Flowers have always been one of my favorite elements of weddings. They bring freshness and uniqueness, and there are endless ways to incorporate them into your design + décor. However, there is a slight sense of guilt knowing that these beauties get to shine for a day, and then their big debut is cut short as they get tossed to the wayside (sigh). Nothing is more painful than seeing an elegant tablescape ripped apart and discarded at the end of the night. Save the beauties I say! When I was planning my own wedding, I wanted to encapsulate and preserve the entire day for as long as I could. One way I thought I could accomplish this was to build living centerpieces that could be re-purposed and re-planted to be a constant reminder of the best day in my life.
My husband and I got married in beautiful, sacred Sedona, Arizona, and our main floral elements were cacti and succulents. They were not only native to the area, but they have always been my favorite variety of flora. Honestly, they have been the only plants that I have been able to keep alive—and get them to thrive! I knew I wanted a plethora of succulents and cacti to enhance the table décor and provide a prickly pop of green to an otherwise red-earthed palate. The thought of discarding those little gems was so heartbreaking that I decided to incorporate my plants into the centerpieces so they can live long after the last song concluded. In fact, as I am writing this post, I am staring at a budding succulent that was replanted after our wedding into a beautiful pot—serving as a reminder of our special day every day.
So how can you set out to accomplish this? First, mentally design your table. Think about what vessels you could use to plant your flowers. Will they be sustainable or will they need to be deconstructed at the end of the night? I’ve always had a love affair with cigar boxes, so I wanted to incorporate them into the centerpieces. I had a bounty of succulents and cacti that I planned on planting directly into the box. First stop, Home Depot for some soil and assorted sizes of clay pots. Second stop—our venue. As we were getting married outside, we had access to all the free red rocks and gravel a girl could dream of! Third, start the assembly line! I recruited some of my family to assist with assembling the cigar boxes with succulents, cacti, rocks, moss, feathers, sticks, and anything that we could find lying around the venue that would come together to create a beautiful living box. My favorite part was letting our imaginations run wild until we have over 20 cigar boxes serving as living terrariums, each with its own personality. I also incorporated single-planted elements in small clay pots that were placed decoratively on the tables next to the boxes and runners of greenery.
At the end of the evening, I simply collected the boxes and clay pots and now I had a beginning of a green garden that I couldn’t wait to plant when I got home. Side bonus—I gifted some of my guests with little potted succulents and they are currently thriving in various states throughout the USA!
In the end, it is about creating a unique centerpiece that will last more than an evening. The money you spend on your florals will continue to bring you happiness and joy as they grow, thrive, and prosper. The added bonus? NO GUILT! Each little stem has the chance to continue to live a lifetime and continue to serve as a reminder of the Best. Day. Ever.