After months of planning, ensuring every last detail of your wedding day is perfect, it can be quite a challenge finding new uses for everything once the party is over. If you’re a couple who respects the environment and dislikes waste, there are some creative ways you can reuse and recycle your wedding items. Not only is it good for the planet, but it can also help you recover some of the cost of your wedding as well as clearing out the clutter. We’ve put together a list of our top suggestions for you to have a think about.
1. Your wedding dress
This is probably the easiest item to recycle. Why not donate it to a charity shop, relative or friend? If you can’t bear to part with it (and some of us really can’t), then it might be worth converting some or all of it into an outfit that you can wear again, such as a cocktail dress. Alternatively, why not re-use the material for a Christening gown, cushion covers, table cloth or handkerchiefs?
Giving flowers to your guests who can take them home and appreciate them is definitely a good option. Alternatively, local hospitals or nursing homes are always appreciative recipients of flowers – ask your florist if they already have arrangements with local businesses for this type of donation, as many of them do. If you are planning any post wedding activities, such as a brunch the next day with close friends and family, then the flowers can be re-used to decorate the table. There’s also always the option of pressing them or allowing them to dry out so that you can display them as a permanent keepsake.
We love the innovative idea of buying plantable wedding invitations and reply cards! Plantable invitations are printed on seed paper that grows wildflowers in a variety of colours when the invitation is planted in soil. You can find out more by visiting the Botanical Paperworks website. This way, instead of throwing your invitation in the bin after the wedding, you and your guests can have a permanent reminder of your special day in the garden.
It’s a good idea to make arrangements with your caterer ahead of time to box up any left-over food, so that it can go towards any after wedding party you may have organized for the following day. Alternatively, if you are leaving straight away for your honeymoon, consider contacting a local food shelter or food bank so that they can collect the leftovers and give it to those in need.
5. Decorative items
Your bunting, candles, centre pieces, cake toppers, fairy lights, cake stand and more will all appeal to other brides-to-be. There are a plethora of websites where you can sell (and buy) pre-loved items. Alternatively, a local children’s nursery or a charity organisation may be able to use some items such as bunting either around their facility, or when hosting fundraising events.