6 sustainable steps for your wedding flowers

29 Mar 2022

Give your wedding flowers the eco edge with these six steps towards sustainability 

Words: Tina Marshall 

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Image gallery

Few things symbolise love and romance more than flowers, and beautiful blooms have always played a significant role in any wedding. But sustainability is currently a hot topic in floristry, and there is huge concern over the environmental impact of producing out of season cut flowers that are transported across the globe and enjoyed for a relatively short period of time.

Sustainable florists have taken huge steps in making the industry more environmentally friendly and are working towards reducing carbon emissions, avoiding the use of toxic chemicals and eliminating waste destined for landfill. Fortunately, this doesn’t have to be at the cost of creating gorgeous, floral displays. Here are just a few ways to ensure that your wedding flowers are both beautiful and ecologically friendly.

Choose seasonal flowers

Choosing flowers that naturally bloom around the time of your wedding means that they are likely to have been grown in a natural environment, requiring no extra heat or light and therefore using less energy. It also increases the likelihood of them being sourced from local or British suppliers, reducing the carbon footprint caused by transporting flowers across the globe. Opt for field-grown, locally-sourced, seasonal flowers where possible.

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Avoid single-use plastics

Single-use plastics do not biodegrade, but break down into smaller plastic particles that contaminate the environment. Sustainable florists are eliminating their use where possible. Floral foam, a carcinogenic product which ends up in landfill, is to be avoided at all costs, with moss, pebbles, gravel or twigs all providing a natural alternative to presenting a floral display. Other plastics such as cellophane, plastic vases and decorations should also be avoided. Consider using recycled or upcycled materials for displaying flowers and for any additional adornments.

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Consider using dried flowers

Dried flowers can provide a stunning alternative to fresh flowers, allowing you to choose out of season blooms that can also be enjoyed for a long time after the wedding. Choose air-dried flowers where possible as this is a natural, chemical-free process. Avoid anything bleached, painted or dyed, as these processes often involve the use of toxic chemicals and mean that the flowers cannot be composted at the end of their life, instead ending up in landfill.

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Get creative with foliage

Foliage, herbs, grasses, seed heads and berries can be used to create stylish displays in place of traditional cut flowers. Source locally-grown, seasonal material where possible. Evergreen eucalyptus, rosemary, myrtle and pittosporum are available all year round and provide a glorious foil to sculptural seed heads, textured grasses and colourful berries. Eye-catching succulents add character when incorporated into a bouquet, and come in a variety of sizes, shapes and colours.

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Source from local suppliers

Choose a local supplier, who is able to source locally grown, seasonal flowers. This reduces both the road miles and air miles the flowers may travel, and in turn reduces their carbon footprint. A sustainable florist will be happy to discuss environmentally friendly options with you and will know how the flowers were grown and where they have travelled from.

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Repurpose your flowers

Your wedding flowers can still be enjoyed after the event. Consider recutting and rearranging displays to repurpose them into smaller bouquets that can be placed around your home or given to loved ones. Fresh flowers can be dried or pressed to provide an everlasting memory of your special day. Many couples are choosing to donate their wedding flowers to local hospices or care homes where they can continue to be enjoyed by others.

So whether you decide to ditch the floral foam, opt for foliage over flowers, or make succulents the star of the show, you can be confident that your wedding floristry can be both stunning and sustainable.

All images: Getty Images

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