Event Planning Tips

Cutting Out Cut Flowers: Eco-Friendly Event Decor Ideas

We can all agree that fresh-cut flowers are absolutely beautiful. Unfortunately, we also know that fresh flowers aren’t always sustainable. And with the rise of eco-friendly event trends, buying expensive, imported fresh flowers might be a big no for some clients. Thankfully, event coordinator training will prepare you for all types of trends and event planning hurdles!

Want to find out more about how to avoid cut flowers at your next event? Keep reading!

Eco-friendly ways to decorate the venue with plants

hanging potted plants at an event to create high low event decor

What’s the easiest way to decorate an event with flowers without killing them? Find a venue with flower beds! You can also go to a location with more greenery like a wooded area, a field, or a lush backyard. Outdoor venues host bright blooms, livening up your event and the ones long after. Your event planning clients won’t need to worry about disposing the flowers after the event. Keep in mind that flowers are seasonal—even if you’re planning a destination wedding, some flowers will only bloom one month a year!

Another great option for bringing flowers into your venue is decorate with potted plants. Just picture some cute succulents and blooming cacti adorning a dessert table or a bar cart. And if you want to add dimension and height to your decor, opt for hanging baskets. Pairing hanging baskets with other low pots ensures your space doesn’t feel under-decorated. There’s nothing worse than the fantasy of an event stopping at waist-height. Just be careful not to block guests’ line of sight or have baskets hanging in the way. No one wants to spend their evening with a sore head and an outfit covered in dirt!

DIY floral background structure

As an event coordinator, you’re expected to keep up with the latest trends on Instagram and Pinterest. And if you have been, you’ve probably seen those enormous floral walls popular in luxury event planning. While they are stunning additions to any event, they’re also extremely expensive and wasteful with all those fresh-cut blooms. Instead, DIY your own potted plant flower structure! Get a shelf or ladder and place potted plants on the shelves/rungs. Potted ivy or other plants will hang down the side and create a flower wall effect. It can be a beautiful backdrop for photos, the ceremony, or another focal elements like the head table.

event coordinator training decorating event with potted plants

Decorate the aisle

If you’re planning a wedding, flowers often decorate the aisle. Potted plants or small trees are a great way to kick cut flowers out of a ceremony. Propping up smaller plants on pedestals or ladders can add height to small plants. They can also be used to hide unsightly elements down the aisle.

Consider purchasing a wire frame to sit at the head of the aisle. Then, use string lights, curtains, and potted plants to create a beautiful, living focal point. This can act as a floral arch that’ll be the center of your floral design. You won’t need to decorate every row, and everyone’s eyes will be drawn to the front—where the happy couple is standing!

Centerpieces, escort “cards”, and wedding favors

We’ve been going on and on about using potted plants in your event decor. But this time, we’re suggesting multi-functional potted plants!

Potted centerpieces can double as wedding favors, and small potted favors can also double as placeholders. All the beautiful plants you buy for event decor won’t go to waste!

wedding favors - succulents are eco-friendly option for green wedding planning and event coordinator

Creating a beautiful centerpiece with potted plants is not too different than doing it with cut flowers. Choose a vase that is slightly larger than the pot to match the color and theme of the evening. You don’t have to choose a traditional vase. Consider metal buckets, rustic boxes, or gluing rope around the outside of the pot. It all depends on your theme! If your event has fewer centerpieces than guests, you can hold a draw or create a game where the winner gets to take home the beautiful floral centerpieces!

If you want something else as your main centerpiece (or you want to add even more floral elements into the mix), purchase tiny potted plants to use as escort cards. Have a small tag with each guest’s name and table number in each plant so they can take them to their seat at the table. Then, they can bring them home as party favors!

Bridal bouquet alternatives

We’re not about to suggest that your bride walk down the aisle holding a 15-pound dirty flower pot that’s going to ruin her dress and tie up her hands. But, there are options to get around having cut flowers as a hand-piece. People have become extremely creative with their bouquets over the years. From artichokes and oranges to buttons and feathers, there are so many different things that your bride can hold as she walks down the aisle. People have even held puppies instead of flowers! Find out about her personal taste and try to choose something that fits her personality and the theme.

bridal bouquet made of fresh fruit

Although potted plants might not be as easy to buy in winter months, they certainly are a great substitute for cut flowers. And if you want to move even further from the cut flower, get creative! Getting rid of what has been considered a key element of events, specifically weddings, is the perfect time to let your imagination run wild. So, remember to consider the offbeat and cut out those cut flowers!

Want more ideas to become an eco-friendly event coordinator? Check out this guide to throwing a zero-waste wedding!

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