How to Make Sustainable Flower Choices for Your Wedding

A vintage chair with a bouquet of pink and purple flowers.

Flowers are a big part of most weddings, as they create the gorgeous aesthetic that any bride and groom are looking for on their big day. Plus, flowers play a traditional role in weddings in the form of bouquets, corsages, and boutonnieres. However, using an over-abundance of flowers or going overboard on decor can lead to your wedding being less than eco-friendly. Luckily, there are ways to strike the right balance when it comes to decorating your big day with flowers and being good to the planet.

Know Where Your Florist Sources Their Flowers

As you interview florists, one of the questions you should ask is where they source the flowers they use from. Believe it or not, this plays a large role in the sustainability of your flower arrangements. Imported flowers are less sustainable because of the resources it takes to ship them to you. Many imported flowers are also grown on farms that do not take care to have a positive impact on the environment—so that’s also something to think about. Florists who use locally sourced flowers are more eco-friendly, and you can also feel good about supporting the local community from which they’re grown.

Consider Alternatives to Traditional Flowers

Dried flower arrangements at a wedding reception.

Instead of using real actual flowers at your wedding, consider some more sustainable alternative options. For instance, use paper flowers that not only are more sustainable, but also much cheaper. Another bonus of using paper flowers in your wedding is that they can be saved and enjoyed for far longer than live flowers. Using faux or silk flowers is another earth-friendly option that also helps you save money at the same time. (And you can even rent them!) Finally, dried flowers pose another viable option that’s more eco-friendly—and also great for weddings because they don’t wilt! Many flower varieties look beautiful when dried. Plus, dried flowers can be used again in your home or passed down to another bride once your wedding has passed, making them a great keepsake from a special day.

Inquire About the Use of Foam in Arrangements

Some florists use foam to hold arrangements in place and as space fillers in centerpieces under the stems of flowers. As you can imagine, though, the use of foam is not exactly eco-friendly. This is because this material is non-biodegradable and is a petroleum byproduct that contains toxic elements including formaldehyde, barium sulfates, and carbon black. With that being said, it’s important to inquire with your florist as to whether they’ll be using foam. If they say they do use foam, request that instead they use elements such as pebbles, wires, or stones instead.

Have Arrangements Do Double-Duty When Possible

A garland made of greenery, draped across chairs at a wedding ceremony.

To create a more sustainable wedding regarding your floral arrangements, coordinate some of your arrangements to be reused instead of making multiples. For instance, reuse ceremony flowers at your reception as decor that does double-duty. Not only does this cut down on how many flowers and materials you need to use to decorate your event, but it also will save you some money—which is a win-win!

Donate the Flowers after Your Celebration

Simply throwing out the flower arrangements after your wedding is far from environmentally-friendly. Instead, find a way to donate your flowers in some way, shape, or form. For instance, contact local senior care centers or hospitals to see if they’re able to accept the arrangements. Chances are, they’ll be very appreciative of the donation. Alternatively, have your guests take arrangements home with them so they don’t go to waste.

Rely on the Venue’s Natural Elements as Decor

A bride and groom standing in front of a brick wall with ivy growing on it.

To further cut down on the amount of flowers you need to decorate your event, rely on the natural decor elements around your venue to ensure that you don’t need to do much decorating. Choosing a venue like a winery or botanical garden allows you to take advantage of the setting and save money on decorations while also being eco-friendly.

Making your flower choices more sustainable may seem like a tall task, but it’s easy if you follow these simple tips and tricks.

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