Today’s post in our Being An Ethical Bride series is all about the blooms. But surely flowers are the most natural part of a wedding?! They definitely can be, but there are a few thorns hidden out there in the floral world and we are here to help you out if you’re also on an ethical wedding journey. Fancy making your wedding flowers all wholesome and eco-chic n stuff? Read on!
Please note – we don’t expect people to follow every single one of these guidelines, and understand we can’t make every single thing in our lives ethical (unless we live in a hole in the woods, probably naked and eating leaves?) but maybe, just maybe by supporting one of these ideas, we could help the world a little bit at a time. Here’s how:
one. seasonal – try and buy flowers that are in season, this will not only be cheaper but your blooms will last longer than imports. It also means supporting UK based farmers (see three) plus the scent will be much more intense. The British Flower Collective has done the hard work and sourced a range of wedding florists who specialise in using British grown, seasonal flowers.
two. organic – buy organic! Yes we hear this a lot, but what does it actually mean? Well it’s not just the lack of toxic chemical usage, it’s the fact that growing organic helps bring tired and nutrient sapped soil back to life, is safer for farmers and workers and promotes long term sustainability for farmland. Try Organic Blooms.
three. shop local – did you know 90% of flowers in the UK are imported? Importing flowers from abroad not only places a high demand on our environment (think air miles, energy used in refrigeration, the chemicals used to grow them) but also the conditions for many of the workers are reprehensible. Try and shop local when buying your flowers, google your nearest farm that grows their own seasonal florals and contact them for details or discuss sourcing local flowers with your florist. Try The Great British Florist.
four. grow your own – English garden flowers are amazing. Think roses, hydrangeas, peonies, sweet peas and of course wildflowers… they are easy to grow in your own garden and you know exactly where they came from and zero air miles! If you don’t have a garden, outsource to friends and family, they will be happy to help! Plus don’t forget your foliage – chop down that ivy getting out of control at the bottom of the garden and use it for beautiful trailing table decoration. Try The Organic Garden Catalogue for seeds.
five. forage – not only will this option save you hundreds but you will be the proud owner of the most romantic, eco bouquet, created all by yourself. Foraging your bouquet can seem like a daunting task but there are plenty of guides out there to support you on your endeavour. Top tips: pick early in the morning, use sharp scissors and protect your hand and arms, make clean cuts to avoid damaging the plant (don’t uproot!), don’t take flowers all from the same area, don’t pick anything protected (bluebells anyone?!) and plunge flowers straight into a bucket of cold water. Check out the Wild Food School guide here with more info on the legalities (i.e. get permission from the owners of private land).
six. potted plants – lets face it, flowers create a huge amount of waste at any wedding. Yes people can take them home but they often get thrown away, and how often is that into the compost heap? Try potting your own plants and flowers for guests to take home as long lasting favours, or for you to plant out and keep in your own garden as a lasting memory of your wonderful day.
seven. fairtrade – according to the Fairtrade Foundation “Fairtrade certified farms must ensure safety and working conditions for their employees and a premium of 10% for every stem sold allows workers to invest in healthcare, education and other social benefits.” Have a look at the Fairtrade website here and check for the Fairtrade label on flowers.
eight. dried – dried flowers are a perfect way to preserve your wedding flowers so you can keep them as a memento and avoid wastage. Try Lotus Floral Art for all sorts of ways to use dried flowers. And don’t forget your natural, biodegradable confetti! Try Shropshire Petals.
How easy is it to be ethical about flowers?! We can’t believe it! How are you going to use flowers in your own wedding?
Photography – Veri Ivanova