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The Ultimate Guide to Wedding Flowers

Have you dreamed of the perfect wedding dress since your childhood? Have you been collecting bridal inspirations years before you got engaged and are the proud owner of mood boards? Or are you a more last-minute, ‘keep it simple, rings flowers and a wedding licence’ kind of gal? Whether your wedding day is going to be a big or a small event is not that important. There is no right or wrong. All that matters is that the celebration will be ‘practically perfect in every way’ for you and your partner, reflects you as a couple, and your dreams and wishes. After all, it’s no one’s wedding but yours!

That said, weddings are those joyous occasions made even better when shared with family and friends. Those wedding day moments will be etched into our hearts and memories forever. Weddings are also one of the most visual feasts as far as celebrations go. We will remember the dress, the venue, a first glimpse of the bride, the first dance – and the wedding flowers!

So, what will it be? A simple, tasty burger or the whole combo plus milkshake? Whether you’re planning for the all-out, no-detail-missed wedding day, or a simple affair with close family and friends, there are a few things to think about. And when it comes to wedding flowers, we’ve got you covered! So, let’s talk flowers!

Woman holding a flower bouquet
Photo by Alvin Mahmudov on Unsplash

Wedding flowers – beyond the bouquet

Florals have the power to completely transform an environment. They effortlessly fill a space with beauty, colour and fragrance. They can add romance, a touch of elegance, natural beauty, even convey a personal message. Then again, everybody’s ‘perfect’ is different. The floral adornment you are planning for really depends on your ‘perfect’ – and your budget to achieve it. Consider the following questions when planning for your big day:  

–      How floral do you wish your wedding to be?

–      What is your budget?

–      Do you plan to have all flowers arranged for you professionally, or can you count on some wonderful crafty friends and family to help?

–      What season is your wedding date in and when should you start some serious planning?

–      What does your wedding venue look like?

–      What’s the overall look and feel, or theme you wish for?

Woman holding a bouquet of wedding flowers
Photo by Samantha Gades on Unsplash

Beyond the bouquet – a blooming wedding day

The venue: Taking inspiration from your wedding venue is a very good start. Take the aesthetic qualities of the space and make the arrangements look like they belong there. For example, a beautiful loose bunch of wildflowers will look fantastic at a beach or barn wedding. It would look quite out of place though in a formal ballroom. A church wedding, although formal, is different again. You might need to think about decorations along the church aisle. Or is your heart set on a garden wedding? If so, you will already have the most stunning floral display all around you.

Beyond the bouquet: Yes, the bride will be the centre of attention, but don’t forget the bridesmaids and the wedding party! The bridesmaids usually carry a matching, smaller arrangement, or matching floral hair adornment. You might also consider having rose petals ready for a flower girl or for your guests to celebrate your ‘I do’ with you. Boutonnieres are often used for the bridal party and in many countries, it is customary to deck out cars or carriages with flowers and banners. And when it comes to decorating the venue, there’s no limit to your wish list. We’re thinking dreamy floral arches, stunning flower walls, bohemian-inspired dried arrangements, sophisticated statement pieces, charming table blooms. To help you with your planning, check out our wedding flower checklist in this blog.

On a practical note: Make sure your table arrangement is not too tall and stays below eye line so that your guests can easily speak and see each other across the table.

The look and feel: That should tie in nicely with your venue and is also dependent on what’s in season if you are going for fresh flowers. Colours also play an immensely important role here. Picture dreamy pinks and creams, or happy sunflower yellow paired with all the shades of summer, or the sophistication of pure white. Ultimately the choice of colours, floral decorations, dresses, venue, music will all come together like the pieces of your very own, personal jigsaw puzzle.

Budget and planning: What you pay for your wedding blooms very much depends on the volume of flowers you use and the intricacy of your floral arrangements of course. But it also depends on whether you involve a wedding designer, a florist, what time of the year you get married and where in Australia you get married. If you get a professional to take on your wedding flowers, you also pay for expertise and the reassurance that everything will be taken care of. Many couples opt to work with a florist to order the flowers but will then do the arrangements and bouquets themselves. If you have some wonderful creative friends and family who have time to take on this task, that’s awesome. But make sure, it’s not you and your partner running around on your wedding day with a long to-do list.

In short, your wedding flower budget can be anything from $200.00 to $2000.00, potentially a big chunk of your wedding budget. So, it really pays to do a bit of research, ask for recommendations, get some quotes, but also really work through what is important to you. We found the article on how much you should budget for your wedding flowers really helpful.

In terms of planning, be warned. Unless you are aiming for the Vegas wedding chapel, you might be in for a wait, or at minimum a compromise. Some of the more popular wedding venues are booked out months, even years ahead. Romantic Valentine’s weddings are very popular, as are spring weddings when the beautiful scent of new beginnings and new life is in the air. That means florists and their blooms will be in equally high demand.

Side arch arrangement for a wedding suite with pink and purple flowers
Photo by Rob Sarmiento on Unsplash

What are the best wedding flowers?

You’ve set the date and let’s say by now you’ve had a chance to decide what your big day is going to look like. You’ve got your bridesmaids and groomsmen, you’ve been eyeing up a dress, you’ve secured your venue and decided on the look and feel of the celebrations. Now comes the fun part. The flowers! There’s no right or wrong here, but there is a bit of ‘yeh-nah’ when it comes to choosing your flowers. It’s time to break it down and look at:

–      Fresh or dried flowers?

–      What’s in season?

–      What are some of the most popular wedding flowers and what is their meaning?

Fresh or dried wedding flowers

Don’t mistake dried flowers for something past its use-by date. In fact, they are totally on-trend at the moment. Just have a look at these stunning Bridal Bouquets from Flowers Across Melbourne. But don’t stop there, large dried floral arrangements and statement pieces are hot favourites for events and celebrations and in interior design. Professionally dried flowers will give you the range and colour choices you may not get with fresh flowers. Especially preserved Australian natives are real stunners and they can last for up to two years. Not only can your dried floral come home with you and be a happy reminder of your wedding day for some time; dried blooms and grasses are also less wasteful and a fantastic sustainable option.

On the other hand, there is nothing quite like the sweet fragrance of fresh flowers filling a room. Dried flowers can’t give you that unique, fresh scent. And of course, some flowers simply shouldn’t be dried – a dried sunflower will never look as happy and eye-catching as a fresh one, let’s be honest. So, if you have your heart set on a specific bloom or colour palette, fresh flowers may be your only option.

What’s in season?

Whether your favourite flower is in season or not is not an insurmountable hurdle, but it’ll affect your budget! It is important to understand which flowers are readily available and also which flowers will last the distance. You don’t want them to wilt in the summer sun or lose their petals in the wind before the party’s even started!

Embrace seasonality! Your choice will not be limited by the time of year – maybe just slightly fine-tuned. If your wedding is planned for the Australian spring, you’ll have the largest range of suitable flowers to choose from. Think Calla Lilies, Ranunculus, Daffodils, Tulips, Sweet Peas, late-season Peonies, Waratah, Freesias. They bring the sweet scent of spring with them and lush pops of colours. If you are waiting for the sunny skies and balmy evenings of summer for your big day, roses, Billy Buttons, Dahlias and Hydrangeas are some of the favs that are in season. By Autumn, your floral choices thin a little bit.

Mind you, your wedding flowers no longer have to cope with scorching summer heat either. Good choices for this season are Camelias, Dahlias, Delphinium, some roses, stocks. And finally, for the perfect winter wedding, in-season blooms are orchids, roses, stocks, Helleborus, Ranunculus and more. And if your wedding is planned for Valentine’s Day, you will have to plan early and expand your budget. Of course, dried blooms and grasses take all these considerations completely out of the equation. You’ll be able to pick your favourites all year round. Here is where the team at Flowers Across Melbourne should come in. Discuss your wishes with them. They can give you expert advice and recommend the perfect flowers and flower combinations, within your budget, to help you realize your ideas and make your special day perfect.

Bride Holding Wedding Bouquet
Photo by Wedding Photography on Unsplash

What are some of the most popular wedding flowers and what’s their meaning?

You have the power to use the language of flowers! Sure, it’s important to think about colour, shape and overall wedding theme when choosing your blooms. But flowers also allow you to send a message, add meaning, a personal note, and that extra sprinkle of magic. Maybe certain blooms are part of your love story? They might remind you of where you met, or of your home country. Maybe you want them to be a sign of love or a nod towards your partner’s birth month? We’ve had a look at some of the most popular wedding flowers and their meaning, their ‘flower language’.

Roses: Love, desire, and appreciation. Nothing says ‘I love you’ like a red rose! Pink roses symbolise perfect happiness, white and red roses together symbolise unity.  Roses are also the birth month flowers for June.

Baby’s Breath: These dainty lovelies signify innocence and a pure heart. They will look stunning in fresh and dried arrangements.

Lily of the Valley: This beautifully scented, bell-shaped little flower signifies humility, return of happiness and sweetness and is the birth month flower of May.

Hydrangea: This beauty will look stunning fresh or dry as it retains its colour very well. It stands for heartfelt emotion and honesty, but also deep understanding and abundance.

Sweet Pea: The delicate and sensual Sweet Peas and Daisies are April flowers and symbolise purity, innocence, modesty and simplicity. And of course, Sweet Peas have the most wonderful scent and shades of colours.

Orchid: Not surprisingly, orchids stand for beauty and proud and glorious femininity. They symbolize refinement, thoughtfulness, and mature charm. Orchids are exquisite, eye-catching flowers, making a proud statement with their vibrant, lush colours and bold shapes. Phalaenopsis orchids are a popular choice not only for bouquets and arrangements but also as a bridal hair accessory.

Lavender: Lavender signifies loyalty, love, and devotion. Its purple flowers will add a lovely fragrance and lightness to any bouquet – and its scent is known to calm nerves!

Lily: Different lilies have different meanings. The Calla Lily is the most popular when it comes to wedding flowers. It symbolizes magnificence and beauty. And rightly so, it’s a formidable, long-stemmed, and strong coloured flower that will look stunning all on its own. White Calla Lilies also stand for purity and innocence, the perfect choice for wedding flowers.

Tulip: We know spring has sprung when the tulips are out! They’ll make for a lush and modern bouquet. Red tulips are considered a declaration of love. Yup, roses are not the only ones spelling out romance and love

Ranunculus: These lush, colourful blooms convey the perfect wedding day message; they symbolize radiant charm and attractiveness.

Man and Woman Hugging
Photo by Alvin Mahmudov on Unsplash

Famous wedding bouquets

–      Who can forget Prince Harry and Megan Markle’s wedding! We love the romantic story behind Meghan’s wedding flower bouquet. Considering all the pomp and ceremony, the bouquet itself was delicate yet simple. Each flower had been carefully chosen for its meaning, and had been hand-picked from the palace gardens by Prince Harry!

–      Ellie Goulding chose a classic bouquet of cream-coloured roses for her wedding – after all the flowers had to complement all of the five outfits she changed into on the day. The happy couple gave away all of its floral arrangements to the public after their nuptials. What an awesome gesture!

–      And to finish it all off, a bit of wedding bouquet history for you. From Elizabeth Taylor, who got to throw her bouquet a whopping eight times, to Priyanka Chopra’s nuptials, it’s all there: the flowers, the fashion, the sparkles of some of the most famous couples across the decades.

Your wedding flower checklist

Please don’t think you have to tick all of the items listed below. We’ve simply aimed to list all possible options so that you can decide whether or not you’d like to arrange for it or not. 

Wedding party and guests:

–      Bridal bouquet

–      Bridal hair adornment

–      Bridesmaids’ bouquets

–      Bridesmaids’ hair adornment

–      Flower girl posy, hair crown and basket of petals

–      Ring bearer’s boutonniere

–      Grooms and groomsmen’s boutonnieres

–      Boutonnieres and/or small posies for the immediate family

–      Tossing bouquet (if you want to keep your own one!)

–      Decorations for cars/ carriages of the wedding party

Flowers for the ceremony

–      Entrance / foyer arrangement

–      Pew or chair, and aisle arrangements

–      Altar/ceremony backdrop florals / floral arch, floral wall

–      Tossing petals for guests

Flowers for the wedding party/reception

  • Entrance/foyer floral arrangement

–      Sweetheart table arrangements

–      Guest tables arrangements

–      Flower arrangements for bar, buffet/ food station, cake table

–      Floral centrepiece

–      Greenery

–      Getaway car decor

Wedding Isle Arrangement with White and Pink Flowers
Photo by Shardayyy Photography on Unsplash

Let the celebrations begin!

We hope we’ve given you some floral ideas to make your wedding day sparkle and shine. But before you start preparing your wish list for the big day, we’d like to leave you with these (handy) notes on some of the floral wedding traditions:

–      The tradition of the bridal bouquet dates back to antiquity. Bouquets in those days were made up of fragrant herbs and spices to ward off bad luck, symbolizing a new beginning. But it wasn’t until Victorian times that the bridal bouquet as we know it today was born. Flowers in those days were chosen for their meaning, to communicate a sentiment. The other reason is unfortunately far less romantic: Brides carried fragrant bouquets to mask their body odour.

–      The bouquet toss! One of the highlights of the wedding celebration with a tendency to cause slight tussles! But did you know that the traditional toss was originally introduced as a preventative measure? Customarily, young women would attempt to tear pieces of the bride’s attire to gain some of her good fortunes! Catching flowers seems the far better option. Brides now often prepare a ‘tossing bouquet’ so that they can take their wedding flowers home to keep.

–      And if you are looking for a classic bouquet toss song, according to ‘The Knot’, Cindy Lauper’s “Girls Just want to Have Fun” is sitting in first place, closely followed by Pat Benatar’s “Hit Me With Your Best Shot”.

To view our very own selection of fresh wedding flowers, visit our collection here.

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