Eco-Friendly Couple Spends Just $3,600 for 'Zero-Waste Wedding'

Meet the eco-friendly couple who spent just $3,600 on a "zero-waste wedding," complete with a recycled fabric dress and leaf confetti.

Anna Masiello, 28, and Diogo Linhares, 29, met at a zero-waste event in October 2019 and are passionate about reducing waste.

The bride and groom parties wore secondhand outfits, and the ceremony took place at Masiello's uncle's garden in Trieste, Italy.

Anna Masiello and Diogo Linhares
Anna Masiello, 28, and Diogo Linhares, 29, spent just $3,600 on a "zero-waste wedding," complete with a recycled fabric dress and leaf confetti. Anna Masiello, SWNS/Zenger

The guests were served a sustainably sourced plant-based menu and all of the decorations and furniture were either second-hand or rented.

Masiello had her dress designed from off-cuts of factory materials, costing her just $455.

Masiello, an influencer, from Trieste, in northern Italy, said: "It was the most special day.

"It was raining all day, but the sun came out when we exchanged vows in the garden.

"I felt like a fairy, and we danced the night away.

"It was amazing to just strip back the day and get married how we wanted to.

"This is the way we live day to day so we wanted to apply it to our wedding day and we wanted to do it our way.

"I also wanted to prove everyone wrong that being sustainable doesn't mean losing out on anything."

The couple met at an event where Anna made a speech about reducing waste and Linhares, a videomaker, was premiering a film in October 2019.

Masiello said: "I just felt an instant connection. I knew it was meant to be. It was love at first sight."

The pair started dating long distance, with Masiello living in Lisbon, Portugal, while Linhares was in Porto, in Portugal's north, but moved in together in Porto in March 2020 when lockdown hit.

"If you can quarantine with somebody, you can get through anything," Masiello said.

The two moved to Lisbon and started their "zero-waste" lifestyle in June 2020.

The couple cut back on what they buy so they don't waste food or plastic. They buy package-free by buying at a refill store, get fruit and vegetables from their local farmer, and purchase secondhand clothes and furniture.

The conscious pair produce just one black bin bag of garbage every six months and live off a plant-based diet to help reduce their own carbon footprint.

Anna Masiello and Diogo Linhares wedding
Anna Masiello, 28, and Diogo Linhares, 29, wore secondhand outfits at their wedding, as did their wedding party, and the ceremony took place at Masiello's uncle's garden in Trieste, Italy. Anna Masiello, SWNS/Zenger

Linhares proposed in December 2021 with a ring carved from a tree in Masiello's childhood garden.

She opted for a linen lilac two-piece so she can "easily wear the top and skirt again" after she tied the knot on May 28.

"Lots of my friends came to me saying they wanted to wear something secondhand to fit with my day which was so nice," she said.

"I loved my dress, and I can wear it again. It was so special to have it designed and I felt so pretty in it."

Her sister, Cristina, 34, crocheted a purple shawl to match the dress.

"It was so beautiful and such a lovely gift," Masiello said.

Anna Masiello and Diogo Linhares wedding
Anna Masiello, 28, and Diogo Linhares, 29, chose to use dried fallen leaves cut into hearts collected by Diogo's mom, Ana, 62, instead of conventional confetti. The confetti also contained bird feeder and seeds to plant new trees and feed the birds. Anna Masiello, SWNS/Zenger

Instead of spending thousands on a venue, the couple got married in Masiello's uncle's garden and had the reception in her other uncle Valter's home to shelter from the rain.

Her mother, Llaria, 60, made table decorations from upcycled old jars filled with aromatic herbs, which the guests were able to take home.

Masiello bought unpackaged candles and reusable hand sanitizer to sit alongside her mother's creations.

"A bride must have a bouquet - but I had beautiful dry flowers grown in a local woman's garden. They last forever," she said.

"I also had a flower crown made from them."

The wedding guests were served mushroom pate, hummus and sweet and sour peppers entrees and were treated to a pizza-making class as well as other meat-free dishes.

"Everyone expects meat and fish at a wedding, but although most of our guests are meat eaters no one complained," she said.

"There was plenty of food to go around - we're Italian after all."

The happy couple chose to use dried fallen leaves cut into hearts collected by Diogo's mom, Ana, 62, instead of conventional confetti.

The confetti also contained bird feeder and seeds to plant new trees and feed the birds.

Linhares said: "The wedding was way beyond my expectations.

"It felt really good and even with a clear conscious to know that we were having the lowest impact we could on celebrating our union and love.

"We managed to reflect our core believes and lifestyle on to the wedding through our choices of food, dresses, decorations, et cetera, and help people realize that you can celebrate your love by being sustainable and without breaking the bank and still have an amazing and memorable day."

Produced in association with SWNS.

This story was provided to Newsweek by Zenger News.