It's Over. Now What?
Hopefully your guests, friends, and family took a lot of stuff home with them, but now what do you do with what's left? Natural elements such as twigs, branches, tree limbs, straw, hay, grasses, vines, and flowers can all be returned to nature. Large items can be shredded or put through a chipper and turned into mulch that can be placed in a garden. Other natural items such as rocks or sand can be returned to where you found them or placed in a garden.
Think of creative ways to keep mementos or create gifts for family and friends from some of the things you have left over. Leftover craft scraps, invitations, table tent cards, favors, ribbons, lace, place cards, and other materials can be turned into beautiful scrapbook pages, memory shadow boxes, and even time capsules that you can seal and open up five, ten, or twenty years later on your anniversary. If you plan to do a time capsule, get guests involved by having them predict what your lives will be like in the future — how many kids you will have, where you will live, or what careers you will be in. If they are not in touch with their psychic sense, they can always write wishes and personalized notes to place into the time capsule.
Two great books that give you creative ideas about ways to use stuff in new ways are Don't Throw It Out: Recycle, Renew and Reuse to Make Things Last by Lori Baird and the editors of Yankee magazine and Beyond Recycling: A Re-users Guide: 336 Practical Tips to Save Money and Protect the Environment by Kathy Stein.
After you've gathered up all the little things you can use for more craft projects and sent the nature items to their new home in a garden somewhere, you have to tackle the big stuff. Reuse it, recycle it, donate it, or just send it to the landfill. Determine what goes where and send it on its way so you can start enjoying married life.