By Esztella Kovacs
Are you concerned about our environment? Flowers are an essential part of any wedding. But do you know what makes flowers, eco wedding flowers, and what are the factors you need to consider when choosing them?
Fortunately, more and more couples opt for eco weddings because they are concerned about the state of the planet. However, most of them don’t know what to consider when planning an eco-conscious wedding. Well, there are many factors you need to pay attention to. These are your venue, catering, stationery, flowers. These have the biggest impact on our environment.
That’s true that flowers add beauty to your wedding day and I also agree that they cannot miss from any weddings, but things like plastic, shipping, floral foam and other factors take a toll on our environment. In this blog, we’re featuring Bradleigh from B for Blooms top essential tips for choosing your eco wedding flowers. Before we dive in, let me take the opportunity and introduce ourselves.
I am Ezstella, behind Hojas D’Amour, a wedding planner who specializes in eco-friendly weddings in southern Spain, and Bradleigh is a bespoke florist, seasonally and sustainably-minded floral designer also based in southern Spain.
Bradleigh is an independent floral designer with an alternative eye for bespoke design. With her team she caters for small and large scale weddings and events in Andalucia and Cadiz. Seasonally and sustainably minded, she takes inspiration from nature, the venue and couples’ personalities, to create unique floral arrangements and incredible installations that will be remembered for a lifetime.
“Vegan, eco weddings are growing in popularity every year in Spain. It’s refreshing to have an increasing client base who are eco-conscious couples. Most brides and planners who approach me have very little knowledge about how to make sure their wedding flowers are as eco friendly as possible“ says Bradleigh.
If you’re a bride who wants an eco-friendly wedding, it’s challenging to find suppliers who share your enthusiasm for beauty and sustainability, but it can be done! To make that goal a little more achievable, here are our top tips.
Top essential tips when choosing your eco wedding flowers
Find an outdoor wedding venue
What I always say to my couples as an eco-frienldy wedding planner is that first of all find an outdoor venue surrounded by nature. Andalucia has so many incredible outdoor venues where you hardly need to use flowers to decorate it. Furthermore fewer cut flowers means smaller impact on environment!
Locally grown, Organic & in-season
The 3 keywords that you need to keep in mind when choosing Eco wedding flowers: Be Local, Organic and In-Season! Ask your florist which are seasonal and in-season around the time you’re getting married. Growing flowers naturally uses a lot less energy, water, and chemicals than ‘forcing’ them to grow out of season.
As Bradleigh says: “Spain is now the 5th largest cut flower market in the Europe, so if you’re using seasonal blooms for your wedding, they’re far more likely to be grown locally. Buying from local farms is an easy way to reduce waste, no plastic wrapping. It also means florists can buy the exact amount of stems they need, so the flower goes from seed to stem to ceremony rather than to the trash heap. Request that your florist use flowers that are in season, guaranteeing the highest quality, lowest impact blooms.”
Image Credits Charles Johnstone
Did you know that floral foams contain the same amount of plastic as 10 plastic grocery bags!? This is one of the reasons why we should avoid using them. In additional they are not reusable and contain ingredients that are dangerous to breath. As Bradleigh also says: “It’s a single use product made from plastic that has been proven to harm aquatic organisms.“ What we recommend is choose styles that look great in vases, ask your florist which are these wedding flowers.
Dried & Wildflowers
Dried flowers are not only going to be wedding trend in this year but they are also an eco wedding flower alternative. This can be the perfect option for your winter or autumn wedding because you can have out of season blooms as many local flowers simply aren’t in bloom. Not to mention that you will avoid some of the most wasteful parts of the floral industry. Use dried flowers in your bouquets to add texture and contrast alongside your fresh flowers can also be a great option.
You can also incorporate succulent, wheat or pampas grass into your bridal bouquet. It will give you a unique and unexpected results. Using wildflowers for your eco wedding bridal boquet is a great alternative to conventional flowers. Considering that many of traditional flowers are imported or use pesticides or plastics.
Image Credits Angela Raven
Have you heard about Sola Wood Flowers? Sola Wood Flowers are made from renewable wood of a marshy plant, it’s 100% biodegradable and last forever! Every single Sola Flower is created by hand and no machines are used. The way they are made is sticking wood shavings together to make different shaped of flowers. They also painted or dyed by hand. It’s an artisanal process that can’t be mechanized and gives a 100% biodegradable bridal bouquet that looks like real flowers.
Repurpose and dual purpose
Another amazing idea to reduce the amount of cut flowers on your eco conscious wedding is repurpose your and your bridesmaid bouquets as centerpiece. Use potted plant, that’s one of my favorite option. Use tiny potted succulent, mini cactus or other flowers as table decoration and double as guest favors! You can personalized them and write your guests’ name on the pot, then they can take it home at the end of your wedding. So you don’t need to spend money for gifts that probably will end up in trash and neither use cut flowers for decorating the tables.
Finally, my last advice is to DONATE. Any left over flowers can be donated to the local nursery or hospital. This way you will give them a second life and the community will be grateful for it!
Image Credits House of Flow
The most important questions to ask when choosing eco wedding flowers
“There are a few questions that are essential to ask when searching for a florist for your eco-conscious wedding” – says Bradleigh. And these questions are the following:
∙ How seasonal is the flower you stock?
∙ Where do your flowers come from and how are they produced?
∙ Can you avoid using preserved, bleached, and dyed products?
∙ Are you foam-free?
Bradleigh’s advice is: ”It might seem obvious, but go with your gut. The florist you’ll enjoy working with, you’ll have a natural rapport with. They’ll understand and appreciate why you’re asking these questions. It’s your special day and the process should be enjoyable from start to finish!”
Image Credits Vicky Baumann
How Bradleigh helps to reduce the ecological footprint in her business as a seasonally and sustainably minded floral designer.
“We’re always continuing to improve our practices to be more sustainable. We do this by following our own advice: buying seasonally, ethically, locally and reducing waste. We always ask where the flowers come from and how they’re produced, that way we can make more sustainable choices. Our close relationships with local growers keeps us up to date with what’s the best quality, local, seasonal produce from one week to another. We also currently have a small cutting garden, using homegrown flowers has reduced our carbon footprint and the dream for the future is that in a few years we’ll be planting and cutting entire weddings from seed.”
“When we can’t find what we need locally, we pride ourselves on using certified imported blooms. Certification schemes enable your florist to identify more sustainable purchases (i.e. flowers grown with less emissions while improving the livelihoods of local workers in need, it’s like the ‘fair trade’ of flower growing).”
It’s the little things
“We are avid recyclers, repurposers and composters. We’re always looking for creative things we can do with what would otherwise become waste. We’ve been pressing leaves, making confetti and drying flowers. Our packaging is 100% biodegradable, it’s unbleached kraft paper and tags made from recycled paper, all natural twine and tissue. No plastic wrapped flowers here! Everything goes out in water in recycled glass jars.”
Your green wedding planner
As a green wedding planner I will help you to create your dream wedding, reducing the negative impact as much as possible. I understand the environmental impacts associated with each part of the wedding planning process and can offer a variety of Sustainable alternatives without sacrifice your wedding’s beauty of quality! I work with like-minded and trusted suppliers just like Bradleigh with whom we will make sure to accommodate your beliefs and principles when planning your wedding.
Esztella is the founder of Hoja d’Amour, wedding planning agency specializing in Elegant, Eco-Vegan weddings in Southern Spain. She helps eco-conscious couples just like you to organize your dream wedding which reflects your style and taste whilst taking care of the environment! Whatever it is you value the most she will make sure to work with you to accommodate your beliefs and principles when planning your wedding.