ombre flowers june 2013.jpgPHOTO: HER WORLD BRIDES JUNE – AUGUST 2013.

Flowers have the ability to transform an otherwise plain venue into a magical wonderland that fits with your theme. But at the same time, they’re not cheap, and last only a day or two at most. Here, we suggest four ways to not waste these beautiful arrangements.

1. Preserve them
If you can’t get enough of your bouquet and centrepieces, look to vendors who can preserve them. Whether as a temporary solution (in vases for the house) or a more permanent one (dried bouquets in frames), these will make lovely mementoes after the wedding. This US-based blog, A bride on a budget, offers a quick and easy DIY solution to preserving your flowers.

2. Reuse them as centrepieces or favours
Have your aisle arrangements double as decorations for the reception table after, bridesmaids’ bouquets adorn the base of the wedding cake, centrepieces during the church ceremony as chair swags for the VIP table at the reception, and so on. This means you’ll have to work doubly fast to prepare for the reception if you’re having both the ceremony and reception on the same day.

Alternatively, if you have enough arrangements, give them to guests after the wedding. Or give your bouquet/centrepieces to the couple who have been married the longest, those celebrating an anniversary or birthday… The ideas are endless. You can leave a note at each table, make an announcement during speeches, or hand them out during the receiving line as you say your goodbyes.

3. Give them to charity
We came across this heartwarming story, and thought it was a wonderful idea to give back to the needy, especially if you’re just going to throw your flowers away after the wedding.

4. Remember a loved one
It may be pantang (Malay for superstitious) to visit graves after the wedding, but if you can, arrange for a few stalks of flowers to be sent to your loved ones. It’s one way to remember them by, and it also kind of involves them at your wedding – something you would have wanted if they were alive.