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Complete WeddingsChoosing Flowers for Your Wedding - Published April 2010
CHOOSING YOUR WEDDING FLOWERS
Your wedding is an experience that will be unique to you, so getting everything right on the day will be foremost in your mind. Flowers add a romantic touch to your wedding and will give you lasting memories of your special and important day!
Choosing the right flowers to suit the theme of your wedding (as well your personality) sounds difficult, but you can simplify the process if you can formulate some ideas of what you would like, and also know what you will actually need, before you approach your florist.
Understanding some basic rules is also very helpful. Keep in mind the following:
- The style and colour of the wedding gown and those of the bridal party will to a large extent dictate the style of bouquet and the colour of the flowers.
- The flowers and style of bouquet should be a reflection of your personality and style.
- The season of your wedding will dictate to some extent what is available and can also affect what you choose. Light alters throughout the seasons and according to the time of day; a bouquet that looks colourful inside a building may look washed out in full sun during summer - so this is well worth discussing with your florist.
- The colour and types flower species available changes with the seasons; there are many beautiful flowers available though, no matter what time of the year it is. Remember that although it is possible to source glass-house grown flowers out of season, it can cost you a fortune!
Choosing your Florist
You should be comfortable with the people you choose to advise you and supply your flowers. When you meet with your florist check their work – if you are not totally happy go to another florist!
Once you have chosen your florist make an appointment to discuss your needs and ideas. Taking your personality and personal taste into consideration they should be able to confidently advise you on what is right for you. Make sure you bring along sketches and colour swatches depicting the bridal and bridesmaid’s gowns and a description of what will be worn by the rest of the wedding party (including the groom, best man and groomsmen) and what the bride and groom’s mothers will be wearing.
Also use the following as a guide:
- Full skirted gowns tend to suit formal designs such as thick, full, round bouquets and posies with a touch of softness added using some ‘feathery’ foliage or flowers for example gypsophila is a popular choice to soften the edges of a tight bouquet.
- If you are small, choose a small posy.
- If you are tall, a trailing design will suit you – but will make you look taller at the same time.
- A sleek fitted gown will look right with a cascading design.
- Simple trailing bouquets consisting of a single species suit sleek, tight fitting designs with low necklines.
- Make sure that your bouquet is not so elaborate that it competes with your gown!
Do You Know the Latest Trends?
· Roses are still the most popular flower.
· Silk flowers are becoming a lot more popular – they are very lifelike, versatile and keep forever!
· Most wedding bouquets these days are simple in style – often a bunch of single species flowers tied together with a wide satin ribbon.
· Loose casual bunches of flowers are replacing more formally arranged styles.
· For those with a higher budget, there is a trend towards the use of brooches, beads, pearls, crystals and so on in the bride’s bouquet.
· Feathers, tiny pine cones, berries and sprays of tiny crab apples are popular now too, especially for autumn weddings.
· Tiny bouquets or posies are replacing the traditional corsage for the mother of the bride and bridegroom.
· Bright flowers are still the most popular choice.
· All centrepieces for the reception use the same species of flowers in and same colours but vary in size. Fresh fruit is also becoming popular as are vases filled with beads, marbles, sea-shells made from glass and so on.
The Meaning of Flowers
· Forget-me-not: true love
· Bluebell: constancy
· Honeysuckle: devoted affection
· Jasmine: amiability
· Lily: purity
· Lily-of-the-valley: return of happiness
· Rose: pure love
· Snowdrop: hope
· Violet: modesty
· Wallflower: fidelity
Choosing Flowers to Suit the Season
If your wedding is in spring, you can choose from a vast range of flowers including the many flowering bulbs in season at that time. Tulips come in a range of warm to hot colours (white is also available) and can add a lively touch to your bouquet. Daffodils are soft yet vibrant, cosmos and freesias add a pretty touch to a posy, hyacinths, lily of the valley and peonies are also spring flowers.
Spring Flowers and Colours
A summer wedding brings roses, gerberas, frangipanis, zinnias, proteas, scabious, red- hot pokers (available in soft lemons as well as reds and orange), calla lilies, delphiniums, stock, snap dragons, irises, columbines, gladioli and a host of other flowers. Sophisticated roses are traditional wedding flowers and they are available in a huge range of colours other than the ubiquitous white.
Summer Flowers and Colours
Autumn colours are mellow and warm. If your wedding is in autumn then your gown and flower choice may reflect this. You could choose dusty, earthy colours to accent autumn hues - reds, burnt orange, dusty yellows. Helleborus, tuberose, Daphne, many orchid species, Geraldton wax, tea tree, early camellias, hydrangeas, dahlias, chrysanthemums are all flowering now, add a touch of colour and texture.
A winter wedding cries out for cool, frosty or blue foliage with flowers in blue - or white flowers with bronze foliage. White roses, snow drops, gardenias and magnolia are all popular choices. Dark greens holly and ivy also contrast well with silver foliage and white flowers. Scented violas can add colour and softness to bouquets, nose gays or tables arrangements in winter. Cymbidium orchids (also green-house flowers) come in pale green, yellow, and white during winter.
Winter Flowers and Colours
Choosing Flowers to Suit your Budget and Style
- Bouquets and flower arrangements can be enhanced by the addition of ribbons, pearls, crystals etc. plus silk flowers or artificial foliage.
- For a simple informal wedding, choose simple designs e.g. a few rose stems tied together with a satin ribbon. Or small posies. Use these same flowers as simple centerpieces on the bridal table and cake tables at the reception.
- Expensive flower sprays are often used in medium sized weddings. Sprays are usually a bunch of long-stemmed flowers with satin ribbon, which the bride can hold sideways along her arm, or upright, as she walks down the aisle. The same flowers are used in vases on the tables at the reception and the bridal parties bouquets placed on the bridal table. Simple but effective.
- Teardrop shaped bouquets are the most extravagant. They are often used in larger weddings. The flowers trail in the shape of a teardrop with further ‘drops’ falling from the first one. The floral arrangements (in large vases) used at the reception, reflect the style and expense of the bridal bouquet.
- The bridal bouquet.
- The bridesmaid’s bouquets (usually a smaller version of the bride’s).
- The flowers girl’s baskets or posies.
- A boutonniere for the groom, ring bearer and the groom’s men; this is usually a single flower matching those in the bride’s bouquet a symbol of the bond between them.
- Boutonnieres for the fathers of the bride and groom and a small spray of flowers for mothers of the bride and groom, and usually the grandparents. Some people also organize a corsage for special family members or friends that have contributed to the organization of the wedding.
- Flowers for the ceremony – these are placed on the altar, on the register table – where you will be signing, the sides of pews and sometimes window sills if you are having an indoor wedding. You will need to speak with clergy beforehand for approval and access.
- Wedding flowers at the reception - for the bridal table, guest tables and cake table. Reception flowers are often provided by the function centre; if they are not provided - organize a floral centre piece for the bridal table, and the guest’s tables. Keep centre pieces low so people can see each other across the table! Save money by using bride’s and bridesmaid’s bouquets on the cake table during the reception.
· The following can be used as a guide:
· A bridal bouquet alone can cost from $100 - $400.
· Bridesmaids: $120 each = $240
· Groom $12
· Groom’s men and fathers $10 each = $40
· Flower girl $100
· Bride and Groom’s mothers $50 each = $100
· Ceremony $500 - $700
· Reception $65 per arrangement (say 10) = $650.00
· Setting up costs usually around $100