Couple serves up surplus food to almost 300 wedding guests – and it's all free

Francesca Specter
Yahoo Style UK deputy editor
The wedding feast, depicted by a stock image, consisted entirely of surplus food. [Photo: Getty]

A couple managed to cater a wedding breakfast for almost 300 people for a fiver a head, thanks to a surplus food service.

Kayley and Joe Tilston hosted 280 guests for a wedding breakfast at Victoria Hall in Saltaire, West Yorkshire.“Waste not, want not” might as well have been in the marriage vows of the resourceful pair, who provided the entire meal from food that would otherwise have been thrown away.

Guests feasted on cheese and gazpacho canapes, followed by a main course which included sea bream, ox and pork ribs.

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“We wanted to show the potential of what can be done with perfectly edible food for nearly 300 people,” a representative for The Real Junk Food Project, the surplus food company who catered the wedding, told Yahoo UK.

As for the food’s origins, they said: “Our food is intercepted by us from our many retail partners and supermarkets across the region and brought back to our Kindness Sharehouse HQ in Wakefield where it is quality controlled.”

At a fiver a head, the unique catering option cost a total of £1,400 – while the food itself was provided for free.

The low cost was inclusive of “the logistical cost, storage and transportation with our vehicle”, a representative told us.

“It is a full catering service as you would get with any other company, it just is one that is conscious of our environment and stopping food waste, whereas generally catering is an incredibly wasteful business.”

It meant that, despite the particularly large nature of the guest list (the average wedding size is 82 day guests and 106 evening guests), it still cost significantly less than the average food cost for a wedding, which is £4,151 according to Hitched.co.uk.

Kayley, 34, a health worker, told the BBC her and her new husband Joe, 35, always “try to avoid waste wherever possible".

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"We will always be creative about what we can cook from leftovers to avoid throwing them away,"she said. "So the idea really combined our morals with the logistics of catering for so many people.”

The couple, together with representatives from The Real Junk Food Project, did a “big reveal” at the end of the meal, it was revealed in a blog on the company’s website.

Food waste is a serious problem in the UK, with Brits throwing away £494 million worth of food every single week. Tips for practising a zero-waste approach at home include checking sell-by dates and proper food storage.