The Wedding That Keeps On Giving: How To Recycle Your Decorations

June 26, 2013  |  
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Your wedding should come with zero guilt. But, since we know this is impossible because your bridesmaids wanted a different colored dress, your mom still hasn’t warmed to the location, and some people just couldn’t be invited, at least do what you can to feel great after your big day and make use of all the knick knacks/decorations/essentials leftover—or make sure somebody else does.


Throw pillows

You probably paid a pretty penny for each individual beaded/embroidered throw pillow that your planner insisted would add warmth to the benches around the dance floor, or make guests more comfortable in their dinner seats. These make great thank you gifts to your bridesmaids—maybe give each girl a bundle—or, can be kept for your own house.

Cloth napkins/handkerchiefs

Maybe instead of coasters each guest had a woven kerchief for their glass on the table, or you sprung for cloth, floral napkins. Toss these in the laundry and use them for décor around your house. Line drawers with them, or drape them over jewelry boxes.

Your wedding dress

What to do with the most beloved item? The item you spent months searching for and had tailored just for your body? To be certain it goes to someone who will really appreciate it, do a little charitable research: there are dozens of philanthropies, such as Brides for a Cause, that match up your worn gown with a less fortunate bride-to-be.

Dessert plates

There are far too many for you to house in your home, but they’re handpicked and gorgeous! Wash off the dessert plates, separate them into stacks of six to eight, tie them in a bow and give them to some of your most loved guests as thank you gifts. Consider attaching a favorite recipe.



If you opted for potted succulents—like cactus or ice plant—as the center piece for your tables, consider gifting these to your friends who love gardening, or collecting them to begin your own home-garden after the wedding.


Veils don’t seem to be coming back into fashion any time soon, but that doesn’t mean you have to toss this meaningful item. Save it to turn into a canopy for your baby’s first crib.

Milk glass, mercury glass and cut crystal

Often used to display the wedding cake, appetizers or other desserts, these pieces can easily transform into casual items for your kitchen. Offer home-guests chocolate on a milk glass, lined with a cloth. Keep your mercury glass as a fruit plate on your counter top. Fill cut crystal with potpourri.


Mason jars

If you went for a little southern flair and housed your candles in mason jars on your wedding tables, bring these home and continue the southern style by using them as drinking glasses or candy jars.


Perhaps calligraphy covered beach wood was put up to direct guests to the reception, ceremony and bar. Hung over your bed, this brings a little memory of the big day into your home with a vintage look.


Recycle online

If you want any of your items to go directly to another wedding, sites like let future brides, wedding planners and stylists purchase items listed by past brides and planners.

Recycle your flowers

Keep the good vibes flowing after your big day and gather up all your beautiful flower arrangements and deliver them to hospice centers, hospitals, women’s shelters and the endless places dedicated to helping those in need that could use a little brightening up.


The Guestbook

The guestbook is meant to remind you of all the guests who love you! But it tends to end up collecting dust on a shelf or in a garage. Try something less conventional and instead of having a guest book, let guests leave their mark by collectively creating some hangable artwork. Consider leaving out a giant canvas, multiple brushes and water paint and allowing your guests to create something that will add beauty to your home.

Bridal bouquet

This plays such an integral part of the ceremony and would be a shame to toss. So make it immortal! Dry your bouquet in this way: Hang it upside down in a dark, dry room, leave it there for 4 to 5 days, spray the dried flowers with floral spray (find this in craft stores) and it’s ready to be displayed!



Like any good host, you ordered more than enough food for everyone. Don’t let those leftovers go to waste. Services like Leket Israel pick up your leftovers and deliver them to shelters.

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