Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! The old catchphrase really comes in handy when trying to keep your wedding sustainable. In celebration of Earth Day, we're sharing a few of our favorite ways to help make your big day a bit more Earth friendly!
In our floral design work, we reduce the amount of packaging we use when delivering personal flowers to our wedding parties. This means minimizing our use of plastic bags or boxes for boutonnieres and wearable flowers, sending bouquets without any excess tissue or plastic, and doing our best to collect vases from bouquets from wedding to wedding thus reducing the need to purchase new ones each time.
Minimalist wedding décor is another way to reduce and can be gorgeous in the right situation. For example, highlighting the amazing natural beauty of a venue or location with very simple ceremony arrangements as we did at this gorgeous Sagecliffe Resort wedding is an example of how simple can be striking!
For our couples, reducing the amount of guests and even the amount of red meat served can be ways to lessen your environmental impact when planning! While having a giant party is always a blast, if you're looking to be a little bit more sustainable (and save a little cash) consider a more intimate wedding. Less guests equals less travel, less food, less tables (which means less floral and décor), and less waste at the end of the event. Keep it smaller to keep it greener!
We love reusing wedding items! A lot of our wedding inventory comes from past weddings we’ve planned and flowered so that the items can continue to get lots of use. Rather than always buying new for each event, we source from our amazing vendor network or our own stash. Sometimes we'll even thrift or upcycle items (check out the cute blue and white bud vases, candle holders, and tiny bird at the bottom of this post!). Bud vases, votives, lanterns, wedding arches - so much can be repurposed! We also build things ourselves (like this fab champagne wall - available to rent!) that we can then use for many events in the future.
We also like to reuse candles. If our clients are ok with it (and many are!) we try to reuse pillar candles that still have lots of life left rather than tossing them out only a little bit used. We of course make sure they look beautiful still, but this keeps a bit more waste out of the landfill.
We love repurposing flowers as well! Whether it’s on the day of and reusing ceremony flowers at your reception (this also saves you money! Bonus!) to sending guests home with flowers to enjoy after the event we love for our florals to be loved for as long as possible. See below for how we used a beautiful floral arch as a ceremony backdrop for our couple at Columbia Winery and transitioned it to highlight their sweetheart table at the reception. We also incorporated the bridal bouquet and aisle lanterns into their sweetheart table design and décor to really utilize as much as we could.
For our couples - how about reusing your wedding attire? There are some amazing websites out there for renting tuxedos and formal wear, and many options for purchasing a gently used bridal gown. The gorgeous Pronovias bridal gown shown below (look at that lace back!) was purchased from a former bride via Stillwhite, an online bridal resale shop, and it not only looked stunning, but saved the bride a lot of money! Win win! Other great local options for purchasing a gently used gown are Brides for a Cause and Blue Sky Bridal in Seattle.
We make sure to compost and recycle as much as we possibly can in our planning and floral design. Ridwell is a great local service that allows us to recycle thin plastics (like flowers come wrapped in) as well as fabric/ribbon, batteries and more. Floral boxes all get reused or broken down and recycled. And all the flower waste gets thrown in the compost to help grow new plants and flowers!
4. Foam free florals
We do everything we can to avoid floral foam when arranging our floral designs. Floral foam is not great for the environment as it doesn’t break down and just sits in the landfill, as well as contributing to micro-plastic pollution. Ick! Chicken wire, wet moss, biodegradable foam, reusable water tubes, and floral pin frogs are all great and green alternatives! We use these pretty much exclusively now after transitioning away from foam in our early days of designing.
5. Buying local and seasonal
We love our local flower growers (shoutout to the wonderful Seattle Wholesale Grower's Market for giving us a one stop shop for so many amazing farms!) and are so lucky to have such beautiful blooms available close by for us to use. While we do sometimes need to use shipped in product based on our client’s wish list, we try to source locally as much as we can! Shopping in season also helps, and using what is growing at the time of your event can be really special. Just think of your love being able to send you a seasonal bloom from your wedding day for every anniversary! So romantic. Overall, less travel time (by land, air, or sea) to get the flowers to us means a cleaner Earth!
Learning! We’re constantly looking to learn of new and better ways to be kind to our planet when it comes to weddings and in daily life, on Earth Day and every day. From working with amazing sustainable florists (like the fabulous Jenevieve at Wild Flora in Utah) to participating in webinars to a good ol’ internet search, we’re always on the look out for tips and tricks to be sustainable. Do you have any that you’d like to share? We’d love to hear it! Please leave us a comment or share what your favorite tip was from this list in the comments below!