When you think about eco-friendly wedding flowers, you might imagine a bouquet of cut wildflowers – but in truth there are dozens of ways to go green depending on your style, season and wedding budget.
Most wedding flowers are grown overseas using pounds of chemical pesticides and fertilizers. Selecting local, seasonal and organic blooms is an easy way to reduce the environmental impact of your event, and you can use this guide to wedding flowers by season to see what will be available locally during your wedding month.
However, there are more creative ways to create eco-friendly wedding flowers as well. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
1. Potted Plants
You can DIY, buy or even rent potted plants for your wedding ceremony and reception. From tall topiaries lining the wedding aisle to potted wedding centerpieces, live plants make beautiful wedding décor that can be reused, resold or gifted after the big day. You can use flowers, succulents, moss and even live grass to create beautiful tablescapes for you reception. For simple décor or a budget, try miniature roses or banks of fragrant herbs.
2. Petal Perfection
You can buy freeze dried eco-friendly petals and use them to create elaborate aisle style and table displays. They are available in every color of the rainbow, so you can match your décor perfectly. Petals can also be placed in water with or without floating candles and used in lieu of floral centerpieces or run down the tables to create a splash of color at your reception.
3. Dried Flowers
Dried flowers don’t wilt – which makes them great for weddings in hot climates – but they also work well for fall weddings because many fall botanicals look wonderful dried. Dried flowers can easily be used again in your home or can be resold to another bride after your wedding day.
4. Cotton Bouquets
Cotton is a natural material that has a very rustic look when used in its raw form. However, when turned into fabric flowers, cotton can be transformed into big soft blooms. Like dried flowers, fabric flowers can withstand all temperatures, and can be used long after the wedding day is over. These bouquets are perfect for a classic white wedding!
Image: Organic Cotton 24" Fabric Bouquet, Autumn & Grace Bridal
Branches can create dramatic height without blocking guests’ views of each other. You can cut branches yourself or work with a florist, but either way your flowers will be sustainable – as branches grow back every year. To create the dramatic effect of flowering branches in winter you can use a technique called “forcing” – where you place fruit tree branches or forsythia in warm water for a few weeks before the event. The results are stunning, but if you have never forced branches before you should consult with a florist and have a back up plan.
As you can see, there are so many ways to green your wedding flowers it can be hard to choose. Whatever your style or budget, talk with your florist (and your other wedding vendors) about your desire to go green. If you do want to use cut flowers, you can find local growers at localharvest.org and use the seasonal wedding flower guide to envision your floral style together.
Top image credit: Sarah Postma