Wedding junk mail: When life gives you garbage, make confetti!

Updated Oct 12 2015
Guest post by Wendy
mrs and mrs richards
Photo from Joey & Maxine's wedding

I don't know why I thought I could fly under the Wedding Industrial Complex's radar in regards to wedding planning. With my marketing and public relations background, I really should have known that once I started calling vendors, my name would wind up on someone's mailing list. Such lists rarely remain private and often companies will share (or more likely, sell) their lists to other companies.

For the last several weeks, I have been receiving regular junk mail from my area's WIC staple vendors. Travel brochures to sun-drenched beaches proclaiming honeymoon specials, pamphlets for venues with all-inclusive packages that are three times my budget, postcards from wedding dress boutiques toting the latest trunk sale, an entire guide for "local" vendors (90 minutes north of me) which I did not sign up for.

I get about one piece of this type of mail per day now, and my wedding is still eight months away! Unlike email spam, there is no easy link to click to unsubscribe to these mailings, either. […Or is there?! -Eds]

It'd be funny if these things weren't so appallingly counter to my tastes…

No, I do not want your stationery, because I find it overpriced and the suites lacking in books, dragons, 20-sided die, or anything vaguely fun. No, I do not want your flowers, because I do not want the 20% markup for buying them from a shop with a pretentious French name. My fiancée's allergies will go pretty nuts if we got a lot of flowers, anyway. I'm not one for tropical beaches, since I can't swim and you couldn't get me into a swimsuit for love or money. I'd much rather go to the Smithsonian, or whale watching in Alaska, or bum around Prague.

In short, these mass mailing pieces are irrelevant, the products advertised do not jive with my budget, and I feel sad for all the trees that died to make them.

I've come up with several solutions for what to do with all that gross junk mail:

  • If your venue allows confetti, just get a heart-shaped decorative punch and go re-purpose it all into something useful!
  • If you know someone who has birds, offer it as birdcage lining and be content that you're also making a small statement about your opinion on the WIC.
  • We happen to be saving some of it as kindling for our fireplace this winter, and recycling the rest.

What other ways can we turn the pain of WIC junk mail into the thrill of making that unwanted crap work in your favor?

  1. Junk mail is great for stuffing gift bags and mailing packages! Just send it through a shredder and say goodbye to paying $5 for a small bag of crinkly shredded paper.

  2. I'd personally watch out for any slick/glossy pages used as fireplace fodder- magazines particularly release carcinogens and other icky things you don't want to breathe or have floating around landing on your skin!!

    Also, just downloaded PaperKarma as linked to by the eds… HOLY WOW. Can't wait to use it on my junk mail!! How can it be free????

  3. As a school teacher, I save a lot of the ads and use them when I am teaching about propaganda, persuasive techniques, appeals, etc. The kids get a kick out of it.

    • Please keep doing it! I still remember, 20 years later, a similar project and assignment that we did at school with the help of a very talented teacher. It made me commercial-proof. It's an undervalued skill! 🙂

  4. We use all of our junk mail as dog togs. I hit it on their nose a few times and they grab it from me and rip it to pieces. Luckily our dogs won't eat it but be careful if yours would.

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