Part 3: The flowers
I’ve always felt uncomfortable about the number of flowers on sale that have been air freighted in from foreign countries, grown in large fields using pesticides, with no respect for the local people or ecosystem. And I’m not alone: just as consumers are increasingly starting to understand that food should be eaten seasonally, more people are also beginning to see flowers as a seasonal resource.
And the irony is, while many people insist on having fresh roses six months out of season, the flowers that are around during the month of your wedding are almost certainly going to look better, and fit in with the weather and atmosphere more. Once you’ve worked out which flowers, berries and greenery will be around on your wedding day, it’s just a case of sourcing flowers that are grown locally without the use of chemicals.
Luckily for us, once we’d got the venue organised, the flowers pretty much organised themselves. I was actually quite ambivalent about flowers (along with everything else it seems!) because I hate the fact that they are only used for a day. Plus, the garden at Penrhos is full of flowers in the summer, so extra displays seemed like overkill. However, because I don’t live locally and so didn’t quite feel up to organising pots of live floral displays, and because I realised that the interiors would look a little sad without flowers, I decided to embrace the idea of getting in a florist.
Since Daphne goes to such great lengths to make Penrhos an eco-friendly and organic wedding venue, she also recommends a florist who will grow your flowers to order (so long as you give her enough notice!). Caroline Ede is an artist who has branched out into the world of floristry, creating traditional floral displays, as well as more unusual bespoke designs and displays that are more natural and informal. She grows the flowers in her own garden, and also has a number of local suppliers who will provide her with any extra plants she needs. And if you’re very lucky, she may have enough home-made beeswax candles for you to use.
Caroline knows Penrhos well, so it made sense to use her. She’s also happy to create displays that you can move from room to room, so no flowers are needlessly wasted on the day.
If you’d like to find an organic florist who’s near to your local area, check out Green Union for a helpful list. Alternatively, why not speak to your local florist and ask if they can put together eco-friendly displays for you (though you will need to be clear about what exactly you want if they are unused to dealing with such orders).
Katie Lee is co-founder and editorial director of Shiny Media. She’s getting married in the summer after 12 years of being happily unmarried. She would love to hear from you if you have any ideas for green weddings. Send her your tips (shinykatie[at]gmail.com) or leave a comment below this column!