Even though the Knot’s 2014 Real Weddings Study shows that 15% of brides choose to get married in June, and 14% choose October, it is a guarantee that any bride and groom will incorporate flowers into their special day no matter the season.
However, there have been some new trends concerning flowers in the world of weddings nationwide. Long ago are the days where big, white bouquets were carried by brides and flower petals strewn across the aisle by young flower girls. Now, wedding flowers can be reused for recreational use, and surprisingly, flowers are the reason behind lawsuits.
The U.S. florist industry employs over 90,000 people nationwide every year. However, any bride or groom would be hard-pressed to find a florist as unique as Bec Koop, who owns floral shop Buds & Blossoms. With the tagline “straight from your bouquet to your bowl,” it’s no secret that Koop’s businesses is unlike any other floral shop in the nation.
This Denver-based florist specializes in pot infused weddings and started her company after noticing that few venues catered to cannabis enthusiasts, even though the state of Colorado legalized recreational marijuana use. She was already running a successful florist business and was working at a medical marijuana dispensary. So back in 2014, she and her colleagues started the business with a 35-page business plan and only $1,500.
Buds & Blossoms took off from there. Services include a “bud bar,” which is like a wine bar but with pot, yoga brunches, bachelorette parties, and wine and food pairings. Koop does require her clients to supply their own marijuana, as Colorado rules firmly state she must use a special license to sell to her customers.
“My clients personally purchase the cannabis, they gift it to me, and I incorporate it into the different packages,” Koop explains to CNBC.
Bridal bouquets cost anywhere from $75 to $250, plus the cost of the pot. Koop explains that this hefty fee is because the marijuana plant is extremely delicate. It takes a lot of extra work to keep the plant looking fresh.
Koop explains that she is having more fun with Buds & Blossoms than she ever thought she would. One of her favorite stories to tell prospective clients is about the success she had introducing a grandmother at a wedding to marijuana for her first time.
“Within about an hour, she was out dancing harder than I’ve ever seen a grandma dance. She totally had a blast and came up to us afterward and asked where she could get some more.”
Considering the fact that more than 47,000 people died due to fatal drug overdoses in 2014 alone, many states are looking to legalize the drug marijuana in hopes of cutting down fatalities. And it looks like Koop’s bouquets are just a small part of the puzzle.
Another bride also chose to utilize her flowers in a unique way as well. Instead of having a pint-sized flower girl, she asked her grandfather to be the one to litter her aisle with flower petals.
Jennifer Briskin wanted to involve as much family as she could on her special day, so she gave her grandfather a handkerchief with “Papa, would you be my flower grandpa? Love, Jen” in embroidered stitching.
Stanley said yes! He was so excited that he even practiced tossing flower petals out of a Halloween candy bucket in the shape of a pumpkin.
“He got cold feet and wanted it to be perfect,” said Briskin to Today. “We all told him, ‘Listen, even two-year-olds can do it. So can you!”
Even though Stanley threw flowers on guests rather than down the aisle, he was surely the hit of the entire day.
While a flower girl — or grandpa! — can be touching, some brides are choosing to forgo flowers altogether. Instead, they’re choosing adorable puppies to replace the traditional bouquets.
Kathryn and Bradly Ziemer are dog lovers, and have supported Secondhand Hound, an organization that rescues puppies from high-kill shelters for years. Knowing that Secondhand Hound is known for its “puppy parties” in their community to promote adopting, the Ziemers contacted them with their idea of puppies in place of peonies at their ceremony.
In exchange, Secondhand Hound brought 13 newborn puppies to the wedding
, all named after Pokemon characters.
However, not all wedding flowers bring great memories for the couple getting married. Early last year in Richland, Washington, the owner of Arlene’s Flowers refused to sell wedding flowers to a gay couple for their wedding. This discrimination case has reached such notoriety that it is currently awaiting review at the state Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, one of the florist’s attorneys is now looking to unseat the judge who ruled against her. Challenger Alicia Berry argued that the flower shop owner, Barronelle Stutzman, had the First Amendment right not to be forced to sell flowers for Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed’s wedding, as it violated her Christian belief that gay marriage is wrong. Judge Alex Ekstrom ruled in February 2015 that Stutzman’s religious beliefs could not be used to justify treating customers any differently.
Berry is now running against Ekstrom in this year’s upcoming election and is looking to unseat Ekstrom simply because she believes she is better qualified.
“When we fail to protect the foundational right of freedom of conscience, we lose out on that first great freedom the Constitution was created for,” Berry explains in one of her radio ads.
Of the six incumbent judges up for election on the Benton-Franklin Superior Court Bench, Ekstrom is the only one with an opponent.
Who knew flowers could be so controversial?