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The idea of a ‘perfect’ wedding is different for everyone. Your wedding day is a chance to reflect your unique style as a couple, which is why it’s so important to plan everything exactly how you’d like it, from the venue and the dresses, right down to the favours and the flowers.
Flowers are a big, and beautiful, part of your ceremony, so it’s important you pick the right arrangements and colours for each and every part of your big day – and that’s not as simple as it may sound, given the thousands of different varieties on offer!
What wedding flowers do I need?
You’ll most likely already have a good idea of your wedding’s theme and colour scheme before you get down to choosing floral arrangements – but before you go all in and get the most fantastic foliage you can find, you’ll need to consider exactly when, where, and whom you’ll need flowers for.
Compile a list of all the venues and rooms that will be a part of your big day, and then create a list of all the people who you’ll need flowers for, and take it from there. Having a clear idea of what wedding flowers you’ll need will help focus discussions with your florist – and it’ll help you stay within budget, too!
To help you out a little, here’s a checklist of all the places you’ll probably need flowers for, on your big day…
Flowers for the ceremony
- Pews and/or chairs
- Tossing petals for guests
- Wedding car
Flowers for the reception
- Cocktail tables
- Escort card table
- Bride and groom chair decorations
- Lounge area
- Around the wedding cake/cake table
…and of course, here are some of the people you may want to consider giving flowers to:
- Bride’s bouquet
- Bride’s floral crown or hair flowers
- Bridesmaids’ bouquets
- Tossing bouquet
- Flower girl’s bouquet
- Groom’s buttonhole
- Best Man’s buttonholes
- Ring bearer’s buttonholes
- Mother of the bride’s corsage
- Mother of the groom’s corsage
- Father of the bride’s buttonholes
- Father of the groom’s buttonholes
- Grandparents’ corsages and buttonholes
- Ushers’ buttonholes
Of course, each wedding is different and this list is by no means exhaustive, but it should give you a good idea of the size of the job at hand – wedding flowers are more than a few bouquets and buttonholes.
With that in mind, it’s time to talk about the costs involved!
How much do wedding flowers cost?
To give you a rough idea, the average cost of wedding flowers is £638 (estimate from Bride Magazine). You can spend as much or as little as you like on wedding flowers, however, and the amount you spend can have a lot to do with other things you have to work with at your venue.
If, for instance, you’re getting married in an old church or grand hall that has ornate masonry, carvings or a spectacular garden area, you may be able to cut back on the decorations and go for a ‘less-is-more’ approach.
If, on the other hand, you’ve a more simple setting, you may want to spruce things up with some extravagant arrangements and beautiful blooms.
As no two weddings are ever the same, it’s all a matter of personal taste and budget.
If £638 sounds a little steep, there are a few things you can do to help keep the costs down. Consider the following:
- Focus your flowers – It’s easy to go overboard with the wedding flowers, particularly during the ceremony, so try to keep your flowers to areas that have the most eyes on them – focus your flowers on the altar, the seats at the front, and any areas that will be in your wedding photos. For night-time flowers, just make sure you get the table centrepiece and wedding cake flowers sorted.
- Do it yourself – Although you’ll most likely need to call upon a florist’s expert knowledge to sort out the bigger arrangements, if you’re struggling to stick to your budget, you could buy some fresh flowers in bulk and enlist the help of friends and family to make up some of the smaller blooms. Or even consider placing vintage vases, mismatched china or brightly-coloured bottles on each of the table at the reception.
- Look for alternatives – You could use some alternatives to flowers, such as having the groomsmen wear stylish pocket squares instead of buttonholes – these could even double up as wedding party gifts.
Who pays for the wedding flowers?
Traditionally, etiquette says that it’s the bride and her family who pay for the wedding flowers for the church and reception, along with the bouquets and corsages for the bridesmaids and flower girls.
The groom and his family will foot the bill for the bride’s bouquet and corsage, as well as the mothers’ and grandmothers’ corsages and men’s buttonholes.
What is the cheapest type of wedding flower?
Although wedding flowers can be costly, you don’t have to blow your budget on the bouquets. So instead of looking at the more expensive end of the market, go for cheaper (but no less beautiful) bunches of carnations or Gerbera daisies, which are among the most inexpensive out there.
What wedding flowers are in season?
A good way to cut the cost of floral arrangements is to choose flowers that are in-season. Here’s a quick guide to best blooms to buy during different times of the year.
Summer blooms (June, July and August)
- Bouvardia— tubular flowers in small clusters.
- Carnation— long lasting and inexpensive.
- Celosia— different varieties of crinkled flowers.
- Gerbera— inexpensive, daisy-like flower in a variety of colours.
- Lavender— beautiful scent, ideal for a country theme.
- Sunflower— striking flower usually in yellow.
Autumn blooms (September, October and November)
- Amaryllis— large, trumpet-shaped flowers.
- Chrysanthemum— large and very ornate flowers.
- Echinops— prickly blue, globe-shaped flower.
- Euphorbia— curving stems with a lot of tiny flowers.
- Freesia— highly scented flowers in various colours.
- Rose— the most romantic of all flowers, available in all colours.
Winter blooms (December, January and February)
- Agapanthus— also known as African Lily, these are large, statement flowers.
- Calla Lily— more striking lilies, available in a variety of colours.
- Cymbidium orchid— striking orchids with as many as 12 flowers on each stem.
- Lilac— strongly scented, very popular.
- Muscari— also known as the grape hyacinth, these are tiny clusters of blue flowers.
- Tulip— a very popular flower available in many different varieties.
Spring blooms (March, April and May)
- Anemone– delicate flowers available in various colours.
- Aster— daisy-like flowers on upright stems.
- Cherry Blossom— delicate blossom, romantic and ideal for weddings.
- Cornflower— usually blue, but comes in other colours.
- Narcissus—more commonly known as a daffodil, these are the very essence of spring.
- Nigella— delicate, papery flowers, also known as ‘love in the mist’.
- Sweet William— country garden flowers
What do different wedding flowers mean?
Although you may not realise it, different flowers carry different meanings, and while you’re unlikely to offend anyone with the choice of flowers, it’s nice to show that you’ve put real thought into the arrangements.
You could, for instance, give each of your bridesmaids a bouquet containing their signature flower and attach a note explaining why you chose that particular bloom.
Here are some of the hidden meanings behind some of the most popular flowers:
- Amaryllis – pride and beauty.
- Anemone – sincerity and fragility.
- Chrysanthemum – happiness and long life.
- Narcissus (daffodil) – respect, good fortune and, unrequited love.
- Daisy – innocence and purity.
- Forget-Me-Not – faithful love and memory.
- Iris – faith, wisdom, and inspiration.
- Ivy – fidelity, love, and affection.
- Lilac – first love.
- Lily – purity and sweetness.
- Lily of the Valley – happiness and humility.
- Orchid – love and beauty.
- Peony – happiness and prosperity.
- Rose (red) – love and desire.
- Rose (white) – purity and innocence.
- Tulip – true love.
- Violet – modesty.
- Zinnia – thoughts of friends, thoughts of absent friends.
Getting the right wedding flowers comes down to a lot more than personal preference, not only do you have to consider your budget restraints (and a potential lack of restraint on your own behalf), you need to make sure you pick the right blooms to create your desired mood.
If you’re looking to buy some wedding flowers, or are just seeking some advice about them, consider speaking to our friend Heather at Living Colour Floral Design.
For the wedding as a whole; whether you’re planning a huge, glamorous ceremony, a quirky-themed occasion, or a low-key event, All About Me can help with tipis and marquees for every occasion.