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The surprising impact of your wedding day flowers

How is it possible that your wedding day flowers could cause any harm to the environment or to the communities in which they grow? How can something so lovely, so much a part of our lives and celebrations, not be anything other than, well, just beautiful?

The truth is that the beauty and ‘naturalness’ of flowers means that for years and years we have been ignoring a tale that isn’t very palatable. It’s a tale of a mega world-wide industry, a tale of rampant capitalism, a tale of profit over people and profit over planet. And it’s a hard tale to tell without appearing to be a wedding day killjoy.

A bit like the tale of us expecting to be able to buy strawberries year round  (when they only truly grow in a brief window of our summer loveliness), is similar to the tale of flowers. We expect to be able to have flowers, year round, whether they are in season, or not. We expect roses on our wedding day in February, despite the rose bushes growing around us being completely bare. And we expect to be able to replicate the Pinterest-perfect weddings, without ever really considering how those beautiful flowers could do any damage to anything or anyone.

And it’s absolutely fine to expect those things, because the great majority of us don’t know there’s a problem with them.

The (mainly) hidden problem of our global floriculture industry has been rearing its head for a while now. The tales of fossil fueled greenhouses, long, cold transport chains, air miles and pesticide use is only known mainly by those who have felt compelled to do some finding out. 

The poor and precarious work conditions for those who work in far flung overseas farms, the irresponsible use of water in countries suffering from droughts, the endless amounts of packaging, mostly plastic, used during transportation is only known mainly to the ones who feel compelled to do something about it.

And the doing something about it, makes a wedding florist’s life much more difficult, more complicated, and sometimes it feels like those of us taking action are the bad guys, for pointing out the awfulness of the cut flower industry that we have seen for ourselves or read about or studied.

So here’s the thing…you can do something really simple to make the credentials of your wedding day flowers much more sustainable.

Simply by choosing a wedding day florist that is passionate about the environment, about workers rights, about seasonality and about sustainable supply chains can ensure you have flowers to be really excited about on your special day.

At Bude Botanical we have spent the last two years working out how we provide the most amazing flowers for our couples’ special days, without them being an environmental, or a social disaster, especially in parts of the world that could really do without more problems.

We have done things like

  • Undertaken carbon literacy training, so that we are fully aware of the environmental crisis that we face and are able to speak with scientific certainty about how we might tackle the crisis.
  • Completed training with sustainable leaders such as the Sustainable Floristry Network, who provide an in depth training programme for florists looking to make better choices for their clients.
  • We have joined networks such as the Sustainable Wedding Alliance, which supports and recognises the UK’s most innovative, responsible  wedding businesses. With them we have completed an in depth sustainable business course and hope to soon achieve our accreditation with the Alliance
  • We were recently been recognised in the Sustainable Wedding Alliance annual awards, which celebrates the exceptional efforts of wedding professionals who are committed to reducing their environmental impact and promoting sustainable practices within the industry
  • We have established working relationships with growers in Devon and Cornwall, and across the UK, who are able to support and grow for the vast majority of our weddings each year
  • We have committed to encouraging all of our clients to make sustainable choices with their wedding day flowers and we are delighted that all of you are coming on this journey with us. Thank you 🙂

In addition

  • We prioritise using outdoor grown British flowers for our weddings. Switching from imported flowers to seasonal, field grown British flowers can reduce carbon emissions of your wedding day flowers by an extraordinary 90%. 
  • We have undertaken training to be able to make the best choices for people and the planet when it comes to importing flowers when we need to. Certified flowers from Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance, MPS and Floriverde accredited farms are the only imported flowers we will work with for your wedding day.
  • We have also made a commitment to our customers by producing our very own Sustainability Policy, which you can read on our website.

And here is what one if our 2023 couples said about their 100% locally grown wedding day flowers

“I can’t tell you how much I adored the flowers Rach, they were literally perfect – everything I had imagined and more. I always knew I wanted flowers to be a big part of our day but to work with someone who is so passionate, knowledgeable and creative with their craft was an absolute joy! Thank you for creating the wild meadow aesthetic across every aspect which worked so beautifully. I am so happy that you were such an important part of the day and that we got to enjoy the very best of locally grown, Cornish (and Devon!) flowers and foliage. Countless guests commented on how incredible the flowers were and it was a delight to reply, ‘I KNOW!!’ “

Sophie & Sam, married at Crackington Haven, Cornwall in May 2023.

If you’d like to know more about having sustainable flowers for your wedding, then do please get in touch.