By: Sylvia Anderson
Even if you can afford to part with that much cash, you can be a bit nicer to the planet by choosing some eco-friendly options.
Not only will you reduce your carbon footprint, says Certified Green Building Professional, Lisa Beres, but you'll also save some of your hard-earned money.
What are some of Beres's best tips?
While "diamonds are a girl's best friend" might be true, diamonds are not Mother Nature's friend.
The popular move, Blood Diamond, as well as numerous documentaries have raised awareness about unethically mined diamonds. So, look for responsibly-mined, conflict-free diamonds such as those offered by Brilliant Earth, Kay Jewelers, Tiffany & Co., and Zales. Tiffany & Co. actually owns their own mines. The key is to make sure your diamond has what's called a Kimberly Process Certification, which means it's been mined ethically.
Another option is offered by a company called Pure Grown Diamonds. These diamonds are made in a lab, but they're not synthetic; they're completely natural, made with carbon. And, they're typically 30-40 percent less expensive than the real thing. You can get any size, any color, and they are ethical, sustainable, and eco-friendly.
Your wedding dress can also be a huge expense. To save some money (and some waste), you can buy slightly used wedding gowns on sites like Pre-Owned Wedding Dresses, Bravo Bride, and Tradesy. Brides Against Breast Cancer is an organization that collects used dresses, then goes across the country selling the dresses very inexpensively. All the money goes to help women with breast cancer.
Finally, search out recycling centers in your area that will pick up and re-purpose items from your wedding (or any event). Or, check with local homeless shelters and see if they will accept any leftover food or other items.
Remember, your wedding day should be about you and your partner... not all the material things that go into the celebration.
In the accompanying audio segment, Lisa Beres offers tips on how to make your wedding eco-friendly, as well as options for recycling or reselling your dress and more.