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Recycling your wedding items: How to find other uses for your dress after the big day

Author: Natasha Christou
by Natasha Christou
Posted: Jan 04, 2019

Most newly married couples know exactly how costly a wedding can be – from splashing out on decorations to finding the perfect dress. But, what do you do with it all after the wedding? We all know how important it is to recycle and reduce our waste, but how do we apply this to our wedding items? Read on as we explain how to find other uses for all of your wedding decorations, dresses and favours after the big day.

The dress

Many women spend months on end searching for the dress of their dreams. It’s one of the biggest parts of wedding planning and choosing the dress can turn into a family affair for many brides. Then, after the big day is over, the dress usually gets hidden away in a box for years to come. But there are better uses out there.

You could always donate your wedding dress – this would help brides to be who may be struggling with the wedding budget. Considering that the average wedding dress in the UK is estimated to cost £1,385, it’s no surprise that some brides-to-be opt for a second-hand dress. You can take it to your local charity shop, or to specialist online second-hand bridal stores such as Bride2Bride and Bridal Reloved.

You could also save the material from your dress as a keepsake to remember the day. This doesn’t have to involve destroying the full dress, you could make something special out of the train or spare embroidery. Before you do this, dry clean or wash your dress so that you’re working with clean and stain-free material.

Depending on how much you’d like to have the material from your dress on display, there are many options for creating other items from it. One example is creating a pillow out of the material; you could use jewels and beads from the dress and attach some of the details and embroidery. Keep it on your bed and be reminded of your special day as soon as you wake up!

Some other creative ideas involve:

  • Using the embroidery to make a lingerie set.
  • Using the lace and beading to form a keepsake teddy bear.
  • Creating a christening gown for your child.
The bouquet

Flowers are one of the key parts of any wedding day. In many ways they sum up the day, as they often complement the theme of the wedding and include some of your favourite varieties. But how can you keep your flowers looking pretty and have them on show as a reminder of your big day?

There are a number of different ways to preserve your wedding flowers and keep them from wilting. You probably won’t have time to do much with them on the days following your wedding so in this time, keep them somewhere they won’t be knocked and out of direct sunlight. After this you have a few options for how you want to preserve your blooms:

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    • Flower hanging — this is one way of drying out your flowers to keep them for longer. To do this, you need to gather the stems and tie them together with string or an elastic band. You then hang the bouquet upside down in a dry area, such as a hallway. After a few weeks your bouquet should be completely dried out, you can add more flowers to the bouquet as you go too.
  • Flower pressing — Select the flowers that you’d like to keep and place them on parchment paper, you can rearrange them later so don’t worry too much about this. Then, lay the parchment paper and flowers inside a heavy book and cover with another layer of parchment paper. Weigh the book down with something heavy and leave to dry out for seven to 10 days. You can then rearrange the flowers and get them framed to put on display. Why not create mini frames to give to your bridesmaids and mother as a keepsake with their bouquets in?
  • Using epoxy resin — You can do this yourself with epoxy resin and a spherical mould, but it could be better left to the experts. This is where your flowers can be created into a clear paperweight, something that you can look at for years to come.
The engagement ring

After the wedding, many couples opt to swap out their engagement rings for their wedding rings. But getting engaged is a heartfelt occasion too and there are ways you can merge the two moments together.

There is always the option of fusing the two rings together. This can reduce the wear and tear of the rings as if you were wearing two separate rings on the same finger they might rub against each other. It also means that your rings are aligned at all times and you can match the diamonds up on each ring.

If you would rather stick to one ring after the big day, there’s always the option of using a piece of your engagement ring in your wedding ring. You could take a diamond from your ring and insert it into your wedding band for example.

Other items

You might find yourself surrounded by decorative odds and ends after the wedding day. One thing that you could create is a scrapbook or memory box. This could include; spare invites, party favours, your cake ribbon and anything else that sums up your day. This is great to have to look back on, and also to show family and friends in the future.

If you’ve got left over party favours, how about reusing them for Christmas – they make the perfect stocking fillers, after all. If they contained sweets, you can put them in small purses or bags and give them out to children around Christmas, or hand them out around work.

About the Author

Outreach Executive at Mediaworks. I enjoy writing informative and educational articles that can help businesses succeed.

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Author: Natasha Christou

Natasha Christou

Member since: Jul 26, 2018
Published articles: 26

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