Wedding Flowers and Decor

The Best Blooms, Banners and Bouquets for an Eco-Conscious Wedding

Natural elements like flowers, plants and trees will be quite at home in an eco-friendly wedding. After all, a healthy environment is the object of green living, and what better way to celebrate your flair for the sustainable than to bring in some healthy outdoor bounty?

The keys to responsible wedding décor are knowledge and creativity. Learn what to consider before you settle on flowers, and when to consider alternatives to classic wedding decorations and accessories.

How to Arrange a Healthy Bouquet

Wedding Flowers and Decor

When you're choosing flowers for a wedding, there's one very important fact to keep in mind: not all flowers are truly healthy. In fact, the most vibrant, perfectly proportioned blooms can be some of the worst for the environment. Despite their lush splendor, many tropical flowers and even conventional varieties are grown out of country, with harsh pesticides, chemical fertilizers and unnatural conditions. Add to that the pollution that comes with international transportation, and you're left with a bouquet that's not as sweet as it looks.

The good news is that flowers are plentiful across the globe, and you shouldn't have trouble finding local blooms that work for you. If you're having a summer wedding, you can visit neighborhood nurseries to find native species that will be in bloom on your wedding day, and decide which of those will work well with your budget and décor.

But summer weddings aren't for everyone, and if you're getting married in a less fruitful season, you still have some charming local floral options:

  • Spring. If your spring wedding will arrive before the tulips break through the soil, you can use branches of pussy willows and a bit of fresh greenery for sweet and sophisticated centerpieces or larger standing arrangements around your venue. Also, yellow daffodils are some of the first blossoms of the year, and they can make a delightful statement if you're into bright color.
  • Fall. For a fall wedding, you can get earthy with rustic foliage and potted mums to add pops of color around the room. If you prefer something more modern than homey, consider grasses and late-blooming wildflowers that grow along the country roads. With some delicate lighting and a few modern accessories, you can achieve a clean and sleek, yet natural look.
  • Winter. Winter might not bring many flowers, but there are all sorts of vibrant choices at your doorstep. Varieties of evergreen branches can drape the scene in green, and holly branches, pinecones and bare twigs can bring more interest. If you have your heart set on flowers, you can even plant some flowering plants in your own garden that will bloom in late winter, like bright golden witch hazel or the delicate white snowdrop flower.

Opt for Pots

While boughs and branches bring whimsy, you will get more life and love out of potted plants that can live on a windowsill or in a garden after the wedding. A centerpiece of some pretty local flowers in a simple pot with a bit of moss will look splendid on a table, and each pot can go home with someone at the end of the day. Alternatively, a small, hardy tree on each table can be a beautiful focal point and an impressive wedding favor for one lucky guest to plant in their yard.

Save Money and Add Interest with Green Décor

Of course, flowers are only one part of wedding décor. Most weddings add a host of decorative elements to contrast, compliment or otherwise add interest to the head table, the dance floor and the room itself. An eco-conscious wedding will want to eliminate the extra cost and clutter of bobbles and accessories that wind up in the garbage after the big day is done. Instead of buying specific wedding accessories, think outside the box and transform existing items and textiles into something new:

  • Worn out picture frames can be painted and used to hold table numbers.
  • Simple brown paper bags can become glowing paper lanterns for the evening (and recycled afterwards).
  • Old clothes and bed sheets with funky patterns can be cut up and reformed into tablecloths, banners or flags.
  • Colorful glass plates from a second-hand store can be tasteful trays for nibbles or desserts.

A bit of effort and ingenuity is all it takes to find clever new uses for old things, and inspiration is everywhere. But even after you raid your parents' closets and comb through yard sales, you'll find you need to buy some things brand new. For instance, candles are generally bought for the event, but they can give off hazardous fumes. Opt for soy-based or beeswax candles, since these types will burn bright without emitting toxic plumes of smoke.

Wedding décor is the perfect avenue to share your personality, preferences and lifestyle with all of your guests. Since you've chosen an eco-conscious path, this is your opportunity to kick-off your future with the best things from this season and cleverly updated items from the past.