Where to Donate Your Extra Wedding Stuff

We're all about reusing and recycling, and it goes the same with weddings! Did you know that you can donate your leftover wedding flowers? Or even your leftover wedding reception food? Well, you can! And we have rounded up the best ideas for what to do with your extra wedding stuff after the big day.

From selling to donating to upcycling, there are plenty of options when it comes to finding a new home for your wedding goodies long after that last song gets played at the reception.

Where to donate your extra wedding stuff

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 you'll also find Petals For Hope as another national flower donation network to connect with.

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

Contact a local food banks to find out how your leftover food might be put to good use. While most food banks only deal with non-perishable food items, some food banks and community kitchens may have food rescue programs. Food donations have unfortunately changed since the pandemic, so find out more up-to-date information by reaching out to your local food bank such as The Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia.

Freeze your leftovers. Make sure everyone who wants one takes a to-go box with them before they leave the celebration! Anything not taken, take it home, pack in smaller containers, and freeze it. Consider having a leftovers party, lunches to take to work, or share with your neighborhood. Either way, nothing goes to waste.

Ideas on what to do with your leftover wedding stuff

What to do with your LEFTOVER DECOR...

Sell your items to other local engaged couples. Search on Facebook for local buy and sell groups or list your items on Facebook Marketplace. This is free to do, but if you aren't getting any bites on your listings, try eBay or other resell sites. Other engaged couples are looking for decor and favors for their upcoming weddings... so what better way than to sell it over to them and start saving for the next vacation as newlyweds?

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 charitable second-hand shops. 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. And if you want to give even more, consider donating it to Brides for a Cause, a great organization exclusively partnered with Wish Upon a Wedding, that resells your gown for charity.

How to make the most out of your wedding leftovers

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.

Where to donate your extra wedding stuff

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!

Where to donate your extra wedding things

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