by Oscar Collins October 26, 2020 2 min read

A wedding offers myriad opportunities to eat and drink. So how do you ensure that you don't waste your leftovers when your reception ends?

Take a look below for a few helpful ideas.

1. Stay Away From Buffets

It's essential to communicate with your caterers about your options. They'll likely recommend that you serve plated dishes rather than have a buffet. That's because a buffet requires chefs to cook various foods in large amounts. As a result, you're left with food waste.

You can limit leftovers if you ask your guests to select an option on their invitations. Then, you'll have waiters distribute their meals. This alternative helps chefs improve efficiency and reduce preparation for appetizers, mains and desserts. Plus, it's more sanitary.

2. Offer Containers for To-Go Use

Why not provide containers so that your guests can take to-go orders? This idea may not work for your main course, but you can supply boxes for cocktail hour. Stock your tables with paper options to be as eco-friendly as possible.

You could even attach instructions on methods to reheat foods like pizza and barbecue. It's also best to send each guest home with a slice of wedding cake.

3. Make Donation Arrangements

appetizer plate

There are a few ways to donate your leftovers. The simplest approach would be to contact local food pantries, homeless shelters and senior homes. It's important to note that you won't be able to give specific foods to certain places, so it's ideal to call ahead. You'll likely be able to donate unopened packaged items, but it's typically impossible to distribute food that you've already touched due to safety reasons.

It's wise to plan for your donation so that you can coordinate a time and a place with your chosen recipient. You can try a similar idea for your flower arrangements.

4. Try to Limit Servings

Try not to serve too much food and drink at your wedding. It's tempting to offer guests endless cuisine options. You want everyone to feel like they have a choice. But you don't need tables with seafood, pasta, hamburgers and sushi.

You can certainly accommodate people with allergy and diet restrictions. That said, you should aim for a more focused approach. Try to choose only a few recipes in total.

These Ideas Will Help You Lower Your Wedding's Food Waste

It's common for food and drink to go to waste at weddings. Fortunately, you can use different tactics to ensure your leftovers have a second purpose.