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All About Wedding Flowers (and their post-wedding life)

If you have already begun planning your wedding, you have probably realized that if you put the word "wedding" in front of any service or item, it becomes much more expensive. One such item are your wedding flowers - there are the boutonnières for the men; bouquets for the women; corsages for the mothers and grandmothers; centerpieces for the reception tables; petals for the flower girls; the list goes on and on. However, 1) you only really need the flowers that you want. Don't feel compelled to get all of the same floral items as the last wedding you went to - get the arrangements you want (as complex or as simple as you would like). 2) Do some research to figure out which flowers are more expensive - there can be other flowers that are less pricey and sometimes even more vibrant in color. And when your wedding day is all over, if the flowers are left at venues, sometimes the venues put them out, but other times, they are thrown away. To avoid wasting them, you can give your flowers a very special second life - you can ask guests to take centerpieces with them if they are local, or you can donate them. I recently brought some wedding centerpieces to a senior living facility that focuses on working with memory impaired individuals, a cause that is close to my heart since my grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease in her early 50s. As I was bringing them into the lobby, one of the residents in a wheelchair came over and motioned to smell an arrangement; I bent down and when she got a whiff of the soft floral scent, her whole face broke out into a smile. These flowers had already seen joy on my bride's beautiful wedding day, and now they were continuing to spread the positivity and love. Many times, the venue has coordinated with charities and hospitals that will come and pick up the flowers so that you don't have to handle the transport yourself. Just ask your venue coordinator or wedding planner about how you can give your wedding flowers a second life!

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