Unique, Eco-Friendly, and Reusable Wedding Cake Toppers

by - Wednesday, April 18, 2018

eco-friendly etsy cake topper

I love a cake topper at a wedding.

 Part of this is that you just can't be mad about anything cake-related. The other reason is that even if you are at the most straightforward or traditional couple, you can still show a little bit of who you are with this detail. To me, the best weddings are undeniably that couple.

cute wedding cake topper with two grooms
from Lollipop Workshop
Weddings are a hotbed of waste, and even these details can be pretty wasteful. Anything that you only use or see for only one day is essentially wasteful. I mean, what happens to all those cake toppers after the honeymoon? Ours, which is such a sweet piece from Lollipop Workshop (I swear it wasn't that expensive, but it probably was), lives in a little glass dome in our dining room, but I have never noticed cake toppers up in many homes.

video game call of duty cake topper
good luck, honey. thaat's a long life ahead of you. from Pieceofcaketoppers4u
So what happens to most cake toppers? Please tell me people aren't putting those horrible ones with the bride dragging the groom up in their house somewhere. You dragged him to the wedding and now you are dragging him though life? Not a good look on anybody.

Rather than buying something generic, this is the perfect opportunity to buy something local or made in America. People have all kinds of amazingly creative ideas out there. Plus, if you have something in mind, I bet you can find someone to bring it to life (or make something yourself- you can do it!). Some etsy toppers are expensive, but many are no more than what you would buy in the store. Step one of an eco-friendly topper is to buy or make something that hasn't traveled far.

So these are my best ideas for having a cake topper that you love, that is true to you as a couple, and doesn't spend the rest of your marriage in storage somewhere. Basically, how can you make a cake topper environmentally responsible AND awesome?

dinosaur cake topper
from Mr and Mrs Cake Toppers

1. Use Something you Already Love 

This could be anything. Maybe you have picked up trinkets on travels or collect something together. It could be any items you own (that fit on a cake and aren't completely unsanitary), and if it is important to you already, all the better.

Do you get salt shakers on vacation? Use those!
Collect erotic Precious Moments figurines? Sounds memorable!
Wear each other's blood in vials? Please don't put that on the cake, but you get the idea.

This idea will cost you nearly no money, can bring in a little more of your real life to the big day, and they can head back to their original purpose (with a little extra honor) once you are wed.

funko pop cake topper
from Ever After Products
Now, you could go two ways with this. Either, leave them as is for a perfectly cool topper, OR dress them up in marital garb to make something no one has seen before (but might not fit as well with a collection). I am obsessed with ones like these gussed up dinosaur toys or these incredibly cool personalized funko pop dolls that might fit perfectly in some bride or groom's already existing collection (you can be on a shelf with all of your favorite characters, for goodness sake).

from LovebirdsGoods

2. Pick a Topper with its Future Spot in Mind

I think it would be cool to have your topper on a bedside table, as bookends on your shelf, or as a focal point on a dining room table or mantel. If you shop with the style of your home in mind, you could see your cake topper as a reminder of your wedding everyday (also, a reminder that cake is delicious).

Using it as decor in your house is way more subtle and fun than the giant wedding picture.

Not that it isn't great too, but this is a different approach. I think these wood peg doll toppers would look sweet and understated as part of your decor, and they aren't so precious or delicate that you have to hide them away. Check etsy for peg toppers, because they really are great.

reclaimed wood bird cake topper
from Wooden Heart Buttons

My favorite store for this might be Wooden Heart Buttons- a former cake decorator got sick of the expensive plastic toppers coming through and started making toppers with eco-friendly materials specifically intended to be used as decor in your home after the big day. Check them all out- they are beautiful.
the best is yet to be wood cake topper juniper and ivy
from Juniper and Ivy
The laser cut toppers with text or silhouettes are on trend right now, and they could potentially look great in a frame or shadowbox on your wall for a very long time.  If you do go that route, be careful to pick something that is timelessly YOU. The "eat me" toppers are cute, but do you want that on your wall?

Also, I'd go wood over plastic- it will look better in most cases (and you can more easily adjust it to fit in a frame). Also, plastic likely won't feel very timeless.

vintage cake topper
from Life Ephemera

3. Look for a Vintage Gem

 Are you a heterosexual Aryan couple that enjoys the good old days? There are already tons of little porcelain white people waiting for you. It doesn't have to be as vanilla as these people, and you can use vintage items to save money and minimize your wedding's footprint. You can get a basic vintage wedding topper for 10-15 dollars. Cheaper than the basic cake toppers available at Walmart, and it's that much less plastic being purchased. Some of these have more personality than others, but it can be a fun and eye-catching option.

vintage cake topper
from Protector of Vintage
This couple is really committed... to their eyebrows.

creepy vintage wedding cake topper
from Protector of Vintage
These two look too old and too young at once- what state allows ancient babies to marry?

vintage cake topper
from Design Room 3
Love this one. They look like they want to kiss, but just can't figure out what to do next.

Jokes aside, if you are having a wedding with vintage flair, why not poke around and get something that is actually vintage? You can find all sorts of figurines and save the world from one more object just sitting in an attic somewhere.

lego heart cake topper
from bridal guide
4. Get Something that can have a New Life after the Wedding

 My brother-in-law and sister-in-law had a lego cake topper. They also have a basement full of legos. The topper was true to them, for sure. If you aren't ridiculously sentimental like I am, you can get a cake topper like this that you can actually take apart and use again! If you have kids, toys make a lot of sense. If you are handy, could you use tools? Good in the kitchen? How about a salt and pepper set you can use? It just has to have some use value once you are in your new normal life.
recycled cork wedding cake topper
ftom Corky Friendz

5.  Recycled Toppers

 If you can't think of something with a practical life after the wedding, why not get a topper that had a life before? It is a wonderful world. Don't believe me? Look up "recycled cake toppers" on Etsy. Maybe some won't be your style, but one could be exactly right. They take trash and turn it into something you will treasure for the rest of your life. That's pretty cool. Can't find the perfect thing? You could also make it yourself! Get inspired and you can really put yourself out there.

recycled clocks wedding cake topper
from The Lost Key
I want to go to this steampunk wedding. And 40 dollars? That's a steal from The Lost Key.

recycled cardstock paper wedding cake topper from etsy ready go
from Ready Go
Ready Go makes cake toppers out of recycled cardstock. They are simple and lovely, and you could totally frame it afterward (recycled and reused? You win!). I do love their simplicity, and I think they look sweet without being saccharine or boring. You can also add children for blended families and even get personalized coloring book pages.

wedding cake with no cake topper
from wedding chicks

6. Just Skip It Completely

You know what cake without a topper is? Cake, so it is still the best thing ever, If tracking down the perfect topper seems like a waste of time or money to you, then just don't have one! And feel glad you are getting married at a time where almost every tradition is flexible. Never waste energy or money on the junk you don't care about, because why even throw the party if you aren't enjoying it?

Will I miss the topper? Yes, but there will still be cake. So I will still be happy.

eco-friendly wedding cake topper on a bright colorful cake

eco-friendly wedding cake topper

Want more eco-friendly wedding ideas? I have TONS of them! You can make your wedding environmentally responsible by reducing waste, minimizing purchases, and buying items that have life beyond that big day.

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  1. Love this post! We got ours from Etsy. The artist made it from a picture of a statue we connected with in Jerusalem. Very special- still sits on our mantel.

  2. Thank you for helping people get the information they need. Great stuff as usual. Keep up the great work!!!
    cakes huntsville al



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