What to Do With Wedding Leftovers

So you've got a ton of leftover stuff from the wedding. What do you do with it all? I'm not a fan of excess, but I am a huge fan of recycling and donating, so today's Tuesday Tidbits is all about what to do with all that stuff post-wedding. From florals to food to centerpieces, there's a new home and a new life for everything. :)

What to do with your LEFTOVER FLORALS...

Bundle the flowers into small bouquets and deliver them to a local nursing home the next day. If you're headed on your honeymoon, ask a loved one to take on the task. Not only will you know that your floral budget was worth every penny, you'll really brighten someone's day. There are many nursing homes and assisted care facilities around Hampton Roads, and a good website to start your search is Assisted Living Federation of America.

What to do with your LEFTOVER CATERED FOOD and WEDDING CAKE...

Contact one of our local food banks to find out how your leftover food can be put to good use. While most food banks only deal with non-perishable food items, the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank has a Food Rescue & Neighbor to Neighbor program that can get leftover food from the reception to local shelters, soup kitchens, and feeding programs that same day. If you're located on the Southside, The Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia also has a similar food rescue program that you contact for further information.

What to do with your LEFTOVER DECOR...

Inquire with local florists about reselling or gifting. Have a ton of hard-to-find gorgeous centerpiece vessels? Check with your florist and see if she might want them! Wedding vendors love unique finds, and if you've saved them time and some money in finding a great quantity of something special, you just might become their favorite newlyweds ever.

Donate to Goodwill or Salvation Army. Located all over Hampton Roads and North America, Goodwill and Salvation Army are two longstanding organizations who turns donations into jobs, community programs, and much more. That one vintage chair that you used at your sweetheart table could turn into an entire domino effect of good feelings.

Inquire with local vintage rental companies about reselling or gifting. If you were a DIYer and antique shopper extraordinaire, it's likely you gathered some unique furniture pieces or tableware for your big day. Some local companies will purchase it to add to their collections. Everyone will have different policies and style, so look over their websites. The worst they could say is no or the best is that your pantry set was a furniture piece they had been looking for!

What to do with your LEFTOVER BRIDAL GOWN...

Preserve, resell, or donate. Dry cleaning and preserving it for future generations is always a great way to go, but if your gown doesn't hold a lot of sentimental meaning, look into reselling it to one of the local bridal consignment shops, such as Silk Bridal Studio in Virginia Beach and Blush Bridal in Newport News. And if you want to give even more, consider donating it to Brides Against Breast Cancer, a great organization who resells your gown through their big "Nationwide Tour of Gowns" fundraising event.

What to do with your LEFTOVER STATIONERY...

Get crafty. From shadow boxes to Christmas ornaments, you can mount, cut, and curl that beautiful wedding invitation into something else to display throughout your home together as newlyweds. Clear Christmas ornaments with curled strips of invitation inside are sweet touches to any Christmas tree!

Frame and gift to your parents. Take your full invitation suite, get it professionally framed, and give to the ones who supported you throughout the planning process as a thank you.

What to do with your LEFTOVER WEDDING FAVORS...

Include them into little goodie bags and donate to children's programs, if age appropriate. If you had little tubes of bubbles for your exit, there's a chance not everyone grabbed one, so donate your excess of bubbles to kiddos. Look into your local churches and schools that might have not generous budgets for "extra treats." Go the extra mile with your donation and pair the bubbles with some individually-wrapped candy, and boom! The bubbles live on.

Donate to arts and crafts summer programs for the elderly or children. Whether they're mini flowerpots or bells, it's very likely they can be used in a craft project somewhere by the imaginative minds of children and grownups alike. Ask around to your local teacher friends and nursing facility professionals for insight; they may be looking for just what you have!

Do you have any other wedding leftover stories or suggestions to share? Leave a comment below!

Photos by Bit of Ivory Photography. For the full feature and vendor credits of this Virginia Beach 1960's-inspired stylized shoot, head over to Ruffled.