Succulents provide a rustic, elegant chicness to wedding

This bouquet is focused around a large, rosette-shaped Echeveria succulent and secured with plant leaves, designed by Holly Chapple.
This bouquet is focused around a large, rosette-shaped Echeveria succulent and secured with plant leaves, designed by Holly Chapple.

Succulents are showing up everywhere in the world of weddings, from bouquets and boutonnieres to centerpieces and even take-home favors.

They're dainty yet hardy, and come in a surprising array of colors and textures. Best of all, they're ecologically friendly and can be replanted after your nuptials as a reminder of the special day.

"Succulents add a modern look," says Viva Max Kaley, a New York-based wedding planner. "Instead of pretty petals, it's a cool geometric use of lines. My clients tend to gravitate toward that aesthetic, so it's been a really popular choice."

Robbin Watson, a 27-year-old living in Boston who is getting married in Connecticut in July, is using succulents to add a bit of dusty blue and mint green to her cream-colored bridal and bridesmaid bouquets.

But while she loves their aesthetic, succulents are more of a sentimental choice for her.

"I lived on the West Coast for a few years with my fiance, where succulents are very prevalent. Not so much in the New England region, where I live now," Watson says. "To bring a little West Coast into my wedding ceremony, I thought succulents would be a great way to incorporate my memories of living in San Diego."


Bouquets such as Watson's are the most obvious and popular way to use succulents in weddings.

Debra Prinzing, Seattle-based author and founder of the eco-conscious floral directory site, says the trend has been popular among California brides for years but has really taken off thanks to social media sites like Pinterest and Instagram.

Demand for drought-hardy succulents in the gardening world has also made these once hard-to-find plants readily available year-round across the United States, and at a cheaper price than more traditional wedding flowers like roses and peonies.

Taylor Cassard, a 27-year-old nursing student in Montana, used a variety of light green rosette-shaped succulents from the Echeveria family in her bouquet for a rustic yet modern look when she got married at a guest ranch in Big Sky last summer.

"They were absolutely gorgeous and mixed so nicely with the other flowers to create a soft, natural look," says Cassard, who planted some of the succulents, post-ceremony, in metal buckets used by her flower children.

Many wedding florists recommend sprinkling succulents among traditional flowers rather than creating an all-succulent bouquet, which can get heavy and bulky-looking. The plants' vibrant green and sometimes purple colors pair especially well with jewel tones, burgundy and apricot shades. Prinzing says succulents are a particularly nice complement to dahlias, hydrangeas, lilies, orchids, roses and spring bulb flowers.


Succulents can feel like a more "masculine" floral accent and have become a popular choice for boutonnieres as a result, says Anastasia Stevenson, a wedding planner and founder of the website How to DIY Wedding.

They're sturdy and can stand up to the rigors of being pinned to a jacket that's tossed about all day. Succulents make good corsages for the same reason.

Cassard used a mix of small, rosette-shaped succulents and wild grasses for rustic-yet-elegant boutonnieres, sprinkling the plants throughout her reception area that night as table centerpieces and cake accents.

Rosette-shaped Echeverias like those Cassard used work well as centerpieces because they can grow up to a foot in diameter, Prinzing says.


How about succulents as jewelry? Wiring and flower glue are keys to this recent bridal trend, which includes everything from rings and necklaces to bracelets and headpieces, Prinzing says.

Other couples have said their vows before a wall of succulents or used them as eco-friendly wedding favors -- a parting gift that's "unlikely to be tossed in the trash when the guests arrive home," says New York-based wedding-trends expert and editor Anne Chertoff.

And succulents aren't just for people.

"I know of one creative designer who offers floral dog collars for her wedding parties," Prinzing says. "Succulents are ideal for this situation because they withstand canine activities that are probably more lively than a groom or bride's movements during a ceremony."

High Profile on 01/03/2016

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