Beautiful flowers decorate every aspect of a wedding. And they are worn by the bride, groom and wedding party to add splendor and radiance to those celebrating the union of love.
Floral decorations begin with wedding showers and reception dinners. They are presented in vases, centerpieces, baskets or hanging planters. Floral arrangements can be chosen to match themes, colors or special meanings, and brides-to-be can select flowers to complement each segment.
Ceremonies are traditionally decorated with flowers that represent love, purity and innocence. And greenery is included for contrast and meaning. Creative additions are endless. Ivy represents fidelity, and honeysuckle relates pure affection. Gardenias impart a meaning of joy. Violets convey modesty and faithfulness, and daisies relate a sharing of feelings.
The most popular flowers for weddings are roses, lilies, freesias, snapdragons, callalilies, orchids, tulips, hydrangeas and gardenias. But anything goes, and you can make your wedding as dazzling as you like.
Combinations of flowers and colors can embellish altars, pews, arches, windows, aisles or doors. Outdoor or tent ceremonies can also be imaginatively decorated.
Limousines, cocktail engagements and receptions are tastefully decorated with flowers, many times in conjunction with balloons, streamers, ribbons and other favorites. Many brides visit party or craft stores for ideas to enhance flower decorations at cocktail and reception parties.
Wedding flower decoration ideas Wedding flower decoration ideasBefore setting preferences, prospective brides should visit several florists to widen their floral perspectives. It’s best to have the bridal gown and bridesmaids’ dresses selected first – themes, colors and fabric samples can be used to help select floral arrangements.
Ask florists what their capabilities and recommendations are, and about recent weddings they have decorated. Most florists like to have at least a six-month lead time to order flowers and plan their creations.
You can make your wedding as DAZZLING as you like.
“We work with brides to give them the perfect wedding appearance,” said Jon Zerrlaut, owner of Flowers By Penney Lane in Reisterstown, Md. “We rent arches and chuppas, and we custom decorate to add color and beauty to the wedding. We strive to provide anything different and creative to make each wedding unique.”
Zerrlaut said he likes to add an uncommon twist to receptions. He has even made floral centerpieces out of fish bowels with live goldfish. He said that brides bring him ideas they have seen in magazines or on TV, and he uses artistic license to create exciting, decorative surroundings.
With imagination, even bridal bouquets can have added flair. Some brides-to-be choose the wildflower, spring-garden look. These have loose, airy flowers, contrasting colors and keepsake ornamentation. More popular today is the tight, balled clutch bouquet with a symmetrical appearance.
Matching combinations can be displayed on the wedding cake or worn as a wreath. Loose flowers worn in the hair are popular for brides and bridesmaids.
The bride who wants to preserve her bouquet should have an inexpensive alternate made for the bouquet toss. Traditional white bouquets can include fern or ivy for color.
Cascading bouquets flowing from the bride’s arm are less trendy than the clutch varieties, and petit-style bouquets seem to be more popular than the large, bulky look. Bridesmaids can have bouquets or carry flower arrangements – like roses with baby’s breath – and nearly all flower varieties can offer complementary colors.
Steve Cox, owner of A Private Affair Inc., a flower shop in Columbus, Ohio, said that not only are bridal bouquets becoming smaller, but brides are sticking to one kind of flower. He makes bouquets in a popular Biedermeier style which is a small, rounded ball.
Cox is finding a trend toward having flower decorations at all phases of a wedding. He said that brides are asking for everything from dance floor decorations to plant rentals.
“We show brides different possibilities for wedding flowers. Entire environments can be improved with creative floral ideas,” Cox said. “In large arrangements we have been adding plants with flowers. We sometimes give flowers that full-grown, bulky, rosebush look by water-tubing the roses. “We’re getting fewer requests for tall centerpieces at receptions – brides seem to want a lower profile, or they’re alternating sizes. Many times they’re going with small take-home vases of flowers instead of centerpieces.”
Some florists move flower arrangements from ceremony sites to reception sites. And many rearrange existing displays into centerpieces or use them to embellish stages, doors, tables, chairs, curtains, chandeliers or other reception areas.
Brides should compare costs before deciding whether to have different flowers for churches and banquet halls. Friends or family could volunteer to decorate receptions with ceremony flowers if the florist will not.
Bridesmaids and mothers, and the groom and groomsmen, should all wear flower styles that match the theme of the wedding and the bridal bouquet.
Bridesmaids should match their flowers with the color of their dresses. Their flowers should not upstage the bride’s ensemble, but it is recommended that the maid of honor have a larger bouquet with a distinct arrangement. Mothers’ corsages should match their own dress fashions and colors.
The men’s boutonnieres can be carnations or roses. They should fit the bride’s color scheme, and they should be alike. Fathers’ boutonnieres can match the cut and color of their suits or tuxes and still blend with the overall scheme. Boutonnieres are worn on the left lapel.
“Men’s boutonnieres are becoming larger,” said Kay Maingot, co-owner of Kelley’s Flowers in Houston, Texas. “And brides and grooms, by and large, are becoming more particular about their appearance and the expression of the wedding.”
Maingot said that sophisticated brides seem to be concentrating more of their efforts on reception flowers and decorations because more time is spent there than the church. She feels that wedding couples are also becoming more value conscious. They’re using more expensive flowers in smaller arrangements, and they’re wanting more refined and intricate decorating, she said. “Many Houston brides are decorating their wedding cakes with fresh flowers,” Maingot said. “Nearly 20 percent of our brides want fresh roses and orchids for their cakes, and we try to coordinate the colors to fit the wedding.”
Some florists offer a selection of wedding packages for flower decorations, and these can range from conservative to elaborate, depending upon the budget. If budget packages don’t fit your wedding scheme, nearly every florist offers custom flower arrangements. Some flower designers accompany brides to ceremony and reception sites to sketch decoration plans. Individualized service is important to some prospective brides, and often they can hire their own personal flower designer.
Larry Morello, owner of Key West Florist of Miami, offers a completely personalized flower decorating service for weddings. He does every arrangement himself out of his home studio. “I attract customers who are looking for a creative flower artist,” Morello said. “I devote my full attention to consulting with brides and creating unique floral representations of weddings. “I’m in a traditional Latin community, and I do many tropical weddings. I use a lot of birds-of-paradise, ginger, antherium and haliconia. And I even use some of these in bouquets. Providing wedding flowers is a close, personal service. I specialize in an excellent product, perfect flowers and on-time delivery.”
The essence of floral design is craft and color. “We do the European English garden look – we work with a lot of wildflowers, and we use a lot of roses,” said Patricia Kress, owner of Christopher’s Flowers in Pittsburgh, Pa. “Brides want crafty creations, and we decorate with bright colors. Hot pinks, purples, and bright yellows are fashionable.”
When wedding guests walk into a reception room, the first thing they see is the flower decorations, Kress said. Too many brides wait until the last minute to book their flower arrangements, and the best florists are busy. Flowers are one of the first things brides should plan and budget for. This avoids disappointment on their wedding day, she said.
When shopping for a florist for your wedding, here are some important considerations:
Find a flower shop that’s busy, especially one that services many weddings. Experience is essential to achieving perfection.
Find a flower designer with personality – one who asks questions about your wedding and is willing to listen.
Speak with the design artist who will actually design your arrangements and do your decorating. Ask for ideas, alternatives and recommendations.
Ask about delivery service. Will the shop move flowers between locations and rearrange flowers as needed?