Wedding Styling but Make it Ethical: How to Not ‘Fast Fashion’ Your Wedding Decor

Arche Creative

January 22, 2024

Looking for mindful ways to create the wedding you want while still showing our planet some love?  From considered approaches to seeking sustainable alternatives, it’s time to make your wedding styling kickass and ethical.

Not to poo poo all over your giddy-in-love and joy and newly-engaged era, but the planet is in deep trouble and it wants us to ease off with trying to kill it.

“But this is a wedding magazine!” you cry! “Why you wanna do me that way?” you rage weep!

Correct, you smart human. Right you are! This IS a wedding magazine, but it’s for Rock n Rollers, and Rock n Rollers can handle the truth. And the truth is we’ve all gotta take a mindful approach to what we’re consuming, even when planning such a momentous occasion.

But worry not, it isn’t all Doomy McGloominess. Here’s a few ways to create the wedding you want with lots of local help, while also showing our planet some love.

Is Your Approach Considered?

Or are you a chaos gremlin under the spell of all things shiny and new? Add To Cart! Checkout! Spend! Repeat!

Understandable, person friend, we’ve all been there. But, one of the simplest things you can do is to think and talk about how you want your wedding to be, look and feel. Honest, forthright conversations about what’s important to you both is a fantastic start to taking a considered approach to your wedding styling. Taking more time to plan what you actually want (and need) before you go wild in the aisles will not only save the pennies, but the planet too.

It can take a touch of discipline to chill, consider and plan, but I know you can do it! And would you believe, a considered approach will actually make it more kickass? Why? Because your considerations come direct from your brain/s and your brain/s knows what you like, and shall personalise your styling perfectly. So handy!

Are You ‘Fast Fashioning’ Your Wedding?

This is not about shaming anyone for their spending habits, but I bet you buy less fast fashion than you used to (I mean, the term is relatively new after all). If you are being mindful about overconsumption and/or instead seeking out sustainable alternatives, you can do the same with your wedding styling! Finding alternatives to the big names with their seductively cheap prices (and questionable environmental and human rights practices) doesn’t have to send you broke.

♥ Talk with local artisans, makers and vendors about what they can do for your wedding. It’s OK to talk budget early on to make sure what they offer works for you.

♥ Make a cute couples’ hobby out of thrifting what you want from charity shops, vintage stores and markets. Not only is it fun and affordable but also rather planet friendly. Bonus; each piece has a story to tell, adding a touch of nostalgia to your day.

♥ Online wedding groups and marketplaces (Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree, Vinted, eBay etc) can unearth hidden gems at affordable prices, as couples often sell on items they no longer need.

♥ Hiring decor and styling items is a radical act of shopping local, where the items get used over and over and over and over. BAM! Have a look around at what’s available in your area and ask for a quote.

Quality Over Quantity is so Rock n Roll

To get the most out of your styling budget, choose a couple of key areas, and concentrate your ideas, focus and bucks on them. Areas that are most photographed are your best bet – ceremony backdrop, wedding party table, dancefloor for example.

You do not need 10,000 pieces of plastic crap to make your wedding cool.  While it’s tempting to load up on cheap items, you might end up spending more in the long run-on shit you really don’ need. Plus – depending on the item – if the quality may be questionable, they may not do the job well and you’ll be disappointed. Local vendors will work with your budget where they can, and you may get less but the overall quality and impact will be greater.

I get it, AliExpress, Shein, and Amazon are hella tempting and convenient, but by supporting local shops and wedding vendors, you’re not only contributing to your community’s economy but also making a positive impact on the environment. Seek out those amazing local vendors who genuinely care about your special day and the planet. From furniture and decor hire to florists who grow their own blooms, there’s a world of talent waiting to transform your wedding into a true masterpiece that’s uniquely you.

With a little thoughtfulness and a touch of creativity, you can shop local, bag a bargain, and support artists and suppliers who love what they do and really want to help you make your special day a celebration that befits how truly radical you are.

About Kate Forsyth

Co-founder and creative director of Melbourne vintage furniture hire and event styling legends, Good Day Club, Kate Forsyth is an expert at stacking unstackable vintage chairs and designing the raddest, most non-traditional and fun weddings + events known to wo/man. Outside of running her business, she parents small humans Remy and Bon, obsessively watches police procedurals and has a pretty sweet collection of ceramic horses.

This article originally appeared in issue 51 of Rock n Roll Bride magazine. You can purchase the latest copy here, or why not subscribe to never miss an issue?