By Daniela Degrassi

 

Green weddings are on the rise! For someone like me, having been around weddings for decades as a photographer first and fashion designer later, it’s truly inspiring to see this shift towards sustainability. Over the years I’ve noticed first hand the excessive splurging of money and resources on one time wear attire or floral decor, just to name a few. Finally, many of todays brides, even the non-vegan ones, are incorporating environmental friendly practices in their wedding planning.

This week, I’ll give you more then one reason to fall in love with succulent plants, a super versatile ally for your wedding decor.  These plants are not only pretty to look at, the fact that they need very little water to survive (and reproduce!) makes them green wedding approved! I learnt more about these resilient plants during my last stay in Northern California.  I had the pleasure to meet with Toni Sicola, founder of Succulents For Hire. Her passion for succulents has grown over the last 7 years from a casual interest to a full-blown obsession, culminating in the launch of her succulent business in 2017. Toni welcomed me to her home with a big smile (and her adorable furry friend Dexter) and walked me through her workshop area while sharing her enthusiasm for the pretty creatures. 

Toni Sicola with Dexter, her faithful assistant – Photo by Ella Sophie 

Toni operates from her backyard; she transformed in a beautiful workshop area where she assembles beautiful arrangements for weddings, parties/showers, restaurants, event spaces, home and office decor, hotel lobbies, party favors, thank you and holiday gifts. In this enchanted space she collects and grows a multitude of succulents plants of every shape and size, including a proliferation station, where with infinite patience, she keeps reproducing plants from cuttings of other plants. 

Toni showed me the infinite ways succulents can be used at weddings. They can be arranged in bridal and bridesmaid bouquets (also mixed with a few fresh or paper flowers), boutonnieres, necklaces, head crows, corsages and even dog collars, along with the maybe more familiar uses as wedding favors (try double duty them as guests’ name cards with a cork micro planter), table centerpieces and general decor. And succulents make such a precious wedding keepsake! Although they are removed from their soil to be used in bouquets or head crowns, they can be easily replanted after a few days and they will continue to grow and reproduce themselves in your (or your wedding guests!) garden or home. How romantic! 

Pink wildflower bouquet in center (top and bottom) courtesy of Sarah Rubin Greene

This time of year succulents also make great Holiday gifts! Toni makes beautiful wreaths, hanging arrangements, table centerpieces and ships them anywhere within the USA, visit her online shop for your festivity needs.

I am so looking forward to my next visit to California early next year and attend one of Toni’s workshops! I developed quite a passion for succulents myself and have started my own small ‘terrace garden’ here in Italy! If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area you should definitely keep an eye for Toni’s next event and make sure to follow her Instagram account for all her latest and inspiration.

Cover image by Ella Sophie

.
.
.

A feminist and independent spirit since she could remember (her childhood heroines were Pippi Longstockings and Katharine Hepburn) Daniela Degrassi found her creative outlet as a lifestyle photographer, working mainly in Northern California where she lived for 15 years before moving back to her native Italy to continue to be her autistic sister’s primary caregiver. Vegan since 2014, she found a perfect way to carry her message of compassion while celebrating her love for the wedding industry launching The Kind Bride in February 2018.