We are obsessed with wedding day florals here at DCW. The aesthetic, creativity, and uniqueness of each arrangement literally brings your wedding to life. Unfortunately, the standard overuse of single-use plastics and arrangements add to the waste in this industry. Pesticides, transport, materials, and end of life all need to be considered to reduce waste and cause harm on the planet. Sometimes this takes a bit of creativity. Fortunately, there are amazing florists already putting sustainable practices to use. If you cannot NOT have flowers at your wedding, like us, here are 5 sustainable solutions:
1. Ask Your Florist
If you have found the florist you absolutely love and know will bring your vision to life, ask if they can source from local Colorado farms and avoid plastic and foam. The packaging used to protect and sustain your flowers typically goes straight into the landfill after your wedding, which is a shame since there are many earth-friendly alternatives that could be used. We highly recommend Colorado Springs-based florist, Calliope Floral. We have worked with them at weddings and the Sustainable Wedding Show we hosted in September! Calliope Floral consciously sources and sustainably creates all of their arrangements. They offset carbon emissions, don’t utilize single-use plastic including floral foam, and use locally grown flowers when they can.
Denver-based Beet and Yarrow consist of a well-rounded group of individuals dedicated to sustainable horticulture and creating perfectly imperfect arrangements for weddings and events. They enjoy incorporating all nature has to offer including succulents, cacti, fruit, nuts and seeds, both wild and meadow flowers, dried plants and flowers, and ferns. They use local, organically grown flowers when they can, and donate to a nonprofit focused on global soil restoration and agricultural growth. You also have the option to create your own bouquet in their shop.
In Fort Collins, Flower Tribe borrows from our gorgeous landscape to create your mindfully crafted wedding florals. They opt for locally grown flowers, but when that’s not an option, Flower Tribe chooses Fair-trade Certified Flower Farms, Rain-forest Alliance Certified and VeriFlora Certified flower and American Grown. They recycle, reuse, donate, and compost unused and gently-used flowers. They never use floral foam because it breaks down into micro plastics, is carcinogenic and toxic to humans, and doesn’t compost or biodegrade. Different services they provide include florals for your wedding party, floral wearables, table arrangements, and décor.
2. Reuse Flowers Twice in the Same Weekend
Most people don’t think about their florals’ end of life, but there is a gradual movement to address this. By donating your flowers to someone else’s wedding, you are giving a second life to a really important part of your wedding, and making it more affordable for another couple. It’s a win-win! Ask your florist if they are open to the idea of reusing your flowers to create an arrangement for another couple the same weekend. Calliope Floral is invested in implementing sustainable practices and would love to get involved in this new idea of secondhand flowers. We highly recommend giving them a call if this is something you’re interested in.
Another great resource for this flower-share is a group Dream Catcher has started on Facebook. Sustainable Weddings of Colorado exists to provide resources, start conversations, and strengthen connections among engaged couples and wedding vendors who are looking for ways to bring earth-conscious practices into their wedding celebrations. All you have to do is post your flower colors, types, wedding date and location to see if you can find another couple who could repurpose your gently-used, but still beautiful, flowers for their wedding on the same weekend!
3. Wood Flowers
An up-and-coming trend is utilizing wood flowers for bouquets and décor. Find the right florist, and you won’t even know the difference between wood and live flowers. Make a point to find sustainably-sourced wood when shopping around. Whether the wood has quick regeneration or is reclaimed, these arrangements are eco-friendly, durable, and will last a lifetime with proper care. There are a couple ways you can go about finding the perfect florals for your wedding. You can pick from a variety of pre-arranged flowers at a local shop or online. We recommend Denver-based PerrenialPosy on Etsy. You will find that Whitney has a keen eye for breathtaking arrangements. Another option is to purchase individual wood flowers or plants and arrange them yourself. This allows for more creative freedom and allows for out of season blooms.
4. Grow Your Own
An inexpensive solution to a seasonal bouquet is to grow flowers in your backyard. Naturally, this will take planning. If you have 60-80 days before your beautiful celebration, you have enough time to grow your own bunch of wildflowers. Head to your local garden center to purchase organic seeds of your choice; just remember to keep the season in mind for when you need them to bloom. We really like Rick’s Garden Center and Good Earth Garden Center, both of which are located in Colorado Springs and are also members of the Greenwoman Market Club with us! You can also buy seeds online if your local center doesn’t carry the variety you want.
5. Potted Plants Instead
A great way to incorporate a unique and stunning aesthetic into your wedding is by opting for potted plants for centerpieces and décor. This saves costs on florals and will last much longer. If you are as obsessed with plants as we are, you can repurpose your wedding centerpieces as home décor--a great reminder of your special day. If you’re not a plant mom, you can make your décor double as wedding favors. Live plants are actually one of our favorite wedding favors we have received! Hit up your local garden center and get creative!
By being intentional about your floral choices, you can eliminate waste from your wedding and contribute to a more sustainable industry without sacrificing your exquisite taste. Being mindful of what’s in season, what materials are being used, how the flowers were grown, and their end of life will make a big difference on your wedding’s carbon footprint. Did you implement any of the suggestions above? What were your favorite parts and what challenges did you face? As always, if there is anything we missed, please let us know! We have a passion for flowers and plants, so let’s work on a sustainable and beautiful future together.
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