After the Party
What do to with your wedding supplies after the big day
You’ve spent months carefully selecting the perfect dress, the tastiest food, and the loveliest flowers, all to make sure your wedding is an event to remember. But what happens when the day is over? While the memories and photos from your wedding will last for decades, the food and flowers -- not so much. And the dress? Chances are high you’ll never wear it again.
Rather than letting perishable leftovers go to waste or watching your dress gather dust in your closet, here are some ideas -- most of them generous, some of them playful -- for what to do with leftovers when the party is over.
Donate it: The NICU Helping Hands’ Angel Gown Program and Brides Across America are two organizations that want your wedding dress. The Angel Gown Program turns wedding dresses into beautiful infant gowns used in burial services and final photos. In addition to making gowns, Helping Hands also provides support for grieving families. Bridges Across America supplies free wedding dresses to military and first responders.
Sell it: Give your dress a second life with someone else who will love it just as much as you did. There are plenty of second-hand dress websites that will bring your good taste and happy memories to another bride-to-be.
Convert it: You love the way your dress looks and fits, so why not change it into something you’ll wear again? Have a tailor convert it into a cocktail dress or summer gown.
Share it: When the party’s over, encourage friends and family to fill a take-home container of leftover food. Guests go home happy and you go on your honeymoon knowing no food went to waste. You can also offer food to the band, the catering staff, the photographer, or anyone else who helped make your day special.
Donate it: At least a week before the big event, call your local homeless shelter, soup kitchen, fire station, or hospice center to see if they accept prepared food donations. Designate a friend or family member to deliver the food once the party’s over.
Freeze it: Chances are, you’ll be too busy mingling and celebrating at the reception to really sit down and enjoy the food. If you have the freezer space, make yourself some meals so you can re-taste your big night for weeks or even months to come. Make sure to save a slice of wedding cake to enjoy on your first anniversary.
Share it: Let local guests or hired staff take home flowers to brighten up their home. Encourage guests to gift the flowers to someone else in their life, to keep the wedding love going.
Donate it: Check to see if there are any organizations that donate flowers to hospitals, nursing homes, or homeless shelters in your area. Some organizations will even pick up your flowers after the reception. If no organization exists in your area, ask a guest to help deliver the flowers directly to a hospital or wherever people might need an extra smile.