Displaying gorgeous, lush flower arrangements throughout your wedding ceremony and reception is an excellent way to add elegance, sweet aromas, and beauty to your wedding vision. However, after the last guests have left and the wedding day is complete, you may be unsure what to do with all of the expensive flowers now in your possession.
While many brides and grooms choose to throw away leftover wedding flowers and move along to the honeymoon, reusing or repurposing your flowers as best you can is an essential step in planning a sustainable wedding. Even better, repurposing ceremony flowers at the reception can save you money on decorating expenses.
As sustainable floral designers, our Bouqs Weddings team is adamant about making the most of our beautiful blooms. Read ahead to learn our tips to reuse and repurpose wedding flowers during and after your special day.
How to Reuse Wedding Flower Arrangements at the Reception
Bloom Where You’re Planted. Before you begin thinking about how to reuse or repurpose your blooms after your wedding day, consider whether your arrangements can serve a dual purpose at your wedding. One way to make every bloom count is to reuse the flowers from the ceremony as decor at the reception.
If you’re planning to hold the ceremony and reception in different locations, you can enlist your wedding party, floral designer, or family members to transport your arrangements from the ceremony to the reception. Here are a few ideas for repurposing ceremony flowers in your reception decor:
A popular wedding trend in 2023 is to place the bridal bouquet as the centerpiece at the sweetheart table. The wedding couple can make their grand entrances at the reception, transition to the table, and drop the bouquet in a pre-arranged position.
If you don’t have room at the sweetheart table, you can plan to place the bridal bouquet on the welcome table instead, allowing guests to get a closer look as they sign your guest book. After all, you probably chose your beautiful bouquet very carefully — why not allow guests to ooh and ah over it as well?
Bridesmaid bouquets tend to be smaller than bridal bouquets, making them better suited for areas of the wedding reception that need small pops of color and freshness. You can consider asking your wedding party to place each bridesmaid bouquet in these locations after the ceremony:
- At the bar or refreshment tables
- Spaced out along the sweetheart table
- On the guest of honor tables
- Near the seating arrangement sign
- In vases near the wedding cake
- On the welcome table
- On the memory table
- In the lounge area outside the reception space
As you plan your wedding decor, consider how you could transition these smaller bouquets to the reception and save money on additional decorations.
Reusing a floral wedding arch is a larger task than placing small bouquets around the reception. However, you can get creative and repurpose this showstopper ceremony arrangement in your reception area as well.
One of the easiest ways to reuse your arch in the reception is to transport the entire arch to the reception venue. Of course, this task will be more manageable if your ceremony and reception are on the same property.
You can set up the arch as a beautiful backdrop for guests to take photos and remember your special day. Alternatively, you can place it behind a small sweetheart table to highlight the newlyweds.
Depending on your arch’s structure, you may be able to remove specific flowers for bouquets and place them around the reception in a different arrangement. However, keep in mind that these flowers may be large, heavy, and wet, making them a little harder to reuse than bouquets.
Ceremony Aisle Arrangements
If you plan to include flowers along the ceremony aisle, you can also reuse these blooms within the reception. Aisle arrangements tend to be the right size for round reception table centerpieces. If you don’t have room on the reception table, you can also place ceremony flowers on the memory table or the sweetheart table as decor.
Where to Reuse Wedding Flowers After the Wedding
Putting the “Petal” to the Metal. Even if you decide to reuse wedding bouquet flowers in the reception, you’ll probably still be left with extra bouquets at the end of the night. Here are a few ideas to reuse these bouquets after your ceremony.
Your wedding flowers will probably be freshest on your wedding day. As a result, if you can reuse these florals the day of the reception, their recipients will be able to gain the most life from them.
Many brides and grooms have begun offering wedding flowers to guests as party favors. For example, you can leave small vases at each reception table centerpiece and invite your guests to choose a few flowers from around the reception to take home with them.
Alternatively, you can make giving away your flowers a reception game. Simply include carefully wrapped flowers as your reception centerpieces, and place a ticket under one plate at each round reception table. Then, at the end of the night, you can invite the guests with the tickets under their plates to take home a centerpiece.
After you’ve given away some of your floral arrangements to guests, you’ll probably still have a few bouquets you don’t know what to do with. At this point, you may want to donate wedding flowers to charitable organizations.
Many hospitals accept flower donations for patients without any visitors. Likewise, senior living homes also typically accept florals for their residents.
You can also consider calling an organization that repurposes flower bouquets. For example, Repeat Roses repurposes leftover flowers and delivers them to hospitals and senior living facilities. Meanwhile, Random Acts of Flowers delivers recycled flowers to healthcare facilities.
Around the House
If you and your spouse aren’t immediately heading out on your honeymoon after the reception, you can retrieve a few of your floral arrangements to place around the house. Displaying your wedding flowers in vases throughout your home can help you preserve the wonder and enjoyment of your special day for as long as possible.
Ways to Repurpose Floral Arrangements After the Wedding
Even if you put your best efforts into reusing your wedding flowers, fresh floral arrangements only last so long. Instead of dumping your bridal bouquet in the trash once it reaches the end of its life, you can consider repurposing it into fun crafts, decor, and household items. Here are a few ideas for repurposing wedding bouquets and decor flowers:
Air drying flowers is an excellent way to preserve their color and natural charm. Thankfully, you don’t need any special skills or equipment to preserve wedding flowers by drying them. Simply follow these steps:
- Remove the excess leaves and foliage from the flowers.
- Cut the stems to your desired length.
- Secure the flowers in small bunches with unflavored dental floss.
- Hang the bouquets upside down in a dark, dry area, like a closet.
- Leave the bouquets for two or three weeks.
- Once dried, spray the floral arrangement with unscented hairspray.
Drying your bridal bouquet and other wedding flowers with this method can allow you to preserve their natural beauty, enabling you to use them as decor around your house or gift them to loved ones.
If you don’t have time to dry your own flowers after the wedding ceremony, you can enlist a floral designer to help. You may even be able to have the floral designer come to your wedding space to retrieve the bridal bouquet and extra bouquets at the end of the reception.
An alternative way to preserve wedding bouquets is to press them. Pressing flowers flattens and dries them, allowing you to display them in frames.
One of the easiest ways to press flowers is to place them between the pages of a large, heavy book, such as a phone book. You can also place weights on the book to apply greater pressure, further flattening the florals. Then, simply leave the flowers for a few weeks, until they are dry and paper-thin.
Keep in mind that fresh flowers press better than old ones. As a result, you’ll want to begin pressing your floral arrangement as soon after your reception as possible.
Once you have dried or pressed your wedding flowers, you can use them in a range of crafts and decor projects — including candles. Simply purchase votive candles from any craft store, then use a drop of hot wax to secure each flower petal to the outside of the candles. You can then place the candles in a glass jar or on a pillar holder to display them.
Dip Them In Wax
If you’re looking for the best way to preserve your bridal bouquet in its original, perfect position, you can consider dipping the flowers in wax. Coating the florals in clear wax can add a protective layer that keeps them in their beautiful, lush states long-term.
Reusing and repurposing wedding bouquet flowers can allow you to gain the most enjoyment from your florals and reduce waste. Whatever you decide to do with your bridal bouquet and other popular wedding flowers, we hope you will think creatively to avoid wasting the beautiful blooms you’ve acquired for your special day.Shop All