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7 ways to make your wedding flowers more sustainable

So you are engaged! Congratulations! The fun begins, and you are getting excited to plan the big day. You have a conscious mind, and you want to organize a wedding that is unforgettable, truly unique to you while being kind to the planet. An average wedding in the UK emits 14.5 tonnes of carbon. This is the rough equivalent of 14 trips from London to New York. While this is a shockingly high number just for a one-day celebration, there are many ways you can reduce your carbon emissions, especially when it comes to your wedding flowers.

1.       Seasonality: It all starts with picking a date for your wedding day. If you’d like to have fresh flowers adorning your venue, you should pick a time of the year when flowers are naturally abundant. If you aren’t too picky about the type of flowers you’d like to have in your arrangements, generally from April to October, there is a wide selection of flowers available.

2.       Locality: Ask your florist to work with locally grown flowers, as much as possible. According to Rebecca Swinn’s study, on average, imported blooms have ten times higher carbon emission than flowers grown in the UK.

3.       Dried materials: Embracing all life-cycles and using dried flowers, seedheads, and grasses will not only offer flowers that will last longer but also bring an interesting textural element to your design. It is worth considering adding dried elements to a winter wedding design, even mixing them with evergreen foliage and possibly some seasonal flowers (Narcissi is gorgeous during the winter months).

4.       Plastic and foam-free design: Make sure that the florist you choose avoids the use of floral foam. The most harmful is the green foam, which with time breaks down into microplastics. This then pollutes our water systems, damaging wildlife. Alternative solutions are moss, water, reusable containers, chicken wire, twigs, and other natural materials that are able to provide support to the flowers in your arrangements.

5.       Repurpose: It is worth asking your florist to create designs for your big day that are easily movable from ceremony to reception. This will not only save you some money but will allow you to enjoy all of your flowers throughout the day.

6.       Hire décor items: Instead of buying new equipment to decorate your venue with, consider talking to your florist or a wedding stylist about hiring items. They will be cheaper than buying new ones, which you probably wouldn’t use again after the wedding anyway, and they will be able to offer a wide selection of pieces for you to choose from.

7.       Offset your carbon: You have reduced your carbon emission by making conscious-minded decisions; now it’s time to use an online calculator to find out your wedding’s carbon emission. You can ask your guests to contribute towards offsetting your emission by donating to a certified program. Many projects are run within and outside of the UK, like peat and wildlife habitat restoration, reforestation, or investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency. As a florist, I feel it is also my responsibility to help you with that, which is why I donate a native British tree planted to each of my couples with the help of The National Forest.

There are many other ways that you can find to have the most amazing day while loving each other (and the planet). If you need other ideas or further support, ask your suppliers how they can help you and enjoy your day while being reassured knowing that your efforts are making a positive impact on the environment.


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