Choosing your wedding flowers...... what you need to know

Published on 3 July 2021 at 18:24

The 2021 wedding season, whilst not quite as previous years, is finally in full swing.  From seasonal blooms to deciding on artificial or fresh, our guide covers all the main points in making those all important bouquet and styling choices. 

If you're not sure where to begin, like many of your wedding decisions florals may feel less like a bed of roses and more the thorn in your side than you'd like.  Your choice of florals will undoubtedly be influenced by a number of factors.  Time of year the wedding takes place, maybe your favourite flowers or colour scheme choice.  The over all theme may also have a bearing on the style of your designs too.

Trends inevitably change but one thing is for sure, flowers are a way for you to be creative and show an element of your own personal style..  Your designs are both a focal point and part of a long standing tradition.  Incorporated in your styling, bouquets and groomsmen's button holes, your florals will flow and coordinate a clear theme. 

Your florist will have a wealth of knowledge regarding flowers to compliment each other, being happy to advise and help make decisions a fun and important part of the planning process.  You may already have a few favourite blooms in mind, though There are several other things you should consider when it's time to pick your wedding flowers, such as budget, colours, and style.  (You may find other blogs we have written on décor styles useful in choosing the over all ambiance you are looking to create)

Set a realistic Budget.......

Budget is an important element of any step in the planning process, being no different when picking your wedding flowers. Mentioned in previous blogs covering aspects of planning, Having a realistic budget in mind for your wedding will determine how much can be set aside for florals.  Sitting down with your partner, deciding what you're able to spend, within a manageable budget.  Currently, its thought most couples spend around eight percent of their overall budget on flowers, though this will vary depending on the types of flowers you choose and the number of arrangements required.

Saving for longer prior to properly planning can be a great way to allow for a larger budget, this can give you the option for more elaborate designs or more expensive flowers,  Alternatively, incorporating more greenery or substituting with more budget friendly blooms can be just as a beautiful though more cost-effective option if you have a smaller budget.

Discussing in season florals at the time of year you are planning with your florist, is always a recommended way to narrow down your choices.  Especially if you are considering fresh rather than artificial, in season blooms are easier to source and therefore less expensive.  As a general rule, Valentines day in February through to international mothers day in May are considered the busiest period of the year prior to the summer wedding season and often the most expensive so certainly a consideration in the time of year you choose.


Choosing your florist..........

Whilst we appreciate cost will play a role in your choice, It’s just as important to find a florist who you resonate with and understands what you want.  After all, he or she is the person who will take your ideas and bring your vision to life.  Advice of a professional and knowledgeable florist can be invaluable, along with the input about your choices to help you through the tough decisions when you're struggling to choose between garden roses and peonies.

In the same way as with any other supplier, when researching potential florists, take a look at examples of their previous work, read reviews, who have friends and family used for their flowers, what were their thoughts? .  Doing this will help you develop a sense of their style, as well as any specialities they may have (no two florists are alike!).  Many trusted florists like bakers and stylists will be recommended suppliers for venues, this shows quality in a suppliers work and the style suiting the venue as well as customer satisfaction.  Lets face it...... a venue isn't going to recommend a supplier if it's going to bring complaints or a bad reputation


Styles and trends.........

Very rarely will a bride be an expert on wedding flowers, it can certainly be helpful to do a bit of research into basic blooms before meeting with your florist.  While you’re gathering floral inspiration, familiarize yourself with popular wedding florals (Roses, Peonies, Hydrangeas, Lilies, and Ranunculuses, are just a few).  Its also worth considering whether or not you want fragrant flowers such as lilacs, freesias, peonies, jasmine, sweet peas, and gardenias being the most perfumed wedding flowers. Having a little knowledge will be handy when discussing your vision with to your florist, also saving you the feeing of being completely lost when they’re sharing ideas for your arrangements. 

In general, your wedding flowers should flow with the theme of your day.  Formal black-tie weddings in a hotel or marquee setting would require a more traditional aesthetic,  (a matching centrepiece low level votives and tidy arrangements) to ensure everything works with the style you've chosen..  Tipi or barn style venues offer a more relaxed and informal vibe often rustic, boho.  this will allow you the option of a little creativity with your designs, mix-and-match centerpieces between tables, handmade peices, or looser, garden-style arrangements.

Taking into account the flowers you choose will help create the tone of your wedding, bright pink Ranunculus are more playful and suited to a relaxed set up.  White calla lilies are timeless and elegant associated more with traditional feels.  Having a few descriptive words  (rustic, elegant, glamorous, Boho, modern, etc.) to help explain your wedding style is always helpful. Think about your venue, dress code, and other décor you plan to incorporate.

Knowing the style you are looking for and what would suit your venue is sure to give you inspiration (see our blog on décor styles for a more in-depth insight) .  Once you have a style in mind, browsing Pinterest  is a great start for ideas.   You will hopefully find floral arrangements you love and can start making notes about your preferences, Try to include, colour, shape, texture, and style.  It can be an advantage to develop an idea of floral displays you do or don't like.  You may love the boho style with pampas grasses and dried designs, on the other hand it may be a definite no - no.  Flowers and greenery off limits will be a big help for your florist to know when making recommendations from your preferences. 

Drawing inspiration from your favourite wedding movie or series on TV can sound slightly unconventional, though you would be surprised how helpful the ideas can be.  Taking a look at the fresh flower section at your local market, or ask family about the flowers they had for their wedding.   The main thing any florist or stylist will be looking for is for you to share your general vision, he or she will take it from there and can suggest their ideas for your wedding flowers.


The time of year and colour choices...........

Its easy to feel overwhelmed with choices for your flowers, there are a lot to choose from.  Sometimes it can be helpful to think in terms of colour to help narrow down your choices.  This is where the time of year and colour palette can go hand in hand.

In addition to your favourite colours, the time of year you are getting married will often have a huge bearing on the colours you choose.  Dahlias, carnations, mums, roses, tulips, and lilies are just a few of the flowers available in most colours.  Though you will find blooms, including peonies, lisianthus, hydrangeas, and anemones with a smaller selection of colours..

Although your wedding flowers don’t have to be an exact match with your décor, it is advisable to choose blooms that compliment your chosen colours.  Consider colours on your invites bridesmaids dresses or groomsmen suit, table linens, and miscellaneous accents.

If you are particularly looking for a perfect colour match, be as descriptive and specific as possible when considering options with your florist.   Provide paint chips, sample fabric swatches and photos of the décor so your florist can find the closest possible match. “coral pink” to you might mean peach, light orange or blush to someone else.

Bear in mind the types of flowers normally seen around the time of year you’re getting married,  Tulips and peonies in the spring, or dahlias and mums in the Autumn. There’s nothing to suggest you can't use flowers if they’re not in season, though blooms considered out of season might be difficult for your florist to source, often costing more.

Spring wedding flowers

Spring...... Start of the wedding season, being popular with the temperature not being too hot or cold,  It’s also peak season for some of the world’s most beautiful flowers. with so many floral favourites are available, you’re florist will be able to source them more easily, and are likely to be cheaper than if you were to select them for Autumn or Winter as local growers are more likely to be fully stocked with everything you’re looking for.

Peonies are a stunning and timeless flower, fitting beautifully with a range of styles, Offering a lush and opulent to delicate and romantic feel to any Spring wedding,  Creamy whites and pale pinks to deep and radiant magentas, thE billowing petals on these prized perennials will work with any look or theme you have in mind.

Roses are a classic and beautiful choice for you can't go wrong with, suited to you centerpieces, bouquet or button holes,  Garden Roses of all colours and shades are of the upmost popularity for spring weddings, due to their light airy scent and high petal count.  Typically used all year round, Roses make an ideal alternative to Peonies,  That said, spring is Peony season so you often find brides showing preference to Peonies.

Exquisite, rose-like blossoms,. Ranunculus have bloomed (quite literally) in popularity over the years, due to their beautiful heavy ruffles and multiple layers.  Adding a fun pop of colour and texture in bouquets, buttonholes and centerpieces.  Available in some of the most popular colours including pink, rose, salmon, sunset orange and, of course, white.

Bold and bulbous bloom, a quintessential flower of spring season, the red tulip holds a meaning of, “perfect love.”  Found in a variety of shapes, sizes and textures, from ruffled and fringed to lily-shaped or wild, so you can experiment with different species to find the best look for your theme and style. 

Large clusters of blooms, found in a variety of shades, from white and yellow to pink and purple, flourish in both the sun and shade, making them ideal for both indoor and outdoor weddings.  Hydrangeas are low-maintenance on the cost wise, so ideal for brides on a tight budget., That said, Hydrangeas require a little extra care than the average flower.

Anemone a delicate flower peaking in the spring, requiring partial shade though tolerating a bit of sun. Planted in late winter, they’re ideal for the spring season and have a fantastic vase life—meaning, you can take the home post-reception and they’ll last for a good 10 days! There are about 200 species of Anemone, so you can choose colours and styles that match your wedding theme.

Popular choice in the fashion industry on runways, Poppies have recently we've been utilised more and more by brides. Poppies, like peonies, can be adapted to a variety of styles from bohemian and whimsical to clean and modern.  Whilst most often seen in red, they grow in just about every colour of the rainbow, including black, if that’s your style!

Summer wedding flowers

One of the positives of a summer wedding.... the vast choice of flowers!   Many are naturally in-season, meaning almost unlimited blooms as far as colour, size, shape, and scent.  Possibly saving money as suppliers don't have to got to such lengths to source some of the season's most popular flowers.  Expect plenty of colourful blooms, such as orchids, proteas, anthurium.  The popular Peonies, Hydrangeas, Anemone and garden roses are still found easily during the summer months too.

Native to the tropical rainforests of South America, Anthuriums are some of the best flowers for a beach or island-inspired wedding.  Long-stem flowers, also known as "flamingo lilies" bloom in a handful of bright colours, including pink, red, purple, green, yellow, and multi-colour varieties.

Lavender, whilst small is incredibly fragrant, highly desired during the summer season, thanks to its colouring matching perfectly with the pastel palette, popular during spring and summer months. Lavender works as part of a  in a bouquet, providing a calming scent with a touch of purple making you think of summer.  Not forgetting adaptable when applied to different design styles, from rustic and classic to modern and sleek.

Known more commonly as the moth orchid Phalaenopsis Orchids, help create stunning cascading bouquets.  Orchids were a staple floral in the late '80s and early '90s, now making a comeback for the luxury bride.  With an average price of £35.00 per stem, brides working with a higher price range are requesting orchids as a statement piece in their floral arrangements.

Freesia are actually a floral available all year round, used commonly by wedding florists due to its petite size and soft appearance.  During summertime especially, freesias make a great choice, with light tones they can matched within any arrangement or bouquet.  Offering a more detailed and interesting look with a beautiful clean perfume that makes using them an absolute pleasure to work with.

Perfect for a beach wedding or a boho theme, Proteas are spiked flower native to South Africa.  Withstanding the hot summer temperatures, so no need to worry about wilting in the sunshine. Pair your proteas with dried accents like pampas grass and bleached greenery to get a cool, laid-back vibe. 

Autumn wedding flowers 

Transition from summer to autumn, brings no shortage of colour inspiration. From romantic sunsets, Pumpkin patches, apple orchards, and the season trademark leaves changing on the trees, rich, warm colours are seemingly everywhere as soon as September hits. That applies to your autumn wedding flowers.  Many of the season's most popular blooms can be found in dramatic orange, red, yellow, purple, and even brown hues.  Think sunflowers, dahlias, and Ranunculus. Seasonal foliage, like colourful leaves and foraged branches, are also popular for autumn weddings. . Whether your theme is rustic chic, classic, boho, or something in between flowers will play a big role in the décor, 

Whilst the garden roses as a wedding favourite can still be found in the autumn as with most of the year. The tuberous-rooted Dahlia naturally blossoms between late summer and early Autumn.  Dahlias can be grown in many different parts of the country, making them relatively easy to source. An ideal flower for weddings this time of year, as has a large fluffy shape and wide colour palette.  Regardless of your colour scheme, you can find a shade to match perfectly, as dahlias are available in a variety of tones from soft blush and cream to bright yellows and marmalades, and even in deeper burgundy.  Some of the most popular dahlia varieties include pompon dahlias, rounded flowers with tightly packed petals, and cafe au lait dahlias, which have petals that are longer and more fluffed out.

Exotic plants are long-lasting without water, ensuring a hardy choice for button holes, bouquets, and other parts of your arrangements not displayed in vases.  Making elegant wedding flowers for the autumn season in orange, known as "Charlie Brown orchids," thanks to their colouring, and are especially stunning when paired with greenery, such as lisianthus and sweet peas." Cymbidium orchids bloom in a range of colours perfect for an autumn wedding, including burgundy, mauve, yellow, green, purple, and chocolate brown with a red centre (it's actually a stunning colour combo—trust us!)

Perennial plants have become a popular choice for weddings in general.  Non more so than the Amaranthus, due to its ability to softly cascade and add shape to any arrangement, whether in bouquets, arches, or in hanging arrangements or centrepeices.  This burgundy and sage green flower adds an organic feel to the trending waterfall bouquet.

Ever popular in events in general recently, most commonly as part of boho styles. Pampas grass is the perfect addition to your autumn wedding flowers. Offering a soft, neutral-coloured grass can be used to add a real wow factor to almost any type of arrangement, from bouquets, buttonholes, aisle markers, hoop backdrops, centerpieces, and even your cake.

Elements of magnificence and beauty, Calla lilies are one of the most popular Autumn wedding flowers. Long-petaled, basal leaves are especially great for use as a button holes, and their variety of colours can be matched to almost any colour palette.  Available in traditional white to crystal blush and deep plum, wine and mulberry shades, Calla lily are an elegant choice year-round.  Sleek lines and an ability to be manipulated into floral design makes it stand out.  Calla lilies adapt well for both indoor and outdoor venues, since they hold up well in almost all weather conditions and don't have delicate petals that are easily damaged.

Common Autumn wedding flowers, chrysanthemums are naturally in bloom during the autumn season, offering a casual feel ideal for rustic styles. Spider mums, a light purple spiky variety will give arrangements a whimsical look with long statement petals. They're available in a rainbow of colours, including pink, orange, bright green, yellow, and white, making it easy to match them to the rest of your décor. 

A trendy house plant, succulents have only in the last decade become popular in wedding flower arrangements. These plants, which are related to cacti, are commonly used as accents or in place of traditional Autumn wedding flowers.  Giving an earthy woodland feel to floral arrangements. As venue stylists, we're not only seeing them in centerpiece and tablescape designs, but now in bouquets, button holes, and other floral jewellery.  Even seeing them used as favours for guests in cute cachepots.  In the green and soft lavender tones, they’re perfect for the organic and nature-loving couple.

Winter wedding flowers

Whilst winter isn't known for being the most flower-friendly time of year or for bright, blooming flowers — after all, the weather is usually snowy and cold, But that doesn’t mean your winter wedding has to be as bare as the branches on the trees!  Thankfully, there are plenty of flowers that are in-season during the winter.  There are actually a lot of gorgeous in-season blooms you can choose from for your wedding, including amaryllis, anemones, paperwhites (narcissus), and of course poinsettias—perfect for a Christmas themed wedding.

The amaryllis is an iconic Christmas flower that can used in bulb form or cut,  Its long stems provide great structure for design, allowing for either traditional or more structural elements.  Amaryllis flowering period is from December and until late June, so your chances of scoring them for your winter wedding are incredibly high.

Also known as the winterberry, this stunning shrub craves a cold, snowy landscape. It’s often used for Christmas decorations, thanks to its seasonality and red hue. The winterberry is as sweet as it sounds,. The flower has little white frosted berries that look like they came straight out of the snow.  Making stunning wedding decorations on their own, added to bouquets or merely used as accents for mirrors or entryways.

Thanks to their striking black centres, anemones are a favourite of winter couples and come in varying hues, from white to yellow and red. Their season lands between the months of October to May so readily available for winter weddings.  This flower pairs well with soft whites and natural greenery to create an aesthetically interesting bouquet that can be more classic or natural, depending on the accompanying blooms.

Commonly referred to as “false goat’s beard,” astilbe offers a unique shape for wedding florals. Its long stem and tiny blossoms, adds character and volume to bridal bouquets and arrangements.  Reminiscent of icicles, whether you utilize the bloom in white, red or fuchsia, they make a great choice for a winter bloom!

These captivating clusters of flowers come in everything from rosy pink to eggplant and even stark white. Astrantia blooms offer a sharper shape to contrast the softness of roses that permeate winter wedding florals, With a shape reminiscent of snowflakes, it is easy to see how these white and mauve blooms fit seamless into winter wedding celebrations.

Delicate, sweet flowers that bloom during the winter season and are particularly easy to care for—they’ll bloom in just about anything, from plain water to a pot of stones. “Narcissus paperwhites are perfect for a more casual, low key elegant look,” says Chitwood. “Plus—you can do a lot of fun things with potted paperwhites, from DIY Centrepieces or flower crowns!”

All orchids add a touch of elegance and luxury to any occasions, whether they’re being used in a decorative centerpiece or as an accessory for the bride’s hair. Phalaenopsis orchids, in particular, add a romantic touch. Used for ‘drippage, (a design term used to describe the ‘bounce’ of a floral design), You can take blooms off the stem for a nice look and place those in a bouquet or buttonholes.

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