When it comes to creating a wedding, it’s important to put a personal stamp on every aspect. After all, when your friends and family gather to celebrate, everything from the napkin holders to the embroidery on your wedding gown will remind them exactly who they’re celebrating. It’s not enough to merely pick wedding rings that fit your fingers–you probably scoured jewelry shops to find the right metals, shapes, and engravings that felt exactly right. So, when each detail counts, what better way to personalize your bridal bouquet than to grow it yourself?
Weigh the Pros and Cons
Since growing your own bridal bouquet isn’t something you can do on a whim, it’s important to decide ahead of time whether you’re really up for the challenge. If you enjoy gardening and generally have a green thumb, growing a bouquet for your wedding won’t be a big challenge. After all, it’s the flowers themselves that do most of the work; all you have to do is plant them at the right time.
A home-grown bouquet is much cheaper than a store-bought bouquet, so you’ll automatically save money. You’ll also know exactly where your flowers came from and what chemicals were used to grow them–a must for any couple who doesn’t want to accidentally support unethical treatment of migrant workers or irresponsible pesticide use. And, perhaps most importantly of all, you’ll have a bouquet that’s completely personalized.
On the other hand, growing your own bouquet comes with the risk that, for whatever reason, the flowers don’t turn out the way you want. Then you’ll have to scrap them and buy a bouquet from a florist anyway. In the end, it’s up to you; is it worth it to plant a few seeds in the ground and see what happens?
The amount of time it takes a plant to flower depends greatly on the type of plant, so do your research carefully before setting your heart on a specific bloom. If you have the luxury of a year or two before your wedding date rolls around, you can plant perennial flowers (like lilies and peonies) with plenty of time for them to get started flowering. If you’re a little shorter on time, look for annual flowers (like sunflowers), which grow and blossom over the course of one season.
If you have your heart set on a flower that takes a long time to mature, it’s not cheating to buy an adult plant from the local nursery. You can snip the flowers and keep the plants for later enjoyment.
Since different plants flower at different times of the year, your choice of blossoms is limited by the time of year your wedding will be held. (Florists can source a much wider range of flowers by shipping them in from climates around the world.) However, this limitation isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because it encourages creativity. The first flowers that spring to mind tend to be the same ones that get used in every wedding. In the course of your research, you may discover a rare flower that hasn’t been overused–and one you like even better than the typical choices.
Call your local nursery and speak with a representative about what plants will be flowering on your wedding date. Local gardeners will be able to take your climate into account as well as the types and colors of flowers you like best.
Grow a Variety
Since it doesn’t cost much to stick a few seeds into dirt, you might as well go for the gold (and pink, and blue, and purple…). The more flowers you plant, the more insurance you’ll have just in case one type of flower doesn’t make it.
There are more reasons than insurance to plant a variety of flowers. Many beautiful bouquets use large flowers as centerpieces and smaller flowers to accent them. Plant small flowers like daises or chamomile, which grow in patches and can be easily gathered to fill out your bouquet.
Don’t forget greenery! Some of the best bouquet accents aren’t even flowers. Consider planting ferns, ivy, and even herbs like mint (which will make your bouquet smell wonderful). Since many green plants are heartier than fragile flowers, planting plants with attractive leaves is also a great way to gather “understudies” in case some of the star flowers don’t make it to the show.
Unlike buying cut flowers from a store, which wilt and eventually get thrown away, when you grow your own flowers you get to keep the plants they came from. That means your windowsill or garden will be an endlessly-recurring source of beauty. If you take good care of your plants, you will still be cutting blooms to use when it’s time to decorate your many anniversaries.
Lisa is a special needs teacher and a hugger. She always makes time for everyone and lightens up everybody’s lives with her presence. When she is not chasing her students around the yard, she finds time to write about what she truly loves, and you guessed it, its people and relationships.