I have to admit that more than once, I've been that crazy guest running around at the dinner asking waiters to bring vases for the wedding bouquets. Too often, those gorgeous (and sometimes expensive!) bouquets end up slumped on tables with broken buds after just a few hours of being used. What a tragedy! I'm usually the one who can't cope with seeing those flowers go to waste, so I try to save their lives with a few vases of cold water. My husband can usually be found as far away from me as possible, nursing a drink and rolling his eyes.
That little embarrassing story leads us nicely into our topic for today: how to repurpose wedding flowers from your ceremony to your reception. We love when any of your wedding decor can do double duty and flowers are the easiest to make work for you. We'll start with that one that so many brides forget - making sure there's a place for your bouquets!
By the time you get to your reception, you are likely going to be ready to throw your bouquet you've been holding it (or having a bridesmaid hold it) for so long. One of the best tricks in the wedding planning book is to make sure there's a place you can leave your bouquets at your reception where they'll be safe and add to the decor. If you leave your bouquets on the table, like I've seen at nearly every wedding I've attended, they won't be there when you go looking for them the next day. They'll have been cleaned up, brushed aside or stepped on.
Either bring your own vases (we love these vintage tins!) or ask your venue to provide vases to the number of bouquets you'll have, and set them out at the reception site. Ask one of your bridesmaids or a helpful friend to take charge of them once you get to your table. They'll be whisked away, set in water, and you might even get to enjoy them the next day!
Think about the placement of those vases, though. You'll want them to be waiting somewhere guests won't see until you and your bridal party arrives to set them there. Otherwise, they'll be wondering why there are empty vases around! A dessert table or your cake table might be a good option.
From Ceremony to Reception
Moving your ceremony flowers to your reception site can be a game-changer when it comes to repurposing wedding flowers. But it takes a little creativity and a some advance planning. When you meet with your florist, ask about options for using flowers that flank the alter or are used on the end of aisles later in the day. It's becoming a more common practice, so your florist might have a few tricks up his or her sleeve to make your flowers work extra hard for you.
If you have large arrangements at the top or bottom of your aisle, those can add lots of life to a buffet or dessert table at your reception. Small arrangements hanging from the end of the aisle can be set on your dinner tables to add volume and texture to your table decor.
Wedding Flowers as Thank You Gifts
Once your wedding is over, all those flower arrangements from the tables and your ceremony can go a long way toward thanking your friends or family who have been a big help in wedding planning. Before your wedding kicks off, ask a friend or family member to take care of making sure the flowers get to the right people - perhaps with a little thank you card for their help! They'll be able to enjoy the arrangements all week and seeing them will remind them of your beautiful day!
Rehearsal Flowers for the Ceremony
If you have other wedding events leading up to the big event, consider repurposing those flowers as well. If you have flower arrangements planned for your rehearsal dinner, it can be an easy transition to have those flowers decorate your ceremony site. Sometimes your florist will even be able to take some of those arrangements apart and create fresh new creations the morning of your wedding with those same flowers, saving you a bundle!
Are there other ways you've repurposed your wedding flowers or are planning to for your big day? We'd love to hear all about it!
Emily Westbrooks is an American-born writer and blogger based in Dublin, Ireland. She is the Online Editor for Confetti Magazine, one of Ireland's top bridal magazines. She also writes her own lifestyle blog, From China Village, where she chronicles her adventures in Dublin, travels around Europe, DIY projects and Irish design. She shares her home with her husband, one cat, and four sassy chickens! Browse Emily's unique tips here.