Wedding Flower Tips
- General wedding flower tips
- Do your homework. Look online, through bridal magazines, pictures of other weddings or get inspiration through TV shows. This would be a start on determining what look is best for you. There are no right or wrong answers, just what is right for you.
- Do not worry if you do not know what you want. Most brides need suggestions and guidance. Do not be concerned if you do not know
anything about flowers, your florist or event planner is there to help.
- There are 3 major areas when picking out a bouquet.
1.the style of the bouquet
2.the color scheme of the flowers
3.variety of flowers
- Temperature may affect fresh flowers. A good rule is, if you are uncomfortable, your flowers are uncomfortable too. If flowers get thirsty, they tend to wilt. To help prevent wilting, have a spray bottle of water to give your flowers an occasional mist. Some wilted flowers can be revived if they get hydrated. Misting the flowers or adding them to a vase of water would help. If temperatures are at or near freezing, cover your flowers to prevent them from freezing. You will not know a flower suffered from frost damage until the flower warms up. It may look fine outside, but once flowers get warm, it will wilt and turn black. How bad the flower looks is determined by the amount of frost damage done. This is irreversible.
- How to hold your bouquet. You should hold your bouquet low, just below your navel (belly button). You will show more of you bodice and not to mention this will appear to lengthen your arms and make them appear slimmer.
- Keep in mind that fresh flowers are generally heavier than artificial or dried flowers.
- You will have one perspective of your bouquet, looking at it. Everyone else will have another perspective, what it looks like when you are holding the bouquet. Look at yourself in a mirror to see the guests perspective of your bouquet. Try to visualize what the entire wedding party picture will look like in pictures.
- Your personality is just as important to consider when picking out flowers as your bridesmaids dress color. There are no right or wrong answers, the correct answer is dependent on the look that you are going for. There are two main rules when picking out your wedding flowers.
- Make sure the bridesmaids flowers do not outshine the bridal bouquet. Example do not make the bridesmaid’s bouquet larger that the bride.
- Make sure you look as if you belong to the same wedding. Do not choose a combination of flowers or colors for the bridesmaid’s bouquet that clash with the bridal bouquet. One saying that I learned in design school was “when in doubt, leave it out” . If you do not love it, leave it out. We are going for “I love my wedding flowers.”
- Centerpieces from dinner can be used at gift opening or be gifted to special guests after the reception ends.
- Have your flower girl throw dried petals collected from the flowers your fiancé gave you throughout your courtship.
- If you would like to have a living sentiment from your bouquet use ivy that can be rooted and planted after the wedding.
- It is debatable whether or not to have different size of bouquets depending on the size of your bridesmaids. A bridesmaid may be very self conscious of her size, whether big or small.
- Tips to personalize your bouquets
- Consider the embellishments on your gown. Example – add crystals to your bouquet if there are crystals on your gown.
- Add something sentimental to your bouquet – such as a family heirloom: Grandma’s brooch, a piece of Mom’s wedding veil or your baby bonnet.
- Use a flower that was in your Mother’s or Mother-n-law’s bouquet in your wedding bouquet. It could be the same variety of flower or an actual flower from the bouquet (if it was preserved or artificial).
- Use your and/or your fiancé’s birth flower. CLICK HERE TO SEE THE FLOWERS OF THE MONTH.
- Coiling barked wire can mimic the look of more expensive fiddle head fern.
- If your flowers are in a vase of water, have a towel handy to wipe the stems off to avoid water spots on your gown.
- Tips to choose the Style of Bouquets
- Consider where the detail on your gown is. You may want to dress up a simple gown with a larger bouquet such as a cascade. Or keep your bouquet more simple on an ornate gown by using a round or arm bouquet.
- Where the bouquet is held may help determine what style is right for you.
Round bouquet – held just below your waist. This is a very popular style. You could choose to have a straight handle or angled handle.
This style of bouquet could be made in a variety of sizes. Large flowers such as peonies and garden roses work well with this style.
Cascade – held just below your waist. A cascading bouquet is one where the flowers waterfall down the front of the bouquet. There are
many different styles of cascades. This is a very traditional and formal style. Be careful not to overpower a close fitting dress with a cascading bouquet. If you are going for a classic or traditional look or if you want to add more decoration to your dress, a cascading bouquet may be right for you.
Hand tied – The stems of the flowers will be held just below your waist and the bulk of the flowers will be held in front of the bodice of your gown. This style looks like a fresh picked bouquet of flowers. Especially fitting for less formal or garden ceremonies.
Arm/presentation – held on the inside of your arm, like a baby. This style is given to beauty pageant winners. If you have an escort, then
you would carry the bouquet in the opposite arm of your escort. If you are walking alone, it would be your choice which arm to carry the bouquet in. Whether it be left or right, all the women in the bridal party should carry her bouquet in the same arm. Unless you have long sleeves, this style will not cover any of your gown.
Pomander – held in front of the skirt of your gown. A pomander is a ball of flowers usually suspended by a loop of ribbon. Most often
carried by flower girls.
- You could choose the same style or a different style for the bridal and bridesmaid’s bouquets. Traditionally, the bridal bouquet is larger
than the bridesmaid’s bouquets.
- There may be a style that fits your personality.
- Tips to choose a color scheme
- What role would you like your flowers to play in your wedding? Would you like them to stand out and be a focal point, or be treated more like an accessory, like a piece of jewelry? The amount your flowers stand out is determined by the color scheme of your flowers against the dress color. Example – lets say you have red bridesmaid’s dresses and you have a white gown. If you carry a bouquet of red roses, that bouquet will stand out next to your white dress. If the bridesmaids carry that same bouquet of flowers, the red roses will blend into their red dress. There is nothing wrong with that, if that is the look you are going for. The same holds true for a bride carrying a white/ivory flowers when wearing a white or ivory dress. If you are wearing the most beautiful dress ever made, you may prefer that the emphasis be on the gown and not on the flowers.
- If you would like you flowers to act as an accessory, pick a similar color or colors with the same color intensity as the backdrop.
Example if you are wearing a white or ivory dress, choose ivories or soft pastel colors. If your bridesmaids are wearing deep purple dresses, work with more purples or flowers with a lot of deep colors, such as deep blues or burgundy.
- If you would like your flowers to POP. Use bright eye catching colors, such as bright pink, bright oranges, yellows and lime greens. The
exception to the rule: do not use more than 50% of the bouquet the same color as the backdrop. For instance do not carry a majority of hot pink flowers on a hot pink dress, the pinks will blend together. Try adding other bright colors to the mix.
- Walking down the aisle will be the first impression that your guests have of you on your wedding day. Where do you want the emphasis to be? If you are carrying a very bright bouquet of flowers the first impression may be the flowers. If you do not like to be in the spotlight, you may prefer to have a more colorful bouquet. Dark colors such as black, plums, navy blue and deep burgundy are receding colors. This means they appear to be further away than other colors in the plane. By adding receding colors, your bouquet will appear to have more depth, but will also give the impression of a bare spot from a distance.
- If you and your bridesmaids carry the same color scheme and your dress and the bridesmaids dresses have similar amount of color, example you have an ivory dress and the bridesmaids have a pastel gown, then the bouquet will have the same affect on both dresses. If you have contrasting colors, example you have a white dress and the bridesmaids have a black dress, then the bouquet will have different look on the two dresses. You may have the same color scheme, just use a simpler style for the bridesmaids versus the bridal bouquet or you could use the same style bouquet but use different colors or different variety of flowers.
- When choosing black as an accent, consider using gerbera daisies with dark centers or star of Bethlehem. Those are 2 flowers that can naturally contain black.
- Use seasonal colors: Keep in mind that seasonal flowers vary by region and everyone has their opinion on what a certain seasonal color is. Talk to your florist about seasonal flowers. Professional growers have done a remarkable job at extending the season for many flowers. Fresh flowers come from throughout the world. Each climate is best at growing a certain variety of flower. If you are going green, ask your florist about locally grown flowers.
- Take into consideration the size of the bloom. Just because a flower may be more expensive does not mean that the bouquet will be more expensive. Larger flower heads will mean less flowers. Smaller flower heads mean more flowers.
- Foliage (plant material) is not necessary but recommended for cascading and hand tied/fresh picked bouquets. Using foliage will “loosen” the look of the bouquet.
- Foliage can be used in between flowers in the bouquet or just as the collar of the bouquet.
- Do you have crystals, pearls, rhinestones etc. on your gown? You may want to add that element into your bouquet. For example, adding a pearl into your stephanotis to pull out the pearl on your gown. A stephanotis can be embellished with pearls (shown), rhinestones, and crystals.
- The use of ribbon in your bouquet. Using a sheer or fine ribbon will give you a more delicate look. Using a satin ribbon will give you a luxurious look.
- When using fresh flowers a white or light colored flowers will show a bruise sooner than a darker flower.
- Certain colors may mean good luck. A color, such as red in China and other Asian cultures, is felt to be good luck.
- Tips to choose a bouquet handle
- Is your dress material one that could snag easily? Be cautious of snagging your dress if you have exposed stems on your bouquet. If you love the look of stems, just use extra caution when holding your bouquet.
- Keep in mind how your handle will feel in your hand. Will your bouquet be uncomfortable adding pearls or rhinestones to the handle?
- When wrapping ribbon on your handle, consider using the same type of material as your dress.
- A tussie-mussie is an ornate handle dating back to the Victorian era. There are many different styles and materials of tussie-mussies.
- Add a monogram or small picture to your handle.
- For a natural look, add a birch bark to your handle. To preserve the wood, you may want to add several thin layers of polyurethane.
- Collar of your bouquet
- A collar is only needed when using a bouquet holder. A bouquet holder is made with a plastic handle and a cage filled with floral foam. The foam is a Styrofoam if using artificial or dried flowers or a wet foam if using fresh flowers. A collar is located on the underside portion of your bouquet, meant to disguise the bouquet holder. If you are designing a bouquet, without a bouquet holder, a collar can be used, but not necessary.
- If you have chiffon, organza or tulle material on your dress, consider the same kind of material used as ribbon loops under your bouquet as the collar. Be cautious of heavier ribbons sagging during the day. Using a sheer or fine ribbon will give you a more delicate look. Using a satin ribbon will give you a more luxurious look.
- Foliage makes a great collar. You could do a variety of mixed greens or your favorite foliage. Try folding over a wide leaf to give a loop of foliage under the bouquet. Aspidistra leaves work well for this purpose.
- Tips to coordinate a certain look for your wedding
- Elegance is simplicity. Keep it simple in color and texture, this will help keep things elegant. Certain flowers tend to be more elegant, such as calla lilies and stephanotis.
- FUN: Bright flowers tend to look more fun. Work with hot pinks, bright yellows, oranges and lime greens. Gerbera daisies are a very fun & happy flowers.
- WILFLOWER: Working with all kinds of colors and different varieties of flowers will give you a wildflower look. Daisies are a wildflower.
- NATURAL: Work with natural elements such as twigs, acorns, pinecones & feathers. Keep with earth tones. Such colors as green leaves , brown soil, a cloudy sky, or a red sunset.
- TROPICAL FLOWERS: Use flowers native to the tropics, such a orchids, bird of paradise, heliconia
- SEASONAL: keeping with seasonal or holiday flowers and colors. Keep in mind seasons vary by region.
- UNIQUE: unusual variety of flowers or elements such as using artichokes in the bouquets.
- Brooch bouquets are becoming very popular. A brooch is a large decorative pin or clasp. It is usually ornate and most often times vintage. My Grandmother had a jewelry box full of brooches.
- Adding lights to your bouquets for a candlelight ceremony.
- Tips to decided if your maid/matron of honor should have a different bouquet than the other bridesmaids
- If it was obvious who your maid/matron of honor should be, then you may want to show her status with a special bouquet. If it was hard to choose which bridesmaid be your maid, you may choose to keep all of the bouquets the same, not to slight the second runner up.
- WAYS TO MAKE THE MAID/MATRON OF HONOR DIFFERENT THAN THE OTHER BRIDESMAIDS BOUQUETS:
1. Add a special flower to her bouquet. Maybe one from the bridal bouquet that is not in the bridesmaids bouquet. If you would like it to stand out, then use a contrasting color than what is in the bouquet. Such as adding a splash of white to a very colorful bouquet. If you would like it to be subtle – use a color the same or similar to what is in the bouquet.
2. Change the style of the bouquet. Maybe the same style as the bridal bouquet.
3. Make her bouquet physically larger than the other
4. Have the handle of the bouquet embellished the same way as the bridal bouquet.
- Flowers for Bridesmaids other than bouquets
- Adding flowers to the bridesmaids purses. The purses could be the “thank you” gift.
- Wearing a flower lei
- Wearing a corsage. Whether it be pinned or worn on the wrist Flowers in the hair.
- Having the flower girl carry a teddy bear or doll with flowers attached. The teddy bear can act as the “thank you” gift.
Should you have fresh, dried or artificial flowers? Whether you choose fresh, dried or artificial flowers, the design concepts are the same. You can combine fresh, artificial and dried flowers in your wedding. Sometimes we will use artificial flowers with fresh flowers if a fresh flower is out of season, very pricey or is not durable.
FRESH FLOWERS: The most popular choice for wedding flowers.
PRO: We try to imitate fresh flowers, and sometimes come very close, but there is nothing like the real thing.
CON: Some flowers are seasonal and may not be available for your wedding date. You will not get to see your flowers until the day of your wedding. But there is something to be said about surprises! Care is needed when handling the flowers. Keep your flowers hydrated to prevent wilting.
PRO: You would get to see a preview and have the option of making changes before the wedding. No worries about wilting flowers or flowers that are not in season. Allergies are not a concern.
CON: Imitating the real thing. No fresh scent – although they could be scented with oils. Fresh flowers are not pure white in nature, therefore, if using artificial flowers, work with off white flowers rather than pure white flowers. If you would like your artificial flowers to look as real as possible, choose colors that are naturally found in that variety of flower. Use a higher quality artificial flower to help prevent your flowers from looking “fake”.
PRO: You would get to see a preview and have the option of making changes before the wedding. No worries about wilting flowers.
CON: It may be more difficult to find the materials or someone who specializes in dried flowers. Usually more delicate. Be careful when handling your bouquet to reduce loosing petals.
- Tips on Corsages & Boutonnieres
- Traditionally ladies wear a corsage. Often worn on the wrist or pinned to her lapel. The use of magnets instead of pins is becoming a more popular alternative. If using a magnet, make sure the person wearing the magnet does not have a pacemaker. When worn on the wrist, this style is also known as a flower bracelet.
- Non-traditional ways for a lady to have a flower would be to wear it in her hair, carry a bouquet or pin it to her purse.
- When picking out colors consider the dress color to ensure that the colors will not clash.
- Boutonnieres (French for buttonhole, an English term): term for flower pinned to a man’s lapel.
- If using fresh flowers, it is best to be using flowers that are more durable. White or light colored flowers will show a bruise sooner than darker flowers.
- Two things that will prematurely age a flower that a person is wearing.
1. Hugging. A flower that is going to be squished by a hugs will show wear.
2. Body heat. Fresh cut flowers prefer cooler temperatures. Just the heat off of your body will prematurely age the flower. Tropical flowers will withstand higher temperatures than other variety of flowers.
- Corsages and boutonnieres are to be worn on the left.
- If your are choosing to serve alcohol at your reception, you may decide to pay for certain guest’s drinks, such as parents and the bridal party. A corsage or boutonniere may distinguish the guest who are receiving open bar versus those who are not.
- Tips on Ceremony flowers
- Altar Flowers: note some clergy may oppose décor on the altar. If getting married in a church, you may wish to “gift” the altar flower for services held after your ceremony. If taking the flowers to the reception after the ceremony, talk to your florist about making an arrangement that could double for both venues.
- Pew flowers: double check how you will be able to hang the decoration on the pew. Never tape or tack to the church pew as to avoid damage. Churches have very strict policies as not to tape or tack. Possible alternative are using a rubber band or ribbon to tie onto the pew or a pew clip that slips onto the top of the pew. Some pew decorations can be double as a centerpiece after the ceremony.
- Flower girl – basket: it can be filled with flowers or loose petals to be dropped as she proceeds down the aisle. Ask permission from your venue if dropping flowers is acceptable. Flowers can stain and make a mess, you may be responsible for the clean up. If petals can be thrown, one option would be to save the petals from the flowers your groom gave you during your courtship to be thrown by your flower girl. Keep in mind that they will be brittle and crumble when stepped on. If having an autumn wedding, throw leaves. Feathers are popular accents in weddings, small feathers could also be thrown. Rose petals are the most commonly thrown by flower girls.
- Memorial flowers: Generally a bouquet of flowers to represent a person or group of people who have passed away. You may do a single bloom in honor of each person or a bouquet that compliments your wedding.
- Aisle runner: An aisle runner became in existence when church floors were dirt. There is no reason, other than tradition to use a runner. Some venues prohibit the use of a runner due to liability. Although there is something magical about a runner being rolled out for the bride.
- Gift flowers: Sometimes a flower will be given as a gift. Mothers are most often the recipient of a gift flower. As a thank you for a lifetime of love, advice and always being there for you.
- Unity candle or pouring of colored sand: Each taking a lit candle to light the center candle together is a very common practice. Pouring two different colors of sand into a glass vase and mixing the colors together is becoming more popular.
There are many traditions when it comes to wedding ceremonies. We would love to here about them!