First photos from Andrea & Pete's wedding, paid for by recyling 400,000 aluminum cans

Photo courtesy of Catherine Jacola - Plank Pictures Photography
Remember Andrea and Pete? I am super proud of the fact that Offbeat Bride was the very first publication to write about their dream of financing their wedding by recycling aluminum cans … the story was eventually picked up by news outlets all over the world.

In fact, Andrea and Pete's recycling story has spread so far that it's come full circle — not a week goes by that I don't get an excited email from a well-intentioned reader, saying "Have you heard about this couple and their recycling wedding?"

Well, not only have I heard of 'em, but today I'm honored to share the exclusive first look at the gorgeous photos from their wedding this weekend, as well as a few details like "How many bags of garbage did the wedding produce?"

Photo courtesy of Jen Stovern of Second View Photography

Andrea told me, "The day was so much fun, and I don't think, given the chance, we would have done much of anything different."

Photo courtesy of Catherine Jacola - Plank Pictures Photography

Andrea also shared some of the basic stats of the wedding: "We had 125 guests, and went exactly $145 over budget (for a total of $3,945) — which included everything down to the bachelor/bachelorette party, rehearsal dinner, and clothes."

Photo courtesy of Catherine Jacola - Plank Pictures Photography

Since Andrea and Pete are obviously devoted to sustainability, Andrea was clear about one thing: this was a low waste wedding! She said, "Over the weekend, we created one 40 gallon bag of trash, total. We also created about 4 bags of compost and 3 bags of recycling."

Photo courtesy of Catherine Jacola - Plank Pictures Photography

That said, it looks like the wedding produced a metric crapload of LOVE and AWESOMENESS, including the trebuchet bouquet toss.

Photo courtesy of Jen Stovern - Second View Photography

Andrea promises that once more professional photos are back in a month or so, she'll be sharing her full bride profile with us, although in the meantime you can watch this little vid from CBS news.

Congratulations, Andrea & Pete! Here's to a lifetime of sustainable love — and good luck attaining your new goal of recycling enough cans to pay for the honeymoon. 🙂

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  1. Oh wow, I found this story so inspiring when I first read about it months ago, and to finally see the gorgeous result…Fantabulous! Creating a low-impact wedding celebration is very high on my priorities list, and I hope your full profile will include details about how you managed to produce so little waste for such a substantial gathering. Best wishes to you for a life of happiness, love, and sustainability! <3

    • Shoshana, the biggest thing that helped with the impact factor is that we purchased compostable dishware and flatware to use. We also let the location be the majority of the decoration, and lots of things that can be (and will be) used again.

  2. I've been following this wedding too, first on OBB and then on Yahoo. I just think they are the best!! I'm so happy for them! It looks like it was so much fun, and that bouquet toss is EPIC!!! I couldn't help but stare at Andrea's dress during the video, it's beautiful!! And Pete's hair was awesome! Everything just perfect! Love it!!!

  3. A very inspiring story, a beautiful wedding, and I am so glad it worked so well for them! Also, I am in *love* with the groom's hair, and I really want to hear the story behind the bow! How did archery fit into the wedding? I am so looking forward to the full writeup.

  4. The handfasting was so beautiful I am happy to see it featured here again. I wa thrilled and honored to be one of Andrea's bridesmaids and she was (is!) so incredibly beautiful, and Peter was pretty darn sexy too! I can't wait to see the whole writeup. — So happy for you Andrea & Peter!

  5. Haha. Awesome! Glad I could be one of the few-hundred to email you and congrats to the happy couple!

  6. Wow! Your story is a "green" magic fairytale! You look so wonderful and amazing and I can wish you only the best for both for all your lives. A big hug from Italy!

  7. I found myself wondering if they managed to do this the other week-very happy to see it came good for them!
    By the way…is that wedding archery I see? If so, yay!

  8. How does one make money recycling cans? I guess they live in a state where they pay you for turning in the recycling?

    • K.K., it depends on what state you are in. Washington doesn't have a bottle bill (the 5 or 10 cent deposit that you get back) – so we turned the cans into a scrap metal recycling center. Try looking in the phonebook under "recycling" or "scrap metal" or "non-ferrous metal recycling" and give them a call, ask what the per-pound recycling rate is. In WA at the time of our project, it was about 38 cents per pound.

  9. Wow, what a phenomenal effort! That is just extraordinary to go to such lengths – kudos to you guys. I'm so glad that you earnt yourselves such a fabbo wedding. 🙂

  10. The video of the trebuchet bouquet toss is so much fun!

    Every thing looks great, congratulations on your wedding and best of luck in the future!

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