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Posts Tagged ‘ethical’

Recycled wedding dresses? How terribly eco.

In Dresses on July 12, 2009 at 6:34 pm
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Deconstruct old clothes and turn them into catwalk pieces

Cover off “something borrowed” by walking down the aisle in a recycled wedding dress. It will keep your carbon footprint light and fluffy and your wallet with a few pennies left in it.

For East Londoners, Junky Styling are specialists at creating something new from recycled clothing. They can either scour second hand shops and jumble sales for you to find beautiful pieces of lace to make your dream eco-dress or alter and re-fashion a piece of clothing you bring in. Run by Annika Sanders and Kerry Seager and a team of designers on Brick Lane, they’re immensely creative and admirably unpretentious. They’re not wedding specialists, but sometimes that can be a good thing. Here’s some they made earlier…

A little bit of rouging and a buttoned off-shoulder cowl neck

Recycled wedding dress by Junky Styling. Groom, bride's own.

Recycled wedding dress by Junky Styling. Groom, bride's own.

Layers of vintage lace add interest to a simple silhouette

 Vintage lace gets a make-over

Vintage lace gets a make-over

Shortening an old wedding dress gives instant modernity.

Take a wedding dress, then shorten, add ruffles, and voila. Your wedding dress = pimped.

Take a wedding dress, then shorten, add ruffles, and voila. Your wedding dress = pimped.

And if you’re really really on a budget, you can always fashion a wedding dress out of old white T-shirts…

A few T-shirts, some sewing skillz and by golly, that's your wedding dress sorted.

A few T-shirts, some sewing skillz and by golly, that's your wedding dress sorted.

Click here to see instructions

Click here to see instructions

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Wedding gift lists for the budget-conscious bride

In gift lists on March 7, 2009 at 6:01 pm
Get all matchy-matchy at John Lewis

Get all matchy-matchy at John Lewis

Gift lists are an inherently hateful entity. It’s basically like writing your ‘what I’d like from Santa’ letter directly to your friends. They expose the ugly commerical contract behind invites and thank you cards i.e. I buy you dinner, you buy me a gift, we end up even(ish). It says ‘I expect a present, in this price range, and yes, do feel obliged.’

Saying that, if people are going to buy you presents, they’d want to know it was somethinyou’d like.

Here’s how to deal with the minefield of obligation and expectation that is the wedding gift list:

1. ‘Your presence is gift enough’. If you’re just having a relaxed cheapo affair or are getting people to travel and pay for a weekend away, maybe you shouldn’t expect a present too. However, if you say no gifts, you have to stick to it. No hints of ‘if you insist’ as this actually just means more anxiety for guests as to if you’re really asking for presents or not.

2. No one likes to give the gravy boat. Think about what will give your guests pleasure to give. Each gift should be something they’d be proud to have bought themselves. Something complete is far more satisfying that half an expensive item, or the fifth bowl in a set of crockery.

2. The Charity gift list. There’s an aura of middle class smugness which surrounds the charity gift list. It gently reminds the guests that they failed to be as altruistic on their wedding day, and you’re a slightly better person than them. This said you can’t knock the morality of it. The Alternative gift list lets you give to a wide variety of national and international charities. Alternatively, Oxfam Unwrapped have packaged up charity-giving beautifully, so your guests can give a goat or a toilet to African villagers.

3. The Honeymoon Fund. For people who’ve got all the toasters and ceramic soap dishes they need, the honeymoon fund gives the couple something they actually want. However, guests don’t like to feel their money has fallen into a hole, and prefer to buy something tangible – a meal, a diving lesson or a night in a hotel. There’s a few honeymoon fund websites which do this: Honey Fund

Buy a couple a safari tour or a helicopter ride

Buy a couple a safari tour or a helicopter ride

4. Multi-shop gift lists mean avoiding ending up with a John Lewis catalogue house, which can only be a good thing. Bottom Drawer seems to be the best – it’s ‘hacker-safe’ and you can choose items from almost anywhere online, including every big department store, chain or big charity. It is a money contribution list, so you only buy the actual items once the list closes. This means you’re free to change your mind about presents, but it is a little more risky if it folds (as Wrapit did last year). One thing to bear in mind is that you have to pay £90 if you take the money and don’t buy the presents through the site.

Alternative gift lists

Alternative gift lists

What to give

What to give - another money contribution list

Marriage gift list doesn’t seem to have any hidden charges. (Has anyone used them?)

There’s also Present Wise, thought it isn’t as aesthetically pleasing as Bottom Drawer. And yes, that does matter.

Confetti do a gift list, but they charge guests £2 per contribution as well as £15 to sign up, the cheeky blighters. Here’s an article slamming them, written by the MD of Bottom Drawer…

5. The single store gift list. Heals and its many pretty things can be turned into a gift list here. You could do John Lewis if you’re happy to be part of middle class suburbia. Or Debenhams, if you fancy getting a £50 free voucher on sign up (you don’t actually have to use the list…) Selfridges does a pledge list (a money contribution list) so you have a day out shopping and choosing presents after your wedding.

6. Guests buy your wedding. At youbuymywedding guests pay for your wedding. The downside is that everyone will know exactly what your wedding cost. And guests might think it’s outrageously cheeky.

Make it ethical

In Themes on January 22, 2009 at 6:17 pm

The beauty of the environmentally-friendly wedding is that it’s secret theme is cheapness. Suddenly you’re not a cheapskate but an eco-warrior. Here’s some tips for your perfect eco-wedding:

The child labour that makes your engagement diamond shine so brightly

The child labour that makes your engagement diamond shine so brightly

1. Avoid blood diamonds, as in any new diamonds, they’re bound to have been mined by Congolese slave types. Plus, vintage diamonds, or a non-diamond ring is way cheaper. To get extra eco points, go for a wood ring, like Touch Wood Rings.

2. Go big on something borrowed. If your friends have got married recently ask them for table runners, left over ribbons, cake tops etc, all under the cunning ruse of saving the planet.

3. Plump for potted plants. No one wants to see flowers being cut to death, so love the planet, love your wallet and have a potted flower as your centrepiece.

4. Arrive on foot. Dont use up the world’s valuable oil resources.

5. Love the charity shop. Insist that not only your dress but all the bridesmaids’ dresses are ethically sourced from charity shops.

6. Donate your gift list to charity. This may hurt, but to keep up the ethical pretence, it really is necessary. Ask guests to donate the price of a goat at Oxfam Unwrapped, rather than buying you John Lewis crockery.

7. Email your invites.

8. Make the cake yourself. Or get your mother-in-law-to-be to do it. That’ll keep her out of trouble for a while. FairTrade carrot wedding cake recipe here.

DIY carrot cake

DIY carrot cake

9. Talk the ethical talk. Stuff like ‘being true to our values’ and ‘neutralising our carbon footprint’ goes down a storm.

Other posts you may like:

The ultmiate crerdit crunch theme: The 1930s Depression

Another theme for the penniless: English village fete