Thank goodness there's so much else on your mind, because if you started worrying about your floral costs, too, it'd be enough to put you on edge—and that's no way to feel before your big day! Well, here's an expense you can cross off your list: that overstuffed flower budget. An estimated 20 percent of wedding costs go to floral arrangements—that's over $5,000 for the average couple. With that kind of money, you could upgrade to the presidential suite on your honeymoon!

It's especially jarring when you consider the environmental toll professional floral arrangements take on our environment. Many of them have to be flown in from tropical locations like Columbia and Ecuador, which ups the carbon footprint for every bloom. And they're often purchased from growers that don't always have the best records for sustainability. Instead, you can save yourself some money and lower your environmental impact just by opting for one of these eco-friendly alternatives.

recycled paper rosette
Photo: The Maker's Collective

Recycled Paper Rosettes

This one gets double points for being both flower-free and made out of recycled materials. For a real-one-of-a-kind bouquet, try using pages from a used book to handcraft these DIY roses—after all, now that you'll be combining book collections will you really need two copies of Harry Potter? All you need to do is remove the spine and cut each page to four inches. Then fold and glue the pieces as described in this tutorial. Pick the right title, and the end result will really tell a story about your love—and your commitment to the environment.

brooch bouquet
Photo: Instructables

Brooch Bouquet

Weddings are the perfect time to celebrate sentimental pieces, and this DIY brooch bouquet also brings a vintage, timeless feel to your nuptials. What better way to show off your grandmother's favorite necklace, a meaningful charm, and the coins from you and your beloved's first vacation together? This Instructable teaches you how to do it, and don't worry—no brooches were harmed in the process.

succulents
Photo: Gideon Photography

Succulents

With their low water footprint and their hip, offbeat shapes, succulents are must-haves for every eco-chic woman. This is a great choice for the bride with very little time on her hands—you can order bouquets, corsages, centerpieces, and even cake toppers ready-made from succulent arrangement services like this one.

burlap rosettes
Photo: Little Miss Sarcasm

Burlap Rosettes

As it turns out, burlap is one of the more environmentally-friendly fibers out there—it's made from hardy jute plants that generally require little water and fertilization. A burlap bouquet made out of handcrafted rosettes lends your arrangements a unique rustic twist for a final product that looks like it was snatched straight from the tables of a trendy Brooklyn bistro. They're not even hard to make. You just roll three-inch strips of fabric into a rosette shape and stick them through with a wooden skewer, then repeat. This tutorial has all the details.

eco-friendly flowers
Photo: Leona Lane

Not All Flowers Are Equal

If you simply must have a pretty circle of blossoms in your hand when you walk down the aisle, don't fret. There are eco-friendly alternatives to your traditional florist fare that will get you the lovely, lush look of a traditional arrangement without the huge environmental impact. First, skip the roses—they're so delicate that they must be shipped via airplane, rather than imported by ship, which grows their carbon footprint. Opt instead for a sturdier variety like lilies or even a field-grown offering like locally-harvested sunflowers. Look for labels like Florverde, FlorEcuador, or Veriflora, which hold growers and shippers of these flowers to sustainability standards.