|Posted by Live Love Mom on October 30, 2020 at 8:20 AM|
by: Rev Dr Stéphanie McEndree
I see this question come up a lot in wedding forums; what to do with wedding flowers after the big day is over? Often couples have too many flowers to showcase in their homes, and often only the bridal bouquet is kept or preserved. However, what do you do with the rest? Also, what if they are silk flowers? Here are some ideas for you to recycle your wedding flowers, silk or fresh!
Lay them on loved ones’ graves. You can lay your own bouquet at a grave, or arrange leftover wedding flowers into bouquets to lay at headstones. Even vines can be draped on top of headstones and look very elegant.
Give them away to guests. Bridesmaids, maids of honor, flower girls, groomsmen and the best man should get to keep their own flowers.
Give them to grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and siblings. Mothers of the bride/groom and fathers often go home with a corsage and boutonniere, but the rest of the family is left empty-handed. Make sure everyone gets a souvenir by giving them some flowers as well.
Offer them as prizes, such as the couple who’s been married the longest, the newest couple, etc. This can be figured out by the DJ or band asking every married couple to dance, and then say “keep dancing if you’ve been married more than 5 years,” then 10 years, etc until the last couple is left.
Compost them. Some cities collect compost, or you can lay them in your garden to compost for your own benefit.
Donate to a senior resident’s home. Having a fresh, nice-smelling bouquet delivered into their rooms will be sure to brighten up their day. It doesn’t have to be in their room either; the senior home can put them in common areas as well as centerpieces.
Donate to a veteran’s home. Honor those who have fought and defended the country by donating to these homes, shelters and centers to bring some life.
Donate to a funeral home. They will probably be used in the next funeral and the family will appreciate having fresh flowers for their loved ones.
Create flower arrangements throughout your home to stop and smell the roses as you pass different rooms in your house.
Dry them and display them in frames or shadow boxes.
Dry them and make them into potpurri.
Have guests win centerpieces with fun little contests at your wedding. It will also mean less cleanup for the venue and you won’t have to worry about assigning someone to gather them up as you make a run for your honeymoon.
Donate to a church; especially if you get married on a Saturday, offer for them to use the flowers for their Sunday mass.
If they are safe for pets, donate them to a petting zoo where the rabbits can munch on them.
Donate them to a hospital for patient’s rooms. Especially those in palliative care, the flowers will be a warm and welcoming gesture. Want a more personal touch? You can always contact an oncology center and drop them off in person in different patient’s rooms.
Turn them into paperweights. Some companies preserve the flowers by turning them into gorgeous paper weights.
Stick them in a vase in your home to liven up your decor.
Bring a smile to senior’s faces and donate them to a senior home. Loose flowers can be used for crafting activities so they can make their own bouquets which promote physical and mental stimulation, and they can feel good making something ncie for themselves or a nice gift for their children or grandkids.
Donate them to craft workshops or art centers.
If they’re still in great shape, sell them so other brides can use them. They can use them as boutonniers, bouquets, or corsages.
Donate them to second-hand stores such as Goodwill, Value Village, Salvation Army and other stores. They give items a second chance and a second life and sell goods for low cost so low-income families can afford them.
Add to your hair accessories by gluing them to some plain hair clips.
Donate to a school or daycare where children can make arts and crafts with them.
Use them to decorate your office or desk at work so you can remember your special day and reminisce on your breaks.
Create homemade gifts with them. You can add individual blooms to headbands, barettes, hats, and more.
Hang them in your car. Often if you have a round ball made of flowers, you can stick a ribbon in it and loop it around your rearview mirror.
Arrange them into new bouquets and donate them by visiting the elderly, hospital patients, veterans, women’s shelters and more.
Donate to a center that donates and repurposes flowers, such as Bouquet of Kindness.
You can donate them to centers that offer free prom dresses so girls can also take home flowers to make a corsage or put in her hair, or use a button hole or boutonniere. Bonus points if you can make them into corsages yourself before donating; it’s a great way to also recycle all that tulle and ribbon!
Donate to Brides Across America or a similar organization who give free wedding dresses to military wives and first responder wives. Let them have their bridal bouquet as well from your flowers.
Donate or sell to a decorator. Lots of places rent out decorations for weddings, so they’ll be happy to have even more to offer for their clients.
Donate the flowers to a local funeral home so they can decorate for people’s funerals. Funeral costs are through the roof, and grieving families will appreciate that there could still be flowers by their loved one’s remains even though they couldn’t afford it.
Donate them to hospitals where they can pretty up rooms, reception areas, common areas or even go donate them to patients in the rooms.
Support your local businesses by contacting them and asking if they could use some free flowers for their decor. Spas, beauty salons, candle stores, even bridal shops could use the flowers for decoration, promotion, or even as giveaways.
Donate or sell them to photography studios. Photographers appreciate having as many accessories they can to please a vast variety of clientele. They can use the flowers to decorate in newborn photoshoots, pregnancy photography, portraits, engagement photos and more. Bonus points if you can make a belly sash or headbands before donating them.
Many of these ideas work for both artificial and real flowers. Be sure to comment if you have any other ideas. Let us know what you did with your extra wedding flowers in the comment section below!