Flowers and weddings go hand-in-hand, from bouquets and boutonnieres to centerpieces and cake decorations. But all those blooms can really add up, and the thought of throwing them away when the party is over can be pretty heartbreaking. Instead of putting those flowers in the trash, can your wedding guests take them home as a sweetly-scented souvenir? Our experts weigh in.
Finding something to do with your flowers at the end of the night is a great idea, whether it's donating them to a local senior center or sending them home with your guests. There are, however, a few things you need to keep in mind.
The first is your vases. Chances are you've rented these from your florist, which means unless you want to pay retail price for each and every vessel, you should make sure your guests take the flowers and nothing else. A lot of larger vessels are actually holding flowers tucked into floral foam and sitting in plastic dishes, so that makes removing the flowers easier while allowing guests to leave the vases behind. For smaller centerpieces that are simply arranged in water, consider stocking up on cheap glass or plastic vases, then transferring the flowers out of your florist's vases and into the ones you've purchased so guests can take them home. A dozen $3-$5 glass vases will be much less expensive than the artistic or special-ordered versions your florist is renting to you (which could run $20 a pop or more).
The second is how guests will transport the flowers home. Sure, they could simply tuck the flowers between their feet in the car, but having cardboard boxes and paper towels or newspaper will make it a little easier. Place the vase in the box, surround it with crumpled up paper for cushion, and the flowers will be much more secure in transport.
And of course, you have to get the word out! As the lights come on at the end of the night, ask your planner or catering manager to let guests know that the flowers are available to take home. Make sure they're equipped with extra vases, and ask them to keep an eye on the ones you've rented from your florist to make sure none of his or her vessels walk out the door!