Ok, the date is set and the wedding venue reserved. You’ve picked your colours, wedding decorations and you (finally) found bridesmaids dresses that everyone loves. Now, it’s time for the wedding flowers and bouquets flowers. You want the ceremony and reception to reflect YOU – beautiful, unique, quirky. But you don’t want the pictures to look dated after just a couple of years. (Remember the 80’s? Those sleeves!) That’s why we’ve put together this list of beautiful, timeless flower ideas. None of them feel stodgy, but their appeal is elegant and classic enough to make sure that you have photographs worth ooo-ing and ahh-ing over for decades.
The Bridal Bouquet
The classic bridal bouquet is a tightly wrapped cluster of roses, maybe lilies or mums. There’s nothing wrong with sticking to the classics, but we think a dramatic trailing bouquet sets off a long white dress beautifully. Unless your wedding dress is unusually busy (lots of embroidery, a complex lace overlay on the skirt, etc.), there’s no risk in going for a vibrant, multi-textured bouquet. Many brides prefer to carry white flowers, and in that case, magnolia blossoms are a gorgeous choice. If you prefer a pop of colour, a wedding bouquet of seasonal wildflowers can be a lovely choice. (Non-traditional, seasonal blooms are also very pocketbook-friendly, not that you would ever consider such things.) No matter what shade of flowers you go for, a mixture of flowers and greenery is a must with a trailing bouquet. Herbs, trailing ivy and ferns all provide depth and contrast to the bouquet, giving it a rustic yet elegant look. These stunning bouquets stand out, but have a classic style to them that ensures that they’ll age well.
Bridesmaid Floral Fashion
Typically, each bridesmaid carries a smaller versions of the bridal bouquet, and holds onto it throughout the ceremony. Now this is expected, but most people don’t LOVE it – it doesn’t stand out. The flowers are expensive, and, while they give the bridesmaids something to do with their hands besides fiddle, it can look stiff and overly posed. (Any group shot where everyone is holding their arms in the exact same position will look posed.) That’s one big reason to be excited that loose, wavy ‘dos are popular again for formal events. Instead of bridesmaid bouquets, weaving the same kind of flowers that are in your bouquet into your bridesmaids hairstyles (whether you choose to go with up-dos or loose locks) creates the same sense of continuity within the bridal party, without the awkward formality.
Rather than placing your flowers along the walls of the venue, why not take advantage of the center aisle to really make a statement? Pomanders are popular again, and they look fantastic when used as endcaps. Alternatively, you can attach small bouquets to the innermost chairs with dangling lace or ribbon for a slightly more rustic look, or simply scatter rose petals densely along the aisles, creating an informal, but stunningly elegant, bridal path. Who needs a red carpet?
Another throwback trend is the re-emergence of arches and trellises at the alter. Rather than piles of flowers, a few carefully chosen hangings can create a lovely, romantic setting. Floral pomanders, or some carefully chosen greenery, are a simple yet elegant way to accent your wedding arch, and you don’t need piles and piles of flowers to keep it from looking incomplete or under-decorated.
The biggest floral challenge you will face is your centerpieces. Short ones can be too short, and leave the table looking unfinished. Tall ones are beautiful, but usually end up on the floor (at least if you’ve arranged your seating chart well, and the people at the table actually want to chat with one another.) The best way to get around this is by using hanging centerpieces. Lanterns and lamps, glass globes and inverted bell jars, even birdcages, can serve as vases, and be suspended from the ceiling. If you decide to hang all of the flowers at the same height, a small floral arrangement directly underneath can add a beautiful symmetry. If you want to do away with table arrangements entirely, we recommend hanging your floating centerpieces at varying heights, but always over the center of the tables you are trying to feature. The different levels create depth and are stimulating to the eye.
It’s Your Day
Ultimately, though, the most important thing is that you select flowers and arrangements that you find beautiful. If you follow your instincts, no matter what choices you make, you’ll always look back fondly. Because, ultimately, it’s your day.