Partying with Less Waste

This summer Mike and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary. I always imagined a gathering at our place — like a second wedding — another opportunity to get all our people together in one place. We had friends and family from near and far and with their love and support, I felt like we did this landmark justice. Besides our wedding, I had never planned for a party of this size (around 70ppl) and I wanted to make sure our values played into the planning. It turned out to be a beautiful event with relatively low cost and a very earthy + elegant vibe. Below are some tips that I learned along the way…

photo by Rathvinden Farm

Support your local farmers!

We chose to be hands-on, with plenty of help from our friends and family. That meant buying the flowers, putting together the arrangements and cooking the food. Doing this made it possible to stick to mostly local, organic produce. With help from my visionary friend Jasmine Lilly, we found the sweetest little flower market at Rathvinden Farm and purchased flowers from RathvindenKokoro and Calliope. I don’t know if I could have pulled this all off without Jasmine, a wildly creative talent with extensive experience in the wedding industry. Having her by my side gave me the confidence and tools to see this through. So, make sure you enlist your friends. The process is half the fun!


After you have a general theme in mind scour your local thrift stores. I chose to keep it simple and natural with white linens, compostable bamboo plates and a random mix of colorful glassware. I searched all summer for different colored glasses. I ended up using white cotton bedsheets for table cloths and instead of disposable forks, I collected silverware from thrift stores. The forks, serving platters and glasses were the only thing we needed to clean after the party. The rest was either recyclable or compostable!

I searched for serving platters that were either wood, ceramic or wicker to stick to the natural theme. I also found a few glass water pitchers that I filled with fruit and herbs. These were not only refreshing on a hot day but doubled as beautiful decor. 

Compost and Recycle! 

We are lucky enough to have an awesome composting service here. Our friends at Happy Trash Can provide a much needed service to our community. If you’re local, you should check them out. They provide curbside as well as event services. We were able to compost these linen-like napkins and bamboo plates purchased from Bambu, along with all the leftover food. The rest we were able to recycle — beer cans, sparkling water, etc… Unfortunately, we can’t recycle glass here in Bozeman, I hope that changes soon! All in all, it was very satisfying to mostly bypass the trash can. It’s amazing how much trash we can produce in one event! 


After so much preparation it can seem daunting to slow down and enjoy the event! It goes by in a flash. Having live music helped me slow down and sink into the moment. Local artist Maggie Hickman joined us in our woodshed/converted stage. She was amazing and added a layer of depth and relaxation to the event. 

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