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Behind the Blooms: The Ethical Sourcing Process of Bramble & Blossom's Eco-Friendly Wedding Flowers

Forget imported blooms! At Bramble & Blossom, we're passionate about crafting eco-friendly wedding flowers that celebrate everything beautiful about Western Pennsylvania and your unique love story. In a recent episode of the Slow Flowers Podcast, I had the chance to share some of my most frequently asked questions as an eco-friendly wedding florist and talk about my approach to ethical floristry. After that episode aired, I got a few emails and DMs asking me to talk more in-depth about my sourcing practices so today, here we are to answer those burning questions!

Florist, on a ladder, arranging white flowers on a wooden wedding arch. A clear blue sky is behind her.
Jessica, designing a foam-free wedding arch with locally grown orlaya and mock orange.

Most American florists connect with a sales rep at their local flower wholesaler and call it a day. Sourcing is just a means to an end - getting the flowers that they want in their designs. But, at Bramble & Blossom, sourcing is at the heart of our business. Where our flowers come from is just as important to us as the designs themselves. That's because our sourcing process is what connects us to the flowers that tell your love story!

We source your wedding flowers in four ways, and I'm excited to talk in-depth today about each one.

#1: Direct Sourcing: Bringing Your Wedding Flowers From Farm to Florist

It's no secret: Bramble & Blossom embraces the beauty of local, seasonal blooms! During peak growing season (May-October), we source from the most incredible flower farms within 100 miles of Pittsburgh. Since 2017, I've put my heart on my sleeve, and been building connections with hardworking, talented, and creative flower farmers like Haley from Brynhill, Collette from Sol Patch Garden, Cathy from Belle Fleur Gardens, Margie + Kate from Goose Creek Gardens, and Mary from Pisarcik Flower Farm. For me, these collaborations aren't about the transactional, they're partnerships that I truly cherish. I rely on local farmers, who know this land like the back of their hands, to bounce my wild installation ideas around with and brainstorm what's possible in a bold color palette our client wants to try. They're the most valuable source of knowledge when it comes to the upcoming growing season and what we have to look forward to for our designs.

Farm-to-florist sourcing ensures freshness, minimizes environmental impact, and supports our community. Win. Win. Win! Our collaborations are year-round, and you can find us in February chatting about planting schedules, weather, and flower trends or in September waxing poetic about which dahlias are stealing the show this week (Platinum Blonde, we see you). I love to ask Haley from Bryn Hill about her woody perennials or what the damned deer ate this time; with Collette, I always want to hear what's new with her farmers market offerings or the unique heirloom chrysanthemum varieties she's growing; and with Kate, we've had some beautiful conversations about building rest into our work-life balance as busy moms and business owners.

I am always thrilled to hear about the new varieties they're trialing or planning to plant in the coming season. All of this allows Bramble & Blossom to curate stunning arrangements bursting with vibrant, locally-grown blooms, each with its own story. To check out some of our favorite local farmers, check out our Seasonals Flowers page. Bonus points if you hop on Instagram and give them all a follow right now!

Three women holding flower bouquets. In the middle is the bride, with the largest bouquet. On either side, her bridesmaids wearing dresses in various shades of green.
Bouquets featuring locally grown chamomile, yarrow, delphinium, feverfew, scabiosa, bupleurum, snapdragons, and butterfly ranunculus, with California-grown roses. Photo by Emily Reynolds.

#2: Collectives + Co-Operatives: Sourcing from Regional Farming Groups

As a big fan of collaboration over competition, Bramble & Blossom LOVES the collaborative spirit of flower collectives! We are buying members in two vibrant groups, the Pittsburgh Flower Exchange and the Ohio Flower Collective, which give our clients access to over 25 farms in our region. What does this mean for our clients? More diverse bounty than you can shake a scarecrow at. These collectives foster camaraderie, knowledge sharing, and bulk buying power, benefiting both farmers and florists.

Working with them allows us to source unique, specialty blooms from smaller farms we might not discover individually or who may not sell in a volume that fulfills every stem we need for a wedding. We appreciate the collectives' focus on sustainable practices and fair compensation for farmers. Witnessing their collaborative energy inspires us, and ultimately translates to stunning, ethically sourced arrangements for our customers. Visit our website to learn more about these amazing partnerships!

Mock orange flowers
Locally grown mock orange at Bramble & Blossom's studio.

#3: Foraging: Treasure-hunting for Seasonal Textures

At Bramble & Blossom, we don't just cultivate beauty; we sometimes hunt for it! We venture into the wilds of Western Pennsylvania, guided by ethical foraging practices, to unearth unique textures and blooms that often add that secret sauce-type magic to our designs. Think delicate ferns (from the woods behind my grandma's house) unfurling, vibrant berries (from our neighbor's overflowing brambles) bursting with color, or whimsical branches (from the side of the two-lane road near my son's school) boasting unique shapes. I always carry snips and a bucket in my car and am surveying the landscape for these precious materials whenever I head down the road.

Our foraging philosophy emphasizes sustainability and respect for the environment. We only harvest what's abundant, leaving plenty for nature's cycle. We carefully identify each plant, ensuring responsible and ethical sourcing. These foraged finds add a touch of untamed magic to our arrangements, each piece a tiny treasure that's only shared with that week's wedding.

a large fireplace at the National Aviary, decorated with fall flowers, including foraged teasle.
Foraged teasle + locally grown amaranthus star in this floral installation at the National Aviary. Photograph by Erica Dietz.

#4: Sourcing American-grown Flowers from National Wholesalers

Bramble & Blossom's dedication to American-grown blooms also extends beyond our region. While local partners reign supreme during peak season, even off-season or unique flower requests are handled with the same commitment to American farms. We bypass the ethical quagmires of imported flowers and have instead cultivated relationships with trusted national players.

Our long-time partners, like Florabundance, champion American-grown flowers and share our values. We also source roses directly from Rose Story Farm, Grace Rose Farm, and Peterkort, knowing that not a single stem we work with is imported.

This strategy guarantees your floral vision is flawlessly executed, no matter the season. Each stem, local or national, embodies our core values: supporting American farmers, ensuring exceptional quality, and avoiding the pitfalls of imported flowers. Let Bramble & Blossom bring the beauty of American agriculture to your celebration, year-round!

Bride and bridesmaids holding pastel bouquets at Succop Nature Park
Locally grown delphinium, astrantia, stock and butterfly ranunculus, paired with California-grown roses. Photograph by Michael Will.

Ready to plan your eco-conscious wedding? By choosing Bramble & Blossom, you're not just getting stunning flowers, you're supporting a whole network of people whose hands get dirty growing your gorgeous one-of-a-kind bouquet. Ready to say "I do" to sustainable beauty? Contact Bramble & Blossom today for a one-on-one, free consultation, and let us craft the perfect floral story for your Pittsburgh wedding!

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