If you’re a summer bride-to-be, you’re probably in the thick of wedding planning right now. One of those things that needs a lot of planning is, of course, the food. Not only do you need to get everyone’s preferred dish preference, but you also need to make sure you don’t order too little or too much of any one thing.
So, how can a green bride prevent wedding food waste?
1. Get an accurate guest count
Yawn. Boring. But the boring advice is often the most useful advice. Make sure all your guests RSVP, and that they RSVP early. Also: Make sure your guests tell you if they are bringing their kids. Knowing this number can help you decide how many kids’ food options you need—because we all know that hardly any child really wants to eat that lobster dish.
2. Skip the courses
Make the affair a potluck. Sure, this doesn’t sound chic, but asking guests to bring their favorite food options makes food waste minimal. You can’t stop your uncle from loading too much food on his plate. But knowing that your guests will cart away their dishes at the end of reception is assurance that those meals will end up on plates in 24 hours and not in the dumpster.
3. Hire a food truck
Bonus: This is a trendy option. Many modern brides are hiring local food trucks to serve their favorite street dishes at the reception. And by hiring a food truck, you know that everything is made-to-order.
4. Get a caterer who hates wedding food waste, too
Most caterers are already conscious about food waste. Talking to a caterer about your concerns will help her better manage what she serves at your wedding.
“Managing scraps and food waste is already a priority for many caterers (and, though this paints with a broad stroke, caterers—especially smaller, more specialized companies—are more likely to have a plan for dealing with food waste than the catering arms of big hotels),” Food52 reports.
“Have a conversation about your expectations for how any scraps and other waste will be handled, and make sure that your caterers do indeed have a plan.”
You also could check if your caterer plans to compost any leftover food, too. You could even see if they’d be willing to add compost bins on site for easy compost disposal.
5. Use “real” plates and silverware
If your catering company doesn’t provide them, or if you haven’t hired a catering company, you can insist on using plates and silverware from a rental company. Another option? Food52 suggests buying mismatched silverware, plates, and glasses at a thrift store. After all, the mismatched look is in, too.
Image of rustic wedding setting via Shutterstock