Eco-Friendly Wedding Series

Eco-Friendly Weddings: Floral

Hello! Welcome back to our Eco-friendly wedding journey!

Today, I would like to talk about your flowers! The many different floral choices you make for your wedding can make a huge impact on how your day looks and feels. Below are some Eco-Friendly tips for creating a gorgeous and sustainable wedding day! 


First, let’s talk about your venue. If your wedding venue has a lot of flowers built-in you don’t have to add much. Check out our post on picking an Eco-Friendly Venue for other tips for choosing the right place for your wedding day. 


What flowers do I need?

Traditionally, the following florals may be used at your wedding:

  • Bouquets for the Bride(s) and Bridesmaids 
  • Boutonnieres for the Groom(s), Groomsmen, and Father’s of the Bride(s) and Groom(s)
  • Corsages for the Mother’s of the Bride(s) and Groom(s)
  • A centerpiece for each of the Reception Tables
  • Possible extras: for the Welcome Table, Wedding Arch, Petals for Ceremony and Aisle, or a large piece for the Sweetheart Table
    • Keep in mind you can get creative and re-use some floral pieces as they are only necessary for specific times on your wedding day instead of during the entire day. For example, the flowers on your wedding arch can be taken down after the ceremony and used on the sweetheart’s table for the reception. This is more sustainable and can save you on costs! More on this is below.


How can I make a sustainable choice in my wedding florals? 

Keep in mind that you can always consolidate, repurpose, and make different choices. Review the list of floral decor you actually want at your wedding and make a decision on what really matters to you. Don’t hesitate to think outside the box! Consider the following:

  • Can you use any of the reception pieces for the ceremony or cocktail hour displays so that you don’t have to buy extra pieces?
  • Would you be interested in repurposing Bride and Bridesmaids Bouquets as centerpieces for the Sweetheart table, guest tables, bar, or as other decor? Once the Ceremony is over the Bridesmaids don’t often have a reason to carry around their bouquets. Personally, I think it looks amazing and doesn’t add any extra costs. 
  • Imagine the bouquets laying on their side facing the guests with the Brides in the middle of all the individual bouquets dropped into an elegant vase! I suggest using them as display pieces on the dessert, bar, or memorial tables during the Reception. 

Photo by Studio XIII Photography


  • How do you feel about fake flowers? In the photo of my own wedding above, we used fake garland mixed in with some olive tree twigs to create a fuller and more inviting centerpiece. 
  • Do you enjoy DIY and getting creative? Also in the photo above, we DIY-ed our own centerpieces by painting wine bottles and adding dried lavender that was versatile enough to be repurposed throughout my wedding day.
  • Still don’t know what your wedding favor will be? You can always use potted plants as your centerpieces that guests can take home at the end of your event! 
  • Worried about the tables looking too empty? Another way to fill the table is to use candles or art pieces in the center and then add succulent favors to fill the tables with greenery. See the photo below.


Photo by Studio XIII Photography

  • Would you prefer not to have floral centerpieces at all? The photo below uses only candles and bud vases with dried flowers to fill the center of their tables.  In the case of this event, the groom made all of the vases and the guests got to take them home as favors! 


Photo by Julie Jordan Photography

Options for flowers at the end of the event:

When choosing flowers for your wedding day consider what will happen to them at the end of the night. As a wedding planner, I can tell you that most of the flowers I see are thrown away at the end of the night and it is a sad sight to see. Not only is it a waste, but it’s also usually 1-3 thousand dollars going down the drain. 


  • If you use a dried flower-like lavender for your centerpieces or Bridesmaid bouquets you can use the flowers to make potpourri or sachets after the wedding day.  

Photo by Studio XIII Photography

  • You can let your guests take the flowers home! Please note you often are renting your vases from your florist so make sure to have a conversation with them so you know your responsibility as clearly as possible. If they are not yours, make sure your planner or coordinator sets the vases aside before letting guests take the flowers home. 
  • You can use a service like Guided By Flowers which will pick up your floral arrangements at the end of an event, create new smaller bouquets, and deliver them to hospice patients in the Los Angeles area.  This is a magical and sustainable option.
  • You can also visit some of those guests that weren’t able to be at your wedding physically and share some wedding flowers when you visit their graves. This is an excellent way to include your loved ones on your special day. 


No matter how you choose to go about your wedding florals, you can’t go wrong by following even just one or two of the tips above. By asking yourself these simple questions and staying mindful of sustainability, your decisions will make a huge difference.

 As I’ve said in my sustainability posts before, wedding planning can be challenging but making it personal to you is all that matters. If reducing your event’s carbon footprint is a priority for you, then be patient and diligent and your event will come together in exactly the way it was intended!  

Feel free to comment below on ways you have seen people go eco-friendly with their wedding! 


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