No woman wants to think of herself as a bridezilla, but all the details involved in planning a wedding can be daunting — especially if you’re someone who works hard to live an eco-sensitive lifestyle. Are your wedding flowers filled with pesticides that are polluting the rivers and exploiting workers in Colombia? Does rice thrown for good luck really explode in the stomachs of songbirds?
Ah, the horror of unintended consequences. Etsy has asked me to help make these details a little easier, so let’s make this wedding planning fun.
For your bouquet, carry an elegant grouping of white calla lilies wrapped in your grandmother’s handkerchief, or mix together chartreuse and romantic sunset roses, both available from Organic Bouquet. Remember, you’ll need a few days to let them open, so timing is everything here. Fair Trade USA provides all sorts of information on fair trade flowers and other items.
Centerpieces at the reception don’t need to be flowers. If you practice Buddhism, for example, you can find statues and incense burners; for bird lovers, place birdhouses on the table and scatter dried flowers or petals around them. Another great option are terrariums — glass containers filled with tropical or desert ecosystems. You can create a natural look by adding pieces of driftwood, shells or pebbles, mulch with turquoise marbles or even red lentils. These can really keep a conversation flowing at the in-law table.
[pullquote]Live, potted plants not only make great decorations, they can be given away to guests as wedding favors. Small bonsai trees make elegant centerpieces and will live for years, decades even.[/pullquote] Local nurseries often stock these hearty plants, keeping them healthy in decorative, ceramic dishes. Place bonsais on any table and add a few Japanese votive candles for a touch of color.
If you must have cut flowers, go seasonal or go native. Local Harvest provides information to help you find and support growers of native wildflowers. Native plants are heartier, use less water, require fewer pesticides, and they provide food and shelter for our birds, bees, and butterflies.
Though it’s not a native to my Brooklyn area, lavender is certainly hard to resist. In the Middle Ages, lavender was considered “the herb of love” and bouquets of the fragrant purple buds were given to newly-married couples to bring good luck. Sprinkling dried lavender flowers in the home was said to bring peacefulness. [pullquote]To bring that heavenly aroma and color to your wedding, plant some live lavender in reclaimed or upcycled wooden planters.[/pullquote] For larger bouquets, mix other native flowers with lavender. Later, turn these into planted pots on your front porch or replant them into window boxes.
As for what to toss at the bride and groom, I’ve got you covered. Instead of rice or birdseed, how about tossing a handful of wildflower seeds? The seeds can be placed in small, hand-stamped envelopes, given to guests as they enter the wedding venue. By tossing flower seeds, you’re doing all sorts of great stuff for the environment, and seeds are symbolic; there’s something, well, fertile, so to speak.