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"5 Sustainable Ideas for Your Highland Wedding Flowers"

Updated: Feb 2

I hope January has been kind and that February is full of promise and your plans.

Our Highland weather has been wild this January. A 13" carpet of snow followed by 90 mile an hour winds. We have had a direct link to our weather and the impact of our sustainable practices and energy use at the start of 2024. It made me think more about the impact of the flowers that I grow and how I can help you to reduce the impact of the carbon footprint of your wedding.

‘Did you know that the average carbon footprint of a wedding in the UK is more that the average annual household footprint?’ (Sustainable Wedding Alliance)

There are so many considerations for reducing the impact of your wedding on the environment. We are all continually encouraged to take a moment to reflect on our contribution to global warming, and this is as important as ever when planning your wedding. I have made a commitment to organic growing practices, and this commitment allows you to choose to reduce the overall carbon footprint of your wedding. I have noticed a rise in the bee population among my flower beds. This is no accident. The flowers I grow are often naturally perfumed, and allowed to grow in a natural habitat that is kind to our wildlife before they grace your wedding ceremony.

I am Libby Nairn from Hands Full of Flowers. I am a Highland wedding florist and flower grower. I am passionate about using flowers grown with care for our planet at their heart. I love to use the flowers and foliage that I have grown in the flower designs that I create. The flowers I grow have been nurtured in their natural season and will bring an elegant bespoke garden style to your wedding.

‘An imported mixed bouquet produces 10x greater than a British-grown mixed bouquet.’(flowers From the Farm)

Clearly, flowers that are grown in the UK immediately have a significantly reduced carbon footprint. Your supplier or florist should be able to explain the provenance of your flowers, and we should have the courage to ask. If the answer is not clear, you can be fairly certain that the flowers have not been grown sustainably or ethically, or even grown in the UK. Ethical growing practices care for our native wildlife. These practices also mean that no one’s hard work has been exploited in the production of the flowers that I will source for your wedding.

Flowers that are allowed to grow in a natural chemical and pesticide free environment often have their own wayward journey to reach for the light. This means they may have a gentle curve which brings an architectural natural grace to a design. Sometimes I will create an entire design around one stem that has its own natural twist and curve. This way of working with the beauty of an individual stem leads to floral designs for your event that will be unique and bespoke. Rather than fixed or generic ‘recipes’, this style allows me to work with complete creative freedom to meet your brief.

All of my designs are presented to you in recyclable, compostable or reusable packaging. Floral foam, a single use plastic that breaks down into micro plastics alarmingly fast, is never ever used in any of our floral designs.

The flowers that I grow are picked to order, further reducing possible waste in unsold stems, and they travel just a few metres from their growing beds to the coolness of my studio, where they will rest in cool water overnight before I use them.

I have listed a few things you might wish to consider that will help you reduce the carbon footprint of your wedding.

1.Thoughtfully choose your florist.

Search for a florist whose environmental values align with yours for the flowers you choose for your wedding day. It is important to me that the flowers you are holding on your special day are as natural as they can be. Flowers that will leave no residue of chemicals on your skin.

Use your florist’s expert knowledge of the growing year to help you choose flowers that are in their natural season. Take steps to ensure that they are transparent about how they work and where the flowers that they work with have been sourced.


Be knowledgeable about ‘greenwashing’. Ensure that as part of their approach to sustainability, your florist is clear on the chemicals and residues that may remain in the flowers that you will be holding. Seek out their policy towards the use of floral foam for your wedding flowers. At Hands Full of Flowers, floral foam is never used. Instead we will design your flowers into reusable containers where the stems will be in water, fully hydrated, throughout the hottest of days. I avoid wire and floral tape as much as possible in creating floral accessories such as buttonholes and flowers for your hair, unless the pins and combs can be re-used.

3. Enjoy your flowers all through your wedding day

Plan for as many of the flower arrangements from your ceremony to be reused at your reception venue. Investment designs that have a ‘wow’ factor can be moved from your ceremony to the reception venue where you and your guests can enjoy them for longer. For example, large statement urns can be moved from the ceremony and placed to mark an entrance or feature behind the top table at your reception venue. Investing in a striking and unique statement design has more impact than lots of smaller arrangements that can recede into the surroundings.

Aisle or window boxes from your wedding ceremony can double as top table decorations or floor standing arrangements at the table ends. Bridal party bouquets can be placed in vases for further table centres or gift table decorations where they can be enjoyed by all of your guests and will remain fresh and hydrated throughout the day.

4. 'Thank you' flowers

Plan to gift some of your flowers to your guests as a ‘Thank you’. Arrange for some lengths of twine to be available, and invite guests to make up a posy to take home at the end of the evening.

5. At the end of the celebrations

Composting any remaining flower and foliage stems is an important part of the planning. As the flowers that I use in my design are grown in a chemical free environment, they are safe to add to the compost.

Find more details about my 2024 Wedding Packages in Hands Full of Flowers Wedding Brochure

Get in touch and we can start planning your wedding flowers

Some further links for interesting reading on reducing the impact of the carbon footprint of your wedding




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