When Brides come in for a floral consultation, many of them are only thinking about bouquets and centerpieces. While these are certainly two of the most important ways to incorporate flowers into your wedding, there is a wide array of other places where flowers can be used to create awe-inspiring beauty. The following suggestion list for wedding florals is broken up into three categories: Personal Flowers, Ceremony Flowers, and Reception Flowers. This is by no means an exclusive list, but it is intended as a helpful platform for Brides to consider when they begin thinking about their wedding décor. Budget and venues play a large part in floral decisions, but there is something for everyone in the following options:
· Bridal Bouquet: Consider color palette, shape, size, flower types, ribbons.
· Bridesmaids’ Bouquets: Consider color palette, size, shape, flower types, and ribbons.
· Junior Bridesmaids’ Bouquets: Usually a smaller version of the Bridesmaids’ Bouquets.
· Flower Girls: Consider small bouquets, baskets full of petals, wreathes or pomanders (flower balls held and suspended by ribbons).
· Mothers’ Bouquets: Consider mother of the bride and groom carrying small nosegays (or single flowers) as an alternative to uncomfortable corsages.
· Hair Flowers: Consider the current trend towards flower crowns, floral hair combs/clips, or single hair-flowers for the Bride, Bridesmaids and Flower Girls.
· Boutonnieres (a.k.a. Buttonholes): Consider boutonnieres for Groom, Groomsmen, Ring Bearers, Ushers, Fathers, and Grandfathers.
· Corsages: Consider wrist or pin-on corsages for Mothers, Grandmothers, or other special friends and family.
· Pet Flowers: Consider floral collars for your four-legged loved ones.
Ceremony Flowers (Many of these items can be transported to the reception to get double-duty out of the flowers)
· Entry Decoration: Consider decorating the entrance to your ceremony site to welcome guests and set the tone for your wedding. Options include wreathes on the doors or gates, large urn arrangements as statement pieces outside or just inside the doors, floral arches over the door, or column collars.
· Guest Book Table Arrangement: consider the guest book table for either a small arrangement or a tall grand one (that could be reused at the Reception on the place-card table).
· Flowers at the Beginning/End of the Aisle: Use larger arrangements at the beginning and/or end of the aisle to create a lush, grand entrance for the guests and bridal party. Consider large urn arrangements, vases on top of pedestals or stands, or floral arches.
· Flowers for the Aisle/Pews/Chairs: Decorating the aisle is a traditional and current favorite for bringing flowers into the ceremony. Consider clipping/tying small arrangements, pomanders (flower balls), or garlands onto chairs or pews. Garlands, candles, and/or flower petals can also be used to line or carpet the aisle. Shepherds’ hooks (stuck into the ground) or logs can hold vase arrangements along the aisle in outdoor weddings. Live potted plants, trees, or branches with flowers and ribbons tied to the top trailing in the breeze can also be interesting alternatives to define the aisle.
· Floral Arch/Chuppah/Backdrop: The center of your ceremony is one of the most photographed places in your wedding. Consider decorated floral arches (simple or ornate), chuppahs with decorated poles and/or canopies, backdrops with hanging ribbons, and/or strings of flowers or curtains with floral tie-backs.
· Flowers for the Altar/Bimah/Stage: Again, this is a highly photographed area, as it is where the Bride and Groom will be standing while they are married. Consider an arrangement on a table (if there is one between Bride and Groom) or a large statement piece on either side.
· Flower Petals for Guests to throw: Consider handing out paper cones of flower petals to guests so that they can shower the Bride and Groom as they walk back down the aisle as husband and wife.
· Flowers for Entry to the Reception: Consider floral wreathes to decorate fences or doors leading into the reception, large urn arrangements at the door (these could be the same ones from the ceremony), and/or a garland over the door or floral arch for the guests to pass through as they approach the reception.
· Place Card Table Flowers: Consider an arrangement (small or tall) to decorate the table where guests will pick up their table assignments. This could be an arrangement brought over from the Ceremony to save money, or it can be an elaborate display introducing the guests to the theme of the reception.
· Cocktail/Lounge Arrangements: Consider arrangements for coffee tables in sitting areas just outside the reception room and/or on cocktail tables.
· Ladies Room Arrangement: Consider the classy touch of fresh, fragrant flowers in the ladies restroom.
· Bar Arrangement: Consider flowers to decorate the bar.
· Buffet Arrangement: Consider decorating the buffet tables with garlands or arrangements to create an inviting, elegant feast atmosphere.
· Table Flowers: Consider low, lush arrangements that are easy to talk over or tall, grand vases full of flowers and trailing greens, candelabras dripping with flowers, flower or herb topiaries, vases filled with high-reaching branches, or plump garlands running down the middle of tables. A popular trend is to mix and match arrangements of varying heights. Single flowers, herbs or greens may also be used to decorate each place setting for an added personal touch.
· Head Table Flowers: If the Bride and Groom will be sitting at a head table, it is worthy of extra special treatment. Consider an arrangement in front of the Bride and Broom with trailing greens down the remainder of the table (with or without candles). If the Bridal Party is also sitting at the head table, the Bridesmaids’ bouquets may be set in vases and used to decorate the table. Or consider a floral garland running down the entire table.
· Chair Flowers: Consider decorating the chairs of the Bride and Groom with a swag or wreath.
· Hanging Installations: Consider the current trend of flower chandeliers or other inverted centerpieces suspended from the ceiling or tent rafters. These can be expensive, but extremely memorable and jaw-dropping to guests at a reception.
· Photo Backdrop: Consider creating a beautiful backdrop for photographs at the reception. A flower wall, vintage doors or windows with floral swags, or simply a single large arrangement to decorate a beautiful wall are a few of the many choices.
· Cake Flowers: Consider adding fresh flowers (a few or many) to artistically decorate your cake. Organic, non-chemical flowers are best.
· Toss Bouquet: Consider a small version of the bridal bouquet to toss. Possibly reuse a bridesmaid’s bouquet for this purpose.
· Hanging Pomanders (a.k.a. kissing balls or flower balls): Consider hanging from trees at an outdoor ceremony or from ceiling beams or tent trusses.
· Floral Monograms: Consider decorating a door or mantle with a floral monogram or single initial of the new couple’s name.
· Dance Floor Décor: Consider large urn arrangements or window boxes at the edge of the dance floor.
· Tent Decorations: Consider decorating tent poles and/or floral tie-backs on tent curtains.
Essentially, flowers can be used anywhere and everywhere in a wedding. They will leave a long-lasting impression and will be memorialized forever in the wedding photographs. Don’t forget to give your photographer a photo list that includes requests for specific pictures of your floral décor. You don’t want to love your flowers only to have your photographer forget to caption them!
It’s important to hire a florist early in the year and to budget for your flowers. There are limitless options for incorporating flowers into your wedding. So get creative, and keep the overall theme/feel of your wedding in mind so as to create a seamless event filled with memorable beauty!
(All images above © Ashley Heim Photography)