As of 2016, it was estimated that the average wedding produces around 400lbs of garbage and emits 63 tons of CO2. A lot of that has to do with things like food, preparing the venue, heating and cooling, and even entertainment.
But, wedding decor can actually contribute a lot of waste to your wedding day, too.
Weddings are often expensive and take a lot of time and preparation. We get it – the last thing you want to do is add more stress by considering your wedding’s carbon footprint. But, in today’s society, sustainability is more important than ever.
People are always looking for things to do with their wedding decor after the big day. Chances are, you’ve seen some for sale online. Often, though, decor gets thrown away. That doesn’t have to be the case. By choosing to reuse and repurpose your wedding decorations, not only will you get more out of them (helping to justify the cost!) but you’ll be doing something good for the planet.
As a bonus, finding ways to use your wedding decorations around the home will allow you to remember the details of your special day forever.
You don’t have to be crafty have an eye for design to get started. Let’s cover a few simple ways you can transform your wedding decorations into something fit for the home.
Be Thoughtful Ahead of Time
If you’re in the planning stages of your wedding, now is a great time to consider how you might be able to repurpose decor. If you’re having custom glass panes, mirrors, or even dishes on your big day, consider having them professionally etched. Yes, it can cost a bit more, but it’s an investment that can last a lifetime if you have a plan in mind for the decor.
Etched glass is beautiful and intricate and can make your special day feel even more unique. Think about how wonderful it would be to have a mirror or windowpane in your home from your wedding day. Not only would it serve as a conversation piece, but a great reminder of the day itself. You could even hold onto certain pieces and give them to your spouse later as an anniversary gift.
You can also invest in things like flower vases and cake stands. They’re simple pieces, but many people choose to rent them or purchase the cheapest ones possible. Renting is a fine option and will give as much life as possible to the decor.
But, instead of buying inexpensive items that will get thrown out, consider purchasing vases and stands that you would be happy to use in your home for years to come. Even if you don’t want them for yourself, they can make great gifts for guests and family members to use in their own homes.
Preserve Your Flowers
When you think about weddings, flowers are usually high on the list of things that come to mind first. What would a wedding day be without beautiful bouquets and floral decor? While there are sustainable ways to dispose of flowers and plant remnants, you can preserve them, use them as decor, and surround yourself with wedding day memories for years.
Almost any flower can be preserved if you do it properly, but the best varieties that take well to drying include:
- Baby’s breath
There are different ways to preserve flowers, but one of the easiest when it comes to wedding arrangements is to hang them upside down. Hang-dry your bouquet in with the stems facing upward. In about two weeks, it should be perfectly dry and ready to display.
If you’re planning on having a ton of flowers at your wedding and can’t take them all home, consider:
- Giving them to guests
- Giving them to staff members
- Donating them to area businesses
- Donating to hospitals or nursing homes
While those options might not make your arrangements last forever, they can extend the life of your flowers and bring other people joy in the process.
Get Cozy With Pillows and Throws
It’s not uncommon nowadays for people to have smaller, more intimate weddings. Barn and cottage weddings have grown in popularity as couples want their guests to feel comfortable.
As a result, you might find yourself with some decorative pillows and throws left over from a cozy cocktail hour, or extra blankets that were used to cover hay bale seating.
Textile waste is already a huge problem, and not something you want to contribute to. Thankfully, items like throw blankets and pillows are already great for home decor! Bring them home with you to use as accents in your bedroom, in a specific area of the home, or just as casual, everyday living pieces that will keep you comfortable and remind you of your wedding.
Again, don’t opt for cheap materials if at all possible. When you start making purchases with longevity and repurposing in mind, it’s worth the investment to go with something stronger and well-made.
Weddings don’t have to be wasteful. With a bit of extra thought, planning, and preparation, most of your wedding decor can be brought home and appreciated every day. Get creative with your repurposing ideas, and you’ll have memories of your big day to enjoy forever.