Buying Local – Choose Local Flower Farms for Your Wedding Blooms

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We have all heard about–and embraced to our individual abilities–the concept of buying local when it comes to things like eggs, milk, beef, produce and fruit. It’s easier for some than others and is really dependent upon the robustness of your local growing community. Seasonality also makes a huge difference in terms of what is available and how.

Farmer B and I enjoyed and saw with our own eyes how much eating local can benefit you while on a recent trip through the Central Valley of California. The Salinas Valley is the salad bowl of the country and you could see food growing for miles and miles as we drove south to Cambria.  In a nutshell, fresh food tastes well…..fresher. And for me, fresher is definitely better.

So why am I talking about food in a flower post (again)? It’s no secret I love food, but it’s also no secret that I love flowers. I also am somewhat of a green, no-waster, ecology-minded, grow-organically kind of thinker that sometimes has issues with the flower industry and how it grows flowers for the masses.  So, when I recently read some articles about brides sourcing their wedding flowers locally, it made me smile. It also made me want to read more, learn more, encourage this trend and promote it to anyone who will listen. I think it’s a great idea.

So my next logical step was to determine how “do-able” sourcing flowers locally was, and figure out if there are levels of “do-able” that can accommodate any bride’s geographical location, time of the year, wedding, and budget.

But how?

Well I started my “research” by checking out my local farmers market on a Saturday morning, and I founds lots of fresh cut, locally grown flowers. I picked up these color bunches from the Potomac Vegetable Farms stand.

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They are not only a local presence, with a farm in Vienna, Virginia and another in Loudoun County, Virginia but they are also regulars at many area farmers markets, including my own in Falls Church. These zinnias are so colorful, and cheerful. They are a great local, hardy summertime wedding flower idea. Each bunch was $5, and I bought three. From those three bunches  I was able to make this hand tied bouquet:

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this table arrangement using this cool vase  I found at a recent estate sale:

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and two windowsill arrangements (also good sized for powder room arrangements):

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The hand tied bouquets, if used for bridesmaids can also serve double duty as table arrangements, by simply asking each member of the bridal party carrying a bouquet to place it in pre-placed glass containers (with water added) on tables at the reception site, like this:

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So that was easy, but what about going straight to the flower source and cutting your own? Well you can do that too! Starting with the geography I know best, I researched local sourcing of flowers in the area around Washington, D.C. and there are great options.

First up, Fields of Flowers is located in Purcelleville, Virginia, or there is Burnside Farms if you are a fan of sunflowers, that is located in Prince William County. Closer in to the city, there is a long standing, smallish fresh flower operation in McLean, Virginia called Mehr Brothers. They don’t have a website, but they do have an assortment of fresh cut flowers grown on their property and available for sale. A review of their presence on Yelp indicates that they have the ability to provide flowers for events, but be sure to call them ahead of time to see what they can provide.

If you want to work with a florist who specializes in locally sourced flowers for your wedding, consider checking out  Little Acres Flowers, advertised as DC’s only locally sourced florist. My guess is that if this trend continues, it will only get easier to find the materials and the florist to work with them.

Would you choose locally sourced blooms for your wedding if you could? Do you have resources that you use for locally sourced flowers? Please feel free to share!

jbryanBuying Local – Choose Local Flower Farms for Your Wedding Blooms