Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Five Things To Do With Your Wedding Flowers After Your Wedding

Wedding flowers can get really expensive. There's your bouquet, your bridesmaids' bouquets, petals for your flower girls, corsages for your moms and grandmas, boutineers for your groom, his groomsmen, any ring bearers, and the fathers, alter flowers, pew markers, and anything you decide to have for the reception.

Most couples allocate 6-percent to 8-percent of their budget for flowers (you can find a full wedding budget broken down by percentages here). We were really lucky that our venue had centerpieces we could borrow so we didn't have to spend for floral centerpieces. Plus, the flower shop we used was so reasonable (it was nearly half of what another shop quoted us for nearly identical packages). We ended up spending 4% of our budget on flowers, which is half of what I had estimated so I was happy.

But what about when the wedding is over? What should you do with your wedding flowers then?


Five Things To Do With You Wedding Flowers After The Wedding

1. Donate them
We had two large arrangements for the church's alter, plus four pew markers (so that people knew to leave those pews open for immediate family and the wedding party). When we had a meeting with the priest before our wedding, I asked what we were supposed to do with the flowers after. "Most people donate them to the church," he said, before adding, "But you can take them if you want." So we left them. We actually also donated my toss bouquet because no one thought to grab it before we left the church (which is exactly why a toss bouquet is on my list of things you can skip at your wedding).

As far as wedding bouquets, you can donate those too. You'll be taking them with you to the reception, so you won't donate to the church. But, pre-wedding, call a local nursing home or hospital. Ask them if they accept floral donations. Many of them do, so just put a bridesmaid in charge of collecting flowers (bouquets, centerpieces, decor) and driving them to donate the next day. Just be sure to keep the flowers hydrated overnight so you're not donating wilted and half-dead flowers.


2. Preserve them
I am a big supporter of using silica gel to preserve your wedding flowers. It's a time-consuming process (and most of that time is waiting) but you can do it at home. And the flowers come out absolutely amazing, especially compared to drying them. The colors are so bright and vibrant. I have an entire post on how to preserve your flowers at home, so definitely take a look at that.

If you don't care about colors, you can always just dry them. Instructions for that are in the link above also.

I actually did what I could with silica gel (you need a container for that and mine had limited space) and left the rest of the bouquet to dry on its own. I actually have the dried bouquet sitting on my work desk. 

3. Create a shadow box from them
After you've preserved them, you'll want something to do with them. You can be like me and leave them sitting on your desk or you can create a display. You best bet is a shadow box. You can purchase them in a variety of sizes. If you've never seen one, they're basically plump frames. Instead of having room only for a thin, flat paper like a frame, these are wide so you can fit a bunch of stuff between the glass and the backing. You can pin your flowers to look like your arrangement or just add a few petals along with other wedding mementos.


4. DIY a Christmas ornament
If you're even a little bit crafty, you can put together a Christmas ornament with your flowers. Just purchase some glass ornaments and put pieces of your wedding bouquet inside. These is really great if you have any sort of jeweled embellishments on your bouquet. Plus, you can use the tulle from your handle as the ribbon for the top. You can check out my DIY Christmas ornament tutorial, but this is pretty self explanatory. 

This is a great thing for people who aren't too sentimental and don't want to see wedding flowers displayed 24/7. This goes on your tree during the holiday season and then it goes back in a box for another year. You're sentimental, but not year round (plus, if you need a constant reminder that you got married, just turn around and look at your groom).

5. Throw them out
Oh my heart hurts at that suggestion, but that's because I am the most sentimental pack rat you will ever meet. I can throw magazines away so easily because I don't need reminders of if Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber are on again or off again. But childhood toys or handwritten notes, I can't throw them away because I can't get them back. And that's how I feel with anything wedding related. The day comes and goes and you don't get a do over. But, honestly, you probably have tons of photos of your bouquet. If you want a reminder of how they looked, you can just go back to your wedding album. And that's a lot less clutter than the actual flowers.


But even with that photo above (and a ton of others that I took when my second bouquet came), I still couldn't bring myself to throw out my bridal bouquet.

BRIDAL BABBLE: What do you plan to do with your wedding flowers after your wedding?

Deciding on your wedding flowers?

Check out our Ultimate Wedding Flowers Guide post.



  1. I can't remember what happened to my flowers! They might be dried in a box somewhere. I don't know.

  2. I like the idea of donating them. My flowers were silk and I'm thinking about creating several small vases with one or two flowers in each. There's no way I could throw them away. lol