Sustainability Days Recap

by Alyssa Rainville

On wedding days, our team has a distinct timeline that constrains when we can begin and complete our work.  We operate around catering staff, lighting technicians, musicians, photographers, and every other vendor that preps the space before wedding guests arrive.  There is often a set time where we must be completely packed up and out of sight, well before anyone celebrating sets foot on site. 

With a little help from our friends at Location 215, our team was able to have a two-day excursion out of our typical workspace at the shop for some creative exploration.  It’s necessary to once in awhile take the time to experiment – to things that won’t necessarily work, but might work, in the name of innovation.  This allows our team to strengthen our arsenal of skills to apply to unexpected situations on wedding days, and with designing in general.

Jen and Nicole, owners of Location 215, graciously granted us use of one of their spacious studios for two days in a row.  Jen has been a regular customer of Vault + Vine for many years, and we have so much gratitude for her support in all areas of our operations!  We look forward to the weddings that are already planning to deck out with flowers in the same space where we experimented.

Opting for dried flowers and grape vines, Kat also used fabric to adorn our custom dark wooden chuppah.  Dried flowers can be used several times before needing to be composted from typical shedding and disintegration.  Additionally, drying natural elements lengthens their use in design work as a step before they enter the compost bin.

Sarah used Spanish moss to cover the soil of potted plants, to create kokedama-style embellishments on our rental copper arch.  This method of using plants could be applied to a photoshoot or an event, to preserve the life of the plants for enjoyment or re-use in a new setting once repotted.

Using live plants wrapped in moss, encircled in a frame of chicken wire to hold them in position, Meg’s bouquet used many different foliage varieties to hide the construction.  A house plant could be sentimentally placed in a bouquet, to later be appreciated in the home.

Caroline tested the longevity of individual flower and foliage varieties out of water for the two-day span.  Some stems were unaffected by the lack of water source, and some wilted very quickly on day one.  This information helps inform designer decision-making when considering what flowers would be best used in specific designs.

Crumbly green flower foam is widely regarded within the floral industry as an environmentally harmful holdover from older days of floristry.  While Vault + Vine uses minimal amounts of floral foam to begin with, it would be helpful to have some substitution for this material when needed.  A loaf of stale bread served as a flower foam substitute for Lydia’s experiment.  While compostable, bread unfortunately does not boast the necessary structural integrity to serve as an armature for flower stems – it is also poor at retaining water for necessary flower hydration levels. 

Dampened moss in a dish, with chicken wire framing, is another possible foam alternative that was tested.  While it could work for some more hardy blooms, it serves best as a foliage-only design aid.

We aim to show our work through photos, though we are frequently missing from the images. Save for the hand-off of personal flowers, you might not even see us on a wedding or event day. Seeing ourselves captured in time in photographs, and additionally in video is a new and wonderful way we can time-stamp this moment into memory.

Video shot and produced by Lydia Conner

At Vault + Vine, we strive towards a greater sustainability in all aspects of what we do, to the greatest degree possible.  Sustainability Day was an experimentation in trying new floral design techniques to benefit our team’s sense of innovation.  We hope to always work creatively as a team towards a more environmentally responsible future.