Wedding flowers are an essential part of any wedding, from the supplied bouquet in a quickie Vegas ceremony, to a floral extravaganza garden party design. They have played a role in weddings from ancient Greek times, when the bride carried a posy of herbs to represent fertility, to modern weddings across every continent. However, the kind of flowers — both quantity and type — is very much dependent on your ideas and budget.
The most important wedding flowers are those of the bride’s bouquet. You could choose anything from a few simple blooms to an ornate tumble of blossoms. There is a recent trend for picking pure white bouquets, using lilies or roses and understated green foliage. However, bold designs and colours are equally popular, including exotic flowers such as orchids or African violets. When you pick your wedding bouquets, consider choosing complementary bouquets for your bridesmaids, as well as a matching buttonhole for your groom and any other attendants. It is customary for your bridesmaids to hold smaller bouquets than that of the bride, and they can also contain a lesser variety of flowers. You may be able to keep the cost lower if you limit the most expensive flowers to the bride’s bouquet.
In addition to the bouquets and buttonholes, most weddings also use flowers to provide decoration in the church or other place of ceremony, as well as the reception venue. Remember that the flower displays used for the ceremony can be transported to your wedding reception so you can reduce the total volume of flowers you need to buy. Ask your florist if they can supply this service for you, or recruit a trusted member of your wedding party with a large car or truck! You generally don’t need more than a couple of large flower arrangements for the front of the ceremony, but you may also like to decorate the end of each aisle with a bit of foliage.
If your flower budget is limited, concentrate on the wedding reception displays. Plan to have a centrepiece for each table, as well as a few extras for places like the wedding cake table and bar area. Traditional table centrepieces can be quite tall, and this often makes it difficult for your guests to conduct conversations across their table. Consider more modern designs such as a tight rosebud circle or short-stemmed daisies for lower, more practical ideas.
The symbolic meanings of the actual flowers you choose could express your emotions on your big day. For example, irises for faith and wisdom, lilies for truth and honour, or lily of the valley for happiness. Of course, the classic rose is still the most romantic of all flowers, representing true love. Just avoid yellow roses as they signify jealousy!