Who doesn't love a beautiful wedding? Weddings are becoming increasingly one-of-a-kind in a variety of ways, from choreographed dances to artistic photo shoots to cupcake "cakes" made by friends and family to a concern for the environment. Wedding flowers are also changing, and though the norm is still a cut-flower bouquet, some brides are choosing alternatives--and they just happen to be eco-friendly.
The cut-flower industry isn't exactly the most eco-friendly, so choosing an alternative will cut down on your wedding's carbon footprint, and you won't be supporting an industry that is heavy on the pesticides and has a workforce largely comprised of grossly underpaid women in developing countries.
Here are five lovely bouquet alternatives that will make your big day beautiful and special:
The Wildflower Bouquet
What could be more perfect for a country wedding than wildflowers from the area? Team up with a local florist and go flower picking. You can pay the florist for his or her time and arrangement expertise, but you'll save on the cost of blooms.
The Mom's Garden Bouquet
Nothing says personal quite like flowers from your mother's and/or mother-in-law's garden. Again, work with a florist to select and arrange the blooms to ensure a chic look.
The Cotton Boll Bouquet
Recently, I saw a bouquet designed by Whimsical Gatherings in Knoxville, Tennessee, that contained cotton bolls that had burst open. I loved the beautiful contrast of textures of the soft cotton and the dried boll, and I could easily see a full bouquet of open cotton bolls--organic, of course.
The Baby's Breath Bouquet
Lately, I've been seeing a lot of bouquets of nothing but baby's breath. It may sound kind of boring, but it's actually quite lovely and delicate--a perfect match for a simple gown that hangs close to the body. And the best news: Though it's native to Asia and Europe, it's widespread across the U.S. and Canada, so finding a local source, or even a wild source, will be easy. Or you can easily grow them yourself in your garden by planting a few seeds each month, April through June, for continuous blooms between May and early September.
This option is a little outside the box, but there are plenty of appropriate and creative alternatives to a bridal bouquet. You could carry a parasol in a vintage-themed wedding, a candle in a lantern for a night wedding in the country, a faux fur muff for a winter wedding, a single stalk of pussy willows, a bible for a religious ceremony, or a cherished family ornament at a Christmas wedding.
Whether you're looking for something traditional or unique, there are plenty of bridal bouquet alternatives that allow brides to stick to their green and fair trade principles.