Sustainability plays a key role in our business and is a major part of every decision we make. We source a lot of reclaimed and recycled decor, we use velcro instead of cable ties, our uniform is made from recycled bottles and even our business cards are made from recycled t-shirts! Therefore, we absolutely love working with other suppliers who also put sustainability at the heart of their business.
We recently had the pleasure of working with Charlotte from Charlotte's Floral Design on a styled shoot in our yurts at Rossmoor Park. We know that sustainability is considered more and more when couples are planning their wedding so we asked Charlotte to share her top tips for sustainable wedding flowers.
Tip One - Avoid Floral Foam/ Oasis
This is a foam like material, used for flower arrangements, made up of micro plastics, it doesn’t decompose and can get into our waterways and be harmful to the aquatic life. There are plenty of alternatives to floral foam. Flowers can be arranged in containers that allow the flowers/foliage to be in water and therefore stay fresh for longer. Another alternative to floral foam is using a reusable material like chicken wire and flower tubes, these are great for big hanging flower installations or arches.
Tip Two - Buy locally grown and seasonal flowers
If you are wanting a specific flower then make sure you book your date for when they are in season; for example British roses tend to be in season in the summer from May to October or Peonies which are in season May to July. If you’re not too fussy and don’t want a specific flower then you can ask your florist what will be in season at the time of your wedding.
Buying British flowers is more sustainable as they have a lower carbon footprint compared to imported flowers. Imported flowers produce more carbon/require more energy to produce, they are often grown in greenhouses or in countries with a hotter climate which sometimes have water supply issues, they are treated with chemicals when growing then once cut they are refrigerated to keep them fresh, flown to the
UK, then transported to market in refrigerated lorries. Compare this to naturally grown flowers only an hour drive away with no refrigeration, air miles or chemicals.
Tip Three - Choose flower arrangements that aren’t “perfect”.
What I mean by this is having a mixture of flowers and foliage, all shapes and sizes, this stops waste of flowers that don’t look perfect and stops the demand for these “perfect” flowers. In my opinion the imperfect flowers are often the prettiest.
Tip Four - Reusing, repurposing and hiring.
I always encourage people to reuse their ceremony flowers at their wedding reception if possible because then you get to enjoy the most of them, they aren’t just enjoyed for the ceremony but all day. Hiring equipment like containers from your florist, this is also appropriate in other areas of your wedding like crockery, props and
clothing, then these will be reused again and again rather than just once and being thrown away. Another easy way to make your wedding more sustainable.
I recently created some floral pieces for North Sky Yurts that were created with sustainability in mind. For the entrance I created a floral pillar which made the doorway into a grand entrance, this was created using locally grown flowers, flower tubes (which hold water and keep the flowers hydrated, these are reusable) and chicken wire (also reusable).
For the tables I created meadow boxes, these were created using a combination of flowers, foliage and grasses giving a very natural and wild meadowy look. The meadow boxes are reusable and hold water to keep the flowers fresh.
For inside the main yurt I created a floral hoop which was make from willow then decorated with flowers and foliage using the same method as the floral pillar. The only non-reusable element of this piece was the wire used to hang it, I am currently researching a reusable or biodegradable option. A hoop looks amazing inside the yurt as it compliments the circular shape, the natural willow compliments the wooden beams and is a great centrepiece. Other options that would work well in yurts are: any central hanging installation be it a floral cloud , floral chandelier or a ladder covered in foliage. For the larger yurts floral pillars can be created inside and up the supporting beams to give it that wild look. And for the entranceway you could opt for 2 similar arrangements at either side of the doorway like milk churn or big flower pot displays or something a little more natural like floor meadows.
I love the yurt structure and the white canvas makes the perfect backdrop for any colour scheme, in my mind the more colour the better!
For more floral inspiration and sustainability tips, give Charlotte a follow on Insta @charlottes_floral_design and check out her website Weddings & Events — Charlotte's Floral Design (charlottesfloraldesign.co.uk)
Sustainable Shoot Suppliers
Yurts & Styling - North Sky Yurts
Florist - Charlottes Floral Design
Photographer - HOME | Glix Photography
Assistant Photographer - @gsnapsphoto
Macarons - @bellevue.bakery
Table Linen - @willowandribbon
Dress - Perfect Daze Bridal
Models - Becca & Tom