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25 DIY Wedding Ideas from Reclaimed and Eco-Friendly Materials

25 DIY Wedding Ideas from Reclaimed and Eco-Friendly Materials

The wedding industry is huge, wasteful, and expensive, but these DIY wedding ideas use reclaimed materials and a little bit of handmade love to save you money and conserve resources!

Weddings can cost in the tens of thousands of dollars easily, and they use a crazy amount of resources. From centerpieces and the bridal bouquet to your dress and veil, there are lots of ways to opt out of the more consumerist side of the wedding industry. Plus, when you make some – or all! – of your wedding trappings by hand, you’re putting more of yourself into this super special day.

I will say this about DIY wedding ideas: when you’re making things by hand, you need to allow more time. You also may want to enlist your friends and family to help you.

One couple I know wanted 1000 origami paper cranes at their wedding, but they didn’t fold all 1000 on their own. We all pitched in. I probably made 100-150 cranes for them. Her sister made 200+, and we weren’t the only ones pitching in.

Getting friends and family involved in some of your DIY wedding ideas is something you should approach thoughtfully. Folks are often eager to help, but make sure it’s fun for them. Plan some wedding crafternoons or craft nights, where you provide snacks and drinks. Choose some good music or a movie. Those crafting sessions become part of the memories associated with your DIY wedding.

You also shouldn’t feel like this is an all or nothing situation. Maybe you use some of the DIY wedding ideas for cut flower replacements below, but you don’t have the time to make boutonnieres or your own bouquet. That’s OK! Do what you can – every bit helps, and at the end of the day your wedding is about you and your spouse-to-be starting a life together. Have fun, and happy crafting!

Mason Jar Lantern

Planning an outdoor wedding? These simple mason jar lanterns are easy to make and look lovely twinkling up in the trees!

 

25 DIY Wedding Ideas

Hanging Decorations

Hanging decorations add some whimsy to your DIY wedding on the cheap!

1. Mason Jar Lanterns

2. Paper Heart Garland

3. Upcycled Heart Streamers

4. Fabric Scrap Bunting – Fun fact: my friends Kip and Brian based their wedding decor around this bunting that I made as a housewarming gift for them!

5. Water Bottle Chandelier

Bouquet & Boutonniere Ideas

Forget cut flowers and the huge carbon and pesticide footprints that come with them. Try these upcycled ideas instead!

6. Button and Bead Bouquet – choose vintage beads and buttons instead of new!

7. Newspaper Bouquet

8. Paper Flower Boutonniere

9. Succulent Boutonniere

10. Vintage Brooch Bouquet

Wedding Dress Inspiration

Thrift shops often have old wedding dresses that can be super cute with a little bit of love from your sewing machine. Sometimes you can even create your own DIY wedding dress from unexpected thrift store finds. Here’s some inspiration!

11. T-Shirt Wedding Dress

12. 70s Gown to Modern Style

13. 1940s Dress Goes Mod (and becomes purses!)

14. Another dowdy 70s gown goes modern.

15. Hand-Painted Upcycled Gown

Centerpieces

The perfect centerpiece finishes off your wedding tablescape. Check out these DIY wedding ideas for offbeat centerpieces made from reclaimed materials!

16. Fallen Branch Centerpieces

17.  Recycled Plastic Container Centerpieces – You won’t believe how gorgeous these are!

18. Vintage Lace Doily Candle Holders

19. Branch and Paper Heart Centerpieces

20. Chalkboard Mason Jars

Favors

Wedding favors can be cheesy. They’re also often made from plastic that ends up in the landfill. These favors are ones your guests will cherish long after your wedding is over!

21. Seed Packet Wedding Favors

22. Handmade Soy Candles

23. Homemade Vanilla Extract

24. Pretty Preserves

25. Tin Can Plants

Are you doing (or did you do) anything crafty for your wedding? I’d love to hear your DIY wedding ideas in the comments!

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Becky Striepe

Becky Striepe is a freelance writer and vegan crafter living in Atlanta, Georgia. Her life’s mission is to make green crafting and vegan food accessible to everyone! Like this article? You can follow Becky on Twitter or find her on Facebook!

130 comments

+ add your own
3:24PM PDT on Jul 5, 2014

My daughter and her husband will be celebrating their 25th anniversary and I can certainly use some of these ideas, I better get started. My to-do-list just increased. I'm going to have such fun! :)

11:29PM PDT on Apr 23, 2014

Im currently in the process of starting a new event company. I love creating decorations and centrepieces from recycled and found object, adds so much more interest, history and its better for the environment. I LOVE the plastic bottle chandelier! looks fantastic AMAZING unique idea :) well done to the artist!

8:53AM PDT on Apr 2, 2014

Wow - these are great ideas! I think my hubby & I will have to get married again just to try some of them out (LOL)!!

3:03PM PDT on Mar 13, 2014

Bookmarking this page, thanks!

12:05PM PST on Feb 8, 2014

thanks for sharing

1:51PM PST on Feb 7, 2014

nice

12:34PM PST on Feb 7, 2014

I eloped and spent the money on a honeymoon to Canada.

4:46AM PST on Feb 6, 2014

ty

12:10AM PST on Feb 5, 2014


friv 2
Thank you for this post. I perform wedding ceremonies and I'm always being asked for ideas on how to save money.

9:03AM PST on Feb 4, 2014

Flag the spammer!

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