Wedding Recycling

What to do with all those “must-haves” after the big day



@Neustockimages/istockphoto

Invitations
One great re-use trend for extra wedding invitations is ornaments. Check out Pinterest to see how folks are shredding the invites into strips and then putting them inside glass globes to hang on their Christmas tree. Fun ideas abound, including using a coordinating ribbon on top and/or a themed charm (a shell for a beachy wedding).

Wedding Dresses
Brides have recycled dresses into everything from quilts to Christening gowns. Some brides would like to be able to wear their dress daily, head to Etsy and check out the many jewelry offerings that incorporate a bit of your dress into everything from bracelets to cuff links. Another idea for your dress, for the philanthropic bride, bridesagainstbreastcancer.org will resell your dress and use the proceeds to help cancer patients and their families.  

Wedding dresses, bridesmaids dresses, shoes, and veils
Prefer cold, hard cash to keepsakes, try out tradesy.com. This shopping site for used items offers everything from couture gowns to white sneakers. Go ahead and recoup a little something after the day, after all, you can always look at the photos and storing a gown after it’s been cleaned and boxed can be a real drag.

Food
There are charitable organizations that are open to donations of this type. Check with local soup kitchens and homeless organizations to see what their requirements are and then see if your caterer is up to dropping off whatever your guests don’t finish off.  

Flowers
You can recycle these yourself, many brides forget to take the flowers from the venue but they are often the perfect décor for the post-wedding brunch. After that, the bride and groom may want to take them home and re-use the vases. One bride used smaller vases as votive holders in her new home. For the philanthropic bride, some cities have organizations that will pick up your flowers and distribute them to retirement homes or hospice care centers. Perhaps you can enlist your bridesmaids for one last assignment to do some research and drop off the flowers the day after the wedding.

Signage
Get creative. If you used signs to point the way to your reception think about a spot in your new garden where you can enjoy the memories of your wedding while you tend your flowers.

Favors and décor
Some brides like to use leftover décor around their homes. If yours doesn’t fit with your decorating scheme or you’d like a chance for another bride to use it (and for you to make a little money) consider ruffledblog.com. This site is the clearing house for all things wedding. Need 200 Mason jars? Backgrounds for your photo booth? Take a look around and if they don’t have what you need, consider running a listing under “wanted.”

 

 

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