Across all cultures, flowers have always been a pinnacle of wedding celebrations. According to the history of wedding flowers, Ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Roman civilizations carried wheat, herbs, and spices to ward off bad luck and evil. Flowers, wreaths, and greenery also symbolized a new beginning full of happiness, loyalty, and fertility. The incorporation of flowers has evolved into different trends but has remained the most prominent décor and accessory in modern-day weddings. That’s why choosing the right flowers for your big day can feel so momentous. Flowers come in so many different shapes, sizes, colors, and smells, and each portrays varying aesthetics. So, how do you go about picking the perfect fit when you’re no floral expert? Take a deep breath, relax, and pour yourself a glass of wine, with these tips, choosing your flowers will be a fun and special part of the planning process.
1. Create a Floral Budget
Creating a floral budget will largely decide the amount and type of flowers you choose. This is the first foundational step. The average medium floral budget for a wedding is $5,000 to $8,000. How Much Should I Spend on Wedding Flowers will give you a breakdown of how to spend your floral budget.
Stunning florals really go a long way. You don't need too many other décor pieces when your florals are on lock. Cut back on other areas of your budget if you’re all about flowers, but if florals aren't that important to you, prioritize how you would like to incorporate them. For example, focus on the musts, a floral arch as a focal point, bouquets, and table centerpieces.
2. Hire a Wedding Florist
Unless you’re confident about making your own bouquets and finding your own florals, it's absolutely recommended that you get yourself a professional florist. They'll take care of everything!
Tips for hiring a florist:
- Book in advance! Get a florist as soon as you start the planning process. That way you can secure your florist in time and they can help your vision come to life. Florals are so essential that they’ll shape how you design everything else.
- Do your research. See the work they’ve done before on their portfolio and social media. Can they achieve the look you're going for?
- Describe in detail what your theme, color palette, attire, and venue will look like to better inform your florist.
It’s time for a flower education! You don’t have to be a floral expert but having a basic understanding and idea of the types of flowers you want will go a long way in communicating with your florist and achieving your dream florals. Familiarize yourself with popular wedding flowers and current trends. This will save you time in the long run and ensure you know what flowers are out there. Learn about types of flowers, colors, and seasons they grow in.
4. Floral Inspiration
Start putting together mood boards. Look on your favorite platforms, magazines, and movies to find inspiration that highlights your personality and love. By doing research you’ll find what you like and dislike. Play with texture. Mixtures of floral sizes and shapes make for the loveliest florals. Narrow down your searches and style preferences. Show the florist your absolute favorites to guide them while they make their magic. Keep in mind that Pinterest is full of shoots with extravagant florals that would not be realistic for an actual wedding. Be aspirational but grounded in your floral inspo quest.
Pick flowers that bloom/are in season during the time of your wedding date.
- Lower cost for you
- Easier for your florist to find
- Marks your weddings season
- Flowers are more beautiful
- Smaller carbon footprint
- Spring: Peonies and tulips
- Summer: Roses and orchids
- Fall: Chrysanthemum and sunflowers
- Winter: Paperwhites and poinsettias
Your florals can replicate, match, complement, or play up your wedding color scheme. We recommend using your wedding color palette when choosing your florals. Choose varying monochrome tones with a pop of a different color, like pinks and navy blue, or choose colors that complement each other like blush and mint green. Once you have your wedding colors figured out, pick florals that actually come or traditionally come in those colors. Here’s a guide for reference:
- Various colors: Roses, tulips, carnations, petunias, hydrangeas, dahlias, peonies, orchids, chrysanthemum, ranunculus, lilies, pansies, iris
- White: Daisies, baby’s breath, camellias, jasmine
- Yellow: Sunflowers, marigold, goldenrod, primrose
- Purple: Lavender, verbena, bellflowers, balloon flowers, salvia, blue-eyed grass, wild indigo
- Blue: Cornflower, empire blue butterfly bush, oxford blue, blue delphiniums, periwinkle, forget-me-nots, brunnera, harvestbells, Georgia blue, Himalyan blue poppy
- Red: Amaryllis, poppy, hibiscus, amaranthus
7. Descriptive Words
Create a list of words that describe what you want your wedding to look like/represent. From word association, your florist can guide you to flowers that embody that description.
- Glamorous: White orchids
- Bohemian: Pampas grass and eucalyptus leaves
- Beachy: Daisies
- Rustic: Sunflowers and baby’s breath
- Modern: Lilies
- Bright & Fun: Ranunculuses
- Garden Tea: Blush Tulips
- Forest: Greenery and red roses
- Fairytale Whimsy: Peonies
Smell is likely the last thing you’re thinking about, but as one of the most memorable senses, we’re here to remind you that it definitely matters in setting the theme and building an experience for your guests. Flowers aren't only beautiful to look at but are also incredibly fragrant. For example, lavender has a calming and relaxing effect, while hydrangeas are strong and sweet. As you’re picking flowers, consider how their smell adds to your story.
Floral arrangement and placement should be a part of the floral creation process. Knowing where you want your florals placed in your ceremony and reception will help you decide the type of flowers you envision.
- Bridal bouquet and groom boutonniere
- Wedding party bouquets and boutonnieres
- Floral crowns
- Wedding floral arch (can be moved from ceremony to reception)
- Entrance flowers
- Table centerpieces
- Hanging floral pieces
Hero photo courtesy of Christina and Jeremiah Photography