Photo from PikistThis entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.
You’re living life in full bloom, and you want your wedding to reflect that. Flowers are one constant in weddings of any size, whether it’s a bouquet and a boutonniere for the couple, or decorations to punctuate the ceremony and reception. But before you meet with your florist, you’ll want to narrow down your choices. Native flowers are more eco-friendly than hothouse blooms flown in from South America. They’re also less expensive. Here are some native flowers — organized by region — perfect for your wedding.
This cool, cloudy climate is home to lots of greenery. Seattle’s nickname? The Emerald City. Incorporate greenery into your wedding flowers, and then add local color. There’s a rainbow of wildflowers native to the PNW that would be perfect for your big day.
As the name suggests, this scarlet flower promises a bright pop of red and a star-like bloom.
These natives bloom in late spring and early summer, in dreamy shades of white and lavender. These wildflowers add a romantic touch to your wedding flowers.
You’ve seen these lovely bells, growing on their own throughout much of the Pacific Northwest. Scotch bluebells bloom all summer, and the bell-shaped flowers come in blues and purples
California, here we come! The Golden State includes several different climate regions, but some native flowers grow from San Diego to Del Norte County.
This native is so California, it’s the state flower. Whether you choose a sunny yellow or a brilliant orange bloom, the California poppy is a good choice for the California bride to show her state pride.
The California peony is a dramatic addition to any arrangement and grows in the wild from the Mexican border to Monterey. Think deep reds and bright yellows. A word of warning for DIY bouquets: The California peony is pretty finicky. It might be easier to leave it to the professionals, rather than try to grow them in your backyard.
There’s the beach sand verbena, the Mojave sand verbena, the desert sand verbena … the list goes on. You have your choice of native verbena flowers to choose from, with blooms that range from yellow to pink to white to lavender.
Rocky Mountain brides have a huge selection of native wildflowers to choose from. The high altitude and semi-arid climate is host to gorgeous flowers, perfect for any bouquet.
Colorado Blue Columbine
This blue and white species is the state flower and a beautiful way for Mile High brides to show Colorado pride. You’ll find it growing everywhere from gardens along the Front Range to mountain goat territory high in the Rockies.
Rocky Mountain Penstemon
These spikes of purple flowers are easy on the eyes — and not attractive to bees, which is something to consider when hosting an outdoor reception. These make great centerpieces for your tables.
If you’re looking for a sunny yellow flower to dress up your Rocky Mountain flower arrangements, the alpine sunflower is native to the area. It’s also called bitterweed or old-man-of-the-mountain.
From the Kansas plains to the Great Lakes, the Midwest covers a lot of territory and climate regions. That means Midwestern brides have a lot of regional natives to choose from.
This pretty and casual flower can give your wedding flowers an easygoing touch. Purple coneflower is another name for echinacea, the immune-boosting supplement that helps ward off colds.
These tall, lavender spikes are dramatic and romantic. The blazing star would be a great table centerpiece flower — they can grow up to 3 feet tall.
Bright gold in color, these flowers are excellent for flower arrangements. They don’t wilt quickly and are good cut flowers.
The South — from Texas to Florida — conjures mental images of flowers. The subtropical, humid climate is perfect for lots of showy blooms that will stand out on your wedding day.
This deep bluish-purple flower with long, graceful stems makes an eco-friendly wedding day statement.
The hardy hibiscus drinks up the heat and full sun, and comes in a variety of colors. This flower gives your nuptials a tropical flair.
Bright red and spiky, this flower is bold and fun and native to a wide swath of the U.S. from Connecticut to Georgia.
You may be getting married in New England in the fall, or Vermont in the spring. Or maybe you’re a more traditional June bride, and you’re getting hitched in the mid-Atlantic region. You’ll find plenty of native flowers to dress up your wedding day.
Light pink or white, this delicate woodland flower is definitely marriage material. It has a fairy-tale-like quality to it, growing on a slender stem that shakes in the breeze.
This native fern is a visually interesting addition to flower arrangements. Its long stems, lacy leaves, and bright green color can turn a ho-hum centerpiece into something more modern and eye-catching.
If pink is one of your wedding colors, swamp milkweed should definitely be in the running. In the wild, or in a garden setting, these flowers attract monarch butterflies. In a wedding bouquet, these flamboyant native flowers are an eco-friendly choice, and gorgeous to look at, as well.
When you’re poring over pictures on your florist’s Instagram or Facebook page, take notes on your favorites. These details can help your florist substitute native flowers for non-natives, a choice that’s good for the environment and good for your wedding budget.
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Bio: Cory Peters is a wedding photographer who does her best work at outdoor venues. She’s photographed couples tying the knot on the ski slopes in Colorado and in the Everglades in Florida. She has a passion for shooting flower gardens all over the world.