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re-using wedding items


As many newlyweds are aware, a lot of money is spent on a wedding — from buying a new dress to funding the party favours. But, what happens to everything after the big day comes to an end? As many of us begin to focus on reducing our waste and recycling to do our bit for the environment, read on as we look how that can apply to your wedding purchases.

What to do with the wedding dress?

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The perfect dress can take weeks, even months to find. 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.

Donating your dress is one way to share the love of your day to someone else and help a bride-to-be who might be working with a smaller 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.

Another option is to create a keepsake out of the material. 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 things that you could use the material from your dress for, it depends on how often you want to see it and where you’d like to have it on show. 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

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The wedding flowers are another important part of the 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 few ways to save your flowers and prevent them from drooping or going brown. 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 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?
  • 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.
  • 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.

Don’t replace your engagement ring

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Some people decide to remove their engagement ring in replacement of their wedding ring once they’re married. But getting engaged is a heartfelt occasion too and there are ways you can merge the two moments together.

One way to do this is physically fusing your engagement and wedding ring 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’ve decided that you do want to wear just one ring after you’re married, why not take a piece of your old one? You could take a diamond from your ring and insert it into your wedding band for example.

Other bits and bobs

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There are plenty of other wedding bits and bobs that you might find you’re left with after your 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 have spare party favours why not reuse them as stocking fillers? 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.

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