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26 Ways to Incorporate Plants into Your Wedding - Bloom & Grow Radio

26 Ways to Incorporate Plants into Your Wedding

From the moment I got engaged, and frankly, even before that, I knew that I wanted to have the plantiest wedding possible! My plants are a huge part of me and I wanted to incorporate that side of myself  into our wedding, but in an elevated way. I didn’t want my wedding to be houseplant-themed, but I wanted houseplants and nature to be woven into our day seamlessly, and in a refined way that felt special. With the help of my wedding planner, Katie of Katydyd Events, were were able to have a botanically inspired element in every aspect of the day, without feeling like we were hammering people over their heads with plants. I’m so thrilled with how everything turned out, and am so thankful to have such beautiful mementos in my home from our special day, like my greenwall which now serves as my Zoom Background (#19), our macrame table runner on our kitchen table and the planty hairpins (#6) that I plan on wearing every anniversary.

I’ve broken down 26 ways (and maybe a few bonus ones!) to incorporate plants into your wedding, based on the planning process and day of timeline. I hope you find inspiration and maybe use an idea or two on your big day, or maybe even in your home. If you do, please tag me on Instagram @bloomandgrowradio with what inspires you!

Listen to the full interview on the Bloom & Grow Radio Podcast

For the full interview with Katie, my wedding planner, where we dive deeper into all of these elements, check out Episode 141 of Bloom & Grow Radio on your preferred podcast player.

 

Watch my vlog on Youtube where I dive deeper into my top 8 favorites of this list

Pre-wedding

I started thinking about how to incorporate plants into our wedding on Day 1 of planning. Here are some things I took into consideration:

1. Choose a venue where plants are the centerpiece.

We got married at Tanglewood Music Center, where my husband Billy and I met at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute when we attended a summer music program at 15 years old! It was a very special place for us and is also incredibly planty! The campus is surrounded by towering trees, fields of green grass, and unbelievable landscaping. We were the first couple to be married onstage at Seiji Ozawa Hall, and we barely had to decorate the space, because the view of the Berkshires behind us was breathtaking. The natural wood in the hall itself was also incredibly biophilic!

 

2. Decide how “on the nose” you want to be with your planty theme.

I knew that although I wanted to incorporate houseplants at every stage, I didn’t want a houseplant themed wedding, but I wanted to incorporate lots of botanical elements. So we ended up somewhere around “whimsical forest fairy meets crazy plant lady“. Here are some different styles within the plant-themes:’

  • Totally tropical
  • Forest-based 
  • Notes of tropical and forest intertwined (what we did)

3. Incorporate botanical elements into your invitations and signage

We worked with Kara at Mad for Mod Designs to create a custom watercolor map and icons that were scattered throughout our invitations and signage. Our invitations had a map of the Tanglewood property on one side and then smaller, singular images on the smaller cards. The RSVP card had an illustration of Tanglewood’s Oldest Tree, and our menu had a watercolor image of the potted Hoya hearts that were all over the tables. 

Hoya heart illustration on the menu

Map of Tanglewood Campus on invitations and ceremony pamphlet

A custom illustration of Tanglewood’s oldest tree

Dresses and Accessories

This was one of the most fun ways to dream and scheme about incorporating plants at the beginning of the planning process. From Day 1 I knew I wanted a plant inspired wedding dress, and that I also wanted to give my entire bridal party a botanical feel.

4. Incorporate botanical prints into your bridal party color scheme.

I was nervous at first to put together a bridal party palette like the ones I salivated over on Pinterest, but when I found the pink floral print from revelry.com  I knew I wanted to center my bridal party around it, but thought the print would be too busy to put eight girls in. So I had three friends order dresses in that print and then built the palette around the floral print from swatches from birdygrey.com

The bridal party all together!

bridesmaid palette of floral print and different pinks

My bridesmaid palette

5. Choose a botanically inspired wedding dress.

I am so proud to be a #bhldnbride! I went to EVERY fancy wedding dress shop in Manhattan and my experience with BHLDN was by far the best. From the customer service, to their fast shipping, to the unbeatable prices and high quality of their dresses, I just love them (and recommend them to all my friends getting married now)! BHLDN also had an endless selection of dresses that had botanical elements in them, and wonderful accessories as well.

This is the Harmony Dress (how fitting that my dress was named Harmony and I got married on a stage,) and was covered in a very beautiful and delicate floral pattern. It is subtly planty and absolutely gorgeous! I ended up having my tailer change the zip up back to the lace up back (which was totally worth it) and added removable sleeves to the dress to give it a more whimsical look for the ceremony. I then took the sleeves off to dance! Thank you BHLDN for everything you do for us “to be weds”!

 

6. Incorporate plants into your hairstyle.

This was one of my favorite surprises of the day- I absolutely LOVED my planty hair! This hairdo is a combination of several different types of pins I ordered from BHLDNs accessory website. My hair stylist layered the pins on top of each other and wove them through my updo. I love that they climbed up the right side of my head, so you could see them during our ceremony.  

Another way I used plants in my hairstyle was with a flower crown at our rehearsal dinner. This was a last minute idea I had, and actually just called a local florist and asked if they could make a simple flower crown with mostly greenery and small white and pink flowers and they knocked it out of the park!

My planty wedding hair – a combination of pins off off the BHLDN website

I love how the pins peaked out of veil and could be seen from my profile

My flower crown for the rehearsal dinner

7. Do something green instead of something blue

I love the “something borrowed, something blue” tradition of getting married. I decided to make a planty spin on this tradition and do “something green” instead of something blue to tie natures favorite color into this old saying. These emerald green Camellia Loeffler Randal shoes made me feel SO special, and I look forward to rewearing them at all my planty events I host in the future.

8. Plant-based Menswear

Billy wanted a very classic groom and groomsmen look, so I tried not to push too much of my planty agenda on him. I do adore his Blushing Bride Protea boutonnière though. For more adventurous plant people wanting to rep their plant love on a suit, try suspenders or a bowtie with a botanical print!

Billy’s boutonniere with a blushing bride protea

9. Floral bracelets for your Mother of the Bride or Mother of the Groom

This was a suggestion of my wedding planner for the Mother of the Bride and Mother and Grandma of the Groom. Our florist made beautiful floral bracelets instead of corsages that were absolutely beautiful and a fun addition to their outfits.

Floral bracelets instead of corsages

10. Ground your bouquet and boutonnieres in ferns and greenery

When I spoke with my florist, Corina from The Botaniste I knew I really wanted to have ferns be the base of my bouquet and the inspiration for all of our florals. Ferns were the perfect choice because they are both 1) kept as houseplants and 2) found in the forest – and our wedding venue was surrounded by the beautiful Berkshires. Once we decided on a base of ferns and wispy greenery, we then added interesting flowers that complimented the bridesmaid palette above.

 

Ceremony 

The ceremony was always the most important part of our day, while planning our wedding. In our ceremony, we stuck with our the celebration of our love story for the most part, but I did manage to sneak a few botanical elements into the moment!

11. Have a plant-inspired reading in your ceremony

Billy and I have always been inspired by trees and the relationships in the forest. When we read Two sturdy oaks by Thoreau, we knew that this was the perfect reading for our ceremony, to give a nod to nature, but also totally summed up how we approach our relationship and the foundation on which we want to build our marriage.

Two sturdy oaks I mean, which side by side
Withstand the winter’s storm,
And, spite of wind and tide,
Grow up the meadow’s pride,
For both are strong.

Above they barely touch, but, undermined
Down to their deepest source,
Admiring you shall find
Their roots are intertwined Insep’rably.

12. Have a leaf girl instead of a flower girl

This was a fun idea I had that we ended up not able to execute on the day of due to a miscommunication with our venue, but- I hope someone reading this blog uses the idea and sends me pictures on Instagram! Instead of having a traditional flower girl that throws flower petals before the walk down the aisle, try dried fern leaves, or even use leaves of your own houseplants as a way to have your plant collection as part of your big day!

13. Do a lavender toss instead of a rice toss

The traditional Italian Rice Toss at the end of a wedding is a very important tradition for my Italian family. We put a twist on this tradition and used biodegradable, dried lavender instead of rice. At the end of our ceremony, all of our guests were given cones  of lavender (made of sheet music as a nod to our musical history!). When we exited they made a tunnel and threw the lavender at us. Oh my gosh it was such a fun moment of celebration and the SMELL of lavender as we walked through all of our loved ones was transcendent. I’ll always remember that joyful moment when I smell lavender from now on. 

Cones made out of sheet music held dried lavender for the lavender toss after the ceremony

The tunnel of love at our lavender toss after our ceremony

I will always think of this joyful moment when I smell lavender

14. Use botanically inspired music in your ceremony or reception

If you don’t go the plant inspired reading route, you can choose botanically inspired music for your ceremony or reception. One of my favorites is “Grow as We Go” by Ben Platt.

Reception 

I feel like our reception is where all of the thoughtful details really shined, especially when it came to bringing the outside in. We had to move our venue from indoors to a tent TWO weeks before our wedding day, and my wedding planner Katie did an unbelievable job turning the sailcloth tent into a whimsical secret garden inspired reception venue. Here are some of the details that really stood out!

15. Tropical foliage table runners

Instead of traditional greenery garlands that you see all over Pinterest, we incorporated tropical  houseplant leaves as our table runners that we laid flat on the table. I absolutely love the palm fronds against the white tablecloth! We also used a green napkin to take the green pop of the table runner to the next level.

 

16. Floral bud vases filled with tropical plant leaves

I loved this riff on the traditional bud vases filled with flowers. My florist used wispy looking greenery, ferns and tropical leaves in the bud vases to bring another natural, planty element to the table. She also scattered some of the flowers from my bridal bouquet across the tables as well. This burgundy ranunculus is so dramatic and romantic!

17. Wrap tent poles in greenery garlands

In an effort to make the somewhat sterile tent look more whimsical and romantic, our florist wrapped the tent poles in greenery to make it look like an enchanted forest. The effect looked unbelievable and I’m so happy we spent the money on greenifying the tent poles as it totally elevated the reception space.

Wrap tent poles in greenery to transform your tent into a secret garden!

18. Do a green chandelier as the centerpiece of your dance floor 

This was something we discussed when we needed to change to a tent last minute and I absolutely loved the idea of framing the dance floor with greenery! We didn’t end up doing a chandelier due to time constraints, but I absolutely love, love love this concept!

Greenery draped chandelier – Photo: Winston Flowers

19. Have a green-wall for photos instead of a traditional photo booth

Billy and I opted not to have a traditional photo booth with a dedicated photographer and props for guests to take photos with, but we still wanted some element to be photographable for guests to take memorable photos with. Katie, my wedding planner, assembled this DIY green-wall that is so simple to make! (Instructions can be found in this episode) . She got a custom sign made and added leftover florals from the day and cool bohemian fans and elements. It was a total show stopping moment in our reception!

Our epic DIY greenwall

20. Have greenery in your guest book

This was a guestbook we got made on Etsy, with a see-through acrylic cover that had dried ferns and greenery in it. It was such an elegant way to incorporate plants on a smaller, more subdued level, yet it’s something we will cherish forever.

Dried fern acrylic guestbook

21. Use plant leaves as signage

Instead of getting traditional signage made, use tropical plant leaves instead! This is one of my absolute favorite, creative suggestions our wedding planner made, and I think it captures my spirit and passion for plants (and Aperol) perfectly!

22. Create a sign of plant vines

We opted for pie instead of wedding cake, and our wedding planner created the COOLEST sign made out of faux greenery vines and wire that said PIE. How freaking adorable is this?!

Our planty PIE sign!

Macrame and the planty PIE sign were the perfect nod to plant love!

23. Add a dried fern or flower onto your place setting

This was another small scale planty touch that totally elevated our place settings.

Add a dried fern onto your place setting

24. Use dark green napkins to tie in the greenery

I loved the use of these emerald green napkins, and nod to the predominant color of the forest and our beloved houseplant foliage, that enhanced all the greenery that was on the tables.

Emerald green napkins pop and further enhance the greenery on the table

25. Tie ferns or dried leaves around candle votives

A surprise my wedding planner did on the day of, was wrapping all of the votive candle holders in dried ferns. This elevated the whimsical forest theme of our tent far beyond my wildest dreams. The flickering light behind the green fern patterns was so beautiful and romantic in the evening light.

 

 

Wrap votive candles with dried ferns

Hoya Heart Table Installation and fern wrapped candles

26. Give plants as favors and have them double as centerpieces 

My hoya heart tablescape / wedding favors were by far one of my favorite aspects of my dream to incorporate houseplants into our wedding. They were dual purpose:  They were part of the tablescape for the reception and then doubled as the wedding favors for all of our guests.

Potted Hoya Hearts were in the tablescape and doubled as favors

Make sure your guests understand they can take the plant favors home at the end of the night. To clarify this, we had a note on the printed menu that said “Take a piece of our hearts home with you” encouraging guests to take a heart home with them. I also loved the small detail of the watercolor of the hoya heart that was on the top of the menu.

Leave instructions for guests on the menu

Special thanks to Little Prince of Oregon who I worked with on this project. They have amazing houseplants on their website that ship straight to your door (you can use code Bloom20 for 20% off a Hoya heart of your own!)

🌿Here are some tips I learned from my experience with this DIY project!🌿

 

🌿Make sure to order all the materials 3 weeks before the wedding. I made sure I had enough potting mix, arranged for the plant delivery in advance and been coordinating with my florist and wedding planner from Day 1. Something I didn’t anticipate being tough and left till last minute… sourcing 100+ terra-cotta pots. It was way harder to find that many matching pots without ordering in advance.

🌿Make sure you have enough grow lights to support them! I ended up rigging up every grow light in my home to make sure these hearts were in great condition, and even brought the lights to my airbnb we stayed at for the wedding. We set the lights and the hearts up in a corner of the kitchen that my Mom joked was “the nursery”

🌿 Order more than you need: always plan for a pot to break, to run out of soil or a plant to be lost from the stress of transit.

🌿Make the repotting of all the plants a bonding event. Billy and I spent an evening on our deck repotting all of the plants together over a glass of wine. You could also plan to do a big repotting with your bridal party or families a day or two before the festivities.

Bonus: 2 ways to have your planty wedding moments live on forever in your home! 

27. Preserve your florals and turn them into planty home decor.

There are amazing floral preservation artists that will preserve your bouquet in the most mind-blowing ways for it to live on forever in your home. I’m working with Lush Magnolia and Stephanie is transforming my bridal bouquet into bookends, a cocktail tray and coasters! See some of her work below or on her IG.

28. Incorporate macrame into your wedding decor!

Macrame and houseplants are two peas in a pod. I think almost every plant parent likely has at least one macrame plant hanger in their home! This is a more subtle nod to houseplants, but I loved incorporating macrame into our wedding. It added such a different, natural texture to the entire design of the reception venue. Although our wedding vibe was definitely in the “romantic” category, the addition of the macrame definetly added a little “boho” feel.

The best part of these macrame pieces is we get to have them in our home forever. We kept the long macrame table runner for our dining room table and the chair backs from our sweetheart table will be remounted together as wall art and the artist, Fiber and Foliage, is helping me add a few extra knots once they are remounted to turn it into a plant hanger for our future home! 

We kept this macrame table runner by Fiber and Foliage for our dining room table!

This was the funkiest addition of macrame, that totally elevated the pie stand!

Added macrame to the card box gave extra texture and dimension (plus the card box looks a little like a terrarium!)

Thanks for walking down memory lane with me!

I feel so beyond thrilled with how my vision for my botanically inspired wedding unfolded. I wouldn’t wish planning a wedding during a pandemic on my worst enemy, but the day of felt truly worth the wait. Special thanks to all of our amazing vendors who hung in there with us, after 11 extra months and TWO rescheduled dates. I can’t recommend each and every one of them ENOUGH, if you are in the New England Area, planning a planty wedding!

I want to see your wedding photos!

Please share YOUR planty wedding photos with my on Instagram at @bloomandgrowradio !

Vendors

Photographer: https://sierraarcherphotography.com/

Wedding Planner: https://katydydevents.com/

Wedding Florist: https://thebotaniste.com/

Venue: https://www.bso.org/tanglewood

Wedding Dress and Accessories: https://www.bhldn.com/

Groomsmen Attire: https://www.generationtux.com/

Hair/Makeup: https://lipsticknlashes.com/

Invitation Designer/Watercolor Artist: https://www.madformod.studio/

Macrame: https://www.instagram.com/fiber_and_foliage/

 

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