Photo: Jose Villa Photography
Want to inject a breath of fresh air into your wedding? Then swap the freshly picked flowers for potted plants that, like your marriage, are destined to last a lifetime (well, you know, that is if taken care of properly)! The growing greenery trend has caught the attention of eco-friendly couples, modern minimalists and bohemian brides alike. From teeny tiny succulents used as reception place cards to towering trees that beautifully break up a ceremony space, here's how to put down some roots and channel the potted plant trend at your own wedding.
Line your ceremony aisle.
Instead of candles or flowers, wedding and event planners Natasha Burton and Jennifer Arreguin, co-founders of Swoon California, suggest lining your ceremony aisle with low trees or potted plants of your preference. Dramatic planters placed at the beginning of the aisle are always a good call too. "Urns are great vessels for live trees and plants that can decorate an aisle or even create an organic background for the ceremony altar," adds event planner Kristine Cholakian Cooke, owner of Simply Charming Socials.
Use them to break up a space or hide unsightly features.
Believe it or not, trees work great to help shape an event space and create pretty borders and barriers for your venue, particularly if there are columns or any other unpleasant features you'd like to hide or distract attention from, point out Burton and Arreguin. Larger potted plants can also be used in lieu of pipe and drape for screening purposes, says wedding planner Leah Weinberg, owner of Color Pop Events.
Bring the outdoors in.
If a bride is looking for a more botanical look but the venue doesn't accomplish this due to location or season, potted plants can work really well to bring the outdoors in, notes Cooke. "For example, live trees add a grand and lively touch to any reception area. Potted citrus trees or olive trees are a favorite for their true green leaves, fantastic aroma and narrow trunks, plus they add height and interest in the corners of the room or in a lounge."
Use them as place cards and favors.
Why not go ahead and kill two birds with one stone (or uh, plant)! According to Cooke, small potted plants make the perfect place cards for seating that can then double as favors for guests to take home and enjoy. "Succulents and fresh herbs are always a popular choice." For a fun pop of color, consider itsy bitsy bright cacti.
Decorate your dinner tables.
Feel free to go big or small with this idea! For a more simple, chic yet utterly romantic vibe, Burton and Arreguin recommend succulents of all different types (think spiky ones, ones that droop over the pot, etc.) nestled in with tea lights and lanterns. Potted hydrangeas, pretty azaleas and kalanchoes, which all come in striking colors of corals, pinks and whites, look stunning on tables, too as long as they're low enough to avoid obstructing the view across the table, tells Lucy Diaz-Flores, Creative Director of Bella Flora in Dallas. For the more daring bride that wants to make a big statement, Cooke says to try potted trees as centerpieces on long estate tables. "Be sure to trim the lower branches so that guests can see each other during dinner though," she warns.
Create a focal point.
Want to dress up the entrance to your reception space or give guests a pretty welcome into the church? Potted plants make for a beautiful grand focal area, according to Diaz-Flores. "Use a mixture of both blooming and greenery plants, such as large overflowing ferns, a variety of potted hydrangeas, pretty English ivy or other trailing foliages for a nice cascade feel," she says. "For focal areas in the ballroom, place combinations of potted plants in mass on pedestals or tables." Smaller potted plants also look great on food stations and bars.
Not sure where to get your potted plants? Here's how to decide whether to buy or rent.
If you have space to plant the plants after use or are giving them away as favors, then definitely purchase them from your local gardening center, advises Holly Chapple of Holly Heider Chapple Flowers LTD. However, if you don't really have "green fingers" or a space to plant, then she suggests renting. Some florists offer this option, she says, so call around to find the right fit.