How Can I Plan an Eco-Friendly Wedding? Part 1 – The Flowers and Foliage

By Ebony Porter, June 7, 2016, Green

As a Bride-to-Be myself, I want a beautiful, well-thought-out wedding. But as I started planning my wedding, the cost and disposable nature of most wedding supplies really dampened my excitement. As a lover of all things green, I sought out ways I could incorporate recycling, reusing, and resourcefulness to plan the best day of my life. With the Eco-Friendly Wedding series from Bounce Energy, we’ll show you how you can cut costs with your wedding planning, while making it sustainable, earth-friendly, and absolutely gorgeous. 

When you think of planning your wedding, what comes to mind?

How Can I Plan an Eco-Friendly Wedding? Part 1 - The Flowers and Foliage

We all have a vision of what our special day will look like. After all, it is supposed to be one of the best days of your life. But when you envision your wedding, do you also envision the high cost of the aforementioned things? Consider this: the big white dress on the bride, the groom and groomsmen in matching suits and suspenders, the cake, the ballroom venue, the draping centerpiece flowers, the photographer, the live band, the guest list that keeps expanding no matter what you do, the rings, the honeymoon… And that’s just for starters!

In this day and age where weddings are over-the-top expensive, this bride-to-be doesn’t want to spend a small fortune, and I don’t want to spend money on things I’ll never see again. As I plan out the vision of my special day to have the wedding of my dreams, I want it to be cost-effective, sensible, AND green, too.

In the first installment of our Eco-Friendly Wedding Series at Bounce Energy, we’ll start off with the actual green by looking into the Flowers and Foliage you’ll have on your Big Day.

The Bouquets

How Can I Plan an Eco-Friendly Wedding? Part 1 - The Flowers and Foliage | Bounce Energy

Head to Grandma’s garden and pick a pair of posies (or whatever your favorite flower might be) for your bouquet and table arrangements. Image courtesy of Ebony Porter.

Flowers or greenery are an important part of a wedding, and add the final touch to the bride’s and bridesmaids’ looks. They set the color theme for the night and can say a few things about the bride, without using words.

But have you seen the cost of those incredible bridal bouquets?! You could purchase a rose garden for the price of a bouquet. In a time when it’s cool to do-it-yourself, this is one of those items we suggest taking that approach.

Do you or anyone you know have a beautiful garden to pick from? What about a eucalyptus tree or other greenery? Being Australian by birth, I will be cutting leaves from a few of my eucalyptus trees at home to include in my bouquet. It’s my small way of representing my home country.

Not only will I use my eucalyptus, but I’m planting a few rose bushes and sewing seeds to grow flowers for my bouquet. Zinnias are a great choice, and with the cost of rose bushes equaling the price of one singular long stemmed rose from your average bridal florist, it’s far more eco-friendly to grow and harvest your own flowers.

  • Cut your flowers the morning of the wedding.
  • Place them immediately in cold water.
  • Purchase florists tape before hand, along with a long piece of ribbon that syncs with your theme.
  • Cut stems to a similar length and arrange in harmony.
  • Lay them on a table, wrap with florists tape, then finish the look off with a ribbon.

Long after your last guest leaves, your flower bushes will still be blooming with love, not to mention attracting bees and butterflies, which is always great for the environment.

Once your bouquet looks less than stellar, toss it back into the garden, and let it breakdown to fertilize your future flowers.

The Organic Archway

If you’re getting married outside, or even at the front of a church, perhaps you’re considering standing beneath an archway, or some sort of natural altar. Since florists charge a lot for greenery, think about the trees and shrubs is in your yard (or the yards of your friends), and harvest what you need to create that perfect organic look you want.

The Floral Tabletop Arrangements

How Can I Plan an Eco-Friendly Wedding? Part 1 - The Flowers and Foliage | Bounce Energy

Mason jars make a versatile vase, and after the wedding, they’re great storage containers for food and preserving. Image courtesy of Ebony Porter.

The tables are where everyone gathers to mingle with other guests, eat dinner, and spend the majority of the night. Centerpieces are an important visual aspect of a wedding, and if you want to decorate with flowers, there are plenty of ways to do it with the environment in mind.

Consider purchasing small terracotta pots, and planting succulents, cactus, or some other potted flowers like marigolds and petunias in them. You could give one to each of your brides maids as a thank-you gift after the wedding. Putting growing plants on the tables means you can take them home and they’ll keep living. Consider creating a special little area of your garden – “The Wedding Garden” – using all the plants from your centerpieces.

If cut flowers are more desirable, then check your own garden, or that of your Grandmother or another relative, for the flowers in your centerpieces. Or head to a florist and ask about wholesale pricing. Flowers like proteas, lavender, and roses dry up well too, so you can extend the life of your flowers by enjoying them dry post-wedding.

But what to put them in?

Rather than buying a bunch of vases you’ll never use again, use mason jars! It’s a rustic look that’s really popular and versatile right now. What I love about Mason jars is that you can use them after your wedding for canning, preserving vegetables and fruits, or as storage jars for your office supplies. You can also use them as air-tight jars for storing rice, beans, and other dry goods in your food pantry.

Another eco-friendly way to present flowers is using old bottles including wine bottles. Be sure and soak the wine bottles to get the label off.

Greener Grander Displays

How Can I Plan an Eco-Friendly Wedding? Part 1 - The Flowers and Foliage | Bounce Energy

Use eucalyptus, pine, or other greenery from your backyard to build your arrangements, archway, and other decor. Image courtesy of Ebony Porter.

Some brides want more greenery brought into the church or the reception hall than just table-top arrangements. Flowers that come on stands are incredibly pricey, because they require so much bloom to make a statement.

Why not consider bringing small trees into your reception hall? By purchasing large pots and planting saplings, you’ll have a green vertical presence that will fill the space with vibrancy and nature.

Did you catch the Royal Wedding in 2011 with William and Kate? They did just that, by bringing English field maples into Westminster Abbey to soften the place up. Now the trees are planted at their vacation home in Wales, a growing legacy of their wedding day. As you can see, being eco-friendly isn’t just for commoners anymore!

The Confetti

It’s really uncool these days to throw paper confetti like we used to back in the day. It is straight-up littering! Consider having your guests toss small fragrant leaves on you as you exit the reception. Or gather rose petals that fall from your bushes. I would personally rather get pelted with leaves and petals than rice, bird seed, or soapy bubbles. But that’s just me.

Have we missed out on something super-green for flowers at an Eco-Friendly Wedding? Share with us in the comment section below!

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Born in Australia, Ebony has been in Texas long enough to consider herself a Texan-Aussie. Ebony has been writing for magazines, newspapers, and blogs, for more than 10 years. When she's not writing she's building quilts, growing her own food, or camping with her family somewhere far from the sounds of the city.

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