Eco-Chic Flowers {Green Wedding Guide}

Since I'm the "California Eco-Friendly Bride" I think it's high time I start giving some tips about making your wedding eco-chic. Let's start with flowers, because who doesn't like flowers? Fortunately, there are some very easy ways to make your wedding flowers beautiful and earth friendly! Any bride or groom looking to add some Eco elements to their wedding, specifically when it comes to flowers, probably knows just how terrible the flower industry can be to the environment. The pesticides, the greenhouse gases involved in express shipping fresh flowers half way around the globe, not to mention really poor working conditions for many of the people who work in the fields. I was shocked to learn that the average wedding emits 12-14 tons of CO2 - that's more than a person emits in a full year!

So here are some ideas to kick start your eco-friendly floral planning! Now, I am definitely no expert, but I have done my fair share of research for my own wedding, so I'll share what I've learned with you :)

If you live in an area where someone provides the opportunity to rent plants, this is a great way to bring in some colorful citrus trees or cherry blossoms or whatever fits your theme. Kate Middleton did it after all!

   left: The Enchanted Home; right: Bridal Guide, photo by Meg Smith Photography

I really looked into doing this, as I thought some miniature lemon and mandarin trees would look gorgeous in my venue, but I can't find anyone who rents these trees in the Bay Area. {sad face}

You can also use smaller potted plants that you or your guests can keep after the wedding to decorate your house or garden. And if you do lots of mini potted plants, those can double as wedding favors!

My Sunny Wedding, photo by Erik Ekroth Photography

Or air plants! Air plants are some of the easiest plants, since they don't need soil and require little to no water to stay alive. I've seen some pretty awesome air plant bouquets and favors. I always think that a couple who uses air plants must be pretty badass. Maybe it's those wild, spiky fronds.

   left: Koru Wedding Style, photo by Mi Belle Photography; right: JL Designs, photo by Gabriel Ryan

Succulents are a big deal right now (in case you've been living in a hole and haven't noticed, silly). It feels like every wedding you look at has some succulents in them. They have great character, but better yet, they will survive your wedding day without soil and become a fun plant-able reminder of your wedding day later on!

Ruffled Blog, photo by Erica Ann Photography

Another fun and quirky option is to do paper flower bouquets made from recycled paper! I just love those paper flowers on the mini cake.

   left: Hatch Creative Studio, photo by Dave Robbins Photography; right: Wedding Chicks, photo by Hilton Pittman Photography

Lastly, you can go with the organic, local, seasonal flower option by using a sustainable florist. This really gives you the greatest variety of flower choices and allows you to choose specific colors and flower types. Although you may not end up with as enormous of a variety of flowers as you would if you went with hot house/imported flowers, there are more than enough options to make your vision come true.

Brides, photo by Mathew Kiang

This is the option we went with, and I was able to find an incredible florist in Berkeley called Gorgeous and Green who specializes in local, sustainable flowers (and has the cutest shop on the planet!). After meeting with her it was clear that she really is trying to change the industry, which we love. She uses ribbons made from recycled material, visits every farm she sources her flowers from so she knows their farming practices firsthand, and gives preference to local, seasonal growers. Kyle and I met with her a couple of weeks ago and were overwhelmed by the variety of flowers she recommended. I mean, is there a flower or color I can't have?! I don't think so.

In the Bay Area we're lucky to have a number of options when it comes to sustainable florists. I know that isn't an option everywhere, so you may want to consider potted plants and succulents. Wedding blogs are just overflowing with gorgeous photos of these floral inspirations, so eat your heart out eco-brides!

And even if you have your heart set on a certain flower in your bouquet, maybe there are other areas you can incorporate an eco-friendly flower option. Don't fret, it doesn't have to be all or nothing!

Are you planning on using eco-friendly floral arrangements in your wedding? Are there any great companies you've worked with who focus on sustainable farming practices? Give them a shout out so other brides can know about your great find!

Take My Breath Away

Are you following me yet on Pinterest? Well you should be! And if you already are, then you’ve probably noticed a trend among my flower posts – Baby’s Breath. I love it! No longer just a cheesy filler flower (you know it was a part of your prom corsage/bouquet back in the day!), Baby’s Breath looks amazing on its own. It reminds me of a soft, airy cloud. Ok, but who am I kidding – my immediate draw to it was the price – it is super inexpensive!

I originally thought this flower would be great to accent my rustic, outdoor wedding.

Credits: Jar, Bouquet, Table Number, Arch, Buckets

But now that we have switched to a more classic, city venue, I think it could still work.

Credits (clockwise from top left): Aisle, Centerpiece 1, Centerpiece 2, Bouquet, Centerpiece 3

A few tips on using baby’s breath that I have learned in my research:

1. Baby’s Breath is often confused with Lilly of the Valley – an equally pretty flower that is MUCH more expensive (Hello - Lilly of the Valley is what Kate Middleton used in her bouquet and she’s a princess!).

2. DIYing your bouquet? You can order baby’s breath in bulk from places like Costco and Sam’s Club (Sam’s Club lists it under “filler,” but you know better…).

3. Baby’s Breath is much easier to work with since you are using just one type of flower and won’t require formal training as a florist to arrange!

Whether your wedding is country rustic or city glam, I think Baby’s Breath looks stunning in both bouquets and center pieces. Have you used Baby’s Breath or seen it being used at a wedding? Share in your comments below!

P.S. Thanks to everyone who offered photographer suggestions in my first post! They were all awesome and you’ve already made my photog search easier!

{Real Wedding} David and Sarah By Picotte Photography

You have heard my singing my praises about Picotte Photography in past posts, and you're bound to hear it again. I love the style and the romance she adds to her photography and this wedding is no different. Meet David and Sarah-the use of many different types and colors of flowers is just amazing. I love how they decided to keep everything clean and classic looking by adding clear vases and lots of different whimsical flowers.

This looked like one heck of a wedding! Thanks to David and Sarah for letting me show it off here, and thanks to Picotte Photography for yet another fantastic wedding.

Newest Inspirations

Source: SMP, MSW, SMP With my venue pretty much in place, I am now starting to visualize an ACTUAL wedding, with actual decor in an actual space. This is quite an exciting part because I can start creating a space, and get into the details!

In one of the first posts I wrote, I disclosed my interesting wedding colors including a slight hint of zebra print! I have never found any zebra incorporated in a wedding until I saw that top photo on Style Me Pretty. The zebra fabric as part of the centerpiece is one of the things I was planning on doing. My centerpiece will be a lot different than that, but doesn't it look awesome with just a touch of zebra on the table??

As far as the favors, this is another thing I have always wanted to do-pie! In a nutshell, my grandma made some incredible apple pie. Every family get-together would include this apple pie of hers and it was always a family favorite (and every time it was highly requested.) Before she passed away I went over to her house and she taught me her techniques of the recipe and her little additions. I then sort of became the "pie person" at that point. I think it would be very cool if I made little pies as the favor for each guests in honor of my grandma :) (The downside-I am making all the pies! eeks) I would tie it with some baker's twine and a little personalized tag! Ador.

I want to do something really simple with the centerpieces, and those white flowers seem like a good idea! They have taken over as my favorite flower. But ranunculus is still pretty high on my list!

The first draft of the centerpieces are almost finalized. I am going to create a mock-up and then I will post those! How about you guys?? Any little details you are so excited about??

Meadowood Napa Wedding

These pink hydrangeas with green accents are gorgeous!

Adorable place cards and props such as umbrellas make a unique staple!

This croquet-playing couple of San Francisco tied the knot at beautiful spot in Napa, California. When a couple takes a love they both share, such as croquet, and incorporates it into their wedding the personalization effect itself makes the wedding that much more unique and more fun!

I quite love this photography style and brings up a point to think about for your wedding day. What type of photographs do want to remember your big day? One Love Photography is a major love of mine. The detailed shot and artistic eye of One Love is phenomenal.

Venue: Meadowood Napa Coordinated By: Jessica Follett at "A Beautiful Affair Events"