From walking down the aisle to tossing a bouquet at the reception, flowers will accompany you at each and every moment of your wedding day. It’s why choosing your wedding flowers is such an integral part of the overall planning process.
More goes into this decision than you might think. Here, we’ll take you through some of the main considerations to keep in mind when choosing your wedding flowers. With this wedding flower guide, you’ll know exactly what to do to ensure the perfect floral styling and immaculate arrangements in advance of your big day!
When Should I Start Thinking About My Wedding Flowers?
It’s always a prudent step to start thinking about your wedding flowers as soon as you begin planning your nuptial celebrations.
Typically, most brides and grooms begin considering their wedding flowers at least a year before the big day. Some people spend years fantasizing about the perfect bouquet, but don’t worry if that isn’t your style. You’ll want to plan a few key factors before finalizing your specific flower choices anyway.
A few essential elements that will influence your floral arrangements are your wedding dress, venue, and theme. Once you have these components planned out, you will be ready to meet with a florist to discuss your vision for the big day. Your gown and location choices will give the professionals an idea of your visual preferences and ensure everything comes together to create the magical scene you envision.
Where Should I Look for Wedding Flower Inspiration?
No matter how many weddings you’ve attended, you may want some inspirational photos and themes for reference when it comes to planning your own ceremony. It’s worth spending some time researching different types of flowers, color schemes, and combinations other couples have used to create their own unique aesthetic.
Here are a few popular sources we recommend when looking for wedding flower inspiration. Save your favorites and create a digital mood board to share with your florist later on.
Pinterest puts an endless stream of wedding inspiration at your fingertips. Browse through board after board of wedding flower arrangements, and be sure to save a few to reference as you plan.
You can search Instagram hashtags like #weddingflowers to see the arrangements trending today. You can also find specific florists’ feeds to see pictures they’re sharing of their recent projects and creations.
Say you’re looking for red and white wedding flowers. Type that term into Google images and see what arrangements and flower choices come up. Click pictures you like, and Google will queue up even more images similar to your favorites.
Popular wedding magazines
Don’t be afraid to go back to the basics and order a few wedding magazines to sift through. These have long been a popular resource for couples during the wedding planning process. You can even cut out some images to create a physical mood board to bring to your florist for inspiration.
How the Seasons Affect Your Wedding Flower Choices
Different flowers bloom at different times of the year, so the season that you choose to get married will affect your options as well. For example, oriental lilies are at their peak in late summer, while camellias come alive in late autumn and early winter.
Additionally, your wedding date may affect your color palette. Vibrant shades like pink, purple, and yellow are more popular in the spring and summer months, while autumnal hues like deep red and orange are great picks for fall.
(Check out Petal Republic’s flower guides for all kinds of flower color option help)
Buying specific flowers during certain seasons may also mean they’re imported from another location. Flower imports can ensure the perfect blooms at any time of the year, but arranging shipments from far-off fields could dig into your wedding budget. It’s more cost-effective (and environmentally considerate) to buy locally sourced seasonal blooms when possible.
Getting to Know the Basics of Wedding Flowers
It’s always worthwhile familiarizing yourself with the basics of wedding flowers before you meet with a specialist. This will save you time and allow you to get right to work planning your perfect floral aesthetic. Here are a few of the factors to consider before making your appointment.
Popular Flower Types
The volume of choices you have when it comes to flower types can be a little overwhelming. From timeless garden roses to chic and delicate anemone blooms, you’ll find options for every color palette and wedding style. Now’s a great time to familiarize yourself with the range of flower species that work best for you in terms of color, characteristics, and inherent symbolism.
The fragrance is another essential component to choosing your flower arrangements. Some people love a fragrant bouquet, while others prefer flowers without a scent.
If you’re planning a summer wedding and want a lovely aroma to accompany you down the aisle, consider adding lavender to your arrangements. This soothing scent is sure to calm any wedding day nerves while adding a unique touch to your décor.
If you have a particular flower in mind, it will be helpful to know common pairing options. For example, roses of any color pair well with baby’s breath, or Gypsophila paniculata, while calla lilies look great with sweet pea or eucalyptus.
Wedding Flower Considerations
Wedding Flower Considerations Based on the Wedding Theme
You may already have a theme in mind for your wedding, which can help narrow down your choice of flowers. For example, a bohemian wedding theme may call for a wildflower-inspired floral arrangement with everything from small succulents to orange ranunculus. A fairytale wedding theme may include flowers like peonies or orchids.
Having your theme selected and your mood board complete prior to your meeting with the florist can help streamline the planning process and create a starting point for selecting specific colors and blooms.
Wedding Flower Considerations Based on the Location and Venue
Now, it’s best to wait until you’ve booked your venue to meet with a florist. This is because the aesthetic of your venue may be the deciding factor when it comes to your flower arrangements.
Your florist will know how to tie flowers into any scene, whether you’re getting married indoors or outside, in a church or a repurposed barn. The florist will combine your style preferences and ideas with elements like architecture, furniture, and layout of the space to highlight the right spots and transform every corner into a picture-perfect vignette.
Of course, your location will play a part in the availability of certain flowers too. It’s worth researching flowers that will be in season in your area on your wedding day to secure the freshest local blooms. Not only will this save you money, but it will help you make a more environmentally friendly decision and add a local touch to your wedding décor.
How Does the Wedding Dress Impact My Wedding Flower Choices?
Believe it or not, your wedding dress should play a part in your wedding flower decision. As you know, wedding dresses come in various styles ranging from traditional to modern and sleek, and the same goes for floral arrangements.
Your flowers should represent you as much as your wedding dress does. They should complement your gown with little touches that unify the aesthetic. However, many brides are unsure where to start to match their floral arrangements to their dresses. To keep it simple, we recommend starting with the bridal bouquet.
Start with the Wedding Bouquet
Many of your wedding pictures will feature you in your dress posing with a bouquet. That image makes a great starting point for envisioning how your dress will pair with your chosen wedding flowers.
For example, if you’ve chosen a traditional wedding dress, a round bouquet of roses will pair well. You may opt for hand-tied bouquets of wildflowers and a matching flower crown for a more bohemian style. A long silhouette looks great with cascading florals, while a non-traditional dress or pantsuit may call for something completely unique that aligns with your sense of style.
After you’ve decided on the style and composition of the bridal bouquet, the florist will be able to create corresponding bouquets for the bridal party, corsages, alter sprays, centerpieces, or any other arrangements you need!
Wedding Flower FAQ
Simply put, yes, you can do your own wedding flowers. This will save you money, but it can take a lot of time out of your already busy schedule. Wedding florists can spend several hours on one wedding bouquet alone, and that’s time you probably won’t have while taking care of every day responsibilities in addition to planning your wedding.
But that doesn’t mean DIY floral arrangements are out of the question. Consider putting a few members of your wedding party in charge of flower arrangements. You can also have a florist design certain elements, like the bridal bouquet and ceremony décor, while letting your family take charge of the reception table arrangements or wedding garlands for the head table.
The cost of your wedding flowers will depend on your plans for the big day. Smaller weddings may require a flower budget of around $700, while couples planning larger affairs may spend up to $5000 or more. Once you have your plans mapped out, you can meet with a florist to discuss your budget and receive an estimate for the big day.
It is a good idea to book your flowers from six months to a year before your wedding date. As with most wedding vendors, florists tend to book up quickly, and this is especially true if you’re getting married during the peak season between May and October.
However, remember to wait until you’ve booked your venue and found your wedding dress before picking your wedding flowers. After that point, set up a meeting with your florist as soon as possible. This head start will help you secure the perfect arrangements and put your mind at ease.
The Perfect Flowers for Your Perfect Day
Your wedding flowers add color to every moment of your special day and will live on in your wedding pictures for years to come. That’s why it’s worth taking care to ensure the perfect blooms decorate every scene from the aisle to your reception tables.
Follow these tips, and you’re sure to have the perfect floral arrangements to highlight your gown, represent your partnership, and express your unique style.
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Andrew is the Editorial Director at Petal Republic, a site dedicated to showcasing local floristry, exceptional floral design, and celebrating the world of flowers and plant life. Andrew holds a BSc Degree in Plant Sciences and has trained at leading floristry schools including McQueens in London and l'École des Fleuristes de Paris.