Thank you very much to Rachel Bull from www.houseofdandelions.com floral design studio who has written this guest article on ways to make your wedding flowers more eco friendly.
If you’re looking to make your big day more sustainable, chances are you’ll be searching out environmentally friendly florals. The good news is that going heavy on the foliage isn’t the only way to green up your wedding flowers. It is totally possible to ensure your floral designs are eco friendly without compromising on your dream blooms.
Flowers are at their best when bought in season. They will be top quality, last longer and give better value for money. By choosing seasonal blooms you’ll have a greater chance of incorporating British flowers into your wedding, which will reduce your carbon footprint by avoiding having to fly out of season flowers in from abroad.
British flowers are experiencing a serious comeback, with an increasing number of artisan growers producing amazingly scented roses and British native wild flowers all over the country. To find local growers, have a look at Flowers from the Farm, which supports independent UK flower farmers. The British Flower Collective is another great source of information on what’s in season, and also provides a directory of florists who specialise in working with British flowers.
In recent years the floral industry has become a lot more mindful when it comes to eco-friendly practices. There is no better example of this than the #nofloralfoam movement. Floral foam, commonly referred to as oasis, is non-biodegradable and contains toxic substances that can be harmful to the skin. But, since its invention in the 1950s, it has become commonplace in floral work. Ask your wedding florist for foam-free alternatives. Examples I use are chicken wire, moss, re-usable test tubes or good old-fashioned glass vases. For inspiration, see @nofloralfoam on Instagram, where you’ll be able to discover the mechanics behind a lot of incredible foam-free installations.
When I’m designing for wedding clients, I always try to think about the possibility of flowers that can be moved to different locations throughout the day. For instance, I had a couple recently who used a floral garland on the registrar table during their ceremony, for the top table at the wedding breakfast and latterly on a balcony for the evening. Not only is this more economical, it means you’ll need fewer flowers and those you do have can be displayed and enjoyed for as long as possible.
Instead of having cut flower arrangements as your table centrepieces, consider potted plants such as herbs, lavender, ferns or succulents. They can be planted out in the garden or given to guests as gifts after your celebration. You could even hire or buy small potted trees and shrubs to use as venue décor, producing zero waste after the event.
If you or your relatives are green fingered, you could have a go at growing some of your own flowers. Nigella and zinnia are very easy to grow from seed, costing you a mere £2 a packet, and you can be sure they’ll be free from pesticides and other farming nasties. If you’re a fan of the freshly picked, wild flower meadow look this could work perfectly. Have a look at www.sarahraven.com for flower growing tips and to buy native British wildflower seeds.
Have a think about how you could reuse your flowers after your big day is over. Charities such as Floral Angels recycle donated wedding and event flowers, turning them into new bouquets which are given to people in hospices and care homes, and others in need within the community.
For a bouquet that will keep on giving long after your wedding day is over, you could choose to have silk or dried flowers. The Great British Florist sells a wide selection of dried flowers and garlands, which might offer some inspiration. Alternatively, make something really unique to you; if you’re a crafter think about having paper origami flowers, and if you’re planning a vintage wedding have a look on Pinterest at broach bouquets.
Rachel Bull is the director of House of Dandelions floral design studio.