Even with the most intricate wedding planning, you’re bound to have some leftovers here and there, be it food, invitations, menu cards, flowers, and every other kind of wedding paraphernalia. Of course, throwing them straight in the dumpster will be a huge waste. So, how do you get rid of these leftovers in the easiest and most efficient way possible?
Here are some ideas that you can consider:
1. Sell them
The best way to get rid of your wedding leftovers is to sell them because you’re not only decluttering; you’re also recouping some of the costs of your wedding! Take inventory of the extras you have and post photos on online marketplaces like eBay or Facebook Marketplace. Better yet, post photos on wedding planning groups so that other brides or grooms-to-be can see find them easily. If you’re not all that sentimental, you can even sell your wedding dress; after all, you’re only going to wear it once.
Don’t have time to take photos of every item and post them online? Consider taking your items to the thrift store or holding a yard sale.
2. Ask guests to take some home
A great way to proactively de-clutter is by asking your guests to take some leftovers during the wedding itself. This is especially important for edibles since they only have a few hours before they spoil. Buy takeout containers for the wedding and ask the catering service to hand them out to anyone who wants to take leftovers home. Better yet, ask guests to bring reusable containers with them to cut down on waste.
Alternatively, ask the catering service to pack up all leftovers and then donate them to a soup kitchen or homeless people on the street.
3. Donate them
There are plenty of charitable organizations that accept used wedding paraphernalia, including dresses, decorations, and food. Donating the extras from your wedding will surely make someone smile.
4. Trade or swap
If you don’t want to sell your items, you can try trading or swapping them for something else. For instance, you can swap your wedding dress for something useful for your new married life, like an appliance or a new set of dishware. Find trading/swapping groups on Facebook in your area; there are surely some great deals waiting for you there. Alternatively, you can try trading with your family and friends first.
5. Repurpose them
All sorts of wedding paraphernalia can be repurposed into something else. For example, extra invitations and menu cards can be painted over and transformed into wall art. Wedding dresses can be repurposed into other pieces of clothing fit for everyday occasions. Centerpieces can be tweaked and used as decorations for your new home, and so on.
6. Contact wedding planners
Wedding planners in your area may be interested in buying your wedding leftovers to help their clients save money on their own weddings. While contacting other engaged couples may seem like a quicker way to get leftovers off your hands, wedding planners are much easier to find since their contact numbers are posted publicly. Call and see if they are willing to buy some of your leftovers or transport them for free.
7. Wait for someone else’s wedding
If someone you know is getting married soon, ask them if they would want to take some of your wedding leftovers for a low price or for free. If they say yes, you can ask them to take the items off your hands so that you don’t have to hold onto them any longer. Not only are you making more room in your house, but you’re also helping out another bride or groom with their wedding.
Moreover, if you and someone you know are planning to get married around the same time, see if they are willing to split some of the costs upfront. The one getting married first has to pay the bigger portion, of course.
8. Use them for another occasion
Contrary to popular belief, wedding paraphernalia is not exclusive to weddings only. You can use your flowers, centerpieces, table runners, vases, and other decors for other special occasions, such as baby showers, tea parties, birthday parties, anniversaries, and more. You can even turn them into a ‘communal decor box’ for your friends and family so that they can also use it for their own gatherings.
Weddings, much like other large gatherings, tend to be wasteful–but yours doesn’t have to be. With these tips, you can find a new purpose for your wedding extras and even make money off of them, making your wedding more sustainable and inherently more cost-effective.