Wall of Fame: Washington Couple Uses 400,000 Recycled Cans to Pay for Wedding

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It’s what any hopeless romantic's dreams are made of: the perfect person, a spur-of-the-moment proposal ... and lots of aluminum cans?

After Peter Geyer caught the garter at a wedding last fall, Andrea Parrish got down on one knee and proposed to her boyfriend with an opal earring -- but the unconventionality doesn't stop there. While other couples are stringing empty cans to the back of their "Just Married" mobile, the Spokane couple is cashing in their recyclables to help finance their July 31st wedding.

Having just purchased a house and with Andrea recently laid off, the couple was stressing over how they would afford a wedding. Andrea says she awoke her fiancé late one night to tell him of her crazy-brilliant idea: cash for cans. From there, the two devised a plan to fund their wedding solely off of the money collected from recycled cans. Their goal: $3,800 from 400,000 cans.

While I probably would have spent the next few months doing nothing but chugging canned beverages at all hours of the day, the couple came up with a more creative approach to reaching their goal. After creating a website dedicated to their cause as well as a Facebook group that’s attained more than 1400 fans, the news about the plan for cans spread. Andrea and Peter received a donation of 150,000 cans from the aluminum producer Alcoa, as well as a 73,000-can contribution from United Recycling Services.

SAN FRANCISCO - JULY 11:    Recycled aluminum cans are seen at the Norcal Waste recycling facility July 11, 2003 in San Francisco. The most modern recycling facility in the United States opened in March of 2003 and has the ability to sort and bail up to 2,100 tons of recyclables per day using an efficient combination of specialized equipment and hand sorting. Along with paper, plastic and glass, Norcal's newly opened construction materials sorting facility can sort wood, concrete and metal. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The couple reached their goal last week and celebrated by cashing in a ton of cans -- literally, the bags full of recyclables weighed in at over a ton. However, Parrish and Geyer aren't stopping any time soon. The couple is still taking donations, 40% of which are going to the couple’s honeymoon. The remaining 60% of the proceeds will be donated to Doctors Without Borders and Rim Country Land Institute.

The couple plans to keep up with the resourceful theme in the rest of the ceremony, with lots of inside help: floral arrangements made by a sister-in-law, reception music consisting of friend-made playlists, home-brewed beer and wine, a cake baked and decorated by the mother of the bride, and custom-made clothing, including the wedding gown sewn by the matron of honor’s mother-in-law.

Both crafty and charitable, this couple will be celebrating wedded bliss thanks to a crazy idea and a few empty cans.

Are you going to start saving your empty recyclables? What money-saving wedding tips do you have?

And let me know how to start saving for the ceremony I don’t have a husband for yet.

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