Green Wedding Guide: Flowers

Tips on Choosing Flowers Sustainably

Shop seasonally and save!  Flowers that bloom naturally during the month of your wedding require less resource-heavy maintenance and, as a bonus, are less expensive! So choose your flowers based on seasonality and even better, opt for locally-grown locally grown flowers instead of ones from Latin America. As with food, this means a shorter distance to transport and less fuel for shipping/cooling!

If local isn't an option, request that your florist use Veriflora, Rainforest Alliance, organic and fair trade certified flowers, like Fab Flora does.

Skip the floral foam! Floral foam is mostly plastic, is non-biodegradable, and contains toxic chemicals like formaldehyde! Ask your florist about alternatives.

Vintage is beautiful. Vintage, mismatched vases make for vibrant vessels and save waste. Some florists even have their own collection. You can also source them from second-hand shops or shop at our annual Great Wedding Recyclery.

Give the arrangements a second life. If you opt for cut flowers, donate them to a local hospital or retirement home. Be sure to make arrangements for that before your wedding - Flowers by Stem can make such arrangements for you.




Alternatives to cut-flowers, such as potted plants and herbs or planted succulents which come in an endless variety of shapes, are a low-impact way to decorate your wedding or event. Plus, you can still support a small, local business by ordering from your local greenhouse.

And to make them waste-free, at the end of the night invite guests who’ve been married/together the longest to take home a potted plant from their table. It can be a sweet way to honor their commitment and also ensure that all the plants will be taken home at the end of the night.

Larkspur, since 2008, have been growing heirloom flowers in southwest Michigan just 90 miles from Chicago using sustainable methods, such as corn-based plastic mulch film. They raise up to 50 colorful heirloom varieties for their designs between May and September. Visit Larkspur's website to learn more about their efforts.

Questions to Ask Your Florist:

  • Do you compost the scraps?
  • Do you use floral foam?
  • Can you source flowers locally?
  • Do you use styrofoam to transport?
  • Do you have vintage vases to rent?
  • Can you coordinate a floral donation post-event?