Something old, something new, something recycled thanks to you!
One of the greatest truths about a wedding is that it marks the beginning of an exciting new stage of life. A wedding requires a ton of planning and organizing of items to ensure that everything is exactly as you wish it to be on your special day. When the knot is tied and the party is over, however, you suddenly have boxes full of remaining wedding items that you need to figure out what to do with. In recent times, there is a lot of emphasis on what we can do to be more environmentally friendly in every aspect of our lives. The wedding industry is embracing this eco-friendly approach as well. Read on for some insider tips on how you can creatively reuse and recycle your wedding items by giving them a new life!
Repurpose Your Gown
As a bride, possibly one of the most memorable items you will be left with after your wedding day is your gown. So, what do you do with that beautiful dress to avoid having it collect dust in the back of your closet? Thankfully, there are a lot of options! I had the pleasure of chatting with Maria Karagiannis, an event planner who specializes in eco-ethical weddings and events, and she was happy to share some very useful tips!
For those who don’t mind parting with their wedding dress, Karagiannis recommends selling your gown and accessories for another bride to use secondhand. “You can buy, or sell, wedding dresses and accessories [from] Pre-Owned Wedding Dresses , or Poshmark.” Both of these sites make selling easy, all while affording another bride the opportunity to enjoy your wedding dress as much as you did!
If you would like to still keep your gown, but want to be able to use it again, you can take it for some tailoring or even a dye job, and turn it into a cocktail dress that you can wear over and over! An even more special repurposing option, according to Karagiannis “turn your old wedding dress into a christening gown, or angel gown, or refashion for a prom dress.” This is a great option for mothers who want to share a special piece of their wedding day with their daughters or future daughters, or for those who may be suffering the unimaginable loss of a child.
Recycle Wedding Day Décor
You spent months gathering countless items to decorate your ceremony and event space. From beautiful mementos, to unique table numbers, to witty signs. Now that the party has ended, what are you going to do with all of this stuff? Lucky for us BOLI’s, we have one of the best options around when it comes to finding a new home for our remaining wedding items. Located in Bohemia, NY, Wedding Warehouse is a family owned boutique, owned by our very own founder Heather Cunningham! Wedding Warehouse is your one-stop wedding shop because they sell and create a variety of décor and accessories needed for your big day! Brides looking to recycle their gently used wedding items can drop them off at Wedding Warehouse to be sold to current brides for a discounted price! If you are interested in learning more, or wanting to book a consignment appointment with Wedding Warehouse, visit their website here.
Keep in mind that there are certain items that Wedding Warehouse looks for, and other items that they will not accept. Karagiannis suggests “avoiding customization or personalization of items” because this will “help extend the life of items, making them more likely to be used and reused over and over!”
Reuse Your Flowers
So many beautiful flowers, so little time. The bittersweet reality of having flowers at your wedding is that you only get to enjoy their beauty for a day. Thankfully, there are many great options on what you can do to reuse your gorgeous bouquets so that others can enjoy them. Karagiannis suggests extending the life of your flowers by “participating in a flower-share or donation.” Donating your florals to a hospital or a nursing home is a great way to brighten the spirits of sick or elderly patients. There are many companies that provide this service such as Repeat Roses, or, you can always arrange the donation yourself. It will make you feel great to hand deliver your blooms and see the smiles on the new owner’s faces!
You can also kill two birds with one stone and turn your floral centerpieces into your wedding favors! With some help from either your florist, wedding planner, or bridesmaids, the final hour of your reception can be used to remove your centerpieces and gather your arrangements into hand-sized bouquets for your guests to take home and love!
Do Your Part from the Start!
“It’s important to remember that Reduce, Reuse, Recycle is a hierarchy- reduce comes first, so it’s best to be intentional and minimize your needs as best as possible before reusing or recycling.” Says Karagiannis. Being mindful of this from the start will eliminate any unnecessary items that you will ultimately be left with after the big day is over. We can all do our part to be more eco-friendly and ensure that nothing goes to waste! What are you planning to recycle from your wedding day? For more useful tips on having a waste-free wedding, visit Karagiannis’ blog here!
Written by Jillian Parisi,