Decorating with locally grown flowers is a growing trend in wedding planning. Many environmentally conscious brides want to plan a wedding that is not only beautiful and a lot of fun, but also respectful of the environment and supportive of local businesses. Using locally available flowers – whether from a nursery, greenhouse, or some generous gardening friends – is one way to have a “green wedding” and also to create a special ambiance that imported hothouse flowers can’t match. Live plants and flowers add a special kind of magic to the atmosphere of the ceremony – and the incredible freshness of locally grown bouquets adds a blessing of life to your wedding flowers.
Since this trend is so new, though, brides who want local (or organic) wedding flowers may need to do a little more work in talking with and perhaps educating local businesses to get what they want. Fortunately, brides have a number of options when using local wedding flowers to fit just about any budget. And as with all other aspects of a wedding – the sooner you start planning, the better!
Probably the least expensive (but the most labor-intensive) option would be to simply ask around. Chances are, most brides know quite a few people who grow beautiful flowers in their yards or gardens and would be happy to supply the wedding with flowers at little or no cost. Seasonality is a great advantage to this option, too – you’ll only be getting flowers that are blooming at the same time of the wedding, so they’ll be wonderfully fresh, at their peak of beauty and perfume. Some tips to keep in mind:
- Be sure to always ask people if they want to be paid
- You and/or a helper may have to be the one to cut, transport, arrange, and store the flowers – this requires some planning, and it will have to happen the day before or the day of the wedding
- Have a backup plan in the event the weather does not cooperate (this will be more or less of an issue depending on the time of year)
- If you don’t know much about what flowers grow well locally and when they bloom, your local county extension office will probably be a good resource; and they may also be able to connect you with local gardeners who grow the flowers you want
- If you want organic wedding flowers, be sure to ask if the flowers are grown organically before you enter into an agreement with someone about using their flowers
Another option for local wedding flowers that would cost more but requires less dependence on the weather is to work with a local nursery or greenhouse. A greenhouse, in particular, is a good option if your wedding is during a time of year when your favorite flowers aren’t blooming. Some tips to keep in mind:
- Have a clear idea of what you want before you talk to the nursery or greenhouse. They may not be accustomed to helping out with a wedding and may not have time to assist you in fully exploring your options.
- Be sure to have a clear idea, too, of your wedding flower budget, and inform the business of that budget so you or they won’t go overboard in picking plants.
- Live plants make a wonderful addition to wedding decorations! Some nurseries and greenhouses have live standing plant arrangements that they rent out to weddings.
- If you know what you want and you like gardening, you may just want to work with the greenhouse to pot your own live flowers and plants and to keep them at their facility until the wedding. After the ceremony, you’ll have potted arrangements to take home or give away to guests.
There are many local wedding flower options available for the bride willing to be creative and flexible in her planning. The information presented here just scratches the surface! Using local wedding flowers may require more effort than simply working with a florist, but the rewards are well worth it. Read about one bride’s experience using local flowers for her wedding.