Gift Registry 360, which lets couples create one centralized registry with products from any online retailer they choose. And green donation gifts, like Bluebell Giving Cards, will be popular as both wedding presents and guest favors. 

9. Face Forward: Long veils are sitting on the sidelines this year, as brides forgo them in favor of birdcage styles and unique hair accessories that can be worn again. Expect to see 2011's brides in headbands, vintage hair clips, flowers, and chic tiaras.

This is actually a continuing trend from 2010. Check out this past Artful Bride article including some lovely veil options on Wedding Veils & Hair Accessories from several shops. 

10. Flexitarian Feasts: Another trend inspired by Chelsea Clinton's veggie-conscious wedding is reducing the amount of meat on the menu. This year, more couples will offer vegetable- and grain-based meal options for their guests in an effort to save money and save the Earth.

11. Wedding Recycling: More brides, grooms, bridesmaids and guests than ever are shopping and selling on sites like Smart users enjoy the financial, environmental, and social benefits of wedding recycling, and discover the joy of sharing, saving, and passing on treasured wedding items to other happy couples.

If you have more ideas on wedding trends for 2011, we would love to hear about it!  Send us an email


  1. Check us out in addition to Gift Registry 360 ( We're very much like gift registry 360 by centralizing your registry, but go 1 step further by helping guests find the cheapest place to buy the products you want.

  2. Great post!! I love charitable donation gifts and there is a new wedding trend going around where instead of guest giving the bride and groom money they use it for donations in the bride and grooms name.
    Thanks again for the great ideas!

  3. Sustainable wedding treats are such a great idea, the more earth friendlt the wedding, the better. You can now get green gold engagement rings which is uded from recycled gold. From wedding rings