Toting your arrangement around all night might not be practical, but you definitely don't want to toss it in the trash.
bride and groom

If you're the type of bride who really loves flowers, seeing the wedding bouquets—yours and your bridesmaids'—for the first time is a really exciting moment. Think of it as a preview of what's to come for the day. While these beautiful arrangements are usually built to last through the ceremony and photos, there can also be a life for them later in the day if you plan accordingly. Here are a few of the things you can do with bouquets after the ceremony.

Remember that you'll need the bouquets for photos.

Many couples opt to have formal portraits with their wedding party taken after the ceremony. You'll want to have your bouquet and your bridesmaids' bouquets available for some of these photos.

Use bouquets as an added element of décor.

During the reception, floral designer Natalie Bowen Brookshire of Natalie Bowen Designs suggests placing bouquets in a place where they can be used as part of the décor. "Ask your florist to bring vases and have the bridal bouquet placed next to the other bouquets on a table in the reception area, or on a mantle," she says. "The point is to add décor to an area you wouldn't otherwise spend money to decorate. Your guests will enjoy seeing the bridal bouquet up close—it feels special, as it was made specifically for the bride."

The guest book table, dessert table, and coffee tables in any lounges also work well for bouquet placements. Some brides opt to place bouquets on the cake table, but that can take away from the overall look of a beautiful, intricate cake.

Decide whether you'll do a bouquet toss.

Bouquet tosses are less common at modern weddings, but if you are having a bouquet toss, it's nice to send the bouquet home with a glass vase so whoever catches it can enjoy it for another day or two. This is something you can coordinate in advance with your florist. Alternatively, rather than throwing the bouquet and risking the flowers getting smashed in the process, you might choose someone specific to send the bouquet home with—maybe an extra helpful guest who lives nearby, or a creative bridesmaid who loves preserving dried flowers.

Don't forget to take them home at the end of the night.

If you're planning to use your bridal bouquet and bridesmaids' bouquets as décor during the wedding, you might also ask one of your attendants to help collect all of the arrangements at the end of the night to take home. Though these arrangements may be wilted by the end of a long day, your 'maids may still want to hang on to them for another day or two once they get home. You may want to bring your bouquet with you when you exit the party, too—something your maid-of-honor can remind you of at the end of the night.


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