I love flowers. My grandmother however, did not. She used to tell me not to buy her flowers because they made her sad, and because she couldn’t stand watching them die. Her name was Daisy, too. White daisies are my favourite.
What’s worse than watching flowers die in a vase? An abundance of flowers being dumped into a garbage bag the day after a wedding. I saw this happen recently and I was shocked. But it also gave me a great idea.
At the time that this happened, I was also frequently visiting my ailing grandfather in hospital. I would pick some daisies from my garden to bring and put them in a glass of water next to his bed. The hospital room was completely bare, and I think he loved to see the colour. He was very much an outside person, so I would always try to bring the outside in. One day I forgot to bring some flowers, so I fossicked around the hospital garden beds to snatch a handful of rosemary, marigolds, whatever I could find to brighten up his room. I think the hospital staff thought I was bonkers.
So, before I shoot a wedding I always visit the locations and venues to familiarise myself before the big day. I was visiting a particular Melbourne venue on my way to seeing him when I saw this atrocity occur. Large fresh flower centrepieces and tall vases of the most beautiful white single stem roses, lilacs, foxgloves and lilies stuffed into green garbage bags, ready for the bin. I asked the woman whose flowers they were.
‘Oh they were left behind from the wedding last night,’ she politely replied as she snapped the last of the stems over her knee to fit them into the bags. ‘They never come back for them.’
Flowers aren’t cheap, especially when they have the word ‘wedding’ attached to them. So why not share them with others? If you don’t bring your flowers home after the big day, wouldn’t it be a lovely idea to have them delivered to someone who needs a bit of colour in their room? And no, I’m not saying to prance into a random patient’s hospital room twirling flowers and singing songs from The Sound of Music soundtrack at the top of your lungs, but perhaps they could be left at reception for the staff to distribute. If you can’t think of anyone who could do this, jump on Airtasker and pay someone next to nothing to do it instead. Warm fuzzies all round, guaranteed. Just a thought.
Another alternative is to buy potted plants to use as your centrepieces. That way, at the end of the night people can take them home and plant in the garden to enjoy for years to come. That’s what I did at my wedding reception. I wrapped the pots in paper that matched our stationery and theme colours. Those plants are now thriving in people’s gardens in Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney. I still receive comments almost three years on about how lovely they are to have as they are a reminder of the night. You’ll never guess which plants they were.
Love, Sarah xo