The wedding industry provides a huge financial opportunity to florists, so how can your business attract potential couples to use your floral services? To tailor marketing to modern couples, a florist must consider who the modern engaged couple is. A large percentage of current engaged couples in search of a florist are young millennials conscious about environmental impact. This is only made more evident by the fact that the use of the search terms “Green Weddings” and “Eco Friendly Weddings” have skyrocketed in the past five years. Green, eco-friendly weddings aim to reduce the environmental impacts of all aspects of the wedding, from invitations, to food, to flowers. To attract the modern wedding consumer to your business, learn how to offer a green flower option to fit in with current wedding trends.
The largest environmental impacts of cut flowers are associated with energy expenditure used for transport and refrigeration of the flowers. Flowers from local growers naturally must be shipped a smaller distance, reducing the associated carbon footprint. The best blooms to offer to your eco-conscious couple are locally sourced blooms that are native to the region and in season during the time of the wedding. Native, in season blooms lower the carbon footprint by decreasing energy used to heat, cool, or water the flowers to mimic their natural growing climate or season. The informed, green couple will inquire about seasonal blooms and flower sourcing before choosing a florist. Additionally, flowers should be sourced from a grower that eliminates or reduces the use of pesticides which both harm the environment and guests who will touch the wedding flowers.
Aside from the flowers themselves, centerpieces compose a significant portion of the environmental impact of the use of flowers for a wedding. Some florists will sell the vase or other medium used for the centerpieces, however, renting vases and recycling them for future weddings is a simple green initiative that reduces waste. Even if you implement a rental recycling program, choose glass or another degradable or recyclable material such as wood in the instance that a centerpiece holder breaks after time and must be disposed of. Aside from the centerpiece medium itself, do not use floral foam in arrangements, which is not degradable and can be substituted for materials such as pebbles or chicken wire.
Potted plants can be taken home and replanted, meaning they have a naturally lower carbon footprint than limited use cut flowers which will die after a few days. Many modern couples are reducing the impact of their wedding by supplementing some or all of their flowers with potted plants. For the eco-conscious couple who desires a mix of cut flower arrangements and potted flowers, offering potted plants can be a big selling point. These flowers can be rented and recycled or sold to the couple for replanting or as wedding favors. Another green wedding favor a florist or floral farm could provide to attract the business of an engaged couple is small packets of seeds for replanting.
Dried Flowers or Petals
Composting may seem like one way to reduce floral waste, however, drying excess flower product for later use can both cut down on waste and provide a consumer product. Dried flowers are a current trend for wedding bouquets and arrangements, especially in the fall and winter months. Dried petals are also becoming popular for use in centerpieces, wedding favors, decorations, and as a substitute for rice often tossed at the end of the service.
Supplement Bouquets and Arrangements
Flowers have a high environmental impact, however, there are many natural elements that can be added to a bouquet or arrangement that can both add beauty and reduce environmental impact by decreasing the total number of flowers per arrangement. Branches, whether flowering cherry blossom branches or dried birch branches, can add beauty, volume and drama while reducing flower usage. Other possible natural elements include mosses, lichens, pinecones, berries and mushrooms. To maintain a low carbon footprint, these elements should be locally sourced in addition to the flowers.
Cut flowers can inherently only be used once, right? Wrong! One of the best ways to reduce the environmental impact of your flowers is to repurpose them. Offer to use the same flowers for two weddings in the same weekend at a discount to both couples. This not only reduces the number of flowers that will be used by half but decreases the amount of work for the florist. Though wedding arrangements are tailored to the theme of the wedding, the eco-conscious modern couple will consider sacrificing the perfect flower arrangement for one that comes with significantly reduced environmental cost. Even if a weekend only has one wedding, donate the arrangements to hospitals or elderly homes or even compost the flowers for use as fertilizer.