Where Should the Bride's Bouquet Go During the Reception?

There are ways to keep it in the spotlight.

white and citrus floral wedding bouquet
Photo: Birds of a Feather Photography

So much about your wedding day is carefully planned—a certain song for the processional, outdoor photos under a particular tree—but there are other, less-showy details that have to be dealt with, too. One that comes to mind: What should a bride do with her bouquet during the reception? Do you put it on some random table and hope you remember to take it when the reception's over? Or should something else be done with it? Here, three suggestions.

Use it to decorate the head table.

You'll be able to enjoy your gorgeous bouquet all night long when you reuse it at your reception table. Arrange with your florist ahead of time how to make this happen, what kind of vase would work best, and who will do the conversion (your florist most likely won't be at your reception). Not only do you get to spend more time with the bouquet but it will save you money since you'll need to order one less centerpiece! Though the bridesmaids' bouquets are often used as the head table décor, you can instead use them in the ladies' room, at the coat check, the escort-card table, the wedding cake table, or another spot that could use a floral boost.

Donate it and make others happy.

If you'd like to brighten the lives of people in your community and you live in a major city, consider donating your bouquet to a charitable organization that will repurpose it (and your other wedding flowers). But before the group, such as Random Acts of Flowers, Rebloom, or Petals With Purpose, can pick them up, you'll need to keep them well-hydrated during the reception. Arrange with your florist ahead of time to have enough vases available at your venue to hold your bouquet and the rest of your bridal party's so they stay fresh.

Save it for another day.

Whatever you do, don't toss your bouquet! Whether you plan to dry it, have it preserved into a piece of art, or simply place it in water to enjoy for as long as it lasts, you should plan to do something with your bouquet. It's a special, meaningful (not to mention expensive!) piece of this important celebration, so it's worth enjoying after the part is over. If you're planning on taking your bouquet home, ask someone responsible to keep your bouquet safe during the party or arrange a space to leave it with the venue until the reception's over.

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