Often, I tell my wedding photography clients, “From your wedding day, you keep your spouse, your rings, and your wedding photos.” But wouldn’t it be great if you could turn more of the gorgeous wedding-day goods and decor you’ve spent so much money and time on into keepsakes that last a lifetime?

I’m so passionate about making our own wedding eco-friendly, and a lot of that effort has to do with less waste. We’ve limited our decor, and general purchases to things we can keep for the long run – making conscience decisions before purchasing: “Can we save this, and will we use this again?”

In my many years as a photographer and in my own wedding planning I’ve found a number of priceless items that will not only wow guests but live on past our wedding day, perhaps you’ll be inspired to do the same.

Framed Florals Preserved Bouquet

Photo via Framed Florals

You’ve spent months on Pinterest narrowing down the perfect blooms, hours searching for that perfect florist, thousands of dollars on your dream flowers and they’re gone within a day? Tragic. I’ve seen more flowers I care to think about wind up in trash bins before the bride and groom even bid adieu from their venue. Thankfully, Framed Florals is here not only to rescue your bouquet from that doom, but press and preserve your gorgeous buds in the most modern, and stylish fashion – in handcrafted, custom floating frames.

I’ve already preserved bougainvillea petals from the spot we got engaged in Greece thanks to Lacie’s incredible talents, and intend to do the same with my foraged bouquet.

Altar Pieces

Perhaps you’re a craftsman (like this couple!), a family member has generously widdled an altar or you just love the piece that you’ve found – but if you’ve got a backyard for the keeping, a special ceremony altar could be a great structure for your home’s landscape. Imagine sitting with a blanket and cocoa under the stars with your honey beneath the altar you married at, dreamy right?

Ceremonial Rugs

When I was in Morocco last, my elopement couple went on the hunt in Marrakech’s souk for the perfect rug to say “I do” on and bring back to their Seattle home. Much like keeping your altar, this is a fabulous commemorative piece for your home that will not only be priceless but last a lifetime.

Long-Lasting, Versatile Attire

Aside from my proper wedding dress, every other event gown, pair of shoes, and accessory has thoroughly gone through the “will I wear this again?” test. For instance, the Nicholas dress I recently purchased is slated to appear at my Bachelorette, our pool party, tacos the night before our wedding, throughout our honeymoon (you know, to remind everyone I’m the bride) and at dinners and parties for many years to come. I imagine Jack’s eyes lighting up, seeing me in one of my wedding dresses years down the road – they will win a special, frequented spot in my closet.

Hand-Crafted Ceramic Serveware

While we intend to use eco-friendly, biodegradable bamboo pieces for our plates and flatware, the serveware for all of our shared dishes will be purchased from local artisans in Mexico. Colorful platters and bowls will cover our family farm table on the wedding-day, and become fabulous dinnerware for future special occasions.

Pretty Cake Plates

Experienced bakers and novices alike know how fun it is to have pretty cake plates around, and what can be more meaningful than the one that displayed your wedding cake?

Neon Signage

A recent trend in the wedding world, custom neon signs seem to be all the rage in hip interior design. Pick a phrase and color you’d like to show off in your home and light up those killer newlywed parties.

Woven Blankets

Always cold? (Both hands raised!) Perhaps some of your guests are too. If you’re spoiled with a destination filled with fabulous textiles, purchase some local woven blankets to keep colder guests cozy late into the night. Then, ship them home for years of cuddling up in your married life.

Looking for more wedding purchases? Shop through our favorite things and head to our planning section for fresh, wedding tips.

Feature Photo: Framed Florals