Top 3 Things to Know About Donating Your Wedding Flowers

As we become ever more mindful about the environment and the toll our modern existence is taking on it, more and more couples are looking for ways to repurpose or reuse their wedding flowers after the big day. Here are the top three things you will want to keep in mind when asking your florist this question.

Photo by Emily Alyssa Photography

Photo by Emily Alyssa Photography

1) Your flowers will probably not live longer than a day or two after your event.

From a young age, we are taught to value longevity in flowers over their ephemeral beauty. This leads to some confusion when it comes to the process of event flowers.

Unlike retail flowers, where the goal is to sell the blooms as soon as they come in the door to maximize enjoyment, event flowers are timed so that each blossom will be at its absolute peak perfection for the day of your wedding. For most florists, this means that roses on average will start arriving the Tuesday before a Saturday wedding with the remainder trickling in on Wednesday and Thursday.

After being transported to the venue and surviving untold abuses from your guests and those hot little tea lights that get nestled so close (seriously I see at least one charred centerpiece at every pick up), your flowers are tired and thirsty!

By Sunday, they are almost a week old and really have very little left to give.

Photo By Emily Alyssa Photography

Photo By Emily Alyssa Photography

2) Delivering and re-delivering costs time and money.

Most clients don’t know (and don’t need to know) how much time, people power, and money it takes to get flowers from point A to point B and that’s ok. Unless of course you want them to redeliver your leftover flowers to a charity after the event.

Can it be done? Of course, but this is what is involved. Before anything can happen prior coordination needs to take place. This usually involves an email chain of no fewer than eight back and fourths discussing what is to be donated, getting permission from higher-ups and scheduling a time when delivery is convenient.

I have yet to find anywhere that will accept a delivery at 12am on a Sunday morning. This means that the next available time is probably Monday morning and that in order to keep the flowers alive, they will have to be unloaded from the truck, re-cut, re-watered, re-worked and babied until Monday morning.

They will then need to be re-loaded onto the truck and un-loaded again at the final destination. By this time, they are a full week old and holding on for dear life. All of this will take between 5 and 10 hours and your florist will need to charge you for the time and van rental. At a minimum if you ask your florist to provide this service you are looking at between $600 and $1,500.

Photo by  Tracey Salazar

3) You have options.

Ok, so you have read this far but you’re not feeling great - please don’t fret you still have some good options.

A) Flowers are meant to be enjoyed, so encourage your guests to take them home. Most florists use rental vases with plastic dishes nestled inside that lift up so they are easy to transport. Now your family can enjoy the moment just a little longer every time they glance at your centerpiece.

B) Ask your florist what happens to your flowers afterwards if the guests don’t take them.

Personally, I will play flower fairy on my way home from a late night pickup, leaving random centerpieces at my neighbor’s doors. When they wake up in the morning they get a fun surprise! I have also been known to display them outside my front door for everyone to enjoy while out walking their dogs or taking a jog.

Maybe you can take some comfort in knowing that your wedding has brought some unexpected joy and pleasure to people you don’t even know. Call it a pay-it-forward moment.

C) There are companies designed to help you with just this quandary - they can transform your flowers into bouquets for hospitals or other charities. Repeat Roses made headlines when Meghan Markle did just that for her New York baby shower. Just like any business they will need to charge you a fee for their service, but since they have infrastructure and relationships already in place it is likely going to be less than your florist will charge. Here are a few to consider:

Repeat Roses

Random Acts of Flowers

Petals with Purpose - Florida Based

Floranthopy - Texas Based

4) Hire someone (possibly your florist) to make a keepsake potpourri. Again this is going to take some coordination, time and money, but wouldn’t it be fun to send little sachets to your parents and bridal party as a way of saying thank you!







My Wedding at Oxon Hill Manor

Truly, I have so much to say about my wedding at Oxon Hill Manor, but mostly I just wanted to share the pictures with you. So here are a few of my favorites from our wedding almost 7 years ago. Yes, I did the flowers myself (with generous support from my friends Antje Wood, Tricia Siudet and The Enchanted Florist, VA). All photos are by Lisa Boggs Photography, day of coordination by Kelly Cannon Events. The motorcycle is a Paul Smart Ducati and the cake is by Maggie Austin Cake.

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Atelier Ashley Wedding at Oxon Hill by Lisa Boggs
Atelier Ashley Wedding at Oxon Hill by Lisa Boggs
Atelier Ashley Wedding at Oxon Hill Manor by Lisa Boggs
Atelier Ashley Wedding at Oxon Hill Manor by Lisa Boggs
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Atelier Ashley Wedding at Oxon Hill Manor by Lisa Boggs
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Atelier Ashley Wedding at Oxon Hill Manor by Lisa Boggs
Atelier Ashley Wedding at Oxon Hill Manor by Lisa Boggs
Atelier Ashley Wedding at Oxon Hill Manor by Lisa Boggs
Atelier Ashley Wedding at Oxon Hill Manor by Lisa Boggs
Atelier Ashley Wedding at Oxon Hill Manor by Lisa Boggs
Atelier Ashley Wedding at Oxon Hill Manor by Lisa Boggs
Atelier Ashley Wedding at Oxon Hill Manor by Lisa Boggs
Maggie Austin Cake, her first glorious lily
Atelier Ashley Flowers at Oxon Hill Manor by Lisa Boggs.
Atelier Ashley Flowers at Oxon Hill Manor by Lisa Boggs.
Atelier Ashley Flowers at Oxon Hill Manor by Lisa Boggs.
Atelier Ashley Flowers at Oxon Hill Manor by Lisa Boggs.
Atelier Ashley Flowers at Oxon Hill Manor by Lisa Boggs.

Historic Meridian House Wedding

Last October, I had the pleasure of designing for a special couple who were married at the historic Meridian House designed by architect John Russell Pope. This weekend is Megan and Coult’s first anniversary and I wanted to take a moment to celebrate them. Looking back through the photos by Djenno Bacvic, it’s hard to find a frame where they aren’t smiling or laughing — and not just little smiles, we’re talking big smiles that go ear to ear.

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Megan and Coult’s outdoor ceremony was full of white and peach flowers, including an all white chuppah accented with greenery.

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What an entrance! The gardens at Meridian House are in bloom from April to October and provide the perfect setting for a wedding. Maria Canellis, Director of Events, is an expert at making private events and weddings magical.

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There’s that big smile again.

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Wedding Planner Molly Radigan was hard at work on all the details behind the scenes.

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I like this bird’s eye view of the party in the linden grove. Catering by Natalie Walker, Event Coordinator for Well Dunn Catering.

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Sparklers and one more big smile for the road.

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Happy memories of a happy couple. Congratulations on your first anniversary!

Happy First Anniversary Claire and Brendan! All White Spring Wedding at the Sagamore Pendry in Baltimore

March is here and that means it’s time to wish Claire and Brendan a happy first anniversary. Their wedding was truly a dream - they are a gorgeous couple that complements each other in every way.

The Sagamore Pendry Hotel provided the perfect backdrop for this beautiful all white wedding planned by Tiffany Rivera of Simply Breathe Events. I also had the chance to work with the fabulous Maren White; Maren is now back in town as the Director of Catering and Special Events at The Conrad Washington, D.C.

I love designing a show-stopping arrangement for the escort table. Claire and Brendan’s tall arrangement included white garden roses, hydrangea, orchids and white pear blossoms.

Claire and Brendan’s soundtrack for the night was created by DJ Kelton Higgins. Check him out - he’s wonderful to work with and is getting married himself in just a few months.

Claire carried a classic, all white rounded bouquet of David Austin Patience garden roses and peonies with just a hint of greenery. About half of my brides choose a classic style like this for their bouquet; the other half opt for something organic, wild and free flowing.

Claire and Brendan were married under an all white floral chuppah.

The couple chose tall, dramatic centerpieces to highlight the architecture of the ballroom at the Sagamore Pendry. As you can see, the centerpieces were on double duty for the wedding day - we used them for both the ceremony and the reception which is a great way to get more out of your wedding flowers.

Pear blossoms and these little blue bird ornaments gave this late March wedding a unique spring feel. Happy March, Happy Spring! And Congratulations Claire and Brendan.

Happy First Anniversary Claire and Brendan! All White Spring Wedding at the Sagamore Pendry in Baltimore

March is here and that means it’s time to wish Claire and Brendan a happy first anniversary. Their wedding was truly a dream - they are a gorgeous couple that complements each other in every way.

The Sagamore Pendry Hotel provided the perfect backdrop for this beautiful all white wedding planned by Tiffany Rivera of Simply Breathe Events. I also had the chance to work with the fabulous Maren White; Maren is now back in town as the Director of Catering and Special Events at The Conrad Washington, D.C.

I love designing a show-stopping arrangement for the escort table. Claire and Brendan’s tall arrangement included white garden roses, hydrangea, orchids and white pear blossoms.

Claire and Brendan’s soundtrack for the night was created by DJ Kelton Higgins. Check him out - he’s wonderful to work with and is getting married himself in just a few months.

Claire carried a classic, all white rounded bouquet of David Austin Patience garden roses and peonies with just a hint of greenery. About half of my brides choose a classic style like this for their bouquet; the other half opt for something organic, wild and free flowing.

Claire and Brendan were married under an all white floral chuppah.

The couple chose tall, dramatic centerpieces to highlight the architecture of the ballroom at the Sagamore Pendry. As you can see, the centerpieces were on double duty for the wedding day - we used them for both the ceremony and the reception which is a great way to get more out of your wedding flowers.

Pear blossoms and these little blue bird ornaments gave this late March wedding a unique spring feel. Happy March, Happy Spring! And Congratulations Claire and Brendan.