How this bride grew her own wedding flowers to save thousands
"We hoped for the best, we didn't know what would happen."
By Lydia Patrick via SWNS
An eco bride grew all of her own wedding flowers - and saved $12,ooo in the process.
Emma Tamlin, 29, was concerned about how much the global flower market contributed to pollution and about the high price of wedding bouquets since the pandemic.
So she decided to take matters into her own hands and grow her own.
Emma and her husband Chris, 30, spent around $300 on seeds.
They then grew sunflowers, mallow, snowy baby's breath, cosmos, pink and white dahlias, zinnias, larkspurs, pink cushion flowers and bachelor buttons which were watered every night.
The blooming bride completed a successful trial run before growing her own florist, with the help of her green-thumbed parents Sharon, 58, and Paul, 60, ready for the big day.
On the wedding day in August 2022- Emma's bridesmaids all went to cut their own bouquets out of the flower garden at the farm, Kawartha Lakes, Ontario, Canada, and guests could enjoy the spectacular sunflower garden and floral table decorations.
Emma, who is the co-founder of an urban agriculture company, said: "I grew up on this farm and moved there when I was nine, I always said I wanted to get married there - I never dreamed of growing my own flowers.
"I learned how flowers could be very bad for the environment and they had also skyrocketed in price.
"I had never grown anything before and generally thought of myself as someone who would never be able to.
"I work in sustainability so I am generally very eco-friendly.
"I told my mom the year before I wanted to grow the flowers and we did a test run.
"We planted sunflower, zinnia and cosmos seeds and we didn't pay much attention to them - we didn't prune them, but they came up out of the ground.
After a successful trial run, the family decided they would grow their own wedding flowers and Sharon made a plan of action.
They started the process in March 2022, two years after the couple got engaged in March 2020, and planted the seeds to form seedlings indoors in trays.
Once the seedlings were ready, they planted them in the last week of May.
The bride said: "We started seeing blooms on the first week of August.
"We weren't sure they would last so kept pruning them.
"Some things we didn't get right - some sunflowers bloomed earlier than others, some plants grew too well and didn't last until the wedding.
"We hoped for the best, we didn't know what would happen.
"If everything failed, we would have had to go to another farmer."
Mother-of-the-bride Sharon was fundamental in the process and spent hours hand watering and weeding around the plants whilst her husband, Paul, plowed the ground.
Miraculously, the garden was in bloom in time for the wedding and the bridal party picked and created their own bouquets the morning Emma walked down the aisle.
"My bridesmaids and I made all the bouquets on the morning of the wedding," Emma said.
"It took an hour to cut and two hours to make the vases.
"It was an incredible feeling to make my own bouquet and to put it all together."
The bride's beautiful bouquet was made up of zinnias, cosmos, bachelor buttons and mallow.
The bridesmaids each carried a sunflower.
To lessen her environmental impact further, the bride didn't buy any new decorations and recycled used yogurt pots to use as candle holders.
"We tried to have as little waste as possible, we used reusable cups and plates and I went around Toronto collecting used 'Petit Pot' containers to use them as candle holders - they were the perfect size for a tea light," added Emma.
The eco-conscious bride opted to buy decorations from Facebook marketplace and bought her wedding dress from a sustainable Canadian brand.
She didn't enforce a strict dress code on her bridesmaids - simply asking them to choose a pink dress.
"It was an eco-friendly tactic as I didn't want them to buy a new dress or to buy a dress they'd never wear again," Emma said.
"Some bought them second-hand, and some have re-worn them multiple times."
According to Emma, due to the halting of wedding flower production during the Covid pandemic and the subsequent surge in demand when people could get married again, prices shot up.
She said: "I know people who budget around $10k to $15k Canadian dollars for flowers and the seeds I bought cost between $400 and $500 - alongside the added cost of fertilizer and water."
Despite saving a lot of money, the whole process took a lot of time and effort from the family, but it paid off in the end.
"It was a lot more stress and my mom felt a sense of responsibility for everything, and it was a huge undertaking - but in the end, it was so stunning and I'm so thankful to my parents," Emma said.
"I'm so happy people want to do it themselves and they definitely can, of course, it is more challenging in the city.
"We used a space between 5,000 and 10,000 square feet but we didn't use all the flowers and we wanted to have a lush garden for photos.
"You could do it on a smaller scale and luckily we didn't have any weather disasters.
"We want to do it again to see if it was a fluke."
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