Wedding Cans:The Story of Andrea, Pete & How it All Started

Before Wedding Cans

Andrea has to borrow her brother's truck frequently to pick up cans. Photo by Yellow House Photography, Spokane, WA.

I think it was that castle that really got the wheels turning and drove Andrea Parrish to create the Wedding Cans project.

She had always planned on keeping the costs as low as possible, and at first she set out to find people who’d let them have it in their backyard for free. Meanwhile, she started scoping out vacation home rentals online. And there it was: The Castle. It would be cheaper to rent the castle for a few days than it would be to rent a reception hall for a few hours. But she still needed a couple grand.

Starting small

So there I was at work one day, writing about payday loans versus personal loans, when I heard that familiar “bloop,” telling me I had a gmail chat message. It was Andrea.

“So… think many cans come through your apartment building?”

“Cans?” I replied. “Like, aluminum cans?”

“Yup,” she wrote, then simply posted this link:

Turns out Andrea, who can easily be called an environmentalist, had decided she would pay for her castle in cans. In fact, she was going to pay for her whole wedding in cans.

Andrea: This is quite firmly filed in the “crazy idea” category… but I think it’s crazy enough to maybe work
me: Sure why the hell not?
It can’t hurt.
I can collect cans in my office, too.
The staff here drinks tons of soda.

Getting big FAST

From right, Andrea Parrish, Peter Geyer and The Pitchfork. Photo by Yellow House Photography, Spokane, Wash.

From right, Andrea Parrish, Peter Geyer and The Pitchfork. Photo by Yellow House Photography, Spokane, Wash.

That gmail chat exchange took place exactly once month ago, Dec. 7. Today, Andrea Parrish and Pete Geyer, who live in Spokane, Wash., are featured in an AP News video that ran in states as far away as New Jersey. That video also spent some time on Yahoo’s homepage today. Their story ran in Canada. It made it to the CBS national news (See:

Last night, Andrea and Pete were on the local TV news. Today, they were featured in the Spokesman-Review, Spokane’s daily newspaper. Tomorrow, they’ll be on the CBS morning show. It was only one week ago that the first web site besides her own featured Wedding Cans in a story. Offbeat Bride featured the story of Andrea and Pete on Dec. 30, and on Jan. 8 they’ll be interviewed live via satellite on CBS.

Andrea and Pete, after Wedding Cans

If all goes as planned, and Andrea and Pete can collect the 400,000 cans they are aiming for, they’ll get married July 31, less than seven months from now. All of their hard work will have brought them a small, simple, inexpensive wedding, and it’ll be exactly what they wanted. They’ll get married in their castle in Hope, Idaho.

They’ll hold a handfasting ceremony, during which they’ll hold hands, then their joined hands will be wrapped in braided cords. Pete will launch the garter using a bow and arrow. Andrea’s bouquet will launch from a trebuchet (which looks like a small catapult). Wedding guests will feast on homemade beer, a cake Andrea’s mom made and homemade dishes that other guests brought from home. Afterward, they’ll always remember that they did things their way, doing good for the environment all along the way.

In Andrea’s own words, from the Wedding Cans web site, “Saving the environment and throwing a killer party… what could be better?”

If you have money from recycled cans that you’d like to donate, you can do it right here!

Photos by: Yellow House Photography