published July 14th, 2014
Your wedding day may be over, but now you’re faced with a mountain of wedding related memorabilia in every corner of your home. The programs, favors, gifts, cards, even the dress. You can’t open a cupboard, drawer or wardrobe without being greeted by a reminder of your big day. While this is no bad thing (if your wedding day brings back happy memories) you’ll probably find that keeping every item linked to your wedding is going to throw up a few clutter and storage problems at some point in the not too distant future. So the question is now what to do with it all?
It may seem a little cold and harsh to toss all your cards, favors and programs in the recycling or trash bin, but if your home has little in the way of storage space you may need to be a bit ruthless about what you keep for nostalgia and what you throw out. Just so you’re not buried in leftover wedding it may be a good idea to sever ties with frivolous items as soon as possible. This is where you have to differentiate between what will be important and memorable after the wedding and what will be of no use to you at all.
For example if your uncle Pete (that slightly obnoxious guy you see once every four years) sends you a card with the words “Good job. Pete” scrawled inside then it’s not really going to fill you with special memories years down the line. So that may be one for your “recycle” pile. However if you receive a card from your parents with a long, handwritten poem inside then you’ll probably be more inclined to keep it, and treasure it forever.
You really need to ask yourself three questions when sorting out the wedding day wheat from the wedding day chaff. Is this something I will use again? Is this something that I love? Is this something that enhances my life or makes me happy?
Don’t go on some guilt trip because someone bought you a gift and you know you’re never going to use it. Especially if you know that you’re not going to see this person until the next family wedding or funeral. Donating your unwanted gift to someone less fortunate doesn’t make you a terrible human being. Even that wedding dress is just a wedding dress. If you know you’re never going to wear it again and it doesn’t hold any sentimental value (like a dress that’s been passed down the generations since 1852) then you’d be forgiven for selling it on or donating it to charity.
If it is your intention to keep the dress then be sure it’s stored in acid free paper and a plastic bag before going into the box. Then make sure it’s securely packaged in the box. The last thing you want to do is open the box so many years down the line only to find that your dress has been eaten by moths. Most reputable dry cleaners that offer bridal gown services will package it securely anyway, but there’s no harm in double checking.
You may be tempted to keep extra decorations, but you should only keep the things that will be used or are meaningful. Otherwise you’ll just be bogged down with bags and bags of paper and card. The only papers you should really keep from your wedding preparations are things that can be referenced at a later date, such as the guest list. This can now serve as a checklist for the “Thank You” letters. Yes, even the one for obnoxious Uncle Pete.
Wedding gifts shouldn’t be deemed as stressful, so if you have multiple items that need to be returned your best bet is to deal with them straight away. Otherwise you’ll find those unwanted items cluttering up your home in six months when it’s too late to return them to the store. However, if they can’t be returned then you may wish to donate them or pass them onto a close friend or family member as a gift. It’s best they go to good use rather than just gather dust in your home.
Enlisting the help of friends and family in returning new items or purging old ones is always a good idea. Especially if you’re a bit of a hoarder!