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What to do with wedding paraphernalia after you say “I do”
December 15, 2016 | By Meryll Sarco

Every wedding planner will tell you that it’s better to prepare for more than to come up short. So, if you’re expecting 100 people to show up to your wedding, they would advice you to ask your caterer to prepare for 120 people (because there will always be the rude and stubborn ones who bring plus ones without permission). With all the extra preparations, every newlywed couple is bound to face a lot of extra stuff after the wedding. What do you do with them? The easy answer is to just dump everything in the trash; but with a huge awareness on the need to take better care of Mother Earth, you may want to reconsider that approach. You might even be surprised to find yourself earning a few extra pesos. Here are some ideas on what to do with the things you used or don’t end up using after your wedding.


1. Repurpose. Reinvent. Reuse.


Flowers. Just because they’ve done their duty of beautifying your aisle during the ceremony, doesn’t mean they have no further use. Extend the value of your flowers by re-arranging them into mini bouquets and give them away as gifts to the senior citizens in your community’s home for the aged; or place them in a nearby cemetery as a free-to-take for those visiting their loved ones the next day. You may even gather your local church community to swing by the nearest hospital and distribute them as gifts to the sick. Lifting the spirits of others through this small and simple gesture is a great way to start your marriage, some would think.


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Mason jars or empty bottles. If you used them for decor or for serving drinks, you can repurpose them to serve as decor in your new abode after your wedding. From candle holders to bespoke flower vases, these empty glass containers go a long way. Keep them in your storage and you’re bound to find some good use for it in any room in the future.


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Wedding invites. There may be some you failed to give away; or perhaps you have extra thank you cards. Plan ahead to make the wording as generic as possible and these could serve as your special stationary good up to 6 months after your wedding. If you’re not comfortable with that idea, reuse the envelopes for other letter-writing opportunities in the near future.


2. Throw a post-wedding party.


You can approach this idea in two ways. One, is you throw a party for those who weren’t able to attend your wedding. This way, you dispose of wedding favors and maybe score more wedding gifts. Two, is you throw a party for those who helped make your wedding a success: build relationships with your caterers and party suppliers. These relationships may come in handy when your firstborn celebrates his first birthday or any other occasion down the line. At any rate, you get to let go of your party favors; and maybe donate some of your props and materials to their business. Voila! Problem solved.


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3. Get connected.


If you want none of the things to stay with you after your wedding, and you still feel bad about throwing them all in the bin, it may be a good idea to connect with your family and friends who are engaged. Chances are, they’re looking for some of the things you already have. Sell them at a really cheap rate, or just give them away for free. At any rate, it’s win-win!


On the rare chance that you are the last person in your social circles to get married, fret not! Connect online and post these items on your social media page or on websites such as eBay, Amazon, or Craigslist and sell them away! Chances are there is an engaged couple looking for the exact same thing for the best deal. Or you may find yourself connected with an events planner looking for quirky things on his or her next party.


The ideal situation would be to have just enough for every event, but in the reality of events and wedding planning, this is never the case. It’s easier to clean up in an environmentally-sustainable manner if the items you use for your wedding are sustainable in nature. Use things that can be reused or have a broad range of use. Consider going paperless or even donate to a cause in lieu of a party favor. This approach can save you the trouble of thinking about where to store your props and other materials after your wedding day.


With proper planning, your post-wedding cleanup will be a breeze and you can avoid the fear of your new home feeling like “Your Reception 2.0.”



Meryll is rarely invited to a wedding to simply be a guest. She is almost always invited to take the floor -- either as wedding singer, a host, a bridesmaid, or the go-to wedding organizer (although she admits there are a lot of people better qualified for this task). A wedding jack-of-all-trades, so to speak, and curious as to whether someday, she will be the bride. Regardless, Meryll finds her identity in Jesus Christ. She enjoys reading the Bible and serving in her local church. A twenty-something who spends most of her weekdays working in business development and marketing for a multinational law firm, she says writing and making music help keep her sane and serve as her mind-tools against burnout.

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