For the eco-conscious bride trying to minimize the carbon footprint her wedding may incur, the neighborhood farmers market makes for a perfect source for locally grown flowers for both the DIY bride as well as the bride who hires a florist. At the Wednesday Santa Monica farmer’s market, I have recently seen a wide variety of spring time cut flowers perfect for weddings including many bridal favorites: ranunculus, calla lilies, sweet peas, lilacs, freesia, anemones, lilies, sunflowers and even cut cymbidium orchids! But what do you do if your wedding is held during a time when your farmers market has minimal bridal flowers?
One suggestion is to look for what is currently in bloom and feature this type of flower at the wedding. Late winter and early spring may have only a small variety of cut flowers available, but what you may find are buckets and buckets of flowering branches like forsythia and cherry blossom.
Use this boon to your advantage and use tall branchy arrangements for the ceremony and reception. In the heat of the summer you may not find delicate springtime blossoms such as ranunculus, anemones, and sweet peas, but you will find vibrantly colored sunflowers, delphinium, and dahlia. These flowers have a wonderful rustic quality perfect for an outdoor wedding at a vineyard, farm, or garden.
Another idea is to use plants. Many times there are plants available for sale at the farmers market and these can be used as reception table centerpieces that can later serve as gifts for guests to take home. Flowering garden plants that may be available include hydrangea, pansies, azaleas, and even fragrant lavender. Groupings of different types of potted herbs in rustic galvanized containers or terra cotta pots can also serve as fresh and green centerpieces and gifts.
The other advantage of sourcing flowers from the farmers market is the availability and plentitude of colorful fruits and vegetables that can be incorporated into floral arrangements or even used exclusively instead of flowers. Tall, clear glass vases filled entirely of citrus such as lemons, limes, or oranges create a modern, bright, and festive look. These citrus fruits can remain whole and immersed in water or sliced to line the sides of a glass container. Green apples create a modern look for a spring or summertime wedding whereas red apples and golden pears are perfect for a harvest fall wedding.
Mini deep purple artichokes pair beautifully with light green and white and are fantastic for wedding color schemes featuring chocolate brown. You can use regular artichokes, fat asparagus, squashes, strawberries, heirloom potatoes and tomatoes for their interesting coloring and textures, and even
bunches of grapes cascading over the lip of a container.
For the DIY bride, farmer’s market flowers are extremely affordable – comparable to, if not sometimes cheaper, than flowers found at the wholesale market. Leafy herbs can be purchased for only $1 per bunch, and these bunches are usually pretty large. I love to incorporate dill, parsley, mint, and basil to wildflower and garden-style arrangements. Not only do they create beautiful textures but also make everything smell fabulously delicious!