Austin-area experts weigh in with wedding advice that really works.
Wedding Flower Style, Fragrance and Meanings- Personalize your Floral Display
Flowers express emotion. Whether for a wedding, an anniversary, a Valentine’s Day surprise, the birth of a baby or just as a token of love, flowers are the age-old way of expressing the feelings behind important life events. For weddings, then, nature’s magnificent creations are more than just decoration; they set the tone and personalize this wonderful occasion. Throughout history, people have used flowers as symbols of the joining of two lives. A red rose has always symbolized the love between two individuals, for example. When you think of weddings, you probably imagine white blossoms and greenery adorning the churches and cathedrals where lovers marry. However, more and more couples are choosing wedding flowers that express their personality or have a special meaning.
Here is a list of the most popular flowers for weddings, along with the meanings typically ascribed to them:
White daisy – innocence
Gladiolus – generosity
Iris – wisdom
Apple blossoms – good fortune
Orchid – beauty
Lily of the Valley – happiness
Rose – deep love
Orange blossom – purity and fertility
Baby’s breath – pure heart
Blue violet – faithfulness
Daffodil – joy
Magnolia – nobility
Gardenia – joy
The bridal bouquet remains the true focal point both for the bride and for the florist. In recent years, all rules pertaining to bouquets have gone out the window. This leaves the bride free to design any type of arrangement she can imagine. For instance, the bouquet flowers are no longer limited to white or cream, so the bride can use color to express her personality. Bolder palettes for a fall wedding can include burgundy roses arranged with pale, peach-colored blooms to make a dreamy arrangement. Oranges, rust and deep red are outstanding colors for fall. Other accent colors a bride might consider include a touch of blue or lavender. Lilacs and hydrangea are a popular choice for 2009. Red roses and poinsettias remain popular for December weddings.
One of the more recent trends in bouquets is a simple bundle of like-color roses tied with long, flowing ribbons. This effortless arrangement makes the bride and bridal bouquet look graceful and natural. Another new trend is an herb bouquet that also contains flowers. The bouquet might include a combination of sage, lemon balm, lavender, rosemary, orchids and twigs. Herb bouquets smell heavenly and make a breathtaking memento.
Every bride has her own personality, so no one wedding bouquet is right for everyone. The style of the bouquet depends a great deal on individual personality and the bride’s gown. A bride with a more casual, country-style gown might want a natural, casual bouquet of daisies or wildflowers. A bride going for a more traditional, formal wedding would typically choose white flowers for her bouquet, with a bit of fern or ivy for color. The bride with the Victorian white lace theme might select an old-fashioned cluster of sweetheart roses and violets for the bouquet.
Many brides choose their bouquet based upon the time of year of the wedding, so as to correspond with the seasons or theme of the wedding. Another aspect of the bouquet that can help a bride choose which flowers to include is the bouquet style. The style of bouquet chosen for the wedding primarily depends on the bride’s personality and her mental image of what she wants for her wedding.
Here are the main types of bouquets:
Arm Bouquet: As the name implies, this is an elegant, crescent-shaped bouquet designed to be cradled in one arm.
Cascade: The cascade is the most traditional and formal style of bridal bouquet. It’s a waterfall-like arrangement of blooms and greenery that is anchored in a hand-held base. As the name implies, it resembles a cascade or waterfall with flowers flowing downward.
Classic Hand-tied Bouquet: This bouquet consists of a dense bunch of blooms anchored in a bouquet holder, held together by wire or hand tied. This option gives the illusion of a “just picked” bouquet of spring flowers.
Nosegay: A general term for any small, round cluster of flowers, all cut to a uniform length. They were all the rage in Victorian times and are popular once again. Usually made with one dominant flower or color, nosegays are wrapped tightly with ribbon or lace for delicate effect.
Pomander: A bloom-covered ball suspended from a ribbon, perfect for child attendants.
Composite: Less well-known, this option is a handmade creation in which different petals or buds are wired together on a single stem, creating the illusion of one giant flower.
Beidermeier: A nosegay made up of concentric circles of different flowers for a somewhat striped effect.
Contemporary bouquets: Inspired by unconventional ideas, styles and patterns, these bouquets are designed with no specific geometric form. They are usually created with flowers that have definite forms and that add character to a bouquet (such as calla lilies, orchids and anthuriums). Because there are no rules governing these bouquets, their presentation shows off the individuality of the bride. They are perfect for a sophisticated, cosmopolitan wedding. They’re simple, but have the added grace of asymmetrical design.
An important tip to keep in mind is that a bridal bouquet should be in proportion to the bride. An extra large bouquet can overpower the appearance of the bride. The bouquet should never outshine your beautiful gown and face.
Another tip to consider is to select flowers that are in season. This will keep the costs down tremendously. You will want to select flowers that will hold up for the entire day. Particularly if you are taking pictures before the ceremony or outside, you want to make sure that you select flowers that will hold up to the sun and wind and still look gorgeous when you walk down the aisle.
Another option is to use a bouquet holder, which will keep your flowers hydrated with water for most of the day. Don’t let your bouquet overwhelm you. A beautiful waistline will be covered by a large, cascading bouquet. If you are a petite, the weight of a large bouquet could become a problem during the ceremony. Consider your gown and your stature before making selections
More than likely, you will purchase more flowers for your wedding than for any other occasion in your life. Use your imagination and show your personality and style when selecting the flowers for your bouquet. Do a little research, and decide what you want, then find a talented, creative florist who will help you make the “perfect bouquet.” Here are a few questions to ask:
- What type of services will be offered the day of the wedding?
- Where and when will the flowers be delivered and by whom?
- Will there be someone at the ceremony to pin on the boutonnieres and corsages, set-up the altar designs, pew décor, runner, etc?
- Will the floral designer transfer the ceremony flowers to the reception or do I need to arrange to have this done?
Your floral designer will be one of your best assets on the day of your wedding. All the flowers should be delivered to the locations specified in the contract. A trained professional knows how to transport and reset these delicate items so they will look fantastic at the ceremony and the reception. If you invest a little time before the wedding day to look for the very best floral designer that shares your vision for the perfect wedding, you will be delighted with the outcome. The more you let your personality show, the easier it will be for a designer to create something that shows the real you. A floral designer that is enthusiastic about their work leaves a little piece of their heart with each bride. Whatever choice you make, remember that the flowers you choose will set the tone for the wedding. Have fun with your flowers, and let your personality shine through.