Donating your wedding dress and other ways to continue the love after the wedding

I don't know if you've heard this before but weddings are really expensive. Even the not-expensive weddings are expensive. And for one day that takes a year of saving and planning for, sometimes it can feel like a giant waste of money.

As I draw closer to my own wedding day (June 24th! less than 50 days away!), I keep wondering what happens after the wedding. Not the "happily ever after" part, but the "what the hell do I do with all these flowers?" part.

So I asked married folks what they did, and their answers were both unexpected and surprising.

1. Donate your dress to someone in need.

I didn't even know this was a thing, but there are several organizations that will take your wedding dress and give it to someone who is in need, whether they are financially unable or forced to rush their plans because of a terminal illness. It seems like a much more fulfilling way to keep the love going instead of keeping it in a box in your closet.

2. Bring your flowers to a nursing home.

Many hospice care centers, hospitals, nursing homes and women's shelters accept donations of flowers. Consider contacting a place near your venue for delivery the morning after your wedding. Usually those places only get the sad kind of flowers. Cheer up someone's day with happy flowers.

3. Talk to your caterer about donating leftover food.

As long as it's safe, many caterers will do the best they can to donate food to nearby food banks and shelters like the Ronald McDonald House. Talk to your caterer about options that won't let all that food go to waste.

4. Give your guests a wedding favor that will last for generations.

A lot of wedding favors are simply discarded after a wedding. It's not that you don't want to use it, but many people just don't need a coaster with your name and wedding date engraved in it. Instead of using that money to spend on glorified garbage, there are organizations that plant trees for as little as $1 per person. That's like a whole forest worth depending on the length of your guest list! I also love seed paper to deliver the message on, so they can still have a token they can bring home and plant themselves.

I'm sure there are more that I'm forgetting, but this is a good start to making you feel extra good about that huge investment. And in a certain way, it makes it more special knowing that your happy day was making others' happy as well.


Bride Brain Brodley