Choosing the Flowers for the Wedding

Flowers help set the tone for the wedding. Choose them carefully.

By FamilyTime


Fresh flowers are an important part of nearly any wedding. Even if the bride and groom sneak off to city hall, chances are the bride will stop at a florist for flowers. If the wedding is grand, the flowers take on even more significance.

Flowers can also be a major expense. Some experts estimate they account for 20 percent of the total cost of the wedding!

Choose a reputable florist and then do your homework.

Think about Flowers
Decide if you want traditional or non-traditional floral arrangements and bouquets. Some brides choose loose flowers instead of wired bouquets; others carry a single elegant bloom.

Look through magazines for bouquets and arrangements you like. Take these photos with you to the florist when you meet with him or her.

Take swatches of fabric from the wedding gown and bridesmaid dresses to the florist. Unless you are working only with white flowers, you will want to match or complement the wedding colors and the flowers.

Try to choose flowers in season. Not only is this pretty and appropriate, it will save money. You may have your heart set on tulips, but they are hard to come by for an October wedding.

Questions for the Florist
Make sure the florist has done weddings before. Ask to look at his album to see how the flowers worked out.

Try to find a florist who is familiar with the wedding and reception sites or who will visit them and work with you.

Make sure he measures the aisle if you plan to have a runner down it. Find out if the church or synagogue allows altar or pew flowers. Don't assume anything!

Let the florist know if you have a tight or limited budget. Ask her how she can work with you to get the most from the money you have.

Ask about charges for delivery, set up, and transport from church or synagogue to the reception hall.

Ask about rentals of potted plants, arches, trellises, and vases.

The Bridal Bouquet
You may decide on a large, Victorian-style bouquet of roses and baby's breath with swags of blooms trailing off it. Or you may want only a small posy of lilies of the valley.

Talk to the florist about the style of your dress, your wishes, and your dislikes. Consider how heavy the bouquet might be (you'll be holding it for photos as well as during the ceremony).

Do you want to preserve the bouquet after the wedding? Some flowers and designs are easier to press and save than others.

Make sure your bouquet lends itself to smaller echoes of its design for the bridesmaids and flower girl.

Make the Right Choice
Unless you want traditional roses, chances are you will decide to go with seasonal blooms. Following is a list of seasonal flowers.

Springtime: anemone, asters, calla lily, daffodil, English lavender, gladiolas, iris, lilac, lilies, lily of the valley, orchids, peony, sweet pea, tulip, and veronica.

Summer: amaranthus, asters, carnations, assorted lilies, salvia, stephanotis, and sunflowers.

Fall: amaryllis, euphorbia, chrysanthemums, viburnum, and winter jasmine.

Winter: chrysanthemum, dahlia, gentian sage, pink nerine, and sage.

Year Around: roses, daisies, chrysanthemums, and carnations.

…And Don't Forget
Make a checklist for you and the florist. You will need flowers for the ceremony and the reception. You will need flowers for the bride's bouquet and the bridesmaids. What else?

Remember boutonnières for the groom and groomsmen, father of the bride and father of the groom. You will need flowers for the mothers of the bride and groom, and their grandmothers, too. Don't forget flowers for the flower girl.

Flowers for the buffet table and cake table, and perhaps for the cake. Do you want flowers on stairs? On pews?

Think about everywhere you might want to see lovely fresh flowers. Weddings are happy times, and flowers make them happier.