Eco Friendly tips for your Pittsburgh Wedding

It’s not a mystery that nowadays, green is the new black. Everybody is concerned about being more eco friendly.
Personally, Sandrachile puts special emphasis on being as eco friendly as possible, but a wedding is more than just photography related items, and if you are planning on having your wedding in Pittsburgh, and wanna have mother earth on your mind, I gathered a few tips that would make Captain Planet proud of us:

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1- Hire vendors who are eco conscious:

The very first step in planning a more eco friendly wedding is to find wedding vendors who care about the things you care about, so gathering a team of professionals who feel the same way and are eco conscious in their practices will take away the dirty looks, and the stress of having to tell someone that you care about mother earth, and you’ll also have the peace of mind that they will go out of their way to execute things with your same mindset.



2- Buy organic clothes

The fashion industry is one of the biggest industries on the planet, and one of the most polluting ones, so instead of buying your clothes out of the typical fabric, made by a sweatshop, go the more organic route, and get your dress and/or suit made of organic fabrics, such as hemp, cotton, bamboo, or even natural silk.

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3- Or go vintage!

But…. If a you can’t afford a wedding gown/designer that is organic, then go vintage!,  Check out consignment shops or vintage boutiques, you might get lucky and find something one-of-a-kind, but if it doesn't fit well, or you don’t like the style, take it to a seamstress to redesign the look, or even better, get in touch with this State College designer who actually makes wedding gowns out of wedding gowns. How cool is that!?

4- Upcycle for decor

Speaking of upcycling, one of the biggest ways you can be eco friendly is by NOT purchasing decorative items, instead you can rent them from places like Vintage Alley Rentals, borrow them from friends, or even get them from thrift stores ("Hello, Saint Vincent De Paul!")


Everything in this picture, except the food, is vintage and available for rent. EVERYTHING!


5- In regards TO flowers, buy local!

The flower industry is one of the most unethical industries, they underpay people in Latin and Asian countries to import flowers loaded with chemicals, in fact, so toxic that there are entire towns in Chile where every child has malformations because of the exposure to these chemicals while their moms were pregnant.
But you can make a difference in the planet and in the worker’s life, by preferring vendors who use flowers grown locally and utilize sustainable decor, like greenSinner.


greenSinner flowers


6- Choose venues that are green certified... or green looking

When it comes to venues, choosing an outdoor venue that does not require flowers, and you can get creative and decorate with elements that can be recycled/upcycled, instead of ending up in a landfill. And you can also choose to work with venues who are certified to be eco friendly like the Pittsburgh Opera House, who will even give you a discount if you choose the green route.

7- Go vegan

Alright, alright, I know I am biased, but let me elaborate.
One of the most toxic industries is the farming industry. It’s not a secret that the gas emissions are brutal. In fact, raising animals for food produces more greenhouse gas emissions than all of the cars, planes, and other forms of transportation combined. By choosing a vegetarian/vegan menu, you can reduce the impact on climate change, rainforest destruction, and pollution, while saving water and other precious resources. With the explosion of veganism, and in Pittsburgh, with the help of Vegan Pittsburgh you can certainly have a nice vegan dinner. From a mediterranean caterer like the Bistro to Go, a taco truck like the one offered by La Palapa, or a fancy couscous dish like JPC Events, the possibilities are seriously pretty competitive.

8- When it comes to paper items, go green or go digital

If you want real pictures, make sure you choose labs that are eco friendly like Artifact Uprising, or simply request your photographer uses products that are eco friendly, instead of the toxic traditional prints. And in regards of paper items, get REALLY creative. Talk to your designer, and make sure he/she understands your motives, like Erin from Fresh Cut Prints, that time she used old records to create place cards 


9- Reduce food waste

If you are working with me, I will definitely ask you for the leftovers to bring them to homeless, but if you are working with another photographer who is not as involved in the cause, I suggest that you plan this in advance, and have your caterer donate untouched foods to 412 Food Rescue, an organization that prevents perfectly good food from entering the waste stream by picking it up and delivering it to organizations in need, right here in the city of Pittsburgh.

10- Dance for Mother Earth!

For real! Donate the money from your bridal dance to an organization that saves the planet like Green Peace, The Ocean Clean Up,
Environmental Defense Fund, or any other that your heart desires! Now, more than ever, resources are needed to fight back the anti-climate agenda, so consider supporting this cause with your wedding day.

See? Being intentional is not that hard!
You just have to dare yourself to do it :)

* Bonus:
Create a wedding registry like the So Kind registry, and encourage others to give you more than just things!