By Alex Perry
In 2016, The Green Bride Guide reported that the average wedding produced 400 lbs of garbage, and 63 tons of CO2. In translation, the equivalent of four people’s annual waste created in a single day. Fortunately, couples have far more options these days than couples did even just five years ago when it comes to eco-friendly wedding options.
Inherently Zero Waste
Since the items you borrow will be used again and again, wedding rentals provide the best alternative to debt and waste for weddings. Sure, custom designs and eye-catching details make for pretty photos, but is the cost (to you and the planet) really worth it? Some of the more popular online marketplaces for wedding rentals include Etsy and Rent My Wedding. Couples can borrow nearly every element of their ceremony and reception, from jewelry to napkin rings, dance floors to linens.
Potential Financial Savings
In addition to the zero waste benefit of wedding rentals, there’s also potential to save quite a bit of money. For example, renting fine china and glassware costs a fraction of the investment to own them. The same goes for photo booths, archways, tuxedos and wedding dresses.
“Brides today spend thousands of dollars to get the outfits of their dreams, only to wear it once.” says Demi Skipper Sudekum of Tangerine Rentals. “With Tangerine Rentals, brides can rent their dream pieces at a fraction of the cost and return it once they’re done. Since launch, we’ve been amazed at how many brides have been interested in renting vs buying.”
A Wider Range of Options
Rent the Runway, a popular fashion rental company, offers a selection of wedding dresses to rent for a fee that’s up to 80% off retail. Plus, you can spare bridesmaids the wardrobe investment of buying a dress by renting those as well. Depending on where you live, you may also find something more unique to rent online than you could to purchase in your local market.
A List of Items You Can Rent Online
- Backdrop walls
- Dance floors
- Wedding signage
- Reception furniture
- Archways and altars
- Photo booths and props
- Dinnerware and linens
- Marquee letters and lighting
- Reception decor
- Bridal fashion and accessories
- Tuxedos and suits
Tips for Items You Cannot Rent
Rentals cover a scope of so much you may need for your wedding ceremony and reception. However, not everything can be rented. For the things you can’t borrow, here are a few tips.
- Compost what you can — flowers, leftover food, coffee grounds, etc.
- Buy second hand — so much of your wedding experience has a one-time use. Like-new items can be found everywhere from Facebook to Amazon.
- Invest in the experience, not stuff — upgrade your photography, not your paper goods. Your memories will come from the things you don’t discard, so opt for the best in lieu of your rental savings.
Alex Perry is a creative-minded story-telling specialist with experience in the newsroom, as well as working direct-to-client. She currently works with bridal, beauty, technology and cannabis brands in her PR agency, Perry Rose Media. She is a mother of two, true-blue Libra and passionate entrepreneur. Typically, you’ll find her behind blue-light blocking glasses sipping CBD-infused chai lattes. Follow Alex on Instagram