There’s a lot more to wedding flowers than the bouquet

wedding flowersWhen most of us think of wedding flowers, we think of the bride’s bouquet, but there are many more floral elements to consider at your wedding.

Who are the flowers for?

  • The bridesmaids may have smaller bouquets of their own
  • The flower girls might need petals to scatter
  • The mothers of the bride and groom often wear corsages, either at the wrist or pinned to their dress
  • The bride and groom’s grandmothers can also have corsages
  • The groom, his best man, the fathers of the the bride and groom, the grandfathers and ushers can all wear flowers in their buttonholes

No-one else’s flowers will be as elaborate as the bride’s bouquet, but they should contain the same flowers so that they are fully co-ordinated with her.

wedding flowers

I absolutely love this cheeky photo of the bridesmaids and page boys at the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding in 2011 (Suzanne Plunkett/WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Where are they being placed?

The ceremony area and the reception area can both be decorated with flowers.

Possibilities for the ceremony include:

  • entrance flowers
  • tall, freestanding arrangements
  • pew ends
  • altar arrangements
  • along the aisle edges
  • the marriage register table

If you are having an outdoor wedding, you can decorate the structure you are getting married under as well.

For the reception, consider whether you want to have:

  • a centrepiece for each table (including the head table)
  • the evening buffet table might be able to re-use the flowers from the wedding breakfast
  • a small arrangement on the cake table, so long as it doesn’t detract from the cake!
  • flowers to decorate the cake

Again, the flowers chosen for décor should co-ordinate with the bride’s bouquet to create a consistent theme.

wedding flowers

What time of year will you get married?

Flowers that are out of season when you get married are considerably more expensive than those that are in season at the time. Refer to the list below for ideas, and ask your florist for recommendations.


Cosmos, hyacinth, hydrangea, jasmine, lilac, lily of the valley, mimosa, muscari, peony, poppy, sweet pea, tulip, viburnum, violet


Anemone, aster, calla lily, cornflower, dahlia, daisy, delphinium, gerbera, hydrangea larkspur, lavender, marigold, sunflower


Aster, calla lily, chrysanthemum, dahlia, fuchsia, hydrangea, lavender, marigold, sweet William


Amarylis, camelia, freesia, heather, holly, ivy, narcissus, poinsettia, ranunculus, tulip, viburnum

All year round

Anemone, baby’s breath, carnation, gardenia, iris, orchid, rose, sweet pea

And finally, the language of flowers

Most people are oblivious to this these days, but apparently in Victorian times using flowers to communicate feelings was widespread.

Here is a list of flowers, and what they represent

anemone anticipation
apple blossom hope
aster elegance
baby’s breath pure-heartedness
calla lily beauty
camellia perfect loveliness
carnation devotion or pure and deep love
daisy gentleness
forget-me-not remembrance
freesia innocence
gardenia purity
heather future fortune
heliotrope devotion, faithfulness
hibiscus true beauty
ivy eternal fidelity
larkspur laughter, openheartedness
lavender luck
lily of the valley happiness
mimosa friendship
myrtle love and remembrance
orange blossom purity
orchid rare beauty
peony bashfulness
coral rose desire
red rose love, passion
white rose innocence
yellow rose friendship
rosemary remembrance
thyme courage
tulip passion
violet modesty or faithfulness
zinnia affection

Incorporating one or two of these flowers, if their meanings are particularly relevant to you is a nice, but little bit different, way to personalise your wedding.

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