Photo: Inside The Knot, Her World Brides December 2015.

From extra invitations to menu cards, table numbers, flowers, centrepieces, ang pow boxes and other forms of wedding paraphernalia, you are bound to have some left over once the reception’s ended. Start married life in your new home clutter-free (and especially so if you’ll be living with your parents for a while – less space!) with these tips to deal with them.

 

#1 Rent when you can

The first step to decluttering starts even before the actual day. Almost everything from your gown to your wedding signages and centrepieces can be rented (this company lets you rent and DIY themed pre-packed wedding decor items), which not only saves you the headache of wondering what to do with them after the wedding, it also shaves your costs, too. 

 

#2 Reuse them

If you’re still in the planning phase of your wedding, consider all the decor you’re purchasing before reaching for your wallet – how can they fit in your new home? Items such as mason jars, or other containers used to store your flowers or desserts can always be reused, especially in the kitchen. Those large alphabets that bear your initials can also have pride of place on your mantelpiece, or serve as adorable bookstands on your shelves. Other figurines, can also be used for display purposes.

 

#3 Get creative

Transform your leftover invitations or wedding programmes into wall art, or, if you’re feeling particularly creative, they can be used to create wreaths or paper banners, too. 

Brides wondering what to do with their wedding dress, consider shortening it or removing extra frills to make it more wearable for everyday occasions. Or work backwards while you’re designing your gown to see how you can easily transform it after the wedding. See how these Singapore brides are doing it.

 

Image: Nicole Harrington on Unsplash

#4 Donate them

If you’ve got leftover flowers, food, sweets or favours, you can always donate them to charity. Hospitals and homes will be glad to receive your blooms (just make sure they’re fresh). It’s the same with edible goods. For favours, just make sure they’re useful enough, or can be resold (for organisations like the Salvation Army). See other ways to deal with your flowers after the wedding here.

Wedding dress-wise, let it bring a smile to another person’s face. One such organisation who can help is Angel Hearts, which deconstructs wedding gowns to makes outfits for premature babies, stillborns or infants who have died. Read more about it here.

 

#5 Create a box or frame of mementoes

Your wedding album shouldn’t be the only memento from your big day. Instead, take one or two of every leftover item (like a fabric from your dress, a preserved boutonniere, brooch from your wedding bouquet, a programme, escort card, invitation and so on), and put it in a box or have it framed up. That way, you’ll be able to revisit memories of your wedding day easily.

 

#6 Gift them to your bridal party, family and guests

If you’ve purchased pretty items such as figurines, plates, lamps and so on, and they’re still in mint condition, consider giving them to friends and family. Ask if your bridal party’s able to gather centrepieces and flowers/decor and arrange them on a table as your celebration comes to an end, then get your emcee to make an announcement that they’re free for taking. 

Or, if you know of a friend or relative who’s getting married not long after, 

 

#7 Save them for friends

If you know of another couple getting hitched after yours, ask if they would be interested in taking some of these items off your hands. They might really appreciate generic/decorative items like glass jars, vases, votives and drapes. Or you can also discuss this beforehand and split the cost of the props and decorations, which saves you both extra money! 

 

#8 Sell them

Check out wedding forums, stores like eBay, Etsy or Carousell, or even wedding vendors, and see if they’d be interested in the items you’ve got for sale. Things like extra favour boxes, table numbers, burlap, or even jars might be snapped up by other brides who’re looking at similar themes for their own wedding.

 

#9 Save them for another occasion

If you’ve been DIY-ing tulle or paper pom poms or have too many ribbons from the numerous projects for your wedding, they can be reused at another party, whether it’s for a birthday, baby shower, or so on. You don’t have to justify prettying up the venue for it anyway.

 

#10 Keep them
With all that being said, just ’cause the day’s over, doesn’t mean you have to get rid of all of them. If some of them hold special meaning to you (because you spent many hours on them, or they’re made with love from a special friend or family member), feel free to keep it – just be sure to keep a tab on what you’re keeping. You don’t want to be starting married life on a cluttered note. (See also: 11 SNEAKY STORAGE IDEAS FOR SMALL HOMES)