A Low-Waste Wedding
When Ashley and Nick were planning their wedding, they knew one thing for sure—they wanted to do it their way, which meant it had to be heartfelt and it had to be low-waste.
A consultant at a local marketing agency, Ashley began doing what she does best: research.
“When I was planning our wedding, I found an article that said weddings are one of the most wasteful events of a person's life, so I wanted to make sure we did what we could to prevent that,” Ashley said.
Ashley and Nick decided they’d try to reuse or repurpose everything from their ceremony and reception, from the flowers to the food they planned to serve to their 100 guests.
“To reduce food waste, we had the venue box up all of the leftovers from the buffet, so people could take them home,” she said. “Nick and I took everything that was leftover. I didn't have to cook for days. We also donated the flowers from the reception to a retirement community, so they could be enjoyed beyond one day.”
While most brides spend a small fortune on a wedding dress they only wear once, Ashley planned to have her wedding dress dyed and shortened into a cocktail dress that she could wear for years to come.
And the couple didn’t stop there. They went beyond having a low-waste wedding to an event that encouraged generosity and thoughtful giving. When it came to their wedding gifts, going to a department store and scanning items for a registry just wasn’t for them. Having just moved into a new house and disliking clutter, the couple decided to do something different.
“Nick had given me the iconic wedding gift, a KitchenAid mixer, for my birthday a couple of years ago. Our home felt complete, so we didn't feel we needed to go the traditional registry route. Adding the option for our guests to donate to a charity we support seemed like a great way to give back as well,” Ashley said. "We asked our guests to give us a heartfelt gift, a plant for the garden at our new home, or a donation to Second Harvest Heartland.”
A longtime Second Harvest Heartland volunteer, Ashley said Second Harvest Heartland was an easy choice.
“We had a captive audience, so we figured, why not?” Ashley said.
Ashley’s goal was to shine a light on the problem of hunger in our communities. Having come from a family that temporarily relied on food stamps to put food on the table, Ashley wanted to give back and encourage others to give.
“A lot of donating takes place in private,” Ashley said. “I want to make it more apparent that a problem exists and there are agencies devoted to solving it.”
Give Hope for the Holidays
As you spice, stir, serve and celebrate this holiday season, remember your neighbors living with hunger. End-of-year giving is crucial to Second Harvest Heartland’s mission of ending hunger through community partnerships. Help us fill another plate.