Flowers at weddings are beautiful — but their beauty doesn't have to end there.
Love may last forever, but flowers don't — especially at weddings.
Back when she worked as an event planner, Jennifer Grove oversaw countless weddings. And besides brides, grooms, cake, ushers, bridesmaids, and attendees, there was something else that played a huge role in many of those weddings: flowers; lots and lots of flowers. Flowers that, sadly, wouldn't last much longer than the reception.
"I would have to tell people, 'Yep, you can throw all those flowers out,'" Grove tells Upworthy in a new video. There had to be a better solution than just throwing out perfectly good flowers, and that's what led Grove to start Repeat Roses.
Repeat Roses helps place gently used flowers in the hands of those who might need a little beauty in their lives. Specifically, to people living in hospitals and nursing homes.
During the wedding-planning process, spouses-to-be call up Repeat Roses, letting the company know they'd like to donate their wedding flowers. Repeat Roses then stops by the wedding at the end of the evening, gathers up the flowers, breaks them into small arrangements, and delivers them to a hospital, hospice facility, shelter, or nursing home.
Each year, in the U.S., there are roughly 2.25 million weddings. Each of those weddings generates between 400-600 pounds of trash.
That's a lot of trash, and that's a LOT of flowers that just get thrown away. Another part of what Repeat Roses does is reclaim the flowers after a few days at the hospitals or care centers so they can be composted, eliminating as much waste as possible.
"Our goal is to make it easy to incorporate an eco-friendly element to any corporate event or wedding plan while making a positive social impact," says Grove. "It's a lot of work, but it's a very unique opportunity combining kindness and sustainability in one service — giving back to the community and giving back to nature."
Now, of course, some soon-to-be newlyweds are cutting flowers out altogether in an effort to be less wasteful.
A quick look online for wedding flower alternatives will turn up a lot of really interesting, creative options being embraced by non-traditionalists out there. For example, candles have become a popular flower alternative, as have bundles of sticks or feathers.
Still, if you're going to stick to the flower tradition, you might as well donate your used flowers to others in need. It's a true act of charity, and that's exactly how Grove describes it.
"With newlyweds, it's the first charitable act they've done, and they haven't even left for their honeymoon yet," she says.