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Pair approach nuptials with can-do attitude

Andrea Parrish and Peter Geyer have collected about 4 percent of their 400,000-can goal. They plan to use recycling proceeds to fund their wedding. They have about 120 pounds of cans in the living room of their Spokane home, which they share with their cat, Smudgie. (Dan Pelle)
Andrea Parrish and Peter Geyer have collected about 4 percent of their 400,000-can goal. They plan to use recycling proceeds to fund their wedding. They have about 120 pounds of cans in the living room of their Spokane home, which they share with their cat, Smudgie. (Dan Pelle)

They’ll recycle receptacles to fund wedding dreams

They traditionally play a small, but significant, part in the American wedding.

Cans, that is.

You know: The clattering things that get playfully tied to the back of the “just married” getaway vehicle.

But now come Andrea Parrish, 25, and Peter Geyer, 29, with a new idea.

Last month the Spokane couple set up a Web site – www.weddingcans.com – asking the cyber world to help fund their July wedding with the proceeds from recycling 400,000 aluminum cans.

So far these lovebirds have received the equivalent of 18,441 cans, or 4 percent of their goal.

Oh, you crazy kids and your Internet.

“My parents have always thought I was nuts,” Andrea said with an explosive laugh.

On Tuesday I dropped in on Pete and Andrea’s north Spokane home to see what I could do to help these two accomplish their unorthodox quest.

What a sight. Half of their living room was piled with can-stuffed plastic sacks.

Pete pointed to a couple of bags containing about a thousand hangovers’ worth of crushed Busch Light beer cans. The guy who donated, Pete joked, “claims he has a bunch of friends.”

I once had a neighbor who had a lot of empties scattered in his front room. Marital discord was the only thing he got out of those.

But getting back to Andrea and Pete, you can drop cans off at Instant Sign Factory, Second Avenue and Post Street. That’s where Pete works.

The pair will also pick up your recyclables if you contact them.

Or you can recycle cans no matter where you live and donate the money through the PayPal account on the weddingcans Web site.

Their idea struck me as pretty clever and creative when a co-worker told me about it the other day.

Or maybe I’m just in a wedding bell sort of mood. Believe it or not, I am writing these words on my 37th wedding anniversary.

That’s right. I married my lovely bride, Sherry, on Jan. 6, 1973.

That still stands as the best thing I ever did.

The mutton chop sideburns and hot pink ruffled shirt I wore to my wedding, alas, haven’t stood the test of time.

Before our vows could be exchanged, however, I had my own daunting task to fulfill.

See, my mother-in-law didn’t exactly take a shine to me. For reasons that were completely lost on me, she believed her daughter could do better than to marry an itinerant musician who dropped out of college to go play on the road.

So she told me I had to save $1,000 before we could get hitched with her blessing.

A thousand bucks. Man, that was some serious scratch back in 1973. But love, as they say, conquers all.

I did what any motivated young man would do. I sold some personal items. I squirreled away every dollar I made from playing or teaching trumpet and guitar.

I hit my Old Man up for a loan.

In the end I had a savings account with a balance of $1,000 and change.

Will Andrea and Pete reach their mark?

It’s too early to tell. We’re talking about 5 tons of aluminum, which, in today’s depressed recycling market, yield about $3,800.

That’s not much of a nuptial nest egg. According to one online source, the average USA wedding is a shade under 30 grand.

Yikes.

But as it turns out, the union of Andrea and Pete is about as unconventional as their recycling pitch.

The two plan to get married in a castle in Hope, Idaho, on July 31. The ceremony, they said, will be a “handfasting.” This, I’m told, involves braiding cords over and around the held hands of the bride and groom, but not in an S&M bondage way.

Let me explain: Pete and Andrea are active in the Empire of Adria, a Spokane club dedicated to re-creating medieval lore and lifestyles.

I know. It sounds confusing.

But this is all you need to know about the wedding of Andrea and Pete.

After the ceremony, the bride will fling her bouquet at the crowd via a sort of catapult device called a “trebuchet.”

Hmm. I’m beginning to think Andrea’s parents have a point.

This doesn’t sound like a wedding. This sounds more like an episode of “MythBusters.”

Doug Clark is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review. He can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or by e-mail at dougc@spokesman.


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