Recycle Your Wedding Items


After having organised your wedding day, sometimes months in advance, a lot of people feel the need to get their teeth into something else after they have returned from their honeymoon. 

In a bid to avoid the deflated feeling after putting their heart and soul into all the preparations it can be a good idea to think about what to do with those wedding items that you want to keep but just don't know what to do with.

Following are some tips and ideas about how do recycle or reuse some of these items.

Recycle The Bride's Dress

The bridal dress is one of the most expensive and important items for a wedding.  A big fuss is made about picking the right dress, making sure it fits correctly as well as ensuring that it looks good on the day, keeping it hidden from the groom and even keeping quiet to friends and family about the style and colour etc.  Unfortunately, after the big event, the majority of beautiful wedding dresses are packed away somewhere never to be seen again.  Spending so much money on an item that is worn for just a few hours and then putting it in the closet seems such a shame.  Here are some ideas about what you can do:

  • recycle wedding dressDonate it to charity.
  • Get someone to create a completely new dress using the material that you can use yourself.  You can also incorporate a shawl or a wrap with the dress if you have enough material left over.
  • Have your dress made into a decorative pillow.
  • If your outfit is a bodice with a separate skirt, perhaps you could look into getting the bodice dyed and use it with another item of clothing.
  • Make a quilt cover or bedspread from the dress, this is a lovely and novel idea that keeps your dress close to you and will bring back warm memories each time you slip into bed.
  • Make up a photo album for your wedding or about your first baby and use the material to cover and line the book.
  • Of course if you cannot bear for your dress to be cut up into little pieces, perhaps you could save it for your own daughter or niece to wear?
  • The dress would also make a lovely communion dress for your daughter.
  • Turn the material into handkerchiefs for yourself or even have them made and monogrammed as a gift to perhaps another bride.
  • Trash the Dress - A craze where people basically take photographs of themselves in their dress in strange and wonderful places, a lot of people take it a stage further during the photo shoot and their dress get damaged or destroyed.  It is not necessary to completely ruin your dress, particularly if you have spent a small fortune on it, but you should be aware that damage can happen during the photo shoot. 
  • What about a lovely tablecloth?
  • What about having it turned into a Christening gown for your first born child?  Possibly with the intention of starting a family tradition where the gown is handed down through the children.
  • You could sell your wedding dress.  You will never get back the money that you spent on it originally but there is always a bride-to-be somewhere who will pay for a beautiful gown that they may not be able to afford at the full price.
  • You could turn it into a pillow for a family member to use as a ring pillow at their wedding.

Don't forget that all of these ideas can also be use for any bridesmaid's dresses that you have been given or still have.  You could even incorporate a completely new outfit using your own bridal dress and a bridesmaid dress.

Recycle The Bouquet

Something lovely that is deliberated over and over just to make sure it's the right size and colour and weight.  If the bouquet you carry down the aisle is not the one that you throw to the single women at your wedding then consider the following:

  • recycle bouquetA silk bouquet will last a long time if looked after correctly and makes a lovely hanging on the wall or perhaps it could be made into a special centre piece that you bring out for special occasions.
  • Add some of the dried petals to your wedding album next to the photos.
  • For bouquets made from real flowers, dry them out and frame them in a picture frame.
  • Have it preserved to keep as a reminder of your day.
  • If someone close to you is getting married, dry the petals of your flowers and use them as confetti at their wedding.
  • Incorporate the dried parts into pot pourri

The same can also be done for any buttonholes you have left over.

Recycle your Bridal Shoes

Most shoes worn by the bride are usually a white or ivory colour so the obvious thing to do would be to either keep them as they are to use again, give them to charity or have them dyed to match a new or favourite outfit.

Recycle the Wedding Favours

Not everyone has the same favours so depending on the sort you have will effect what you can do with them.

  • Any decoration on the boxes can be taken off and used on cards or gift tags.
  • Give 'seeded' favours (i.e. those with birdseed or plant seeds inside them) to a local community club that may be able to use them.
  • Little bottles of bubbles can be re-decorated and then used, perhaps at a child's birthday party in the party bags or at a New Years Eve Party on the table.

Recycle your Wedding Invitation

You have some left over, or you may have the RSVP cards lying in a pile somewhere not sure what to do with them. 

  • Check to see if your favourite charity is collecting this type of paper.
  • Make a collage of your day to frame using an invite along with a newspaper clipping announcing your wedding, some of your flowers and maybe part of your dress.
  • The 'green' choice would be to recycle them in the paper recycling.
  • Use the back of the invite as note books or if it is thick enough as a backing for something.
  • Use the RVSP's as a thank you note by printing on the back of them.
  • You should try and keep a blank invitation if you can as a keepsake, maybe frame it alongside one of your wedding photos or pop one inside your wedding album. 

Recycle Miscellaneous Wedding Items

Other items from your wedding that can be reused include:

  • A lot of place cards have names written on them so if the guest hasn't taken them home perhaps you could use a couple in a collage or re-decorate them to use again at another party.  Alternatively, throw them in the paper bin.
  • Any paper napkins you have left over are probably best to use yourself or put in the paper recycling bins.  If your napkins are made from cloth and have a personal theme you will more than likely want to keep them to use again, perhaps at a special anniversary dinner party.  You could make handkerchiefs from the napkins or have them sewn together to create a new item such as a table cloth or even an apron.
  • Any special lingerie that you bought just for the day can of course be reused over and over, especially on the honeymoon.
  • If you also provided ribbon for inside the church, you can use this to wrap up presents, tie bows around a gift or cut down to make smaller ribbons for hair or cards.
  • The ring pillow could be used in your bedroom perhaps as decoration.
  • The tiara can of course be used again at a ball or special occasion, it could be sold or you could even have it remodelled into a necklace, earrings or broach (possibly all three if the tiara is large enough).
  • Table decorations from your reception, they can be altered slightly for your own table or if they are large perhaps they could be separated down to make some smaller table decorations or even made into rings for candle bases.
  • You can do something similar with the church flowers if you provided your own, not forgetting of course that your closest family members and friends may love to receive one of the arrangements for themselves.

There are plenty of items that can not be reused, for instance your cake toppers.  If you have a floral cake topper, that of course can be reused or made into a table decoration but if you have the traditional bride and groom figurines they should take pride of place in your living room for all to see.

Recycling and Reusing for your Wedding

Try to be creative with your reusing, think long and hard about the different ways you can use these items that meant something to you on your special day.  Look online for ideas about what to make out of your items and ask your family and friends for ideas.

If you can't reuse or recycle it then sell or donate it.

The Trash the Dress seems like a wonderful idea which not only gives the bride and groom a chance to wear their wedding outfits again but also gives them some very memorable photographs.