What you need to know about wedding flowers, Bridal Flowers and Wedding Floral Design

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What You Should Know About Flowers
Contributed by
Dion of Flowers in Motion of NYC
Bridals: Things To Know

Time of The Year

Meanings of Flowers

The Bridal Bouquet


Body Flowers

Wedding Ceremony

Church Florals

Flowers at the Reception

Cake Decorations

Basic Pricing

It is advisable to employ a florist to supply the flower arrangements. Most of the work with the flowers is done the day before and the morning of the wedding when the couple and their families are at their busiest. Therefore unless the floral displays are very simple it is wise to have them professionally prepared.

When deciding on a florist seek personal recommendations from friends and recently married acquaintances. If you are unable to decide, it is best to visit several and look at their displays. Most florists will allow you visit them at a time when they have prepared flowers for other weddings so that you can see the quality of their work.

Decisions regarding the flowers should only be made once the wedding outfits have been chosen. The style and colour scheme of flowers should be in keeping with the wedding and in particular reflect the personality of the bride.

The florist should be given notice of the wedding approximately four months in advance so that he is free on the day. The florist will want to discuss precise details around six weeks before the wedding.

When They Are In season

Many flowers can now be obtained out of season because they are grown in greenhouses and are imported from other parts of the world. Seasonal flowers, however, are more likely to fresher and less expensive.

Seasonal Flowers



Apple blossom

Azalea Daisy Mimosa

Broom Forsythia Orchid

Bluebell Freesia Polyanthus

Camellia Gladioli Primrose

Carnation Heather Rhododendron

Cherry Blossom Honeysuckle Stephanotis

Clematis Iris Tulip

Crocus Jasmine Waxflower

Aster Gladioli Marigold

Azalea Hollyhock Orchid
Carnation Heather Peony
Cornflower Iris Rose

Chrysanthemum Jasmine Rhododendron
Delphinium Larkspur Stock

Daisy Lilac Sweatpea
Freesia Lily-of-the-valley Sweet William
Fuschia Lupin Tiger Lily



Chrysanthemum Gypsophila Micklemas Daisy

Daisy Hydrangea Morning Glory

Dahlia Iris Orchid

Freesia Lily Rose

Gladioli Love-lies-bleeding


Carnation Gentian Rose

Chrysanthemum Holly Berries Stephanotis

Freesia Iris Snowdrop

Forsythia Lily Winter Jasmine

Gypsophila Orchid

Their Names and Their Meanings

Over the centuries certain flowers have acquired meanings. Some brides take account of the meanings of flowers when deciding which blooms to include in their bouquet. A list of flowers with their meanings is given below:

Flower Message

Almond blossom hope

Apple blossom good fortune

Asphodel my regrets follow you to the grave

Barberry bad temper

Burdock touch me not

Camellia gratitude

Carnation fascination

Chrysanthemum – red I love you

Chrysanthemum – white truth

Cyclamen modesty

Daffodil regard

Daisy innocence

Fern fascination

Forget-me-not remembrance

Gardenia joy

Heather good luck

Hellebore scandal

Heliotrope devotion

Honeysuckle generosity

Hyacinth loveliness

Hydrangea boastfulness

Ivy fidelity

Iris flame/burning love

Japonica loveliness

Jasmine amiability

King’s Cup I wish I were rich

Larkspur fickleness

Lemon blossom fidelity in love

Lilac youthful innocence

Lily majesty

Lily-of-the-valley return of happiness

Magnolia perseverance

Maidenhair discretion

Marigold grief

Meadow Saffron my best days are past

Mimosa sensitivity

Myrtle love

Narcissus egotism

Orange blossom purity

Orchid beauty

Peach blossom captive

Pink boldness

Rose love, happiness

Snowdrop hope

Sweatpea pleasure

Tulip – red I love you

Tulip – white I am worthy of you

Tulip love

Veronica fidelity

Violet faithfulness

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The Bridal Bouquet


In the past the bride’s bouquet was compose of white flowers to symbolise purity. Although some brides still choose to have a white bouquet, many choose colours which complement the bride and bridesmaids’ dresses as well as the general colour scheme of the wedding.

When choosing flowers it is worth taking a sample of fabric from the bride’s dress to the florist. This can be a great help when matching colours. This applies even if the bride has a white wedding dress and wants a white bouquet because whites can vary in their shade and intensity.


There are several classic shapes of bouquet and good florists have a selection of photographs to demonstrate them. The florist should also be able to advise on which flowers match the chosen shape bearing in mind the colour scheme and seasonal availability.

The most popular designs include the “trailing waterfall” shape and the round “posy” of tightly arranged flowers.

The “trailing waterfall” shape draws the eye from top to bottom and can therefore have a slimming effect. However, it can overshadow a petite bride if its too big. The cascading shape of bouquet best complements a full length skirt. It can result in an unbalanced look with shorter skirt lengths.

The posy style of bouquet draws attention to the middle of the body. It may not be suitable for brides not wishing to draw attention to their hips and also for very tall brides.

The bouquet is held just below waist level. If this is likely to obscure a feature of the dress which the bride particularly wishes to be seen then she can choose a bouquet which lies across the arm.

As a general rule large bouquets suit formal, long dresses while smaller bouquets or even a single bloom are more in proportion with a knee-length dress.

The bouquet ribbons are tied at the ends into knots to symbolise unity.

Preserving the Bouquet

There are several ways of preserving the bouquet as a souvenir.

The bouquet can be dried and kept whole or dismantled and a collage made from the dried, pressed flowers.

A replica of the bouquet can be made from silk flowers.

Suitable shoots can used as cuttings to grow new plants.

Alternatives to Floral Bouquets

Instead of a bouquet the bride may choose to carry:


white prayer book



dorothy bag


Some brides choose to wear floral headdresses. A well chosen headdress can create a spectacular effect. The florist should be able to give advice on matching the headdress to the dress and the bouquet.

Flowers by their nature are delicate and care must be taken not to disturb them through the day as this can spoil their effect. Additionally, advice should be taken from the florist on choosing flowers that will not wilt, particularly if it likely to be a hot day. One possible solution to this problem is to choose a headdress of flowers made of silk or some other fabric. These will look good all day and can be kept as a memento of the day.

The bridesmaid or Maid of Honor may also wear a floral headdresses or incorporate flowers into their hair style.

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Bridesmaids’ Tussy Mussies and The Posy

The bridesmaids usually carry posies which are smaller than the bride’s bouquet. The colour and style should match their dresses and the overall scheme of the wedding. If the bridesmaids are very young they may damage flowers by over-handling or grow tired of holding the posy. An alternative may be allow them a small basket which is easier to handle. Also a smaller and tighter version can be supplied for the Flower Girl

Body Flowers

Corsages may be worn by the couple’s mothers. They are small floral arrangements worn as buttonholes.


Buttonholes are usually worn by the groom, the couple’s fathers, the best man and the ushers. If the couple wish, they may provide buttonholes for all their guests.

The groom usually wears a single white carnation to match the brides dress. The best man and the fathers wear a double red carnation and the ushers a single red or white carnation.

Other colours of carnation and other flowers, for example roses, may be worn as buttonhole.

Roses are usually supplied by florists with a sprig of greenery and the stems wrapped so they are easy to fasten and remain fresh for the whole proceedings.

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Flowers for the Wedding Ceremony


The decoration of the church should be discussed with minister at the first meeting to find out what the church’s policy is. Some churches will not allow flowers to brought in. The church supplies the floral arrangements. Others will allow the couple to supply the flowers.

Often churches have regular helpers who arrange the flower displays and who will help display the wedding flowers for a contribution to church funds. Because they are familiar with the Church they known what looks the most effective. This is a great help for the inexperienced flower arranger, particularly at this hectic time. Alternatively the florist will arrange the displays.

When the church is hosting several weddings on the same day there will not be time to change the floral arrangements. The church will be decorated by the church flower arrangers and cost divided amongst the couples. The Church decorators are usually available to discuss the type of arrangements with couples.

If couple have very specific ideas about the way they want to decorate the church it may be advisable to choose a less popular day, when theirs will be the only wedding taking place in the church.

If the couple or their family is decorating the church, this is usually done the day before the wedding.

The Church


Pew ends

Isle ends


Window Ledges

Around Front



Alter steps

Register Office

Because weddings take place in Register Offices every day they are suitably decorated and most will have at least one flower arrangement. Registrars may also allow further displays to be brought in but this should be discussed at an early stage of planning with the Registrar’s office. The main concern is that setting up displays does not disturb other ceremonies taking place on the same day.

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The Reception

Some reception venues such as hotels and restaurants often include floral arrangement as part of their service. Others may make a charge. Most venues will allow the couple to supply their own floral decorations. The management should be consulted to arrange a convenient time to set up the displays which will not inconvenience the catering arrangements.

The decorations usually consist of a large display just inside the entrance which is seen by guests as they enter the reception room, and arrangements on each of the tables for guests. The top table occupied by the newlyweds usually has a more ornate arrangement.

Large halls and marquees usually provide plain backgrounds and therefore flower arrangements should be spectacular and large to catch the eye. Decorating with potted plants is a good idea as they can subsequently be used in the newlyweds new home. Huppa, or Chuppa start at $200.00 or Just and Arch of Flowers can start at $150.00

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Cake Decorations

Many couples choose to decorate the cake with flowers instead of bride and groom figures. The flowers may be display in a silver vase or a small spray laid on top of the cake. A simple yet effective alternative is to place a single flower on the cake. Any flower which sits flat such as a stemless, slightly opened rose or a large daisy will be suitable.

The caterer who supplies the cake will be able to supply the flowers and vase. Alternatively the florist supplying the bouquet and other flowers could also supply the cake flowers to ensure a harmonious colour match.



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Nily Glaser, the CEO of A-wedding Day at: http://www.a-weddingday.com is a retired school principal, a published author and the recipient of numerous awards. She writes important articles, and her Personalized Wedding Planning Organizer is a big hit. Read her articles on this site; With her background of serving as a school principal and now as a weddings specialist, Nily Glaser has presented workshops for parents and for wedding professionals all over the USA. Her web site is a very popular Wedding Resource and Information Center, that specializes in family wedding with kids, and theme weddings and presents a very comprehensive shopping mall that represents top companies and offers discount wedding and other gifts as well as bridal accessories, including the exclusive line of wedding Accessories By Nily.

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