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How to make the most out of your wedding items after the big day

BySteve Stones

Oct 12, 2018

Newlyweds will already be aware of just how quickly the costs of getting married can add up – whether it’s decorations, the dress or fancy floral arrangements, the average wedding can typically set you back more than you would expect. But what do you do with these items once the day is over? Throwing them away seems like a waste, not to mention bad for the environment. Luckily, there are many ways that you can get more use out of your wedding items by recycling them or transforming them into special keepsakes to remember the day by.

Other uses for your engagement ring

After the wedding, many couples decide to take off their engagement rings in favour of a wedding ring. Engagement is a very special memory, however, and keeping the ring on is always an option.

There are ways that you can combine these two special moments – one way to do so is to fuse together your engagement and wedding rings.  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’ve decided that you do want to wear just one ring after you’re married, why not take a piece of your old one? If you’re set on just wearing the one ring after getting married, you could always use a piece of your engagement ring in your wedding ring. For example, unique wedding rings can be made by taking a diamond from your engagement ring and having it installed into your wedding band.

What to do with the wedding dress?

It can take brides weeks, months or even a year to find their perfect wedding dress. 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.

If you’re not too sentimental about holding on to your dress after the big day, it could be a good idea to donate it. 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 use the material from your dress to make a unique keepsake to remember your wedding day by. 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.

There are many other uses for your wedding dress material – of course, what you make out of it depends on how you’d like to remember your special day.

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! Other suggestions include; creating a christening gown for your child, using the embroidery to make a lingerie set, and using the lace and beading to form a keepsake teddy bear.

Keeping your bridal bouquet

The wedding bouquet is one of the most important aspects of the day. In many ways, the flowers 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 ways in which to preserve your wedding flowers so that you can appreciate them for a while longer. 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:

  • 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.

Other bits and bobs

After the big day, you’ll probably find yourself with a few odds and ends left over from the celebrations. 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.

Party favours work extremely well as stocking fillers for Christmas. 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. Before you throw anything away or hide it in a box, think again about how you can use your wedding pieces.