Wedding Florals, Planning is the Key

by | Feb 1, 2010 | Bridal

Written by Dianne Edwards
Flowers can be a beautiful part of every wedding, accenting and enhancing an already-gorgeous bride and her husband-to-be. And, as with every facet of the upcoming wedding, advance planning makes the day go more smoothly. 
A most-popular question asked by brides-to-be and their wedding planners are “which members of the wedding party are given corsages and boutonnieres?” While the answers may vary with the wedding particulars, the following is a good reference when planning for the wedding and reception flowers.

The bride’s chosen color theme is the most important factor when selecting flower choices. Are there real or silk flowers available in the bride’s selected color? What is the wedding season? Always check on availability of real flowers for the time frame of your wedding. Some flowers, while available, may be more costly at certain times of the year. A visit to your florist early in the planning process is critical.
When selecting silks, your choice is limited only by those flowers stocked at your favorite retailer or crafts store. The sky is virtually the limit here. Just be certain to coordinate silk flower choices with real flower availability when mixing real and silk.
Keep in mind that silk flowers are not always less expensive. However, the advantage may be that you can spend the money months before the wedding rather than just prior to the ceremony when expenses seem to appear out of thin air! The advantage of silk flowers is that you or your designer may take your time and do the work in advance of the wedding.
Fresh flowers are often selected for centerpieces since they are viewed more closely than silks. However, with today’s improved silks, one would have to scrutinize the flowers closely to determine their origin. Single flowers – whether real or silk – work well as table centerpieces and can keep costs to a minimum.
Regardless of your choice, do consult your florist early and request a price for both real and silk before you invest. Don’t forget to discuss who will be picking up the florals and set an exact time and date. Confirm this again one week prior to the wedding.

The Bride: After she selects her colors and the style for her bouquet, she must next consider her hair. Would floral accents be appropriate with her chosen hairstyle? What type of headpiece has she selected? Does she need small silk florals to affix to her garter? (And does anyone REALLY participate in this ancient ritual anymore?)

A ‘throw’ bouquet, separate from her actual wedding bouquet, is a must. Often made of silk and mimicking the wedding bouquet, the ‘throw’ bouquet is often used for the bridal portrait then again at the reception as the bride and groom prepare to leave. The ‘throw’ bouquet can decorate the wedding guest registry until needed for the couple’s departure.

The Attendants: What flowers shall the bride select for her maid and/or matron of honor, her bridesmaids and flower girl? Will you need bouquets, single-stem florals or hair accessories? Will the flower girl need a small corsage or wristlet or will she wear flowers in her hair?

Don’t forget the rose petals for the flower girl’s basket. Real or silk work equally well here but do be certain to check with the location specifics about which are recommended. (Real petals are perfect for outside weddings while silk may be a better choice for an inside location.)

Corsages: This is an often miscalculated choice. First, the mothers and grandmothers of the bride and groom, any step- parents or grand-step-parents; musicians, hostesses, servers, guest book attendant, wedding planner and any other special guest deemed important to the betrothed couple. Be certain of your count, or if you are unsure, order extra. Hurt feelings are best overcome with advance planning!

Boutonnieres: The Groom, of course, and his groomsmen; the minister or officiant, fathers and grandfathers of the bride and groom; step-grandparents, musicians and any other special person deemed important.

Ringbearer: A small boutonniere here should be included, but what about florals affixed to the pillow, if any?

Pew Bows: In addition to the pew bows, will there be florals added? How many do you need? Pew bows are most often used to indicate the first few rows reserved for family members. Others suggest they are simply decoration and may be used on every pew to decorate the path of the bridal party.

Sometimes, to limit expenses, a bride will only use the bows on the first few pews for the family. This is a personal choice and is not improper.

Entry Hall/Reception: What florals are needed for the guest book or entry hall? For the reception hall, consider the cake display. Will you need a simple arrangement or a massive piece for the cake table? How many guest tables will require centerpieces? Will they be the same or differ? What about the groom’s table?

Often the bridal bouquet or throw bouquet is used to decorate the guest table, which has been moved from the entry point to the reception area. Did your attendants carry single-stems? If so, consider gathering these and placing them in a tall vase in the reception hall. Assign this task to one of your bridesmaids as you will be occupied with the photo session or greeting line.
The key to flower choice and preparation is planning. Brides who have several months to prepare are most often the most relaxed when the big day arrives.


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