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What You Shouldn't Keep After Your Wedding

Find out which items you should hold on to, and which you should donate or throw away.

You don’t want to be surrounded by clutter from your nuptials, no matter how beautiful the day was.

wedding-reception-place-setting-with-a-gold-charger-flatware-and-pink-napkin
Photo: KT Merry Photography

After spending months or even years planning your wedding, it makes sense to want to hold onto those memories as long as possible. However, you’re also building a home with your new spouse, presumably with all of the wonderful gifts you received from your registry! Therefore, you don’t want to be surrounded by clutter from your nuptials, no matter how beautiful the day was. We do understand being sentimental though, and certainly do not expect newlyweds to throw out everything from the happiest day of their lives. That’s why we’re created a little cheat sheet to explain which items are worth keeping, and which you can bear to part with. Of course, sentiment is a difficult thing to generalize – as personal experiences will affect people’s emotions and attachment – but this should be a good starting point to get you on your way. 


Photo by The Day by Ira Lippke

What to Keep:
- Even though they take up more space than some of the other elements of the wedding day, both brides and grooms should hold onto their ensembles. While a dress is less likely than a suit to be worn again, it’s still something that is representative of the day as a whole.
- Just because you may have purchased jewelry specifically for your nuptials doesn’t mean you can never use it again! What a simple and special way to dress up for your future anniversaries.
- One copy of your invitation suite, program, and other paper products is the perfect sentimental token that doesn’t take up much room.
- If you have a cake topper, it can make for a fun display on a mantle without being too overbearing. 

What to Lose:
- Though bouquets can be preserved, the dried flowers never look quite as beautiful, and they tend to shed. Wedding photos should adequately capture this memory.
- Unless they’re edible, favors that are left behind are unlikely to have much use for you. Either toss them or give them away if applicable.
- Depending on your guest list, you likely received dozens of cards on your wedding day. There may be some particularly touching ones you’ll want to hold on to, but otherwise they should be recycled. Just be sure to write your thank-you notes first!
- Flowers from centerpieces fall into the same category as bouquets, but the non-floral elements are better off being donated or given to someone planning their own celebration.

Find out what to do after your wedding and how to repurpose your bridal gown