There is so much to think about when it comes to your wedding, it’s no surprise that it can be difficult to keep on top of everything. Particularly when there’s so many traditions to follow.
And when it comes to tradition, choosing your flowers can be a tough decision to make. You have no idea what flowers are in season or when, or even what half of their names are.
But having photographed many weddings, I thought writing a post on the subject would be worthwhile. Here’s what flowers you need to think about for your wedding and what to do with them.
What flowers do I need?
First you need to think about the personal flowers, or the flowers that particular people need. This includes:
- Bride’s bouquet
- Bridesmaids’ bouquets
- Button holes
- Bride’s hair flowers (if required)
- Flower girl’s bouquet (if required)
Obviously your bouquet is the most important. But following on from there, your bridesmaids will all need bouquets. Will they just be mini versions of yours, or will they have different flowers in them?
Then there’s the button holes and the corsages. I’ll talk more about these below, but they’re traditionally given to the bride and groom’s parents, as well as the ushers and the best man.
Then there’s the flowers for the church:
- Pew decoration
- An altar display
- Confetti for guests to throw
All of the above is optional. You don’t have to decorate the church with flowers, however it’s normally advised to have at least one pedestal. Biodegradable confetti should be available from your florist. If not, you can buy it online and have it shipped to your home address, ready to be put into cones.
Pew decorations are an additional expense, but they can be so simple and look lovely.
The flower pictured above is called ‘Baby’s Breath’, otherwise known as Gypsophlia. It’s a very good choice for weddings because it’s so cost effective.
Finally, onto your reception flowers:
- Flower arches
- Flower wall
- Bar decorations
- Flowers for the cake
- Flowers for the cake table
Don’t forget that your pedestals from the church can be carried over to your reception venue, and the bridesmaids’ bouquets could be used to decorate the cake table.
You could even purchase an extra bouquet to toss, however you can use one of the bridesmaids’.
It’s up to you how many flowers you want. Some people love the look they give, particularly in a more understated venue. However, you can also hire false centrepieces which could work out cheaper.
Flower arches and flower walls have been very popular over the last few years, ever since Kim Kardashian had a flower wall at her wedding in 2014.
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Who wears buttonholes and corsages at weddings?
If you want to follow tradition, there are certain people that you’re required to give buttonholes and corsages to. They are:
- Parents of the bride and groom
- Best man
- Usher (x2)
If you follow the above, you will need 6 buttonholes and 2 corsages.
However, there are more and more families that have separated and remarried, so the bride might now have a father and a step-father. And you may want to give your grandparents them as well.
Essentially, you can give buttonholes and corsages to whoever you want, but just keep an eye on the cost. It could be around £5 per one.
What to do with your wedding flowers after the wedding
Unfortunately, flowers are one of the things that won’t live forever after your wedding day, but you can’t bring yourself to just throw them away.
You could give the bridesmaids bouquets away, either to the bridesmaids or, if they’re okay with it, to other members of your family to take home and put in water.
You could press some flowers so that you can have them framed and hung on the wall.
Finally, there is a process that you can now pay for where your flowers are chemically preserved and framed in boxes.
These flowers have been dried so they will stay this way forever. You can have a framed box made or you can have them in a cubed glass box that sits on your coffee table. It’s a wonderful way to keep your wedding flowers forever.