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Ask a Wedding Expert: Eco-Friendly Nuptials

Get the guide to a sustainable wedding from the CEO and co-founder of Brilliant Earth

You can search for the perfect engagement ring to fully embody your love and devotion, but shouldn’t your favorite rock also embrace your values?  Beth Gerstein, the CEO and co-founder of Brilliant Earth let us in on the bleak integrity of an industry that’s veiled by the notions of love and endearment – and how Brilliant Earth’s environmentally and socially responsible tactics are working to change the wedding standard.

Currently, jewelers offering “conflict free” diamonds are utilizing the Kimberley Process, which strictly defines conflict diamonds as the rocks that finance rebel movements against recognized governments. The issue is that this process does not recognize abuse against human rights, worker exploitation, poverty and environmental degradation. “Brilliant Earth goes above and beyond the current industry standards to offer beyond conflict free diamonds with a listed country of origin,” Gerstein explains. “Our select group of diamond suppliers demonstrate a robust chain of custody protocol for their diamonds and have the ability to track and segregate diamonds by origin. These suppliers are required to source diamonds that originate from specific mine operators who follow internationally recognized labor, trade, and environmental standards. We also offer lab created and recycled diamonds, both of which are eco-friendly alternatives.”

With practices that summon good merit, Brilliant Earth offers jewelry to the environmentally conscious brides and grooms. Below, Gerstein and Brilliant Earth offer their top tips to help couples plan an eco-friendly wedding from proposal to aisle without sacrificing budget and style.


1. An Ethical Proposal
Brilliant Earth has an expansive selection of ethical, eco-friendly engagement rings for every budget. The rings are made with recycled precious metals and Beyond Conflict Free Diamonds. Continuing to select eco-conscious jewelry for your big day is equally as important. When accessorizing, be sure to select pieces made from recycled metals.

2. Go Vintage
Choosing a dress that’s up-cycled or re-wearing a relative or friend’s gown are two great solutions for brides to be. Another eco-friendly option is to select a designer like Daughters of Simone, Leila Hafzi or Deborah Lindquist that use sustainable materials. For wedding guests looking to dress to the nines? Suggest attendees opt for services like Rent the Runway, as these types of resources help reduce the amount of water, electricity and emissions used to make new clothing.

3. Eco-Conscious Invites
Selecting paperless wedding invitations over snail mail will allow guests to see full event details while saving trees. Who doesn’t have a wedding website these days?

4. Not All Petals are Created Equal
Opting for organic, seasonal and locally grown flowers will help eliminate chemicals often used to grow non-organic flowers and reduce your carbon footprint. There are also companies that work with you to pick up the flowers post-ceremony so that you don’t have to toss any excess bouquets in the trash.

5. The Menu
Similarly to flower options, selecting a caterer that uses locally grown and organic ingredients is another way to be more environmentally-savvy when planning your big day. By choosing local, you’re also diminishing the energy consumed for transportation.