Picking the perfect flowers for your big day
It is often said that flowers have their own language – so what will your blooms say about you on your wedding day? Gemma Radcliffe (the third and final sister in the Peppermint Press family) discusses floral options, their meanings, and how to work with your florist to make your vision come to life.
The more you delve into floral meanings across time and culture, the more important (and perhaps overwhelming!) it becomes to choose the right blooms for your wedding. Whether you’re a lover of a traditional rose, follow the latest on-trend styles on Pinterest, or are after something a little different, there’s certainly a combination of flowers and greenery out there for you, to help tell your love story without saying a word.
Choosing your flowers
These go-to flowers are a combination of beauty, symbolism and timelessness, and have been among many brides’ top picks for decades. At the top of the fragrant list are, of course, roses. The rose is perhaps the flower when it comes to depth of meaning and popularity within bridal bouquets. Whilst in general a rose signifies love, its many-coloured petals carry significance of their own, with white being the most popular due to its pure perception. Better still, roses are a surprisingly affordable option!
Other traditional options include the ever-affordable baby’s breath ( said to represent innocence as well as everlasting love), tulips (deep red tulips not only offer ravishing hues, but also their symbolism of true love), peonies with their gently gathered, beautifully ruffled petals, gardenias for their exquisite pure white petals, and hydrangeas for their depth of colour.
@OneFineDayWeddingFairs shows off an amazing European summer with traditional white arrangements.
While bouquet trends shift from year to year, there are always standout styles that many a florist (and of course, many a bride!) agree on. The trumpet-shaped calla lily has historically appeared across numerous works of art nouveau and symbolise magnificent beauty, whilst dahlias signify commitment as well as everlasting bonds. If you have a love for heady fragrance, freesias are the way to go, whilst carnations offer colour variety and affordability. For stand-out, unique flowers, you could choose a waterfall of vibrant orchids, or the dark-hearted anemone for a contemporary twist.
Amazing soft palette bouquet photo by @TylerRye_.
When planning a bush wedding, native plants make a beautiful addition to a bridal bouquet. Whilst not as heavy in symbolism, native blooms remain a fantastic choice and can easily be sourced locally and aren’t so frequently accompanied by a hefty price tag. Some favourites include the grand waratah, the silken petals of the flannel flower, or a pop of colour granted by delicate wax flowers. Banksias also make a wonderful centrepiece, and trails of eucalyptus leaves add a minimalist touch.
With a shift to a greener planet, florists are providing more options for the sustainably minded bride. Your bouquet can shine and please your inner eco warrior by utilising seasonal flowers to make the most of what nature has to offer or consider minimalising your bouquet by carrying single stems for contrast and impact. Native flowers are often more affordable than specially-grown flowers, whilst dried flowers such as lavender are readily available.
@sketchandetchcreative shows off a lush native arrangement.
What to know before you meet your florist
Consider your venue
Your venue speaks volumes – and can certainly assist in how you select your bouquet. If you plan on getting married in a lush garden for example, you needn’t opt for a bouquet bursting with flowers. Getting married in a church? Perhaps you need a more formal arrangement, rather than native or wildflowers. Or, if you’re digging your toes into the sand, tropical flowers such as hibiscus and frangipani may suit your bouquet more so than roses. By keeping this in mind, you won’t exceed your budget by putting together unnecessary flower arrangements.
Swap one flower for another
Flower availability is often tied to the seasons, so if you’ve had your eye on a particular flower, be sure to check its obtainability around the time of your wedding. If you find that a flower you like is unavailable due to the season or is simply out of your budget, floral look-alikes are a good idea. More affordable roses can replace expensive peonies or carnations, sweet peas can replace hydrangeas, dahlias can substitute chrysanthemums, and much more. A handy tip for this is to search the name of your desired flower, followed by “versus”/“vs”, and see what suggestions pop up on the list.
Olive leaf suspended installation by @delaterre_
Build your bouquet around your dress
There are dozens of dress styles out there, from ball gown to mermaid and beyond, so it’s worth looking at how your bouquet impacts your wedding dress and vice versa. A lace-covered, vintage-inspired dress will benefit from a more traditional, tighter arrangement of flowers, whereas a full-on princess style ball gown will need a sumptuous bouquet to match its “wow factor”. Boho-look dresses can look great with native flora, wildflowers or even succulents to suit their more carefree, wanderlust vibe.
Find flower power in the right florist
Similar to event planning and photography, floristry is an art form that requires careful consideration and a flair for creativity. Instagram can be a powerful tool for finding your perfect florist, but you’ll need to know some basics before approaching your dream team.
Take some time to learn not only flower names but different bouquet names – knowing some of these will help you to achieve your dream bouquet or floral arrangement. A mood board of Instagram images or a Pinterest board of inspirational photos will help to communicate your vision to your florist and help you decide the part your arrangements will play on the big day.
Keep your guests in mind
While you don’t want to be tripping over yourself with paranoia, there are some small steps you can take to offer further comfort and enjoyment to your guests on the big day. Sensitive noses may not take kindly to flowers with a heady fragrance, so you may wish to steer clear of flowers such as lilacs, lily of the valley, freesia and jasmine. If you’re carrying the theme of your bouquet across to table arrangements, also be sure to leave the guests plenty of room to mingle, less they are overwhelmed by fragrance and blushing petals whilst trying to enjoy their main course!
Love in full bloom
The subject of wedding flowers can be surprisingly overwhelming, so we’d love to know: what tips do you have for others? And, what flowers would you like to see in future collections? We already have our Native suite for those who love Australian wildflowers!
If you liked this post please let us know - we are looking for the Love + Paper blog to become a feature of Peppermint Press, a blog full of handy information and gorgeous inspiration to help you plan our your big day (and something fun to read when you're on your honeymoon).
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