One of the most noticeable decorative elements of a wedding is the floral arrangements. The colors and scents of the many bouquets add a fresh, natural touch to the wedding and reception decor. Dozens of arrangements are used at the average wedding for table decorations and hand-held bouquets. This may cause a guilty twinge for otherwise conservative individuals that try to be earth friendly. Sustainable blooms and eco-friendly materials are possible from many florists around the country and many are happy to help their clients create a magical but responsible design. Here are some tips to help wedding planners make every bouquet beautiful and a little less guilt-inducing.
- Make handheld bouquets from sustainable flowers. Farm to table is not just for edibles but for any harvested product. Choose a florist that uses blooms from local growers, strictly from US-based suppliers or from other companies that use only fair trade practices and sell only organic products.
- Choose drought-friendly table arrangements that need very little water. This will eliminate the need to use non-biodegradable floral foam.
- Use live plants and herbs on the tables and encourage guests to take these home for planting in their own gardens.
- Wrap table centerpieces in burlap and tie with a biodegradable ribbon or use biodegradable fiber planters that can be placed directly in the soil along with the plant.
- Try to repurpose old thrift-store vases, mason jars and other used items as containers if floral arrangements are preferred over plants on the tables.
- Make bride and bridesmaid bouquets very simple and hold the individual stems together with raffia ribbon. This material comes in many colors and is biodegradable.
- Use succulents as bridal bouquets and corsages. Ask for the roots to be retained so the flowers can be replanted. This is a great way for the bride to keep her bouquet as a part of her wedding day mementos.
Plan properly for the disposal of remaining materials after the reception ends. The time spent carefully choosing environmentally responsible items is wasted if half of the decorations are tossed in garbage bags and taken to a landfill. Arrange for someone with a compost pile to remove any materials at the end of the night that would compost easily. Recycle any containers or vases that remain after all guests or donate them back to the florist. Other options include giving them to an art studio or local craftsperson that will repurpose them.