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Recycle Your Wedding

Recycle Your Wedding

Recent reports have priced the cost of a typical large wedding in the United States to be between $26,000 and $31,000. No, really, it is not a joke. Those numbers may be sobering and beyond any budget you and your beloved may be working with, but they do raise a worthwhile question. What happens to all the leftover stuff after the last guest has left the reception? Are there ways to reuse or repurpose some of the goods that make up a wedding? Happily, the answer is a resounding yes. Individuals and organizations around the country have developed projects and programs that are only too glad to make use of what otherwise may be some very expensive disposables.

Let Another Say Yes to the Dress

Brides Against Breast Cancer is an organization in Sarasota, Florida that accepts donations of dresses, slips and veils from 2009 to the present. The garments go to women who are struggling with cancer and who are getting married. This is one of several organizations that focus on enabling people to marry while they face life-threatening illness. Programs share the philosophy that time is precious, and no one really knows how much there may be to spend with those we love. These programs help to meet the costs of the nuptials for those people who wish to spend that time as a married couple.

Donate Table Arrangements

While many brides may be loath to part with their bouquet, most receptions have ample flowers left after the party. Programs such as Floranthropy in Seattle and Random Acts of Flowers in Tennessee are pleased to scoop them up and redistribute them. There may be quite a bit of bloom left in flower arrangements, particularly if they were professionally done. A donation of flowers may brighten up places that could use a little cheer. Destinations include:

  • Shelters
  • Hospice care centers
  • Retirement homes

NICU Helping Hands

This organization refashions donated wedding dresses into burial gowns for babies who die shortly after birth. The gowns are given free of charge to people who wish to accept them. While the response to this organization has been large enough to put a temporary hold on new donations, it will be accepting dresses again after September 1, 2015.

A Moveable Feast

There may often be enough food left over from a reception to feed another round of guests. Many caterers have a donation program in place that arranges for the safe transport of leftover food to places that may be able to use it. It is important that the food be properly handled, but with the right care of temperatures and storage methods, a shelter or community kitchen may be able to benefit.

Reduce Waste Right From the Start

One surefire way to prevent excess and waste is to not buy anything at all. A possible place for this just-say-no approach may be the party favors. Place handwritten cards on the tables that say you have made a donation to a favorite cause in honor of the occasion and of your guests. The gesture may offer a lovely alternative to more traditional favors of bottled wine and multi-tools.

Conscious Celebrating

It may seem when you are planning a service and reception that there is just one expense after another. The bridal industry has a way of making every detail seem essential, and it may be easy to get caught up in the excitement of the event and purchase more than you want or need. Thinking about how some of the materials that go into the event may be repurposed may actually help simplify the planning. Making conscious choices that consider the reuse or elimination of certain items may help reduce waste, encourage recycling, and even deepen your and your partner's sense of dedication and commitment.

Category: Get Ordained Wedding Materials

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