'Food waste wedding' goes down a treat as guests tuck into food destined for the bin

Credit: Asador Guzelian

A wedding breakfast turned green as a couple opted to feed their guests food that would have otherwise ended up as waste.

Joe and Kayley Tilston tied the knot at Victoria Hall in Saltaire, West Yorkshire on Saturday.

But instead of a typical silver service, the couple chose The Real Junk Food Project as the caterers for their 280 guests.

The project, set up in 2013 and based in Wakefield, intercepts food from retailers and supermarkets across a 5,000 square mile area in West Yorkshire, most of which would have ended up on landfill.

Newlyweds Joe and Kayley Tilston with The Real Junk Food Project CEO Adam Smith. Credit: Asador Guzelian

Instead, the company redistributes the food to schools and community groups in the area and hosts pop-up restaurants where people "pay as you feel."

It was the perfect choice for the couple, newlywed Kayley told ITV News.

"We initially heard about the project about two years ago, when me and my husband went to a pop-up and thought it was a fantastic concept," Kayley said.

"When it came to organising our big day...the organisation popped into my head, they fit into my belief system, and trying to be as environmentally friendly as possible."

There was no shortage of food options on offer at the wedding reception. Credit: Asador Guzelian

Guests were part way through their meal when the couple revealed the food they were tucking into could well have ended up on the tip.

The response from the wedding crowd was hugely positive, with people going up for second and third helpings and those thinking a 'food waste wedding' would be limited in the options on the table were mistaken.

The wedding had a huge array of choices on the menu, Rachel Trafford, head of communications for The Real Junk Food Project told ITV News.

"From gazpacho soup to a range of cold meats, deli meats, a huge range of salads, cold options...catering for vegans, vegetarians, gluten free, different allergies and then the main bulk of the food was a huge barbecue, ribs, sea bream, ox, chicken, different game, sausages," she explained.

"250 kilos of food for everyone."

A barbecue offering chicken, ribs, and sea bream was a massive hit. Credit: Asador Guzelian
A total of 250 kilos of food was used by the company to feed the 280 guests. Credit: Asador Guzelian

If it wasn't for the project, the food would not have ended up on people's plates, Ms Trafford said.

Either it would have been past its sell-by date, but still fine to eat, damaged in transit, mislabeled or over ordered by supermarkets.

"Ordinarily if it wasn't for people like us, intercepting at a unique point, that would not be given to feed people, it would not get to people's plates."

The wedding was the company's biggest event to date and being the most important day of Joe and Kayley's lives, "the stakes were really high."

"We've never had to do something that meant so much to people, we have done lots of events but nothing as emotional," Ms Trafford said.

"It was a different experience for us, but it shows the extent you can achieve with food.

"Calling it food waste, it's not what it should be, it's food that's good enough for a wedding, and shows the capacity and potential of what we can do."