Selecting your wedding flowers and the right florist is every bit as important as choosing your wedding dress. The flowers for the bouquet, bridesmaids’ posies, buttonholes, church and reception flowers make a huge difference to your wedding and how the photos look after. The whole look of your wedding is largely dependent on the flowers. So take a deep breath and consider these ideas.
The bride often cares most about the bouquet. Yet, it’s good to run a colour and species theme through all the flowers. The bouquet needs to compliment the colour not only of the wedding dress, but the bride’s colouring, the bridesmaids dresses and even the tablecloths at the reception. Things like the groom’s waistcoat and all the ushers’ ties can be coordinated. And … don’t forget to tell the mother and mother in law of the bride what your colour scheme is! No-one wants to clash, and some may want to buy themselves a complementing corsage or hat flowers.
The most traditional colours are red – symbolising love and passion, or white -suggesting innocence and purity. White against white or ivory, however, is not a great idea as the slightest difference in shade can clash badly. Yes, the colour of flowers has different meanings. Orange suggests enthusiasm, yellow for joy. Purple is seen as regal and dignified; pink is for happiness and grace. Lavender is for elegance. So, why not combine complementing colours that say all you wish about your marriage and your day. Reds and creams, orange and purple, pinks and lavenders … the combinations are endless.
It’s also important to think about your tastes, whether they are modern and funky or traditional and elegant. This wedding is all about the bride and groom and should reflect both of your sense of style. It’s a chance to have things exactly as you want them. Contemporary choices include the lavish, dramatic tropical flowers such as hibiscus, Asiatic lilies, birds of paradise or orchids. Watch out with those lilies and hibiscus however: their anthers are absolutely covered in pollen which can stain badly.
Roses, carnations and lily of the valley are more traditional. It’s all down to personal preference. You might choose the elegant and tall gladiolus: particularly effective in church displays and larger bouquets. Or tiny and beautifully smelling fresias and sweet peas. Carnations can be dyed to pretty much any colour and are relatively affordable, so often work well. Tulips, particularly for a spring wedding are glorious and simple. IN flower language they mean love, fidelity and caring.
There’s almost always some green in the bouquet. Choose from soft ferns like plumosa and lambs ears, grasses and ivy, italian rusca or something even more exotic. Some brides choose an all-green bouquet to celebrate nature in all its glory, fertility, renewal and health. But traditionalists may want to be careful, as they can be associated with jealousy, hence the expression ‘green with envy’. Good green flowers for variety include dyed carnations and roses, chrysanthemums and spider ‘mums, hydrangea and cymbidium orchids. Black also has some negative connotations, but can be stunning against an ivory dress and when combined with green or red.
When working out your budget, bear in mind that flowers locally in season will cost less. If you’re concerned about the environment, they also have less ‘flower miles’ too. This is a consideration with tropical flowers, since they will almost always be imported. Hence the higher cost, as well.
So start considering wedding flowers as early in the planning process as possible. Explore ideas with friends and florists, see what is possible and in season. There are also many images on the internet and in magazines design to inspire you.