Plastic-Free Bachelorette Party

 



The theme: 

Old Hollywood glamour

Decor


  • Secondhand gold sequin tablecloths
  • My mom's mason jars full of fresh flowers from the garden
  • Fabric backdrop made from thrifted and repurposed materials


Invitations


  • Silk satin bags with gold lettering printed on the back
  • Breakfast at Tiffany's eye masks, including a special white version for the bride

Place settings


  • Reused palm leaf plates and linen napkins
  • My mom's vintage gold flatware- thanks to Style Me Pretty and its' ilk I'm kind of bored of gold flatware but these are different, period-appropriate and beautiful
  • My sister's martini glasses

Food


  • Popcorn bar
  • Pomegranate and cosmopolitan martini mixes in vintage etched glass bottles
  • Homemade pumpkin mousse, cookies, and chocolate cake
  • Chipotle catering- theoretically zero-waste, though it didn't turn out that way

A friend offered us her lovely home and yard for the party, so I carefully stacked martini glasses in an old tub and packed clean flatware- a cotton drawstring bag replaces Ziploc. We wanted the invitations to be plastic-free, something guests would keep forever. Embroidered eye masks in printed silk bags made memorable invites. To print on fabric using an inkjet or laser printer, stitch loosely to a piece of cardstock beforehand.

We found pre-mixed cocktails in glass returnable for deposit, but to be truly zero-waste, make your own: slice pomegranate and lime in half, squeeze juice into a bowl, strain the seeds, then combine with homemade simple syrup and sparkling water. I transferred the mixes to etched glass containers beside a bottle of vodka, vintage martini shaker, and ice bucket. The popcorn was from Campbell's, a local shop that lets you bring your own containers. We helped ourselves to 10 kilos rainbow, caramel, kettle, and cheddar corn in giant glass flour jars with a stainless steel scoop.

On to the waste part... Chipotle gave us gluten-free food for 20, including three meats, rice, veggies, and all toppings. Everything comes in reusable containers, returnable for a free burrito. If you request no tortillas, napkins, bowls, utensils, fuel and matchbooks (my mom had leftover chafing dishes from another party), you theoretically have a nice catered meal with absolutely no waste or plastic. However, I ripped one of the lids, forgot the chafing dishes, and dripped grease into the carrier boxes, rendering them non-returnable, though still recyclable. In the future, I'll just make food.

Instead of a polyester "Bride" sash or plastic tiara, the bride wore a vintage white feather boa with a red Stop Staring dress. I wore my navy secondhand dress and old-lady shoes. We plugged my sister's phone into a portable speaker, ate, and danced the rest of the night. Everybody was exhausted by the end of the party... I hope that means it was fun :)

When attending or throwing a bachelorette party/personal shower: 


  • Opt for thrifted clothes and accessories
  • Give a cash gift, or box yours in a reusable container. 
  • Bring your own jar for drinks and utensils for eating. Even just bringing a cloth napkin can reduce a ton of trash!
  • Choose useful, reusable items for invitations, decorations, and favors. For example, infuse your own vodkas and distribute in little glass bottles, or make your own lipsticks to pass out to guests.

Paris to Go

11 comments:

  1. What a creative and fun idea for invitations! Like some other commenters have said I always appreciate how you show that zero-waste doesn't need to be crunchy nor restrictive. I love the tips for bachelorette parties outside the home. Having attended quite a few this wedding season, my eyes were suddenly opened to the huge amount of trash generated from each one. Between plastic cups and straws, paper napkins, and decorations, we had a giant mess to clean up after each one. Do you have any comments on the time you spent preparing for and cleaning up after this party? One huge advantage of disposables is the time saved of course, but in all your posts you seem to detail how your zero-waste lifestyle saves time. Was that the case with this as well? I imagine buying the food helped reduce preparations significantly.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Gabby! This party actually didn't take much time at all. It was about half an hour of setup. I washed the martini glasses (turns out, they were dishwasher safe... I didn't know!) and flatware and that was about it. Four of us put up the tables and set them and that took a few minutes. The gold tablecloths were from a Northeast Ohio wedding resale page on Facebook. The person selling them never even used them, and I resold them on that page afterwards. It definitely would take more time for me to go out and buy all this stuff- even disposable items- new.

      Clean up was super fast. I just washed the glasses and flatware and stuck them back in their carriers. We left the house clean and free of garbage (I hope) with just a half hour of tidying up in the morning. Picking up the Chipotle was quick and painless, but cleaning up the grease mess was a pain. Washing the containers out was easy though. We were so busy cooking for the wedding and a little tired after cooking for 150+ guests at the bridal shower. It wouldn't have taken too long to cook for our group of 20 but I don't know how we could have done it- we had no burners left in the kitchen!

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  2. Looks like you captured the theme perfectly :-) if sustainability doesn't work out, you could definitely have a career as a bespoke party planner xx Judith

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Judith! The girls dressed perfectly and that made the theme more than anything I did :)

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  3. Hi Ariana, fellow Clevelander here. I adore Campbell's. Such a great local family business to support here in NEO. I love getting little candies and chocolates in tins. What do you do about the cups they put their cupcakes in? I wish I could have seen your popcorn bar....if you manage to post any pictures that'd be great. Melt across the street is also a classic Cleveland destination!

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    Replies
    1. Hi! I LOVE the Melt. Took my husband for the first time and he got the Korean War Pig. He's still talking about it! We went to a restaurant here famous for its sandwiches and he looked at it disappointed and said, "I wish I was at the Melt."

      I never tried their cupcakes, sorry. Do they have gluten-free desserts? I forgot to take pictures of the food, I wish I'd had the presence of mind to snap a few because the vintage martini shaker and bottles I borrowed were super cute!

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  4. We did homemade limoncello as our wedding favors. It took about two weeks and was a little tedious straining the mixture into favor sized bottles but so worth it. We also had an art deco theme and did a stack of martini glasses. Everyone loved it. Wish i could have done cloth invites, we looked at satin invitatin boxes but they were too cost prohibitive. We did a bulk candy bar instead of cake and that cut down on waste somewhat, guests just took home the leftovers after.

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    Replies
    1. I wanted to do limoncello or infused lavender vodka for favors! But then I decided to keep it simple and people just took leftovers home :) Your wedding sounds beautiful!

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  5. what is the dairy you got the heavy cream from? i'm from cleveland too, on the east side. do you know where you can get vodka in bulk here in ohio?

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    Replies
    1. From Hartzler's, you can get it at Heinen's or Buehler's and I think Giant Eagle too. I wonder if Tom's Foolery or Buckeye would put spirits in your own bottles? I'm not sure where to get bulk spirits although there are lots of places to make your own wine. There is a place in Medina, the Olive Tap, where you can get bulk vinegars, olive oil, and I believe wine also in your own jars.

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