The selection of decoration and personal flowers for your wedding can be very exciting. It also can seem a large undertaking to arrange as there are many variables and choices to be made. The number one consideration to always keep in mind through the flower selection process is that there are no wrong choices for your wedding flowers. All recommendations are provided as guidelines but your own personal preferences always take precedence. Flowers play various roles at the wedding and may be simple or elaborate depending on the style of the wedding itself and the venue that is being used. Ideally, flowers will seem individual that they were specially selected for the wedding couple.
The ultimate goal for your flowers is for them to integrate with your overall wedding theme and reflect your personal style. As you work with your florist for your wedding flowers, know that their job is to provide helpful advice as well as interpreting your desires. The more information you can share will assist them in making your vision a reality. Good communication with your florist is key, so if you don’t feel the rapport is right, you may wish to find a florist who is familiar with weddings and can interpret your style.
In general, less is more when it comes to flowers and when chosen correctly, the right flowers can go a long ways in adding a splash of colour as ornamentation on top of all the other parts of the wedding. As you begin the process of choosing your wedding flowers, take some time to browse through bridal magazines and garden guides to see what flowers appeal to you. You may even wish to visit a nursery or greenhouse to see various types of flowers in person. Classic wedding flowers that you can’t go wrong with include roses, peony, lily of the valley, hydrangea, orchid, and calla lily.
Once you’re starting to think about what you might like in terms of flowers, you’ll want to be sure to calculate your budget so you know what funds you have to work with. If you find some of your choices are over-budget, you may be able to find similar alternatives that are less costly. Be honest upfront with your florist as to what can spend so that they can devote their attention to meeting your needs. If you must focus on one thing, let it be the bridal bouquet. Backdrop foliage can ‘fill in’ and create the sense that you have more floral arrangements than you actually do. Fragrant flowers (for example, frangipani, lilies, hyacinths, jasmine, and sweet peas) also create the impression of more flowers than you have. Centerpieces quickly add up and you may wish to keep them very simple.
Colour is the ultimate role of flowers as they are one of the most visible displays of your wedding theme and your chosen colours. Your flowers should complement your wedding dress, the clothes of the wedding party, and the venue as it will be decorated for you. Seasonal availability may affect your colour choice as well, especially when paired with budgetary concerns.
Some popular choices by colour:
White: rose, sweet pea, camellia, stephanotis, narcissus, gardenia, orchid, lily of the valley, jasmine, and snowdrop.
Pink: rose, ranunculus, peony, sweet pea, carnation, tulip, protea, boronia, and lily.
Lavender: lavender, lilac, anemone, statice, iris, delphinium, and hydrangea.
Yellow: daffodil, sunflower, tulip, gerbera, lily, and freesia.
Red: gerbere, rose, dahlia, poinsettia, and amaryllis.
Some popular choices by season:
Spring flowers: amaryllis, anemone, daffodil, freesia, gerbera, lily of the valley, orchid, ranunculus, stephanotis, and sweet pea.
Summer flowers: anthurium, carnation, chrysanthemum, gypsophila, lily, magnolia, peony, rose, and sunflower.
Autumn/fall flowers: agapanthus, aster, clematis, daisy, hosta, hydrangea, passion flower, and pinks.
Winter flowers: camellia, euphorbia, iris, nerine, pansy, poinsettia, snowdrop, tulip.
All year round flowers: calla lily, carnation, gypsophila, orchid, protea, rose, and tulip.
If you are on a budget, the top priority should be first for the bridal bouquet which should be the largest and most elaborate of all the bouquets.. This is the one place not to skimp! White is a traditionally popular colour choice for a bridal bouquet, but other soft pastels are also often used such as pinks of all shades, burgundy, and violets. Some considerations in creating your bouquet include the style of your dress, your height, and your wedding theme/personal style. You want the bouquet to match your dress in terms of its colour, style, shape, and detail. In general, a larger dress requires a larger bouquet; likewise, a slim fitting dress takes a simpler bouquet. The key to bouquet design is that your flowers don’t drown you, hide the silhouette of the dress, or unbalance its line.
Bouquets also come in various shapes including round, tied, and cascade (trailing). Don’t choose a trailing bouquet if the feature detail of your dress is on the skirt as it would then be obscured by the flowers. If you have a long train or bustle, you might want to balance the look with a large dramatic bouquet. Plan to avoid hiding your waist as it’s often your narrowest part; you want to always make your bouquet narrower than your waist. For an added touch of glamour, you may wish to incorporate pearls and crystals into the bouquet. Tying the stems with wide satin ribbon affords a rich, luxurious look and sheer or organza ribbon can be made into bows and streamers.
A round bouquet is a popular choice which works well with large flowers such as roses and peonies. In a round bouquet, flowers are loosely arranged with foliage and tied with ribbon. Trailing (cascading) bouquets are traditional and formal and excellently suited for romantic wedding gowns and large dresses; they will overpower slinky or form-fitting gowns. Trailing bouquets consist of flowers wired to a handle. Tied bouquets are hand tied casually or wound together with wire. Tied bouquets are suitable for a modern, simple dress at a contemporary wedding. A posy is very small and simple in design and is hand tied with ribbons. Lily of the valley is a popular choice for a posy style of bouquet. A pomander bouquet lacks foliage and may be suspended on a ribbon to be worn on the bride’s wrist. For modern and slim-fitting gowns, a slender bunch of lilies or perhaps an elegant bouquet of exotic blooms and tropical foliage would be appropriate.
Once the bridal bouquet is taken care of, there is the rest of the wedding party to consider. Bridesmaids’ bouquets can be a smaller version of the bride’s. Alternatively, you may wish to alter the shape (i.e. bride’s is trailing while bridesmaids’ are round) but the colour theme should be maintained. The flower girl could have a small basket of flowers that match the bridesmaids’ flowers with a basket of a white or pastel shade and then scatter the petals as she walks down the aisle. Another possible ideal is a spray of flowers attached to a piece of ribbon then tied to her wrist with the ends made into a bow. This is a great choice for a very young girl who might struggle with a basket. A floral headband or other floral hair ornament would be a nice gesture for the flower girl as well to make her feel extra special.
After the bridal party, there is the flowers for the bridegroom and groomsmen. While buttonhole/boutonnieres are simpler than bouquets, they are no less important. The groom’s flowers should be slightly different than those of the groomsmen and often a single flower that matches the bride’s bouquet is used for the groom. Popular choices for men’s wedding flowers include: roses, carnations, orchids, and small varieties of lily such as lily of the valley. You may wish to give the fathers of the bride and groom a special buttonhole bloom of their own as well.
Lastly, the mothers of both the bride and groom should be given corsages that complement their outfits. Popular choices for corsages include roses, orchids, camellias, and gardenias. Often grandmothers and perhaps special aunts will also wear corsages again being careful to match the clothing they will be wearing.