If you have never played a part in wedding planning before, you may not expect sorting through flower choices to be very time-consuming. However, when you begin to view the sheer amount of options, it can quickly become overwhelming. Below, we are going to take you through the many different aspects of choosing wedding flowers. After reading this, you’re sure to feel more prepared to face flower planning head-on!
Wedding Flowers: Silk or Real?
First you must decide between silk and real flowers. After that, there are many different types of flowers to choose from. Read on for more about both types of flowers and the potential pros and cons of both to help you finalize your decision. Keep in mind no matter what you choose, it’s sure to be the perfect choice for your wedding!
1. More Options with Real Flowers
Using fresh flowers allows you to pick from a wider array of scents and shades depending on the season or theme of your wedding. Typically, there aren’t as many silk flower options as there are for real ones.
2. Silk Flower Benefits
Silk flowers for one’s event, however, are becoming increasingly popular. These flowers are similar to real ones in scent and appearance and are often cheaper. Using silk flowers will eliminate any upkeep necessary for fresh flowers, as well as potential problems such as the flowers dying or becoming discolored. You can keep them well after your special day, making these a great choice if you are looking to preserve your bouquet.
3. Weather Considerations
If your wedding ceremony will be outdoors in very cold or hot temperatures, consider using silk flowers as they will not wilt or become frozen.
If you or any of your guests suffer from severe allergies, silk flowers are going to be the better alternative.
Although you can apply scent drops to silk flowers, many feel that this is not comparable to the scent of natural flowers. If you would like your bouquet to be fragrant, real flowers will be the best option.
You may need to compare the prices of real flowers and silk ones. While silk flowers are typically less expensive, particularly if you want flowers that are not in season, costs vary depending on the specific silk flower you wish to buy.
7. Venue Location
Silk floral arrangements can be convenient for a destination wedding. Importing and maintaining the freshness of real flowers would be much more difficult.
Wedding Flowers: Affordability
If you have chosen to have fresh flowers and are planning a wedding on a relatively low budget, you may be looking for ways to make them more affordable. Adorning your special day with beautiful flowers doesn’t have to mean spending a fortune. This next list is made up of tips and tricks to help you save money on your wedding flowers.
8. Find Affordable Florists
Find a shop that has great customer service skills. A good florist should be able to work with whatever budget you have. You may need someone who is willing to go to great lengths to create a fabulous floral design for your very special day.
This is probably the most beneficial way to find a florist and/or a deal. Ask your family, friends, and coworkers what florist they employed for their wedding. You can then put their advice into choosing one for yourself. By taking their recommendations, you may be able to find a deal as well.
Once you find a florist, be sure you have prepared a flower budget before meeting with them. You will want to know how much money you are willing to spend on the flowers. This can save your florist quite a bit of time by allowing them to know what it is you are looking for. They won’t even need to suggest certain flowers if they know they will be out of your price range.
Don’t waste your beautiful flower arrangements! Wedding bouquets and boutonnieres from your ceremony can make fabulous centerpieces! Have empty vases ready on the tables so your bridesmaids can simply place their bouquets into the vase. If you have larger arrangements at the ceremony as well, you can ask your florist to use them for the reception as well. If you have your florist do this, they may charge a delivery fee. However, the small delivery fee will cost much less than purchasing an entirely new set of arrangements. This can not only save you money, it can also help to create a universal theme throughout your event.
10. Stay in Season
Flowers that are in season and are native to your region are going to be far less expensive because they’ll be more widely available. Choosing flowers by season is a great way to find affordable floral arrangements for the wedding. These seasonal flowers can also lend a unique twist to your wedding décor as they may be less traditional. The best way to find out what flowers are in season in your area is to contact your local florists.
If you are not purchasing seasonal flowers, be sure to order around six weeks before the wedding. If your flowers need to be imported, you will typically get a better price if they are able to plan ahead.
Any holiday that typically includes flowers, such as Valentine’s Day, is best to be avoided. The massive demand for flowers around many holidays simply drives their price upwards. Avoiding holidays can save you quite a bit of money.
11. Buy Wholesale
Typically, a wholesale order will be less expensive because they are accustomed to large orders. A wedding won’t be an unusual amount of work for them.
12. Stick with Affordable Colors
You may wish to choose the color scheme for your wedding based on how expensive that color of flower may be. For instance, blue and purple flowers are not commonly found in nature and will be more expensive than white, yellow, or red flowers. If you wish to have a blue or purple color scheme, you can always try using your flower arrangements to accent your wedding colors rather than match them.
Be insistent on colors, not flowers. Most guests will not notice the specific type of flower in the bouquet or boutonniere, but they will notice if the color does not match the theme. If the important aspect is getting the right look and color, it won’t matter if your floral shops are using peonies or light pink carnations. If you have your heart set on a certain flower, remember that those in season will be the best price.
13. Opt for Less
The larger the arrangement, the larger the price tag. This is especially important when it comes to the bouquet. If the bride is spending money finding the perfect dress, she most likely won’t want the flowers to take over her dress. Also, the larger the bouquet, the heavier it will be. The bride or the maid of honor will be holding it for the whole ceremony, and will most likely prefer the lighter option.
Another way to cut down on the amount of flowers being used is to intermix your flowers with inexpensive greenery. This will save you money while still looking beautiful and full.
Flower arrangements are often priced based on how much time it will take the florist to create them. A simple design will take less time and will, therefore, be cheaper. Additionally, many of the floral arrangements that you choose for locations like the altar of a church, do not need to be intricate. Your guests will not be close to these arrangements and so will not be able to make out small details. Larger, less expensive flowers will still look beautiful.
14. Choose Meaningful Flowers
Consider picking flowers that have a special meaning! Here are some of our favorite examples:
- Roses are a popular example of “beauty and love”
- Tulips signify “happy years” and “consuming love”
- Sweet peas represent “lasting pleasure” and dates back to old English traditions
- Baby’s breath is a great filler for a bouquet and symbolizes “purity” and “innocence”
Wedding Flowers: DIY Tips
If there’s enough time to be dedicated to creating the floral arrangements for the wedding, this can be a great way to save money. Below is a list dedicated entirely to DIY wedding flowers.
15. Make and Stick to a Budget
The various money-saving techniques addressed above will still play a role in the creation of your own floral arrangements. Are you planning on creating all of the flower arrangements for your special day or simply the centerpieces and boutonnieres? Do you have your heart set on red roses or are you willing to work with in-season flowers to eliminate some expenses? Start by planning out what you need, what you can afford, and how many different flower shops you will need to visit to purchase these items!
16. Assemble a team!
This is no easy task, so you’ll definitely need a group of willing participants to help you out. Make sure to choose people you trust to do a great job and work diligently. Set up an assembly line to make the process easier and more efficient!
17. Plan it out
By making a recipe for your floral design, the actual arrangement process will be easier. If you gather everything that you need for your arrangements ahead of time and plan out the entire process, your helpers will know exactly what needs to be done and in what order. Making a checklist will help keep track of everything that has been done and still needs to be completed.
18. Give yourself plenty of time
Creating wedding flowers is no easy process and will take a substantial amount of time. Before you decide to take on this endeavor, be sure you have enough free time to accomplish this. You also want to make sure that you order your flowers and other assembly items well ahead of time. You don’t want to be stuck scrounging for extra items days before the wedding! You also need to allow plenty of time for the flowers to be cooled and transported properly to the venue.
19. Practice makes perfect!
You’ll most likely want to plan at least one or two practice runs before creating the actual arrangements. Purchase more items than you actually need for the big day because mistakes will happen.
Wedding Flowers: Bouquet Tips
Wedding bouquets can add personality and a romantic feel to a wedding. Below is a list of great wedding bouquet styles to help you choose the kind of bouquets you want for your event.
20. Think Big
A bold bouquet idea is to switch from a traditional symmetrical bouquet to an asymmetrical bouquet. To continue this further, skip compact and subdued and opt for large and vibrant instead. A great way to create a full and bustling asymmetrical bouquet is to combine different flowers that tend to lean and have lengthy stems. Tulips, vines and other flower types often fit this description.
21. More than Flowers
Mix up the bouquet a bit by incorporating produce. You can feature fruits, herbs, and even veggies as a playful and fun approach. Ribbons are a nice option too, especially narrow, understated ones woven throughout the arrangement. Consider pairing black and white flowers together and tying with a black ribbon. Alternatively, using ribbons that match one or more of your bouquet’s flower types can be a beautiful addition to flowers.
Consider adding textural elements to the bouquet, like rose petals or waxy berries, with colors that match the wedding theme. Combine different types of flowers, such as orchids with the lining of gerbera flowers, for example, to create texture. For an alternative way to add texture, create a bouquet of only one flower type.
Pearls, beads, and faux jewels can make nice bouquet embellishments. You can also use brooches, or even a family pin as the bride’s ‘something borrowed’ on her bouquet.
23. Mix it Up
You don’t need to worry about the bridesmaids’ bouquets matching the bride’s bouquet if you don’t want them to. It can look incredibly unique for each member of the bridal party to carry a different bouquet.
24. Express Yourself
The bridal bouquet is a place for the bride to show her personality. For example, if she loves being outdoors, consider adding leaves or other plants to the bouquet.
Wedding Flowers: Ceremony
Wedding flowers are an important part of the décor and can greatly help set the mood for your event. Unique designs for the ceremony and reception can really change the feel of a wedding. Below are some ideas for gorgeous floral decorations for the wedding ceremony and reception.
25. Petal Toss
For a modern and unique take on the rice toss tradition at the ceremony, use flower petals instead. Just make sure the petals are not so colorful that they’ll stain the bride’s dress!
26. Candle Arrangements
To create a beautiful arrangement, include flowers with candles to decorate your ceremony. Be sure that the flowers and candles are far enough apart to not be a fire hazard! Placing the arrangements in various sized containers will add dimension. This can make your venue seem larger.
27. Altar Arrangement
A beautiful touch for the wedding is to decorate the altar with flowers. Place vases with flowers that have lengthy stems at the altar so they can be noticed from every seat. Measure the height of your altar beforehand to ensure that the floral designs are the right size for the space.
28. Flower Basket
Decorate the flower girl basket with flowers to make it look as though she is pulling flower petals from a bunch of flowers. All you need to do this is a hot glue gun and some flowers. You can use either real or fake flowers for this. Simply glue the flowers to every empty surface on the basket.
29. Entryway Décor
Placing vases or pots filled with flowers at the entryway of your reception venue is a welcoming decoration for the guests. If it’s a summer or spring wedding, use brightly-colored flowers, such as marigolds or cymbidium. If the wedding is in the fall or winter, try to use roses or darker flowers to match the season.
30. Aisle Décor
Whether your ceremony will be outdoors or indoors, flowers create a romantic and beautiful feel to any venue. You can even create an aisle completely out of flower petals. Many find that rose petals are the best flower type to use for this. However, you are free to choose petals from any flower you wish, and any color you wish as well.
31. Reserve Seats with Flowers
Use flowers or flower petals to notify people of special seating. For example, seats are typically reserved for the parents of the Bride and Groom. Be sure that the flowers are collected before the guests take their seats or they may stain dresses and suits!
Wedding Flowers: Reception
Flowers can easily be used as centerpieces for your reception. You can either put an arrangement in the middle or a pile of flower petals. Another alternative is getting a bowl and placing some water in it and then flower petals on top of the water. You can adorn the centerpieces with candles for an added touch. Placing a few groups of flowers on each table for the guests to take home is a beautiful decoration and party favor.
33. Disperse Flowers
The flowers aren’t only for the guests’ tables. Disperse the flowers everywhere for a beautiful decoration. You can add them to the cake table, the place cards – anywhere!
34. Make Each Table Unique
Using containers of varying sizes to hold the flowers at each table at the reception will give them a distinct look. Instead of using vases, wrap some flowers in unique items such as tree bark or silver and gold wires. Other alternatives to vases include banana leaves and bejeweled cloth.
Also consider displaying your flowers in a unique container! Mason jars are a trendy choice, especially for a rustic wedding. Another one of our favorites is using teacups or other unique glass or mug. Antique stores and second-hand stores are a great place to look for flower containers on a budget!
35. Heighten Color
String lines of marigolds or other colorful flowers on tables and around vases to brighten up the reception. This can add an unexpected additional layer that will be sure to please the eye!
36. Theme-Based Flowers
For a destination wedding or simply an island-like feel, consider using tropical flowers, such as birds of paradise, and adorning the vases with seashells.
37. Merge Themes
A combination of rustic floral decorations and more modern ones can help to avoid excess of one style of decor. A great example of this blend is pink calla lilies with natural river stone vases. Pairing more traditional flowers, such as roses or daisies, with more unusual ones, such as gerbera daisies, can help to create unique arrangements.
Wedding Flowers: Wedding Cake
Although flowers are often incorporated into wedding cakes, there are many different ways you can go about this. The list below includes some of the different floral cake decoration options.
38. Accompany with Lace
One way you can add flowers to your cake is by utilizing the design of the bride’s dress. If the dress is made of lace, why not have some lace on the wedding cake as well? Edible lace can give the cake an elegant feel.
39. Fresh Flowers
If you don’t like the look of sugar flowers, there’s nothing more lifelike than a fresh flower. Incorporate the flowers that you have in the centerpieces or in the bouquet on the cake for a consistent feel. If you don’t want the whole bloom on the cake, you can use fresh flower petals instead.
40. Flower Strand
A waterfall of flowers cascading diagonally down the side of the cake has become a favorite wedding cake decoration. Generally, the rest of the cake is kept simple, so the strand of flowers remains the focal point. This style can be created using real or sugar flowers.
41. Hand Drawn
If you love flowers but aren’t a fan of the texture flowers bring to a cake, opt for hand painted flower designs. The options for this style are endless, and inspiration can come from anywhere. For this style, be sure your baker is capable of creating the design you’re looking for. The best way to confirm this is by looking at their previous work.
Wedding Flowers: Professional Preservation
When it comes to preservation techniques for flowers, there are a lot of ways it can go wrong. To be certain you end up with a beautiful memory, hire a professional and follow these professional wedding flower preserving tips.
42. Professional Drying
A florist will know best how to achieve the specific look you want and can explain the different preservation techniques to you. Though some techniques can be done at home, not all flowers respond the same way to the same techniques. There are many different factors that affect the success of preservation. The expertise of a florist is recommended to ensure perfection.
43. Length of Time
Different methods of preserving take different amounts of time to be completed. You can expect about a 8-12 week wait to receive a freeze-dried finished product. The wait is about 6-8 weeks for flowers preserved in silica gel, and also 6-8 weeks for flowers preserved by pressing. However, flowers preserved by all three options can last a lifetime if excessive humidity and sunlight are avoided.
44. Big or Small?
It’s up to you how many flowers you wish to preserve. You can preserve an entire bouquet or you can choose to preserve only a few flowers. An entire bouquet may be more difficult to store and display, but it does keep the full effect it had on your wedding day. A few blooms are easier to display, but they may not remind you as perfectly of your wedding.
45. Keepsake Frame
Since professionally preserved flowers remain three-dimensional, they cannot be stored in a regular frame. The cases used to display them are rather large and leave room for additional items. Make use of this extra room by including other wedding keepsakes, such as the groom’s boutonniere. You can have this preserved along with your wedding flowers.
46. Best Results
In order to achieve the best results, you should get your flowers to the florist within 24 hours so that the flowers do not begin to wilt. If you can’t make it to the florist right away, store your flowers in a box or an air-filled plastic bag in a cool area. This will keep them as fresh as possible until you can get them to a florist.
After reading our comprehensive list of wedding flower tips, you should be well on your way toward choosing the perfect wedding flowers to add a touch of color and beauty to your special day!
Written by Katherine Frabotta, Vanessa Marsocci, Emily Palermo, Jessica Bundy, Shannyn Apolaro, Brittany Schmidt, Anna Wertman, Alyssa Campen
Edited by June Park