What Flower Arrangements Are Needed For A Wedding?

BronteApr 11, 202420 min read

Planning a wedding involves countless decisions, and selecting the right flower arrangements is a crucial aspect of planning. The arrangements you get and the style and colors of those arrangements can completely change the atmosphere and aesthetic of your wedding day. You may not know where to begin because you have likely never ordered flowers on this large scale. This guide delves into every possible flower arrangement you could need for your wedding day. It sheds light on what flower arrangements are usually ordered for a Utah wedding and what luxury floral arrangements will elevate your day beyond an everyday celebration into an event to be remembered.

the ultimate wedding flower checklist including personal flowers ceremony reception cocktail hour rehearsal dinner and more

Personal Flowers

Options for personal flowers include:

Chatherine and Shahab

The Bride(s)

The bride traditionally carries a bouquet down the aisle, which complements her bridal attire and is a focal point in photos. It ties together the theme and style of the wedding and the bridal party, is an accessory considered part of her overall look, and is the most common arrangement to preserve and keep as a keepsake. The bridal bouquet is the most popular flower arrangement to order for a wedding and serves as a focal point for the floral decor.

The main types of bouquet styles are cascading bouquets, round bouquets, and upright-loose bouquets. Some have greenery; some are all blooms. Typically, the bridal bouquet will have the most delicate, expensive, and luxurious quality blooms out of all the arrangements at a wedding. 

Some brides even have their bouquets in a different color than the rest of the bridal party and wedding decor so they can stand out. Some couples also take professional photos months before the wedding and order a second bouquet for pictures that day. 

Here's a guide to different wedding bouquet shapes and what they are called with picture examples of each kind.

wedding bouquet shapes and examples of each

The Groom(s)

Traditionally, the groom wears a small cluster of flowers over his buttonhole on his suit coat lapel called a boutonniere. Boutonnieres mark the important wedding guests, and the groom's boutonniere is typically slightly larger or fancier than other boutonnieres. 

Options for groom boutonnieres typically include the classic pin-on boutonniere, a pocket square boutonniere, or a floral lapel.

Bethany and Robert

Wedding Party Flowers 

Bridesmaids and groomsmen often receive floral arrangements to carry or wear. These may include bouquets, corsages, or boutonnieres, depending on their roles in the wedding party. It is typical for the women to hold bouquets or wear corsages and the men to wear boutonnieres. While traditionally, the bridal party consisted only of women and the groom's party consisted only of men, couples are now breaking from tradition, and mixed-gender bridal parties are becoming increasingly common. The wedding party consists of the bride and groom's closest friends and family members and is anywhere from one person on each side to twenty on each side. The most typical amount of bridesmaids/bridesmen or groomsmen/groomswomen is about three to five per side. There is also typically a best man or best woman on the groom's side and a maid of honor, man of honor, or matron of honor on the bride's side who will have a slightly nicer arrangement than the rest of the bridal party due to their importance.

Alise and Caleb

The wedding party typically helps in the wedding planning process, bachelor/bachelorette party, providing emotional support, help getting ready, being part of pictures, being part of the wedding ceremony and often standing at the front with the bride and groom. They typically wear clothing that sets them apart, and the flowers they wear or hold also distinguish them as VIP guests. Giving them flowers is a sign of gratitude for their role in your life and in the wedding itself. 

Their florals are generally simplified versions of the bride and groom's florals and are smaller in size. 

Once you and your favorite person decide to get engaged, one of the first and most exciting tasks on your planning checklist is to invite your closest circle to join you as your wedding party. This group of family members and friends support you along the planning journey and stand by your side on the big day.


Parents and Grandparents

Parents and grandparents typically wear boutonnieres and corsages. Corsages can be worn on the wrist or pinned onto the blouse and boutonnieres are smaller and are pinned onto the suit coat lapel. While you can use the terms boutonniere and corsage interchangeably for one that is pinned onto a suit or blouse, they are traditionally called boutonnieres for men and corsages for women. Corsages tend to be slightly bigger and sometimes also include ribbons.

When deciding whether to do a wrist corsage or a blouse corsage, consider that while wrist corsages are more out of the way for hugging and less likely to get broken, they also don't show up in photographs as well if the person has their arm around someone. Traditionally, mothers wear a wrist corsage, and grandmothers wear a pin on the corsage. 

Sydney and ChrisThese boutonnieres and corsages distinguish the parents from other guests and are also a sign of respect and gratitude. They are a great way to honor your parents and grandparents for your wedding.

Nieces and Nephews

Young family members, such as nieces and nephews or children of close friends, may be included in the wedding party. Giving them small floral accents, like flower crowns or boutonnieres, can make them feel included in the celebration. They can often participate in the ceremony as a flower girl or boy by tossing petals down the aisle before the bride's entrance or as a ring bearer. Be sure to include them in the ceremony walk-through, as they will need to practice. Young children can often get nervous with so many eyes on them, and it's good to have a backup plan of having an adult or older sibling to walk down with them. You will also want to order petals for them to toss and check the venue's regulations about whether real or faux petals should be used for this.

Becky and Tyler

Sisters and Brothers

If siblings are not incorporated into the wedding party, it's still a good idea to give them flowers to wear or hold to set them apart from the rest of the guests. Many people will provide sisters' corsages and brothers' boutonnieres similar to the wedding party. They will also generally be dressed to match the wedding color palette although they may be in slightly different colors than the other wedding party.

Ceremony Flowers

The wedding ceremony is typically the first thing on the Wedding Day Timeline and is the most essential part of the day. This is when the actual marriage takes place; many photos happen with the ceremony setup, and it sets the tone for the entire day. The ceremony setup is arguably the number one place where a couple showcases their personality and style for their wedding day. 

Entryway & Welcome Sign

Whether it's a small floral swag on a welcome sign or full florals around the church doors, the entryway florals are the first impression of your celebration. If the entryway is where you have a signing book or welcoming line, your guests will likely spend a bit of time at this spot upon arriving. If you do a large floral display, they can take photos with your venue entrance. Or you can stick to something simple but romantic, like a custom wedding sign with ground florals and candles. You really can get creative with the welcome florals. Common places where people have flowers in the entry area are on the welcome table, where a guest book is also placed, around a welcome sign, and around the door or entrance gate. Flowers are not typically placed on the gift table, if you have one, as they could get knocked over easily, but if you have a box for letters and gift cards you can place flowers on or around it.

Avery and Joe


While flower girls generally toss flowers down the aisle as they walk in front of the bride, you can also choose to line your aisle with petals for a romantic look. You can line the sides of the aisle, cover the aisle in petals, or have your florist create designs out of the petals. You can also give your guests cones of petals to toss during your first kiss as a couple.

Aisle Flowers

Lining the aisle with flowers makes the walk down the aisle a stunning moment that feels straight out of the movies. You can do small floral and greenery arrangements tied onto the chairs or pews, ground arrangements completely lining the aisle, arrangements every few rows, or a ground arrangement each side at the back of the aisle. Another option is to line the aisle with greenery and candles or lanterns. You can also repurpose your centerpieces and line the aisle with those, though they may be shorter than typical ground aisle arrangements.

aisle arrangementchair ties

Aisle flowers can easily be repurposed for the reception afterward, but be sure to consider their height and whether they are one-sided arrangements. For example, if you have tall ground arrangements down the aisle, you'll generally want to keep them as ground arrangements and put them up against something like a bar, sweetheart table, or stage. If they are a garland or something shorter, this could be transferred to tables- be sure to let your florist know this is your intention from the beginning so they can design them in a way that can be beautiful from both sides. Chair tie-ons can be turned into a garland on the sweetheart table.

sweetheart table

Arch Flowers

The ceremony backdrop floral arrangement is the most important place for flowers in a wedding. This is where most pictures will be taken as a couple and with loved ones. There are so many different options for florals for a ceremony backdrop, much of which depends on whether your venue has a built-in arch or altar, whether you're planning on renting one, and what the view is behind the ceremony. Here's a list of options for the ceremony backdrop flowers. 

Wedding Arch Flowers

Wedding arches come in all sorts of shapes. The Pros of an arch are that it provides structure to your photos and something to decorate and add personality to, creates a focal point, and lifts flowers to a place they will be seen in pictures and not be blocked by bodies. The cons of having an arch are that if the wedding ceremony is outdoors, it could block the view, or its look can be associated with a style different from your wedding aesthetic.

Consider if the venue has a built-in arch structure or supplies arches with your rental. If you have a specific shape in mind, you can rent one from your florist or a rental company. Or, if it will be sentimental to own and place in your garden afterward, you could consider buying or making one to own. Make sure you assign or hire someone to put the arch up if you are bringing one in, and be sure it is sturdy. Too many arches have blown over in the wind seconds before the ceremony or tipped over with the weight of flowers if they don't have a proper base and mechanics. 

It's also important to consider the material you would want it made out of if any part of the arch will show- wood, a natural tree material like birch or aspen, or metal are all options and may even come in different colors. There are plenty of options to choose from to make sure it fits with your overall wedding design.

Here's a guide for the terminology of different arch shapes.

Arch Infographic about different wedding arch shapes and terminologyClassic arch shapes for weddings include square, rectangle, circle, triangle, mountain, hexagon, round, pointed, chuppah, partial, crescent, trefoil, solid, triangular, and triple arch.

Next, consider how covered you want it to be. A floral corner swag, flowers across the top of the arch, flowers on the sides, fully covered lush florals, or several concentrations of flowers on the arch. 

If you are doing a Chuppah, typically used in Jewish weddings, you'll also want to have a plan in place for who will hang the tallit. Often, a florist can bring fishing line to hang this after they are done with the floral design. Because a Chuppah is three-dimensional, you'll also want to decide if you only want flowers in the front, or if you also want to have the back legs of the arch decorated. 

Chatherine and Shahab

Alternatives to Traditional Wedding Arches

Ground Arrangement - Floral Nest - Floral Crescent

Ceremony Ground Florals are an excellent option for outdoor wedding ceremonies with a view in the background. Because they are low to the ground and give more of a meadow vibe, they are perfect for mountain weddings since it doesn't block the view. These can be done for indoor or outdoor ceremonies and have a wildflower or modern style. They are also great for ceremony setups with guests on both sides where the couple is in the middle. Ground arrangements are perfect for repurposing after the ceremony. When posing large groups with ground arrangements, it's good to have space to stand behind them if you want it to stay visible in pictures.

Two Brides Ceremony Ground Arrangement Pastels

Pedestal or Stand Arrangement

Pedestals can be wood, metal, or acrylic, come in different colors and heights, and can either have flowers on top, in front, or on the sides or be used to create a more original shape. You can do a symmetrical or asymmetrical look and group as many pedestals or stands as you want. They are very versatile, and moving and repurposing the flowers or the entire stand after the ceremony is easy. 

maddie and treavorcolorful flowers on white pedestals for ceremonyLibbie-Brennan

Freestanding Arch - Partial Arch - Broken Arch - Split Arch

There are lots of terms for this arch without a top. Freestanding arches can come with different curvatures and heights and are great for a lush look without the actual arch base showing through or having to decorate an entire arch. Because they are not connected, they can be reused with a different amount of space between them. For example, they might be six feet apart during the ceremony while you stand between them, then eight feet apart to frame your head table during the reception.

Amelia and Elijahbride and groom with flower tower

Solid Backdrop

Whether there is a naturally beautiful wall in the venue that you can hang flowers from or you have a company install a wall, a solid backdrop is a great option for ceremony flowers. A solid backdrop is great for blocking an existing view that is less pretty. You can install a boxwood wall for a lush green look, a pipe-and-drape for a soft fabric look, or a wood or faux brick wall to create a certain texture with your style. You can hang flowers from the wall to create movement and more shape. Or you can do an entire floral wall. Solid arch backdrops also come in fun shapes- whether cut out of wood or Styrofoam, this is another fun and modern way to incorporate style and color into your ceremony backdrop.

SROpen House

Gazebo or Rotunda

Some wedding venues have a built-in Gazebo or Rotunda that you can decorate with flowers. Many will do flowers across the top, on the posts, or even all the way around. Depending on which direction you'll be facing and what will be in the background during your wedding, you may also want draping on the gazebo to hide things in the background. Some gazebos or rotundas can also hang a chandelier from the middle. Gazebo or rotunda flowers are the ultimate garden vibe for a wedding ceremony. However, you can also create a modern or traditional look with gazebo florals or rotunda florals. A gazebo or rotunda is also a great place for a first dance or private last dance.

Allison and AJbride and groom under rotunda


Many venues have fireplaces with a ledge over them called a mantle. This is a great spot to do a ceremony in front of as it creates a luxury-home vibe. You can adorn the mantle with flowers in various shapes and sizes to create different looks. Whether a garland, straight across symmetrical florals, asymmetrical florals, or even an overgrown look, mantle flowers are sure to make a stunning ceremony backdrop. It's also fun to add candles, a mirror, a photograph, or even a projected image. You can still decorate the mantle, even if you're not getting married right in front of it, for a backdrop for the first dance, a greeting line, or even to create a beautiful atmosphere inside the wedding venue.

mantle flowers white and tan and sageSROpen HouseSunshine and Jordan


Whether for your grand entrance, your ceremony backdrop, or simply if you want another stunning photo moment, you can't go wrong with decorating the staircase! Flowers can be arranged along the railing, intertwining the balusters, or on the steps themselves. They create a dynamic space for group pictures or showing off a long train

Rehn-Skylerbride coming down stairs with stair florals


For a classic garden look, you can go symmetrical with one large urn on each side of the couple or do a cluster of different-sized urns. They can have potted blooming flowers or flower arrangements in them. They can be clustered on the ground or elevated on stands. These are great for repurposing to different places throughout the rest of the day in multiple settings.

pillars and urns dramatic

Acrylic Arch

Acrylic arch rentals are magical and make your flowers seem like they are floating. This definitely provides a luxury feel and a modern aesthetic. Flowers can be attached directly to the acrylic surface or suspended within it, creating a dreamy and ethereal atmosphere.


If your venue has a giant romantic tree you plan on getting married under, you can always attach or hang flowers and draping from the trees. You can also opt for a ground or meadow arrangement in front of the tree.


This is a great structure for a diverse number of flower arrangements. You can hang them from the top or on the sides, completely cover it, or cover parts of it. You can also hang lights and draping from it. It is a great spot to do a ceremony under or even set up tablescapes, depending on how big it is. A pergola provides an opportunity to transform a space as you can do as much coverage as you want and can incorporate a lot of dimension in the space.

Hanging/Floating Floral Arrangement

Especially if your venue has an exposed ceiling or hooks to hang from, a hanging arrangement is a magical element that will leave your guests talking for years. This can be above you for a ceremony, above the dance floor, or above a tablescape, or even a picture spot against a wall.



Flowers not in a specific shape that look messy and like they are naturally just growing all over a structure. This is for a nature-loving bride who doesn't love a structured arch shape and wants it to look overgrown and natural.

floral backdrop ceremony

Cluster multiple options

You can combine different arch looks- pedestals in front of a gazebo, ground arrangements in front of a tree, or urns with a partial arch. The more flower arrangements, the more stunning and memorable your photos will be, and there are tons of combinations possible to create a unique ceremony backdrop look. 

Draping and lighting are also great options for elevating the look of your ceremony. Though it only works with certain styles, this can quickly transform the look into a softer and more romantic vibe. 

A note on Church weddings or Temple weddings. Some couples opt to get married in a religious temple or church that does not allow flowers or only allows minimal flowers inside. While you can usually take photos with your bouquet outside afterward, you may still want to have an arch or big flower moment at your reception for you and your guests to take pictures with. You may even opt for a ring ceremony at the venue afterward to include non-religious guests if your religious ceremony only allows members of your faith. 

Quin and Levi

Cocktail Hour Flowers

Cocktail hour is a great time for guests to get a drink, relax between events, and give you time to take pictures with your spouse, family, and bridal party post ceremony. 


Cocktail hour table arrangements are usually small since the tables are generally bistro or high-top tables. It's popular to use bud vases or a small cylinder vase with flowers in it and a few candles. You can also get creative with greenery and tie a tablecloth on the cocktail table linens. 

Rachel and Mike

Escort Table or Sign

This is where people find their seat assignments. There are so many fun ways to make a seating chart unique to your personality, and florals are a great addition to the escort table or sign.

Sean and Zack

Bar Arrangement

Usually in a larger vase or a ground arrangement, a bar floral arrangement is a great way to spruce up your cocktail hour and give guests something to look at while waiting for their drink. 


Photo Backdrop

Cocktail hour is the perfect time to have a photo backdrop for guests to take pictures with. You can provide props, a backdrop, and a professional service to take and print photos for them to take home. You could also do this during the reception. 

Coffee Table Arrangement

Having a lounge area is a great way to help guests relax and feel at home. Bringing in chairs, couches, rugs, a coffee table, and even blankets, depending on the time of year, provides a great mini area for smaller groups to have intimate conversations. Don't forget the floral arrangement for the coffee table! 

Get to know the couple display

In between the ceremony and reception is a great time for guests to view a display about the couple and get to know them better. You can provide a wall of pictures, a table of your favorite snacks, or any other fun, unique ideas to showcase your love story.

greeting table wedding

Reception Flowers

This includes a dinner, a reception line, dancing, cake cutting, the first dance, and a send-off. You can either have a formal reception with a set schedule or an open-house style reception where people go and come at their leisure. 

Table Centerpieces

Table Centerpieces. Flowers are a classic choice for table centerpieces. They can range from simple arrangements of single blooms in small vases to elaborate bloom-filled, large, elevated arrangements. Floral centerpieces can be tailored to match the wedding's season, theme, and color palette. They really contribute to the guest experience as they are up close to them during the dinner and reception.

Here's a list of floral centerpiece options for a wedding.

Centerpieces Infographic all the options of table centerpieces for weddingsThere are many options depending on how full you want the table to look, your price point, and how much of a priority flowers are at your wedding. A great option to create movement and different heights is to do half the tables with one look and half with another.

Some floral centerpiece options are bud vases, bunch vases, cylinder vase arrangements, compote vases, bowl vase arrangements, vaseless low arrangements, elevated vase arrangements, elevated stand arrangements, greenery with candles, greenery wreaths around a lantern, garlands with or without flowers, floral runners, ground arrangements or meadows, hanging arrangements above the table, terrarium arrangements, and so many more creative options. Floral table centerpieces can be combined with candles, photographs, crystals, fruit, books, and other personal touches.

Sweetheart Table Arrangement

During dinner, if you and your new spouse want a table for yourselves, it's common for the flowers on your table to be bigger than those on the other tables. You can choose a low vaseless look, something on the ground in front of the table, something floating above the table, or a similar centerpiece to the rest of the tables. It's important to make sure your guests can see you, so you will want to make sure the flowers are not too tall, and nothing is blocking your view or your guests' view of you.

sweetheart table

Head Table

If you choose to have one big table with your VIP family members and friends, you'll also want to do something extra for this table. A long elevated floral above the whole table, a floral runner, a ground arrangement, a low vaseless floral arrangement along the entire table, or just bigger or more of the same arrangement you're doing on other tables is a great idea. 

head tablePlace Settings

Herbs, flowers, or greenery are small details that add a lot to the guest experience during a reception dinner. They can be placed on the menu or the napkin.


Food Table Arrangements

Depending on the style of catering, you can use greenery accents for the food table, small floral arrangements in vases, or elevated arrangements to make getting food an even more unforgettable experience for guests. Be sure to take into account what their setup will look like so the arrangements add to the experience but don't get in the way. You can also use florals on the bar, drink table, dessert table, and any menu signs.

SROpen House

Bathroom Arrangements

These add the perfect touch and show thoughtfulness. They don't have to be more than a small arrangement between the sinks. 

white space studio photoshoot

Toss Bouquet

The bouquet toss is an optional tradition in which the bride tosses her bouquet into a crowd of single women, and whoever catches the bouquet is 'next to get married'. Many brides prefer to keep their own bouquet for preservation or simply to enjoy it longer and order a second, smaller bouquet to toss for this tradition. 

Rachel and Mike

Cake Flowers and Cake Table

It's very common to have a small cluster of flowers on the cake to spruce it up, especially if you have a plain cake with no pattern. You can do flowers in between layers, under the cake stand (often called a 'cake meadow'), on the cake table, or on the floor around the cake. You can also put the cake table in front of a reused ceremony backdrop or flower installation or have an arch or hoop behind the cake table to give it a big moment.

Avery and JoeAmelia and Elijahmaddie and treavorcake flowers

Flat Lay Flowers

This is a fun detail for photographers to capture your invitation suite, perfumes, shoes, jewelry, and all the other little details. Ask your florist for a few blooms or broken-off flower heads to add to these detail shots for your photographer.


Floral Installation for a photo backdrop or receiving line

See the ideas under Ceremony Arches. This can include an arch, staircase florals, mantle flowers, pedestals or stand arrangements, a partial arch, or ground arrangements. 

bride posing by arch with bridesmaid

Hanging Arrangement

Putting a large hanging floral arrangement over the dance floor is a fantastic way to transform a space and liven up your dance floor. It will make couples want to get out on the dance floor as it's an experience unlike any other. You can do floral rain, chandelier florals, or an entire floral ceiling

Bronte-TaylorWIPA GalaRylee and Jaden

Stage Flowers or Band Flowers

If you're having a band, especially if they're up on a stage, having flowers in front of the stage is a great way to set them apart and elevate the experience of their entertainment.

Send-off Petal Toss

Rather than sparklers or a rice toss, you can opt for a petal toss for your send-off. This is romantic and doesn't have the environmental consequences of a rice toss if not thoroughly cleaned up. Tossing petals makes for amazing pictures and a magical guest experience. Be sure to check with your venue if they allow this option.

Gena and Seokhee

Other Arrangements

First Look Photos - Bridal Photos - Pre-Wedding Photoshoot

It's becoming popular for couples to take photos with each other or separately days to months before or after the actual wedding day. This allows them to take their time getting good pictures as a couple, so they don't have to worry about it on the day of. It also allows you to have a different season to take photos in or a different setting that is more true to you as a couple if time or location doesn't allow for it on the wedding day. 


Floral Arrangement Mockup

For large-scale weddings, with a planner, you may be able to schedule a mockup of the tablescape with your florist and planner. While the flowers may not be exactly the same varieties as they will be the day of, especially if it's a different time of year and your florist relies heavily on local flower sourcing, this can still give you a good idea of what the tablescape will look like and if you need to make any changes to the design. Seeing the flowers in person helps solidify the design. The florist may have a fee for creating the mockup, but can often do so at a discounted price. For example, many florists only create mockups for larger weddings if the day-of flower budget is $10,000 or higher.

Rehearsal Dinner or Luncheon Centerpieces

This is another event which it is good to have floral table centerpieces for. You can use a different color scheme and style if you want to mix things up, or if it is within 24 hours of the wedding day, you can reuse your reception centerpieces for both events. Be sure to tell your florist so they can include delivery and takedown for this event and touch-ups for the centerpieces if you'll be reusing them the next day.

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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.