Wedding Flowers: Everything You Need to Know

BronteApr 12, 202413 min read

How to Determine Your Wedding Flowers Style

Where do I get inspo photos?

Finding inspiration photos for your wedding flowers is easy and fun with online platforms such as Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Wedding blogs, and bridal magazines. Create a mood board or save images that resonate with your vision to share with your florist during consultations.

How do I pick my floral color palette?

Choosing a color palette for your wedding flowers involves considering factors such as your wedding theme, season, and personal preferences. 

Draw inspiration from your venue, bridal attire, and existing decor to create a cohesive color scheme.

Remember not to limit the color palette to 1-2 colors (unless it's an all-white and green wedding). Pick your main colors and accent colors, and then allow your florist to add transition colors to help them blend more harmoniously. 

Consider what season your wedding takes place in. There's definitely no hard and fast rule, but it's sometimes helpful to try and coordinate your colors with the time of year. Think of fun and unexpected ways to use seasonal tones.

Take into account the architectural elements of your venue. Is your venue a relaxed, outdoor location? Put together colors that will complement the natural greenery, like soft floral tones. Or, if your venue feels modern and classy, think about rich, sophisticated colors.

Keep in mind the mood you want for your wedding. One of the biggest ways to set the tone for your ceremony and reception is through the colors you choose. As you decide what palette you like best, think about what kind of experience you're going for.

-Kaushay & Co

Avery and Joe

Different Styles

Wedding flower arrangements come in a variety of styles to suit different wedding themes and personal preferences. From romantic and whimsical to modern and minimalist, there's a floral style for every bride and groom. Whether you prefer lush and overflowing arrangements or sleek and structured designs, collaborating with your florist to find a style that reflects your vision is key to creating a cohesive and beautiful floral aesthetic for your wedding day.

When searching for your wedding flower style, here are some styles to look into to discover what you like:

  • Organic and natural

  • Rustic/country

  • Boho

  • Vintage/old fashioned

  • Classic/traditional

  • Whimsical

  • Romantic garden style

  • Moody

  • Tropical

  • Art deco

  • Glamorous

  • Minimalist

  • Maximalist

  • Beach

  • Regency

  • Alternative

  • Eclectic

  • Casual

  • Desert

  • Southern

  • Eco-friendly

  • Ethnic

  • Preppy

  • Christmas/holiday

  • Cottagecore

  • Quirky

There is a great debate between choosing trendy themes for a wedding or sticking with a timeless design. Trendy floral arrangements can add a modern touch and may be easier to find inspiration pictures for. However, many worry that that will make their photographs look dated in years to come and wonder if they should stick to more timeless bouquet shapes and an all-white color scheme instead to future-proof their pictures. 

Consider incorporating trendy elements that fit your personality and that you have loved for years. Make sure your wedding design feels like you and not just a product of the times. Pick colors and designs that resonate with you despite what trends are popular or what is considered timeless. No matter what, there will be elements of your wedding that look dated, so you might as well have it look like YOU. 

Sydney and Chris

How to Pick What Arrangements to Order

What wedding flower arrangement do most people buy?

Here's a list of the flower arrangements typically ordered for a wedding:

  • Bouquet and Boutonniere for the Bride & Groom

  • Toss Bouquet

  • Bouquets for bridesmaids

  • Boutonnieres for groomsmen

  • Corsages for mothers and grandmothers

  • Boutonnieres for fathers, grandfathers, the officiant, and the ring bearer

  • Flower girl crown and petals

  • Welcome sign swag

  • Sign-in table arrangement

  • Ceremony arch flowers

  • Ceremony aisle flowers or petals

  • Cocktail table arrangements

  • Bar arrangement

  • Table centerpieces

  • Sweetheart table/head table flowers

  • Buffet table/food table arrangement

  • Flat lay flowers

  • Photobooth backdrop flowers

  • Mantle flowers

  • Staircase Flowers

  • Cake flowers

  • Place settings

  • Escort table/sign flowers

What arrangements do I really need?

It depends on what your goals are. Here are my suggestions for different arrangements you should focus on if your budget is limited, based on the desired outcomes.

Most traditional wedding flower arrangements ordered.

Bridal Bouquet and Groom's Boutonniere, Bridesmaids Bouquets and Groomsmen Boutonnieres, Corsages and Boutonnieres for Parents and Grandparents, Flower Girl Petals, Ceremony/Altar Flowers, Table Centerpieces, Cake Flowers

all peony bouquet

Best wedding flowers for pictures

Bridal Bouquet and Groom's Boutonniere, Bridesmaids Bouquets, Ceremony Backdrop Flowers, and other large arrangements in venue such as Staircase Flowers, Mantle Flowers, Cake flowers

first kiss dip at ceremony arch

Wedding flowers that Impress Guests

Bridal Bouquet, Bridesmaid Bouquets, Ceremony Backdrop Flowers, and other large arrangements in the venue, such as Staircase Flowers, Mantle Flowers, Photobooth flowers, Table Centerpieces, Escort Table/Sign Flowers

WIPA Gala

Bare minimum wedding flowers that I need

Bridal Bouquet, Minimalist Table Centerpieces, Flower Girl Petals, Cake Flowers

bud vases

Wedding flowers that transform the venue

Table Centerpieces, Ceremony flowers, mantle flowers, staircase flowers

SROpen House

What happens to the flowers after a wedding?

After the wedding, flowers can be repurposed, donated, or composted to minimize waste and environmental impact. Consider donating arrangements to nursing homes, hospitals, or charitable organizations to bring joy to others. Work with your florist or wedding planner to coordinate what happens to your flowers at the end of the night, whether it's repurposing and donating, making sure guests have a way to take flowers home, or disposing of them. 

How do I preserve my bouquet?

Preserving your bouquet lets you cherish its beauty long after your wedding day. Techniques such as air-drying, pressing, or professional preservation services can help maintain the color and shape of your bouquet for years to come. Proper handling and storage immediately after the wedding are essential for preserving the freshness of your blooms.

Common ways to preserve bouquets:

  • Drying upside down

  • Pressing the flowers and framing

  • Resin block, ring holder, table, etc., from a professional preservation company.

  • Faux florals

  • Painting or artwork of your flowers

  • Floral recipe so you can order the same flowers for your anniversary

What flower types should I use?

Choosing the right flower types for your wedding depends on factors such as your wedding theme, color palette, and personal preferences. Popular wedding flowers include roses, peonies, hydrangeas, ranunculus, lisianthus, and stock, known for their timeless beauty and versatility. Consider incorporating seasonal blooms to add freshness and seasonal flair to your arrangements. Work with your florist to find varieties that are a good fit for the weather, style, and types of arrangements you want.

What's in season?

Selecting flowers in season ensures optimal freshness and affordability for your wedding. Seasonal blooms vary depending on your wedding date and location, so consult with your florist to determine which flowers are available during your wedding season. Embracing seasonal blooms makes your wedding design harmonious with your wedding season. Asking your florist to purchase as many local blooms as possible makes your wedding flowers more sustainable and eco-friendly.

floral centerpiece peach and blush

How does the weather affect my flowers?

Weather conditions can impact the freshness and longevity of your wedding flowers. Extreme temperatures, humidity, and direct sunlight can wilt or damage delicate blooms, so it's essential to consider indoor or shaded locations for floral arrangements. Work with your florist to select resilient flower varieties and implement protective measures to ensure your flowers remain beautiful throughout your wedding day, especially if you have an outdoor wedding during a month with extreme temperatures. 

Can I order locally-grown flowers?

Ordering local flowers supports local growers and promotes sustainability in the floral industry. Many regions offer a variety of locally grown blooms that are fresh, unique, and eco-friendly. Consult with your florist to explore locally sourced flower options and incorporate seasonal blooms into your wedding arrangements for a sustainable and community-minded approach.

Are wedding flowers sustainable/environmentally friendly?

Embracing sustainable practices in your wedding flowers involves selecting locally sourced, seasonal blooms, minimizing floral waste, and repurposing arrangements after the wedding. Opt for eco-friendly floral design techniques, such as foam-free arrangements and biodegradable packaging, to reduce your environmental impact and promote sustainability in the wedding industry.

TFH

The Cost of Wedding Flowers

Who typically pays for what flowers?

The groom's family typically pays for rehearsal dinner flowers and personal flowers (bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages—anything going to a person).

The bride's family typically pays for the ceremony and reception flowers.

How much do wedding flowers cost?

While many sources will say to plan 10% of your overall budget for wedding flowers, this depends entirely on your priorities and your total budget amount. If flowers are your biggest priority but your overall budget is small, they could be up to 50% of your overall budget. The cost can vary significantly depending on factors such as floral selection, complexity and size of arrangements, venue location, setup and takedown logistics, and seasonality. 

The best way to get an idea of how much wedding flowers cost is to write down all the arrangements you need and their quantities and research how much each individual arrangement typically costs. Be sure to add 10% to account for taxes and delivery costs. 

Why do flowers cost so much?

-You aren't just purchasing a physical product; you are also buying a service that takes time and skill. 

-There is a lot of behind-the-scenes work that you don't see that goes into providing the flowers themselves

-Growers: take years to hybridize new varieties, have to own land to grow the flowers, have to pay laborers to care for the crops, have to water and fertilize correctly, have to time blooms to the months they are needed in, have to harvest and condition for transport, transportation fees to the wholesaler, usually have to change up crops every 1-5 years due to changing trends in color and popular varieties.

-Wholesalers: must own a cooler-storage space large enough for hundreds of buckets of flowers and greens, have to communicate with dozens of farms to ship the correct product to them and fulfill florist orders, have to eat the cost of lost product due to damage in shipping or from weather, have to have a sales and delivery team to get the product to local florists.

-Florists: have to condition the flowers after transport to perk them back up, have to have storage-cooler space to keep them fresh, undergo schooling or years of experience to learn design skills, must source hard goods like vases and tools to design with, must market to the clients and take time in consultations, creating design proposals, and follow up emails, must get proper licenses and insurance, pay sales tax, have vehicles to transport for delivery.

closeup centerpiece

Do wedding flowers cost more than everyday flowers?

Wedding flower arrangements typically have a much bigger bloom count than your average get-well-soon arrangement. While an everyday centerpiece bought at a flower shop might come with nine stems of cheaper flower varieties, wedding centerpieces include 45-50 stems of premium quality blooms. Expectations for perfection are also a lot higher. Blooms are expected to be in peak condition, open and full, and have no bruising or defaults. Clients also tend to be pickier about the types of flowers they want; when those types are out of season, they can cost more to source.

The skill required to make wedding arrangements is also higher as each wedding is unique, and the designs are more of an art form; they take more time and experience to make. 

Do I need to tip my florist?

You are welcome to tip if you feel your florist went above and beyond what you asked for or if you're feeling especially pleased with their work and your experience, but it is not expected or necessary. 

Other ways to thank your florist are: 

  • Leaving them a good review on Google, Facebook, Yelp, and other platforms.

  • Sending them the gallery of your wedding photos so they get pictures of their work to use on social media and their website.

  • Recommending your friends to them- they rely on word of mouth!

  • Sending a thank you card.

  • Tag them in your photos on social media or give a shout-out.

How do I do wedding flowers on a budget?

Creating beautiful wedding flowers on a budget requires strategic planning and prioritization. Consider options such as minimizing floral arrangements, repurposing ceremony flowers for the reception, and DIY-ing simple arrangements. Communicate openly with your florist about your budget constraints and explore cost-saving alternatives to achieve your desired floral aesthetic within your financial means.

Note which flower arrangements are the most important and which you're willing to eliminate, reduce in size, or simplify.

Can I just go pick flowers from the wild?

While DIY flower picking can be a charming idea, it's essential to consider legal and ethical reasons why this may not be a good idea. Some states require a permit to forage in the wild; if the flowers are on someone's property, you will need their permission. Foraging flowers may have a negative ecological impact. There are legal protections for specific flowers and areas, and some states require a permit to forage flowers and foliage. Consider the environmental impact of taking flowers out of their environment before they've had a chance to go to seed. Check with your state to see what the legal requirements or limitations are. 

A better alternative would be to ask local farms or neighbors for flowers or grow your own (though that comes with its own difficulties).

How to Pick a Wedding Florist

What should I look for in a florist?

When choosing a florist for your wedding, look for experience, creativity, and professionalism. Consider factors such as the florist's portfolio, reviews from past clients, communication style, and flexibility in accommodating your vision and budget. Schedule consultations with potential florists to discuss your ideas and gauge their expertise and compatibility with your needs.

Can I do DIY wedding flowers, or should I hire a florist?

Doing your own wedding flowers is a huge undertaking, but it can be fun if you're prepared. 

Things to consider if you want to do DIY wedding flowers:

  • You can save a lot of money by doing wedding flowers yourself if you're willing to do the research and work. If you already have experience designing, it could be a fun activity to do with your bridal party. Keep in mind that a small wedding (bridal party and centerpieces only) typically takes 20-40 hours of labor, week-of, to create the flower arrangements. You'll also want to watch some YouTube videos or practice beforehand. 

  • Because wedding flowers are fragile and perishable, most of the work must be done within 48 hours of the wedding, with setup at the venue the morning of. Make sure to do your research and plan enough time and help into your schedule to get everything done.

  • You'll need a space to store and design arrangements—it will typically take up an entire kitchen if you're doing it in your own home or Airbnb.

  • Wedding flowers are labor intensive; know that they will take up a lot of your energy, and you may be tired after getting everything done.

  • Transportation is tricky. Make sure you have at least one completely empty SUV to transport them with.

  • Make sure your venue allows it, some require business insurance or a professional florist in order to bring flowers into the venue.

Things to consider if you're hiring a wedding florist:

  • They have knowledge and expertise in ordering, storing, caring for, designing, and transporting wedding flowers. They also generally have a cooler to store flowers in to keep them fresh.

  • They have relationships with flower farmers and wholesalers to get the best product and troubleshoot if any of the ordering process goes wrong. 

  • They have trained staff to help and will do the work for you while you relax and enjoy your day and your guests' company. 

  • They know how to properly choose and condition flowers so they don't wilt no matter what the weather. They also have years of experience in picking the best varieties for your color palette. 

  • They handle stressful situations that arise at the last minute for you.

Should I hire a Flower Shop or Wedding Florist?

Reasons to go with a Wedding Florist: 

  • They specialize in weddings and large-scale events.

  • They have relationships with the venue and other vendors.

  • Their designs will be unique and customized.

  • They typically provide a higher level of involvement and communication. 

  • A higher level of creative design and luxury.

Reasons to go with a Flower Shop:

  • They have a storefront you can go into any time.

  • They may be more flexible with pricing and may be lower cost.

  • They generally replicate pictures exactly, so you know exactly what you're getting.

  • They have set recipes to pick from. 

What if my florist backs out on me?

While rare, it is a possibility for your florist to cancel or back out on you. This can create a very stressful situation, and it's important to have a contingency plan. Maintain open communication with your florist throughout the planning process and clarify contract terms regarding cancellations and refunds. Be sure to read the contract for terms of cancellation and ask your florist to include in their contract that they will find a reasonable replacement if, for any reason, they cancel on you at the last minute.

How to tell if a florist is a professional?

Professional florists demonstrate expertise, professionalism, and dedication to their craft. Look for indicators such as industry certifications, membership in professional organizations, and years of experience in the wedding industry. A professional florist will listen attentively to your needs, offer creative suggestions, and provide transparent pricing and contract terms to ensure a smooth and successful collaboration. Be sure to look through their portfolio to ensure their design style matches your vision. Ask your venue and other vendors for recommendations or if they have previously worked with a chosen florist. It's also okay to check with your florist that they are licensed and insured.

bridesmaids with smiling faces

Do I really need wedding flowers at all?

While it is tradition to have wedding flowers, this is ultimately up to your preference! Most people order flowers because they represent beauty and love and elevate the celebration so it feels higher-end. Adding flowers to a party can make it feel less like a typical gathering and more like a wedding

However, many people are now breaking tradition and designing their weddings around their likes and personalities. Whether that includes wedding flowers or an alternative option, you can choose! 

Don't leave your special day to chance.

Let us guide you to a flawless celebration adorned with captivating flowers. Book your free consultation today and step into a world where your wedding dreams bloom into reality.

Bronte

Bronte

Bronte is a seasoned floral designer with over 13 years of experience and a degree in horticulture and floral design. She has been featured in prestigious bridal magazines and has worked with hundreds of couples. Bronte is dedicated to simplifying the wedding process for her clients and promoting the use of locally sourced flowers, combining her passion for blooms with sustainability efforts in the industry.