Your day, your style; keep it green

Your wedding should be as unique as you are, and should reflect your personal style. As a gardener, have you considered incorporating plants in your wedding plans? With the wide variety of plants and flowers available, there must be a number of lovely non-poisonous plants that would look great decorating your day.

If you choose your plants with care, not only will you probably save decorating costs, but your flowers will not be trash in the dumpster tomorrow. With the current emphasis on reduce, re-use and recycle, live plants are a perfect way to keep green in your pocket and green in your day.

My husband and I were married on Easter weekend almost two decades ago. Since we were paying for everything ourselves, we kept the costs to a minimum. Although I loved plants, I did not consider decorating with them. However, the Church was already decorated with potted Easter lilies; the minister asked if it would be okay if they remained on stage. Of course, I was delighted. So, even though we could not take the plants home, we enjoyed living decorations that were not dumped immediately. See below for 20 green wedding day ideas.

20 ideas for your day

Sunflower Copyright April Campbell 2008 Roses Copyright April Campbell 2008

  1. Decorate the stage with potted plants. Imagine a tropical paradise with bright tropical hibiscus blooms mixed with bromeliads, or a romantic setting with a white bench surrounded by bright red and pink roses. Pick a theme and find plants to match.
  2. If your special day is near a holiday, use plants that emphasize the festivities. For example:
    • Easter: lilies
    • Christmas: poinsettias
    • Saint Patrick's Day: shamrocks
  3. Decorate with plants that have heart-shaped leaves.
  4. Match flowering plants to your color scheme; place a flowering potted plant at the end of each row of seats.
  5. Decorate the reception tables with displays of potted plants or with beautiful African Violets.
  6. Dye your own carnations to match your wedding colors. See below for a link to instructions.
  7. Wow your guests before they enter the building; line the entrance with a red carpet bordered with rows of blooming rose bushes.
  8. Give your bridesmaids a plant instead of flowers. Trailing ivy would be lovely and easy to carry. If you decide on a flowering plant, make sure the blooms are not fragile so petals do not drop off during the ceremony. These plants could also double as gifts for the bridesmaids.
  9. Give the bride's parents and/or the groom's parents a potted rose bush as part of the ceremony. See below for Presentation of the Roses.
  10. Paint the petals of flowering rose bushes with whipped egg white, then quickly sprinkle the petals with sugar. Decorate with these delightfully sparkling bushes. (Be sure to dispose of the sugared flowers or ants may visit your new home immediately).
  11. Hide ugly plastic pots with pretty oversized containers then hide the tops of these pots with crinkled tissue paper, ivy or moss.
  12. Consider orchids; the lovely flowers bloom in almost every color of the rainbow. See the links section at the end of this article for a link to PlantFiles. These gorgeous potted beauties lend themselves well to dirt-less living.
  13. Use the language of flowers to declare your everlasting love. It is common knowledge that a red rose means love. What does ivy mean? See the link section at the end for a Dave's Garden article to help you choose the perfect message with your plants.
  14. Create your own wedding invitations and programs from handmade paper (with embedded seeds). I have provided a link to instructions at the end of this article.
  15. Drape rope lights or Christmas lights over potted trees.
  16. Give each guest a seedling tree to take home. See below for a sample verse A new chapter, a new tree. This verse could be printed on a card attached to each tree. After writing this article, I searched the internet for a source of inexpensive, seedlings. I was surprised to find a website that sells seedlings packaged specifically for weddings. For your convenience, a link has been added below. Please note: I am NOT recommending the seedling tree company and I have never done business with them. If any of you have, please add information about your experience with this company in Dave's Garden Garden Watchdog.
  17. Plant a tree during the ceremony. Be sure to get permission. Do not hit utility lines; plan ahead. Everything, including digging the hole, should be prepared hours before the ceremony. This could be dangerous, plan ahead. See below for a sample Tree planting speech.
  18. Present a plant to the bride and groom during the ceremony from any member of the wedding party. (The bride and groom provide the plant.) See below for suggested Bride and groom presentation verbiage.
  19. Instead of the traditional rice or birdseed toss; give your guests handfuls of non-poisonous wildflower seeds. Please note: many churches and wedding chapels forbid the use of rice, confetti or birdseed due to the mess. Also, it is rumored that rice causes extreme problems and even death for some birds. But according to, that rumor is false.
  20. Plant a tree or multiple trees in different countries in honor of your wedding day. (I have a tree planted in my name in another country; it is a good feeling. Many organizations provide this service. Just find an organization you trust.)

Rose of Sharon Copyright April Campbell 2008 Roses Copyright April Campbell 2008


  • Attach any dirt-filled objects to a secure item (like heavy furniture) to eliminate costly carpet clean-ups or embarrassing moments.
  • Double check with the Church, reception area or place you are renting. Some buildings may not allow plants.
  • Do NOT use any poisonous plants. Although I mentioned this in the first paragraph, it is worth iterating. Your friends, family and other guests should be able to enjoy cake and punch without worries.
  • If alcohol will be served, keep the plants well away from the inebriated guests.
  • Be aware of allergies; a fit of sneezing can send your best wedding plans blowing through the roof. You may love the scent of lilies but one allergic guest is one too many.
  • Do not display plants with negative common names such as "mother-in-law's tongue", "bleeding heart" or "love-lies-bleeding."
  • Watch out for electrical cords! Make sure they are not lying in water, and they are not trip hazards.
  • Do not use all of the above suggestions; just decide on a few. Sometimes less is more.


Rose Copyright April Campbell 2008

Presentation of the roses:

Dear Mother and Dad: You have nurtured me and loved me so many years. Now I am grown. As a token of my appreciation for all the beauty you have brought into my life, I give you this beautiful rose bush. As it grows and blooms, remember that the flowers represent my love for you. I will never stop loving you and I can never stop thanking you. Of course, this rose bush has thorns. They simply represent all the problems that I created for you...problems that you knew about and problems that perhaps you never knew. You loved me anyway. You are an inspiration. Today, you gain another member of the family as we open a new chapter in our lives. I can only hope that I will follow your example of being a loving person.Thank you so much. I love you.

A new chapter, a new tree:

Thank you for celebrating this new chapter in our lives together. We are so glad you were here. We simply ask that you plant this tree and that whenever you see it, you say "_______ and ________'s marriage will grow strong like a tree and will give shelter to each other from the storms of life".

May your life also be blessed and may your life grow strong like a tree to give you shelter from the storms of life. Sincerely, _______ and _________.

Tree planting:

For just a moment, please humor us as we plant a tree here as a symbol of our love and marriage. When you travel past this tree, remember us and say a blessing for our marriage and family. This tree will grown tall and strong; it will become a part of the landscape here and soon will seem to have always been. We believe that our marriage will be as the tree; strong and so much in unity with each other, that it will be like "we" have always been as we create a new family and establish a new entity that never was before. We ask you to treasure and help guard our marriage like one would treasure a valuable tree in good times and in bad. Just like this tree settles itself into belonging here, in this new place, so shall we establish our marriage, forgetting the things that are behind us to create our future together, strong in love and hope. We bury the past and grow to the future. May this tree do the same.

Bride and groom rose bush presentation:

Today, as a symbol of your love and life together, you are accepting this rose bush. You, like a plant must be nurtured and tended. Plant this rose bush and take good care of it. As you do, remember to take better care of each other. Your love is a treasure to cherish and coddle. _________ and ________'s life can be filled with happy blooms as you choose to remember the good times more than the bad. Or, you can choose to notice the thorns, for all lives have thorns and all thorns can cause hurt from time to time. However, as one does not throw away the rose bush because of the thorns, so should your love not be thrown away because of the bad times. Live, enjoy life, grow old together. And may your love outlast this rose bush. If this plant dies, then buy another and plant it as a reminder. Grow another and another and another. Remind yourself that your love must be renewed. This plant's beauty is temporal but true love endures. True, honest love never fails.


Petals Afterwards Copyright April Campbell 2008

Thank you for reading this article. All pictures in this article were taken by me and are copyrighted. Please feel free to comment below. Do you have any special memories of your wedding day? Do you think any of the ideas above are great? Please tell us.

Do you know someone that is planning a wedding? Maybe she (or he) would like some additional original ideas. Please forward this article; it is easy. Just go to the top of this article and click on the words, "Mail this article", then type your friend's e-mail address and add your own message. Thanks again!