Advice on how to resuse, recycle and donate wedding flowers after the big day.
A lot of resources are required for a country wedding to run smoothly, and they have the potential to create a large amount of waste and pollution - including food waste, plastic packaging, confetti, single-use utensils, air miles and leftover wedding flowers.
There's nothing more beautiful than a decadent display of wedding flowers arranged carefully by a local florist. But the question many brides face after their big day is what to do with the wedding flowers once it's all over.
Whether you decide to donate them or use them in craft projects, there are plenty of ways you can reuse your wedding flowers. © Ivan Olianto - Getty ImagesWedding flowers on table
7 clever ways to reuse wedding flowers after the big day
"Be prepared! Reuse flowers from arrangements by transferring to jars and giving to friends and family. Or, if you're London-based, contact the voluntary organisation, Floral Angels and the team will recycle your event flowers and give to those in need in the community. Having worked with and donated to Floral Angels, I can really recommend getting them involved," Miranda Hackett, Devon-based florist, tells Country Living.
You can also...
. Collect the flowers from table centrepieces and make them into a beautiful wreath for your front door
© Ozgurcankaya - Getty ImagesAdvice on how to resuse, recycle and donate wedding flowers after the big day. Plus, tips on how to grow your own wedding flowers in advance.
. Create bunches to give to guests or staff helping out as they leave
. Dry out the flower heads to create sweet-smelling potpourri for your home
. Ask friends to deliver them to local hospitals, hospices or care home - just be sure to contact them first to ask if they would like them
. Use a clear epoxy resin to preserve them in decorative shapes
. Hang the flowers upside down to dry and preserve them - they'll look pretty decorated around your home
. Have some of the flowers pressed and preserved in a book. Here's how.
"I buy our flowers specifically for each event, so there is very limited waste. Any stem and leaf debris are composted; flower packaging from suppliers is separated and reused or recycled (where recyclable)," continues Miranda.
"I also source our flowers very carefully. I buy from local growers in Devon and Cornwall, as close to source as possible, to reduce transportation and therefore carbon impact. We use natural materials and wrappings when presenting and displaying flowers, and we focus on foam-free designs and use alternative mechanics to biodegradable floral foam."
Tips for growing your own wedding flowers
© Photo: Rachel Whiting|Styling: Alaina Binkspressed flowers
Another great sustainable way to approach wedding flowers is to grow your own. While it might seem like a mammoth task, it can be done - and will save you money on the big day, too.
Imported flowers have a higher carbon footprint than locally-grown flowers. Growing wedding flowers yourself - outside on a small scale - without commercial-scale poly tunnels, heating and irrigation systems can only be better for the environment.
- For your wedding, consider focusing on the foliage (e.g. pittosporum, herbs) and pretty annuals (e.g. scabious, nigella) and leave the dramatic focal blooms (peonies, garden roses) to the experts.
- Sew your annuals in two goes, some weeks apart, to give you a better chance of blooms on your required date.
- Always buy your seeds and plants from a reputable supplier.
Gallery: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Wedding Flowers Are So Romantic - and Full of Meaning (POPSUGAR)