Give Back, Give Blooms!

Donating your Big Day flowers is easy, green, and a sure way to spread some smiles

While you’re jet-setting off on your sunny honeymoon, those gorgeous gardenias and pretty peonies that made up your flower arrangements have a much bleaker fate: the compost pile. Doesn’t it seem like a crime for your beautiful flowers to only be in the spotlight for 5 short hours — and then thrown away — when they have days of life left in them? We say, give them more time to shine (and the opportunity to brighten someone else’s day) with flower donation. It’s green, it’s kind, and the small effort is totally worth it. Plus, it’s catching on — we already know of two local event designers offering brides the built-in option to have their beautiful, slightly-used floral arrangements collected, rearranged and donated to a deserving local organization once those wedding bells have all been rung:

  • NoLibs-based Eclatante Event Designs’ “Kindness Blooms” program allows brides to donate to several area organizations, like the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the Ronald McDonald House, with whom the company has partnerships. But, if a bride has her heart set on a different, non-affiliated organization, arrangements can be made to work out a delivery schedule—it’s all about keeping the blushing bride happy! “We’re certainly willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen with an organization the bride likes,” says owner Kendall Brown. Sometimes external obstacles arise in working with a non-partnered organization — especially those that don’t work after-hours (as wedding receptions sometimes go to midnight or later) or those with heavy security (like hospitals). But if a bride gives about a month’s notice that she wants to donate her flowers, says Brown, they are usually able to make the proper arrangements. Plus, as an added perk, Eclatante will split the cost of delivery for donated flowers.
  • “The whole concept is that the flowers we design for the wedding day are beautiful that day—but nobody thinks of what happens after,” says Kathy Warden, owner of Wayne’s TableArt. Her company’s “Green Heart” initiative allows brides the flexibility to donate the flowers to a person, organization or business of their choice. For a delivery fee of about $100, TableArt can bring the flowers to an area hospital, charity organization or even to a bride’s great-grandmother in her nursing home. To make things easy, they’ll make all the arrangements for donation on behalf of the bride with whatever organization or location she chooses to donate to — all that’s needed is a contact number.

And don’t fret if you still want a floral souvenir of your wedding — both Eclatante and TableArt have the policy that if the bride, wedding party or guests want to keep some of the arrangements, they can. “A lot of times, we have brides who use their flowers the next day for their brunch,” Warden says. “Some of the arrangements go to the brunch, some go to the retirement community where their grandparents are.”

And even if your florist doesn’t have a program in place for donation, it can never hurt to ask if there’s a way to bring a little flower pick-me-up to someone who could use a smile.

Have you spoken to your florist about donating your flowers when the party’s over? Heard of any other programs out there like Eclatante’s and TableArt’s? Tell us about it below!

— Nora Kelly

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