Now that weddings are back and in full swing, I thought it would be a good time to write about an important topic, one that is near and dear to my heart.
Planning a ‘Green’ wedding is easier than you think, especially here on Oregon. We have organic caterers, local and organic flowers, eco-friendly transportation, green venues, locally made wine and beer, vintage and recycled everything and so much more. Being an eco-friendly florist I have some simple guidelines to follow as you decide on the flowers to use at your wedding.
Go local, organic
We are so lucky here in the Pacific Northwest in that we have so many local flower growers. From roses, lilies and orchids to tulips, dahlias, hydrangea, and calla lilies…the list goes on and on. The best choice you can make with your flowers is to go local and if possible organic. Most flowers sold in this country come from South America and have a huge environmental footprint. Not only do they travel thousands of miles to get here in refrigerated trucks & planes, they are also sprayed with lots of pesticides and fungicides. If you are having your wedding during the Pacific Northwest’s growing season, April thru October, then you can easily get most or all of your flowers locally. You florist should be able to source most of your flowers locally. Unfortunately, not all flower choices are available locally so be flexible and go with local options. If there is a certain type of flower that you must have for your wedding then see if your florist can source them out of California.
Choose flowers that are in season
As I mentioned, we have a large variety of flowers that are grown here in Oregon so to avoid having to buy imported flowers, try to stick with flowers that are currently in season. During the winter month this is a little trickier with not as much available so you can request that the flowers that cannot be obtained locally, come from California or even Canada. Both are so much closer that Columbia or Ecuador.
Use re-plantable botanicals
Succulents are very popular these days in bridal bouquets, boutonnieres and centerpieces. Though they usually have to be wired (not to eco-friendly) you can remove the wires afterwards and re-plant them in your garden or in pots and they will re-root.
Choose designs that don’t require floral foam
Most bridal bouquets these days are of the hand-tied variety which is a good style to choose when going green. In olden days and even today, many bridal bouquets were/are made in bouquet holders which are made of plastic and floral foam. Also, many centerpieces are made using floral foam, which is a great design tool but not very eco-friendly. So ask that your centerpieces be in a style that does not require foam.
Choose glass or other recyclable containers. Not plastic.
With the countless types of containers available for your flower arrangements, you should never have to choose plastic. Glass is always classy and affordable and most wedding florists have an inventory of vases to choose from which you can rent. By renting the vases from your florist, you not only save money, you practice one of the three R’s of the eco-world…ReUse! Another great source for vases is antique malls and vintage shops.
Donate left overflowers to a nursing home, care facility or shelter
At the end of the evening if you or your guests don’t take the flowers home to enjoy, you can gather them and donate them to a nursing home or shelter. This way, more people can enjoy the flowers.
Unfortunately flowers are rather ephemeral and fleeting, but that’s part of what makes them so special. Once your flowers start to fade, instead of tossing them into the trash, turn them into compost. Toss them into your garden compost pile or into the green yard waste bins provided thru the city’s curbside composting program. Suggest this to your guests as well if they are taking flowers home with them. Here at Botanica, we compost all of our green waste.
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