If you're planning a wedding, or simply attending one, you probably know that flowers often play a huge role in the ceremony. And for good reason — flowers are basically the best thing ever. That being said, when the big day is gone, figuring out
what to do with your wedding flowers doesn't have to be a chore. It can be a joyful way to extend the beauty they give!
Tracie Domino, founder and creative director of
Tracie Domino Events, tells Bustle that the fate of wedding flowers is often a sad state of affairs, and this must change.
"This sounds harsh, but 99% of the time they go right in the trash," Domino says. "Wedding flowers typically arrive on Tuesday before the event and we spend all that time processing them and getting them open to their most beautiful size. That means, by the time they are sitting on a table at the wedding, they are super fragile and moments from death."
That combined with the fact that they "strike" weddings at all hours of the night on the weekend, sometimes it can be hard to get services to come at that time to pick them up.
The good news, flower lovers, is that getting creative is the go-to option here. Doing a little planning beforehand can help those flowers to live on and on.
Below, get some wonderful tips on what to do with your flowers post-wedding, from the people who bring you all those amazing wedding flowers in the first place.
1 Dry Them Out To Recreate Bouquets Matt Cardy/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Flower farmer & florist
Megh Wingenfeld tells Bustle to never throw your wedding flowers away.
"As a flower farmer and a florist, it breaks my heart to know that most venues just
toss the flowers away at night after an event or wedding," she says. "Always reuse them! My favorite thing to do with leftover flowers is to dry them out. There are many flowers that can easily dry in your bouquet that you may not know about."
Baby’s breath, roses, eucalyptus, statice, gomphrena, celosia, strawflowers, and sun balls all dry beautifully, she says.
"You can either gather the flowers into a bunch and hang them upside down from a hook," Wingenfeld says. "When you hang the flowers, check on the string every few days because the flowers will dry and the stems will shrink. After a couple of weeks you will be able to place the flowers back into a vase, but without water!"
They will keep their shape and color and last as long as you want them to.
2 Press Them Beautifully In A Book Or Two
You can also individually press each stem between the pages of a coffee table book, says Wingenfeld. This is particularly good for your actual wedding bouquet.
"If you press them into a book check on them every few days. Once they are permanently flattened and have no moisture remaining, you can style them in a frame to create a keepsake piece of art!"
3 Bring Them To A Professional Preserver Alex Gukalov/Shutterstock
If you aren't keen to do it yourself, do a little research on businesses that preserve flowers, Carly Long of
LLG Events, tells Bustle.
"For couples who want to keep their wedding flowers, there are some really unique preservation companies out there," she says. "Some freeze the flowers, while others press them, but either way you end up with a frame or shadow box full of your wedding flowers that you can display on the walls of your home just like a painting."
Sounds like a dream!
4 Send Them Home With Guests Anna Webber/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
If you've ever gotten to take home arrangements, you know just how wonderful this option is. Especially since the arrangements are usually remarkable.
"This approach works for several reasons and makes the most logistical sense," Amy McCord Jones of
FLOWER MOXIE, tells Bustle. "The reason being, your besties can enjoy them for days to come, the flowers are removed from the venue and you can skip paying the extra florist fee of a late-night breakdown."
Just remember to ask your florist for plastic liners so the guests are not taking home the fancy vases, she says.
5 Take Them To A Nursing Home For A Visit Ocskay Bence/Shutterstock
Nothing brightens a room like a vase of flowers, and you could make so many elderly folks smile as a result of this wonderful option.
"Hospitals have become stricter on repurposed wedding flowers due to privacy and allergy reasons," says Jones. "Nursing homes are often more flexible and willing to accommodate repurposed flowers. The workers often mention that setting out a few fresh blooms improves the atmosphere and is always much appreciated by the patients."
6 Hand Out The Flowers To The Staff Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Catering or working a wedding is no easy feat, so getting to take home a piece of beauty makes it sweeter.
"In all my years of wedding planning, I have never had a waitstaff, photographer, DJ, or bartender turn down taking home a centerpiece," says Jones. Everyone enjoys fresh blooms, she says, they just need permission that it's acceptable to take one home!
7 Find A Floral Donation Program Nopparat Nambunyen/Shutterstock
Larisa, Sophia, and Pearl from
Bewilder Floral, a floral donation program and free floral school, tells Bustle that their model works in two ways, but there are other projects out there, depending on where you live.
"For us, leftover wedding florals are donated to Bay Area hospice patients and community members who are suffering the loss of a loved one," they say.
In a flower "Dojo" model, on the other hand, volunteers are given hands-on design experience repurposing wedding flowers for donation, and these kinds of programs are designed to give students the experience needed for a career in the floral industry.
And hey, if none of these options float your boat, you could always throw a flower party with your friends and make beautiful bouquets together. Pretty fun idea, IMO.