how to choose eco-beautiful flowers

Stephanie of Fab You Bliss (Happy Birthday Stephanie!) is someone who really has her thumb on green weddings. She’s got an entire series on how to make your wedding both environmentally friendly and absolutely stunning (check it out here) so I invited her to Burnett’s Boards today to give a rundown on eco-beautiful flower options!

From Stephanie – Have you ever thought about all the behind the scenes specifics that go into making a beautiful wedding come to life? Your wedding is one of the most special times in your life. But if you’re not careful, it can become not so Eco-friendly really fast.

Just think about it for a second, every detail, every piece of fabric, every ounce of paper, your food choices, your venue selection, each flower, and even your transportation – and the distance your guests have to travel – all of this and more has an impact on the environment.

Eco-beautiful bridal bouquet | Elizabeth Messia Photography | Floral design by Amy Osaba | see more on http://burnettsboards.com/2014/02/eco-beautiful-flowers/  Photographed by Elizabeth Messina, floral design by Amy Osaba, via Burnett’s Boards

So today Iā€™d like to share with you how you can do your part for the environment by choosing Eco-Beautiful flowers.

Eco-Beautiful flowers? What does that mean? Aren’t all flowers Eco-friendly?

You would think so. But unfortunately, not all flower options are kind to the environment or to the people who help bring them to you. Let me explain.

Buy Local and Organically Grown Flowers

When you buy flowers without insisting on using local resources, your flowers will most likely come from South America or other countries, drenched in chemical preservatives, and shipped under refrigeration from halfway around the world.

All of that takes a lot of energy – and more chemicals than you care to know about – to make sure the flowers last long enough to use by your wedding.

By using local growers, flowers can get to us quickly without excess use of energy while still fresh and with little or no chemicals and no need for refrigeration.

So, by buying locally from growers who grow organically, you are helping to cut down on the use of harsh chemicals and energy for refrigeration as well as cutting out pollution from all the forms of transportation normally required to get the non-local flowers to you.

And, as a side benefit, you will be stimulating your economy by supporting local businesses. And who wouldn’t like that, right?

Eco-beautiful bridal bouquet | Vitalic Photo | Floral design by  The Pink Pelican | see more on http://burnettsboards.com/2014/02/eco-beautiful-flowers/ Photographed by Vitalic Photo, floral design by The Pink Pelican, via Fab You Bliss

Choose Flowers That Are In Season

One of the biggest things you will have to do if you are looking to have a green wedding is learn to be flexible. Let’s say, for example, you’ve always dreamed of your wedding filled to the brim with gorgeous peonies. I mean, you are positively set on having pretty light pink peonies everywhere. But, you’ve planned your wedding for November when peonies are not available in the northern hemisphere. Of course your florist could probably get them for you at a very high cost. But going such a route would be so grossly “anti-eco-kind” for just about every reason mentioned in this post and more.

Here’s where learning to be flexible can come in handy. As your florist will tell you, there are many “peony like” options available year round, from local sources growing organically.

One option very close to the peony is a cabbage rose, which is available year round. So…while you may not be able to get the exact flower you had originally wanted, you can always get something similar and be kind to the environment as well. How nice is that?

Eco-Beautiful bridal bouquet | Leila Brewster Photography | Floral design by Gelson's Westlake Village | see more on http://burnettsboards.com/2014/02/eco-beautiful-flowers/ Photographed by Leila Brewster, floral design by Gelson’s Westlake Village, via Magnolia Rouge

Grow Your Own Flowers

With enough time, you could plant and grow all the flowers for your wedding yourself, in your yard or a co-op garden. A couple of friends of ours did this a few years ago and it turned out just beautifully.

Their wedding was held on the hillside of the groom’s parents house which overlooked the city in which we live. The yard and view was already gorgeous, but the bride and groom wanted to add something special so they planted giant sunflowers along the ridge of the hillside. When the flowers grew in, they created a beautiful backdrop and alter for the ceremony which couldn’t have been more perfect.

If you’re interested in planting and growing flowers for your wedding, talk to your local garden supply center about what you’re looking to do. If you don’t have access to the land where you are getting married and can’t plant flowers like my friends did, or if you don’t have a yard yourself, do a search on the Internet for co-op or community gardens in your area.

Eco-beautiful bridal bouquet | Stephanie A Smith Photography | Floral design by 2 Birds Events | see more on http://burnettsboards.com/2014/02/eco-beautiful-flowers/ Photographed by Stephanie A Smith, floral design by 2 Birds Events, via Fab You Bliss

Buy Flowers From Fair Trade Suppliers

While it’s best to either grow your own or buy local, if you absolutely have to have a type of flower for your wedding that you cannot get locally…make sure the flowers are obtained through Fair Trade. About 80% of cut flowers sold in the United States are grown in Latin America, South America, and Africa. Workers are often exploited to keep costs low, leading to severe abuse and mistreatment. Fair Trade creates a sustainable business model that guarantees social justice, environmental protection and economic development.

With Fair Trade…farms, employees, and communities participate in global trade with sustainability and integrity. It’s a win, win!

Eco-beautiful bridal #bouquet | Eric Kelley | Floral design by Birch Blooms | see more on http://burnettsboards.com/2014/02/eco-beautiful-flowers/Photographed by Eric Kelley, floral design by Birch Blooms, via Magnolia RougeĀ 

Consider Handcrafting Your Floral Arrangements

And last but not least, handcrafting your own broach, fabric, button, or paper arrangements is another fantastic way to be eco-kind and still have one gorgeous wedding. For obvious reasons, making your own arrangements is as green as green can be. Here’s a really neat option for handcrafting your own centerpieces.

But another great advantage is that handcrafted items will not wilt and with care…they could last forever.

Crepe paper flower #DIY | see more on http://burnettsboards.com/2014/02/eco-beautiful-flowers/Photographed and crafted by Studio DIY

With all of these options, be sure to talk to your florist or garden center and let them know you’re interested in green options for your wedding flowers.

And remember, by making small adjustments and being as flexible as possible, you can do your part to create the beautiful wedding of your dreams and be “Eco-kind” as well.

About Sara Burnett

Editor of Burnett's Boards, which she founded to showcase global creativity in the wedding industry. Sara currently lives out of a suitcase while island hopping the Caribbean and beyond. Learn More // Follow on Instagram.

Comments

  1. I can’t say this enough but I ADORE the idea of planting your own garden for your future nuptials. That is such a sweet idea and very eco-friendly!

    PS – Happy Birthday Stephanie, hope you have an absolutely gorgeous day! Xo

  2. I recently was hired as a wedding coordinator for a bride that outsourced only local flowers that were in season, saved a ton of money in the process, and the wedding was gorgeous! Definitely useful tips that are helpful to a wide variety of brides.

  3. Yay Stephanie! This is great advice – it only makes sense that flowers should be eco-friendly! šŸ™‚

  4. Fab information! Thanks Stephanie and Sara.

  5. Amazing guidance! I think with these steps you’ve taken this from an idea of “Gee, I really should think about doing that.” to “Why would I do it any other way?” for brides. Every bouquet example here is so beautiful! ( P.S. Happy birthday, Stephanie! Sara, I love the new headshot!)

  6. Awe, I love how it turned out. It looks so good here šŸ™‚ And thank you to everyone for the birthday wishes!

  7. Great advice, Stephanie! Happy Birthday!!!

  8. I definitely always think of Stephanie when it comes to eco-chic details! Beautiful write-up. Loved learning a few more things! šŸ™‚ (And happy birthday, Steph!)

  9. Thanks for the fab info, Stephanie! And happy birthday!

  10. Great advice Stephanie!!

  11. So beautiful flowers!

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  1. […] my ongoing green wedding series, especially this post on choosing Eco-beautiful flowers, or this guest post I wrote on Burnett’s Boards, it should be obvious that I’m passionate about helping you […]