Style/ Beauty

How to choose the perfect wedding flowers, from symbolic meanings to personalising your bouquet

Getting married, for all its joys, comes with plenty of admin and decisions to make, from food tasting to guestlists to flowers, with plenty in between, there’s a lot to organise.

We can make the flower side that bit easier, because it can be hard to know where to start: which colours to go for, the size, and the bouquet?

With 45% of all UK weddings taking place between July and September, the experts at Inferflora have shared their top tips for choosing your wedding flowers, whether that be for bouquets, table centrepieces or aisle decorations.

Start as soon as possible

Flowers should be a big consideration for your special day and as such it’s best to get started as soon as you can. In terms of finding a wedding florist, start your research ideally a year before your wedding date, but for last-minute weddings, reach out as soon as you can. Be sure to make your first appointment once you have already chosen your bridal gown and wedding venue as these will be two important factors your florist will need to take into consideration.

This year we’ve seen several floral trends emerge, and these could be fun to consider if you’re looking for inspiration. Here are a few of our favourites:

  • Earthy tones – This year we’ve seen many couples step away from traditional colours and look towards adding natural pops into their bouquets. This year there’s been an increased demand for coppery terra cottas, rusty oranges, and honey yellows, which work great as part of a boho wedding
  • Flower arches – Big flower arrangements have become increasingly popular at celebrity weddings and this year we’ve seen more couples choose them for their own ceremonies. Arches can be placed for the actual ceremony and make a beautiful backdrop for vows or can be used at the reception, making an ideal background for photos of the wedding party.
  • Bespoke scents – Flowers will not only make your wedding look beautiful but can also be chosen to create a memorable scent. We rate the exclusive Lily of the Valley, garden roses and peonies for their perfume power.
  • Dried flowers – Dried flowers have been a huge trend for the past couple of years and make for a unique bouquet. Try mixing up different tones and lengths for a natural and beautiful looking bouquet. One of the best things about choosing dried stems is that they can be kept for years to come and become a piece of decor in your home!

Consider symbolism

Many flowers have symbolic meanings behind them, which you may want to consider when creating your special arrangements. Take a look at the most common flowers and their hidden meanings:

  • Roses – Roses symbolise ‘love and beauty’ so it is hardly surprising that they are one of the most popular flowers for wedding arrangements.
  • Stephanotis – Meaning ‘marital happiness’, the stephanotis flower is a traditional choice for brides. These little trumpet-shaped flowers look beautiful worked into formal shower bouquets and their beautiful scent is a lovely accompaniment to the bride as she walks down the aisle.
  • Peonies – Its similarity to a rose in full bloom makes the peony a much sought after wedding flower. Not only that but the flower itself represents romance and prosperity and is believed to bring good fortune and a happy marriage.
  • Calla Lilies – These elegant flowers signify ‘magnificent beauty’ and may just be the wedding flower of the moment. Extremely fashionable for bridal bouquets, buttonholes and bouquets for the bridesmaids, the Calla Lily adds an element of sophistication to the occasion.
  • Hydrangea – The big showy head of the hydrangea flower is perfect for weddings, adding a touch of vintage chic to bouquets and larger arrangements. Meaning ‘understanding’ the hydrangea is sure to be a good choice for couples embarking on a new chapter together.
  • Lily of the Valley – The delicate, bell-shaped flowers of Lily of the Valley signify ‘happiness’ and are considered one of the most traditional types of wedding flower. Favoured by royal brides, including the Duchess of Cambridge, Lily of the Valley has a timeless elegance that is just perfect for the occasion.
  • Freesias – Meaning ‘innocence and trust’ freesias are a popular choice for many brides. This very versatile type of flower is now available all year round, in a spectrum of colours to suit all wedding schemes.

Make it personal

There are several ways you can personalise a bouquet to make it unique and special:

  • Incorporate jewellery – Vicky Salmon head florist at Interflora comments ‘If you have a piece of sentimental or heirloom jewellery that you want to include in your big day but don’t necessarily want to wear, ask your florist if it can be incorporated into your bouquet. Lockets, vintage brooches or other trinkets can all be worked into the design’
  • Celebrate your roots – Why not celebrate your roots and include your national flower in your wedding designs? It’s not unusual for Scottish grooms to choose a thistle for their buttonhole, whilst particularly patriotic English brides might opt for red and white roses in their bouquet, Italians could choose Lilies or those from Kenya may opt for Orchids.
  • Pay tribute – If you have a special loved one missing from your big day then a memorial charm could be the perfect way to pay tribute to their memory. Alternatively, choose their favourite flower to be incorporated into your bouquet.
  • Accessorise, accessorise, accessorise! – Use beautiful accessories to create a bouquet that’s truly one of a kind. Take your cue from Michelle Keegan who chose to include her and hubby-to-be Mark Wright’s initials in her wedding bouquet when the celebrity pair tied the knot in 2015. Other accessories that can be incorporated into your bouquet include ribbons, buttons and feathers.
  • Grow your own – If you’re a green-fingered goddess then why not consider growing your own wedding flowers? Admittedly not for the faint-hearted, you’ll need a great deal of patience, dedication and possibly a plan b to pull this one off!

Consider the season

Many flowers grown in the UK have seasons and so choosing a bouquet that takes this into consideration will make your decor timely and more natural. Seasonal bouquets will never fall out of fashion and can also help to support local florists and gardeners which is particularly poignant for 2021.

Pick a theme

Flowers can be used across all aspects of your wedding, from bouquets to aisle decorations, to photo backdrops and tablescapes. Picking a theme, whether that be colours or style based will help to tie all of your floral pieces together. Mixing and matching flowers can create a boho style that works well if they’ve all been carefully selected to work together!

Enlist a professional

Picking a florist to work with on your big day will not only ease your workload but can also help to elevate your wedding decorations. The right florist will help bring your vision to life and will make recommendations based on your wedding theme, season and location!

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