You spend so much time planning and focusing on details leading up to the wedding, but what do you do once the wedding is over? You will most likely be left with a TON of supplies, both edible and not edible, and it is wasteful to just trash it all. So what do you do with it?
Flowers – The biggest leftover item will most likely be flowers since it is not something that is “consumed” during the festivities. The best thing to do with those (after your grandma and great aunt have taken a few home for themselves) is to donate them to a nursing home. When you hire Marylee to plan your wedding, she and her kids take pride in this and when given the opportunity, they will always take left over flowers the next day to a nursing home to brighten up someone else’s space. Also, check out our blog post from October 16, 2017 - it is all about how to preserve your wedding bouquet!
Décor – This is another thing that is not consumed, so you will therefore have just as much at the end of the ceremony as you did at the beginning. The best thing to do with anything personalized is just to obviously keep it. They will serve as reminders of your special day as you begin your lives together. Anything that is not personalized with your name or date can be either sold on resale sites, donated to the Salvation Army, or given to another bride friend that is also getting married soon.
Food – Hopefully you won’t have too much of this left at the end of the night, but if you do, make sure your maid-of-honor (or whoever will be helping wrap up the event) knows to offer it to remaining guests at the end of the night. If you have tons of untouched food then you can donate it to local organizations such the Hospital Hospitality House in Richmond or even the Food Bank.
Alcohol – There isn’t much you can do with opened bottles other than keep them or let some friends take them home at the end of the night. But with unopened bottles you can either sell large quantities of them on re-sell apps or you can save nice bottles to give to loved ones during the holidays.
Dress/Clothing – Most people have their wedding dress preserved. If for whatever reason you didn’t want to do that, or if your groom didn’t want to keep his cummerbund and vest, then you could either try to sell them or donate them to a women’s shelter. If you are crafty and don't mind cutting some fabric, you can turn your dress or his suit into a throw pillow, a table runner, a quilt, a Christmas stocking, a Christmas tree skirt, a tote bag, a clutch, or any other fabric item you can think of to memorialize your day. Depending on the type of dress that you have, you could chop it right in half and have a shirt and a skirt to wear with other outfits. Some clothes dye would make these feel less formal and more purposeful. You can also take pieces of lace off of your dress and turn them into a Christmas tree ornament, a headband, a necklace, a scarf, or to decorate your baby's nursery. So many ideas if you have the vision!
If you are not prepared, wedding follow-up can be just as stressful as wedding preparation! Don’t be left in the dark, and don’t waste anything that could be repurposed!