If you’re planning a summer wedding, you need to gather all the information possible to make it a special and memorial occasion. New brides love coming up with that special touch that will make their wedding stand out among all the rest. One of the most visual elements of a wedding is the floral display. Beautiful garlands and bouquets decking the church pews, sprays of flowers at the altar, and breathtaking bouquets carried by the bride and her attendants. Here are a few tips to accentuate your floral display for maximum effect.
Flowers for the church/wedding venue
Whether you’re getting married in a centuries-old church or on the beach, you want to put your best foot forward when it comes to floral arrangements. From gardenias and orchids to simple daisies and carnations, there are flowers for every budget and occasion. For an indoor or church wedding, simple garlands of greenery, with flowers placed intermittently on pews are an elegant touch, with larger sprays placed in tall vases for the altar (or designated ceremony spot). Trailing ribbons can add to the effect. For an evening wedding, place battery-operated lights or “fairy lights” (small frosted balls that light up and have a battery inside) in the arrangements. Be sure to get the non-blinking type, as this can be distracting, and would definitely not be appreciated in church.
For an outdoor wedding, simple urns or flower pots can be spaced between chairs with large arrangements inside. For a more earthy touch, a large log can be placed on its end to act as a pedestal, with a beautiful arrangement placed on top. Place these at the end of each row of chairs as place markers. If you plan to do the “red carpet” thing, with a plastic or cloth path to the altar, place small individual flowers and greenery or petals along both sides of the path. An arch at the end encrusted with flowers makes a nice touch. Again, if it is a late afternoon or evening wedding, lights will add ambience.
The Bridal Bouquet
The most important use of flowers can be the bride’s bouquet. Every bride wants hers to be memorable. The bridal bouquet should coordinate with the colors chosen for the wedding and not clash with the bridesmaids’ dresses or flowers, or clash with flowers used in the overall theme. If you’ve chosen a light peach and forest green motif, you don’t want red or purple flowers in your bouquet or in other floral arrangements. There are a number of beautiful floral choices that come in a multitude of colors.
Probably the most popular flower for weddings is the rose. Roses come in so many varieties and colors that you can’t go wrong with them in your central theme, and they pair well with other flowers. They come in everything from white to cream, pink, peach, red, orange, yellow, even variegated, and many subtle variations in between. There are also American Beauties, Juliet roses, garden roses, tea roses; the list is endless, and the colors are all over the spectrum. They can be romantic, traditional or modern, depending on the setting and type of rose you choose.
One flower that is enjoying more exposure lately is the ranunculus. It doesn’t sound like something you’d want in your bouquet, but it looks beautiful, despite the name. It comes in a variety of colors, sizes, shapes and prices. Mix with filler flowers and greenery for a lush, stunning bouquet. Dahlias and peonies are always striking too. Large peonies can make an entire bouquet by themselves, especially when left with the stems long and wrapped in a coordinating ribbon.
Don’t want to use so many flowers, or have wedding party members who are allergic? Try using jewelry or wood items in place of flowers on gowns or tuxedos. Make ribbon arrangements or use silk flowers. Even antique buttons can be fashioned into corsages or boutonnieres with the addition of some ribbon, cloth and imagination. Sola flowers made from thin sheets of balsa wood can be used for decoration, perhaps incorporating small shells or other natural elements. An entire bouquet can even be fashioned from broaches, ribbon and other jewelry. Fabric flowers make inexpensive and allergy-free decorations, especially when paired with swaths of light, diaphanous fabric festooned along walkways or arches. Try using inexpensive sheer curtains for effect. They’re already cut and hemmed; just hang them from rods or thread them on rope for an outdoor wedding and let them blow in the breeze. Add a few lights discretely placed and you can create a fairyland wedding in no time.
Boutonnieres and Corsages
The groomsman’s boutonniere and the mother’s corsage are often afterthoughts in wedding planning. There is always the fall-back plan of carnations; they’re inexpensive and they do the job. But why not put a little thought and fresh perspective into planning this element of the wedding? Try using greenery and small buds or pods in the boutonnieres, or why not make a grosgrain ribbon boutonniere that mimics a medallion? Wrist corsages are a nice touch for mothers of the bride and groom. Use a combination of small flowers (delicate orchids and/or lily of the valley and dendrobium). Lamb’s ear greenery combines well with any flower; it has a velvety feel and a slightly frosted look over the blue-green color of the leaf. It pairs well behind a boutonniere flower or corsage, as well as when used as an accent to the bride’s bouquet. It’s especially effective with roses and other flowers in which you want a sophisticated but understated effect.
Succulents make great corsages and boutonnieres. A nice flower-shaped succulent trimmed with a little greenery looks elegant on a tux or gown. Or make a dress corsage using roses and an antique broach or other jewelry. You can use a leaf shaped piece of fabric to back up a small sprig of flowers and add a stem of rosemary or fiddlehead fern for an imaginative boutonniere. Chiffon can also be used on corsages as a backing for flowers and greenery. Simple beaded leaves and flowers can also make a tasteful floral statement when pinned to an elegant suit or tux.
Pinterest has some great ideas for combining different floral elements and for decorating the bridal venue. Martha Stewart Weddings is always a good source of clever ideas and current styles. And, of course, bridal magazines are a source of inspiration and a resource for finding inexpensive ways to plan a wedding with limited finances. If you’re on a tight budget, don’t pick an array of different flowers for your wedding; try sticking to two or three choices and adding other items. It’s cheaper for the florist to buy a few types of flowers in bulk than to pay by the stem.
Whether your budget allows you to cover your whole wedding party with extravagant flowers, or whether you need to pinch the pennies and become more creative, you can find so many ways to express yourself through flowers and greenery (and even a few more unusual items). There’s no limit to what you can achieve with a little imagination and a few basic supplies. And if you’ve planned a natural setting for your wedding, Mother Nature can speak for herself, no matter what the wedding budget.