Adventure weddings are becoming increasingly more popular in the US, something I'm SO excited and passionate about! Part of what I offer my clients with their Adventure Wedding package is advice and guidance with the planning process, because who really knows what they're doing when they've never done this before?? And I can offer a lot of info to people on what to pack, travel advice, timeline building, what to wear, etc. But something I'm not so familiar with is one of the most fun investments - the wedding bouquet! So I reached out to one of Western Pennsylvania's top floral event designers: Jimmy Lohr, owner of greenSinner! I'm such a fan of his team's work, so I only thought it natural to ask his advice on what people should look for in the perfect adventure wedding bouquet. Read on below for his advice, and my personal little notes!
1. Think about the size of the design and scale first.
Do you want your bouquet to be subtle, or something more grandeur that maybe competes with the vista/scenery? Do you want something wild like the environment where you're getting married, or something more pulled together and elegant - sometimes it's fun to be a little fancy in a not-so-fancy location!
2. If you've decided you want a big old honker bouquet, do you have a way to easily transport? Most pieces are larger (and heavier!) than you expect and delicate.
Here's where I can offer a bit of advice! Make sure when you're packing your "wedding day backpack" that you have a waterproof bag in there that won't leak onto the rest of the stuff you pack. We can wrap a wet towel around the base of the bouquet, then put the bag over the stems to make sure you've got a WAB (wet ass bouquet, please laugh at my bad jokes, thanks) all day. We'll zip that up in the top of your backpack with the rest of the bouquet sticking out the top. That way your hands are free to climb around and not exhausted from carrying that gorgeous bouquet around! Just know though that it may still get beaten up throughout the day, so be mentally prepared for that.
Despite our WAB efforts, some flowers just won't stand up to the abuse...
3. Most dahlias, anemones, and peony are little jerks. I would avoid a lot of the usual flowers that require a water source and delicate handling. Focus on resilient greens that hold up without water (huckleberry, bay, evergreen, Ruscus). Flowers that look good even when they are thirsty (ranunculus, lisianthus, roses) textural, and dried materials (grasses, hardy hydrangea like limelight, succulents).
I personally am a huge fan of dried flowers, leaves, and berries because of their resilience, ability to look amazing all day, and because they can often be more cost-effective than life flowers.
4. Bleached and dyed /painted items are terrible for the environment. Don't be a jerk.
5. Are any of the materials you chose invasive species? (porcelain berry, buckthorn, bittersweet)
6. You took it up the mountain, bring it back down. There is often tape, wire, and glue holding the entire piece together.
As a "Leave No Trace" certified photographer, I find that these last 3 points are pretty important! When you're consulting with a floral designer, make sure you ask them specifically to leave out any invasive species, because even though you're taking your bouquet back out with you, you never know what will drop along the way. Introducing invasive plants to a natural environment could cause a ton of damage to the ecosystem. If you're going the DIY route, make sure you do some research first on what plants to avoid.
Going back to that "Leave No Trace" policy, definitely bring everything from the bouquet back with you! With the investment you're making, I'd like to think you'd take your bouquet back and dry it, preserve it, or (my personal fav!) have it preserved in an epoxy resin! But whatever you do, don't leave it all behind.
If you're planning your own adventure wedding in the area of Western Pennsylvania, be sure to reach out to greenSinner! Their designs are unique, wild, and sustainable, and will compliment your wedding-day look perfectly. Visit them online at greenSinner.com or follow them on social @greensinner
And no matter where you're planning a wedding, choose Wild North Weddings to document your day! Having documented weddings across the US, from the beaches of North Carolina to the mountains of Washington (and all kinds of places in between!) I can assure you the photography will not be one of the stressors of your day! Visit wildnorthweddings.com/adventure to begin your Adventure Wedding journey!
Wild North Weddings is an elopement and adventure wedding photographer documenting weddings in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Denver, Colorado, Vail, Colorado, White River National Forest in Colorado, Moab, Utah, Arches National Park, Utah, Sedona, Arizona, Glacier National Park, Montana, Grand Tetons National Park, Montana, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, Taos, New Mexico, Zion National Park in Utah, Arcadia National Park, The Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania, Smokey Mountain National Park, Shenandoah National Park, the Pacific Northwest, and more!