Paying for Wedding with Aluminum Cans | Crafty or Crazy?

More than a car decoration

Andrea Parrish and Peter Geyer. Image from Flickr.

Andrea Parrish and Peter Geyer. Image from Flickr.

With the amount of cash people spend on weddings nowadays (average in U.S. is $28,000), it’s practically impossible to pull it off without involving a personal loan, either on the part of the parents or the couple. It’s no wonder some people would rather just elope. But couples are coming up with creative ways to pay for all of the food, drink and attire that are mandatory for celebrating a romantic union in style.

When I first heard about the couple in Spokane, Wash., who are planning to pay for their wedding by recycling aluminum, I thought “What a cool idea!” However, I had my doubts about whether they could pull it off. Oh, me of little faith.

Aluminum explosion

The story of the crazy couple trying to collect 400,000 aluminum cans to raise just $3,800 (obviously, they want a small wedding) first was featured on Offbeat Bride, a popular web site that features not-so-traditional weddings. Fast-forward to just one week later, and the story is featured in the Spokane newspaper, and according to the couple’s web site,, after it ran on a Spokane TV news station, the Associated Press got ahold of it.

The video of the couple “with a can-do attitude” ran in states all the way across the country, including Maryland and New Jersey. And now they’ve made international news; The Globe and Mail in Canada picked up the video. But here’s the kicker, folks: the YouTube video. Think of how many unsuspecting videos have gone viral. And remember that guy who started with a paper clip and ended up with a house? Once you factor in harnessing the power of the Internet, paying for a wedding with aluminum cans doesn’t sound crazy at all. It sounds downright doable.

In fact, considering that right now their story has made it to the front page of, it sounds downright done.

Want to help their cause?

The couple says it will come to you to pick up cans — if you live nearby. However, people in New Jersey and Maryland can help, too. Wedding Cans, the web site, says:

Not in the area? Please consider collecting the cans in your office, classroom, or kitchen. Find a local recycling center, and turn them in. Take the cash, take yourself out for a coffee or draft beer, and perhaps kick a bit of what’s left over our way.

After  you collect money for your cans, go to and scroll down to the bottom, there’s a shiny, golden “donate” button. Click on that, and it’ll let you deposit money in their PayPal account. I like the way they put it on their web site: “Saving the environment and throwing a killer party… what could be better?”

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