Many couples choose some iteration of the classic wedding centerpiece for their big days: bountiful blooms in eye-catching vessels. But because couples aren't sure what to do with their fresh flowers once the reception ends, these pricey arrangements often go straight into the trash after the party. Give your centerpieces a second life by doing one of these six things with them after the wedding.
Let guests take them home.
Near the end of the reception, have your band leader or DJ announce that centerpieces are free for taking, then let guests pick them on a first come, first serve basis. Floral arrangements make beautiful home decorations, so guests will be vying to get their favorite piece. Just be sure your vases don't need to be returned—if you've rented them from your florist or another vendor, you'll need to move the flowers into other vessels before sending guests on their way with them.
Gift them to the bridal party or parents.
Thank your bridesmaids and moms for all of their support by gifting each woman a beautiful centerpiece at the end of the night. Pair the blooms with another small gift and a heartfelt note of thanks to really show your appreciation.
Use them for decoration at the post-wedding brunch.
Are you hosting a farewell brunch the morning after the wedding? Decorate the space with your reception centerpieces. The arrangements will instantly dress up any restaurant, hotel, or backyard. Ask relatives, your bridal party, or wedding planner if they can help coordinate moving the flowers early the next morning.
If you want to commit an act of kindness, donate your centerpieces to local hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities to improve the emotional well-being of patients. Some organizations (like Random Acts of Flowers) will pick up the flowers after the wedding. You can also recruit a friend or relative to drop them off at your charity of choice. An added bonus: You may be able to get a tax deduction for donated blooms.
Preserve some of the flowers.
The best way to keep flowers long-term is by preserving the petals. Use the pressed flowers in various DIY projects, like scrapbooks or wall art. You can also stuff some petals into post-wedding thank-you cards as a sweet surprise for guests.
Honor a loved one who couldn't be at the wedding.
Here's a sentimental way to reuse centerpieces: Take flowers to the cemetery and lay them on the graves of lost loved ones. This is a nice way to remember grandparents and other deceased relatives who couldn't attend your big day.