Skip to main content

Think local for eco-friendly and beautiful wedding flowers

wedding bouquet using local blooms

Flowers are a wonderful way to make any wedding day special.  There are many ways to choose beautiful and sustainably grown and arranged flowers. 

Choose a local source for your blooms.

Flowers that are locally grown have a much smaller carbon footprint than flowers flown thousands of miles in refrigerated containers.  By choosing locally grown flowers for your wedding décor, you are getting fresh, high-quality blooms and can be a cost-effective option. 

Instead of choosing specific flowers, a floral designer can work within your color palette and feel you are looking for with your area's seasonal blooms. According to University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener State Specialist and florist, Candice Hart, florists are creating eco-friendly arrangements by using less floral foam or by using compostable or recyclable materials such as floral netting for structure.

Using vases or containers with a special meaning is another way of reusing items to create stunning wedding décor. Other decorative items such as brooches, jewelry, or ribbons with sentimental meaning can be placed in bouquets or arrangements to add sparkle or color. 

Blooms have more than one use.

Another way to create eco-friendly and beautiful wedding flowers is to use pieces more than once.

For example, bouquets can be used as centerpieces at the reception. Another option is to work with your florist to see if some arrangements can be shared between other nearby events that happen within a couple of days of your special day.

Potted plants such as succulents, tropical houseplants, or herbs can be a beautiful addition to table runners or can create a lovely backdrop for pictures. These live plants can be taken as wedding favors or planted in the garden. 

Many brides choose to add dried flowers to their wedding flowers for long-lasting beauty and textural elements. Queen Anne's Lace, Lepidium, and bleached and preserved foliage are all dried elements that can add interest to a bouquet.  

Once the festivities are done, sending bouquets to assisted living facilities, hospitals, or places of worship lets your special flowers brighten the day for others.

If you are planning a wedding in the future, remember you can choose flowers that are beautiful, meaningful, and sustainably grown. Flowers are available in all types and price ranges. A professional florist will help make your day extra special – with flowers!



Nicole Flowers-Kimmerle is a Agriculture and Natural Resources (Horticulture) Educator for Fulton, Mason, Peoria and Tazewell counties.  She completed a bachelors of science degree in crop science at the University of Illinois, and a master’s of science degree in agronomy with an emphasis in weed science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  She has also worked at Montana State University as a research associate where she worked on weed control in sugar beets and barley.  She taught high school chemistry and other science classes where she was able to teach students in both the school garden and greenhouse.  She works with both the Extension Master Gardeners and Extension Master Naturalists.


ILRiverHort is a blog that helps people connect to nature and grow.


Photo and bouquet by Candice Hart, Illinois Extension State Master Gardener Specialist