It's nearing the end of your post-reception after party and you and your new spouse are ready to say goodbye to all who shared in your special day. With decorations, lights, and flowers, ready to be taken down, who is it that decides what becomes of the event's most adorned floral arrangements. Distinguished by an infinite variety of types, shades, and sizes, flowers are a seasonal ornament appreciated by all who witness their individual distinctness and beauty. When it comes to weddings, flowers are one of main factors in bringing a couple's vision to life in terms of color scheme, emotional appeal, and décor.
VIDEO: How Much Should Wedding Flowers Cost?
We've asked some of the industry's top floral experts for advice on how to responsibly dispose of wedding day flowers after they say "I Do." Here are some thoughtful tips that will benefit you, your guests, and community.
1. Be Our Guest
According to Alise Davis, owner and principal designer of Olive Willow Designs, one of the best ways to dispose of your fantastical florals is to give them to your guests. "Once your reception has ended, recycle your centerpieces by having guests take them home," explains Alise. "Be sure to arrange vessel purchase with your florist as most times these are rentals. To keep the blooms fresh, provide a fresh cut (if the stems are accessible) and clean new water. Place in a cool, softly lit area if they were a part of an outdoor reception with sun exposure."
2. Catch the Bouquet
Prolonging the afterlife of your flowers is no longer an overwhelmingly daunting task thanks to Lyndsey Hamilton's idea to set up a bouquet station towards the end of your celebration—a plus for couples looking for a unique way to send guests home with a crafty goodbye gift. The founder and creative director of her eponymous company Lyndsey Hamilton Events expands on how she's implemented this gracious idea into events in the past. "Our team will gather the arrangements during the dancing portion of the evening and create individual bouquets," states Lyndsey. "We bring kraft paper and twine and wrap each table arrangement individually. As guests depart, we hand them out as a bouquets! People love receiving this little surprise gift and it's a great way to repurpose the flowers."
3. Give to Your Local Community
Another way to feel content about the disposal of your night's most stunning arrangements is to present them to your local nursing home. Alise Davis recommends coordinating a pick-up delivery for the arrangements, making it easier than ever to donate your florals without any heavy lifting. "Just make sure you indicate the volume of arrangements available as to not to overwhelm the nursing home." In this case, less is more. Lyndsey Hamilton recommends using an organization like Repeat Roses for donating your petal-packed decorations. "This brilliant service comes in at the end of the evening, gathers the flowers, and then either delivers to local hospitals, or what cannot be used, is composted," explains Lyndsey. "This service is also tax-deductible for clients. It is an incredible way to not only give back, but another way to help you feel great about giving your flowers another life!"
4. Decorations for the Morning After
For couples who can't seem to let go of the arrangements they have been envisioning for months, there's another recycle solution that allows the newly married pair to incorporate their floral creations into the following day's activities. Erica Taylor, chief marketing officer at Tinsel & Twine, has seen her fair share of repurposed blooms. "We have had several clients take home flowers for use at the morning-after brunch." Alise Davis also contributes to this innovative idea, emphasizing brunch as the perfect backdrop to reuse your big day buds. "Repurposing your reception arrangements for the next day's festivities is always a great cost saving way to decorate for brunch," recalls Alise. "Just be sure to provide the stems with a fresh cut (if they are accessible) and new clean room temperature water."