Mark our words, we predict the hottest new wedding trend will be foraged florals. Why? Because when you find a farmer-florist you are assured your wedding flowers have been grown locally, avoiding the use of chemical pesticides, and you’re not only supporting a small creative business, you’re also helping to save the planet!
We chat with Vanessa from Hunter Valley based Dancing Blossom Studio about how eco-floristry is different, yet at the same time drop dead gorgeous!
What made you turn your focus to ethical & sustainable products/services?
It’s been a few years since I was working full time in floristry, since then I’ve been spending time travelling and working in Community Development. I see this new chapter, launching Dancing Blossom Studio, as a beautiful combination of soulful creativity and my passion for utilising natural and sustainable practices. Using foliage and flowers sourced from Australian growers, I’m also taking a leap into growing a portion of my own stock. All of these ideas are working towards reducing the carbon footprint while creating beautifully sustainable service. I see my business as an ongoing journey of learning and evolving, and focused on providing a personalised service that is socially and environmentally conscious.
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing your industry when it comes to taking an eco-ethical approach?
Awareness – both consumer and business awareness. I think that we’re on the edge of an industry-wide shift. However, during the early days of changing traditions and practices, in any context, things take time and can be faced with many challenges; especially if there is a higher value on convenience rather than ethical. When I look at the attention being given to organic products and locally sourcing in other industries, it makes me hopeful that the necessary changes will happen in the near future. The shift in the food industry, towards organic and locally sourcing, will help ease the transition for consumer awareness in floristry as well.
What would you like to see more of in your industry?
Isn’t it fantastic to see the steps being taken towards the ban of plastic bags? I’d like to see a ban on plastic and floral foam in the industry. I think that ethical and sustainability need to become the mainstream standard. There’s too many single use and non-biodegradable products used in floristry and this needs to change!
As an industry we need to promote the idea that floralling beauty can be crafted in an ethical and sustainable way because raw and natural beauty is worth sharing.
What is one thing you do on a daily basis to ensure you are living purposefully?
Each day I spend time connecting with nature, whether it’s watching the sunset, watering the plants, collecting random pieces of nature. Foraging excites me because I know what I collect has a purpose even if the pieces aren’t used for weeks of months, they hold so much beauty and relevance. I look at them as a gift from nature and an opportunity to share a glimpse of her amazingness with people who may not be able to immerse in the outdoors. When I connect with nature it reminds me of my responsibility to embrace and protect its goodness, as well as my innate need to live in harmony rather than against nature. Nature inspires me to create, to breathe, to move and to share.
What do you wish couples planning a wedding knew more about/thought more about when it comes to planning a wedding consciously?
It is more than ok to do things differently! Sometimes the greatest inspiration comes when you go to the source. Nature is full of miraculous inspiration to get the ideas flowing for your special day and it’s perfect for flexing those love muscles towards each other and the environment that so graciously supports us. Spending time in nature really does help put things into perspective, especially during a time that can be on the stressful side.
When you make decisions from a meaningful place, it will be uniquely you. And your vendors will get such a kick out of being chosen to be part of your wedding journey.
When approaching a wedding with a conscious heart it’s important to be flexible. When it comes to some aspects of the flower designs, you may need to be open to the idea of designs being created from seasonal, Australian grown and using only biodegradable or recycled products… without floral foam (which is non-biodegradable and filled with toxic chemicals). There may be a little more uncertainty (nature’s full of surprises) but I think it is rewarding to see what will unfold when you’re open to the beauty of ‘ethical’.
What is one of the quirkiest things you’ve seen at a wedding?
Maybe not so much quirky but out of the box things that I’ve seen at weddings that have intrigued me, it was a wedding I went to in the Blue Mountains. It was a small, close family only wedding. The couple made their own wedding cake the night before, seriously one of the best cakes I’ve tasted. Rather than the father of the bride walking her down the aisle, the couple walked up together, from a log cabin to the ceremony spot and I thought it was a beautiful way of saying we’re in this together and walk by each other on the journey, throughout the wedding event and the life they are creating together.
And finally, what in a wedding is your absolute favourite?
I love making a bouquet for a bride! It’s an incredible honour to be trusted to curate a slice of nature for them to hold on the wedding day. I also find the process of creating to be inspiring and rewarding. From collecting materials from suppliers to foraging through the trees on our property and my Go To Gardens, it brings a sense of belonging. Belonging, both with nature as I connect and seek what she’s willing to provide, while tuning in to what I need to give back, and belonging to a community who are supporting a couple formally share their commitment to journey life in love.
Mindfully Wed Tips:
- Source locally grown flowers direct from the flower farmer or ask for locally grown at the markets
- Give your florist the creativity to work with what is in season and grown in Australia
- Look out for foraged florals yourself or through your florist
- Say no to toxic and non-degradeable floral foam!
- Say no to noxious weeds in styling such as Pampas Grass
- Say yes to dried and edible elements in your bouquet
- Re-gift or re-use florals after your wedding
- Try something out of the box like making smudge sticks from your left-over wedding flowers!
Chat with Vanessa from Dancing Blossom Studio to learn more.
Images by Sandra Henri Photography, Founder of Less Stuff – More Meaning.