Planning a wedding is like telling a story. And it is the flowers that set the tone for the way the story unfolds. By their opulence or their simplicity, they create the drama of the day. For today’s bride, that story seems to be set in the past as many seek a simple, more classic look not just for their gowns, but for the flowers that will accent them. Here are a few ideas on how to choose flowers for the modern bride.
Princess Diana’s long cascade of flowers caught the public’s fancy at her 1981 royal wedding, but that look seems fussy and frilly by today’s standards.
Now, most brides want a nosegay bouquet, often with a mixture of colors. Some brides have firmly planted ideas about which flowers to use. But for those willing to experiment, florists can create a colorful mix using flowers like calla lilies, gerbera daisies, spray roses, cymbidium orchids, stargazer lilies and cattleya orchids. Greenery often consists of ivy, huckleberry, plumosa, smilax or leatherleaf. For pastel arrangements, stephanotis and gardenias are still popular.
But as flowers quickly fade, so does their individual popularity with fickle brides. Flower choices move in cycles, and every few years, one or two types emerge as the favorites.
Lily of the valley is a good example. It’s a tiny white bell-shaped flower and seems to be increasingly popular. In years past, brides chose the stargazer lilies because they went so well with colors like dark green, navy and burgundy, which were the popular colors for bridesmaid dresses. Now, brides are choosing dress colors like seafoam green, champagne, periwinkle blue and buttercup yellow. And lily of the valley is perfect for this new trend.
Jewel tones are another new favorite, giving brides a golden opportunity to highlight the themes of joy and celebration. This is a bolder, brighter look. These are flowers that come in colors like hot pink, bright yellow and deep purple. The English garden look of mixed colors will always be appealing, but some brides have completely tossed the bouquet out the window and instead opted for the stark, but elegant look of the hand-tied bouquet.
The look is simple and natural, such as a cluster of tulips wrapped with a single ribbon perhaps. You literally see just flowers and stems, with each petal touching and no greenery at all.
But bouquets are just the beginning. The florist is often responsible for the altar flowers and reception arrangements as well. Depending on the time of the wedding, morning, noon or evening, certain colors and styles may work better.
Rich and vibrant colors work better for daytime weddings, while monochromatic schemes (total white, total blue) add a soft and sophisticated touch to nighttime occasions.
And while the flowers take center stage at the actual ceremony, they often serve as a decorative backdrop at the reception for other design elements like candelabras, statuary, urns, pedestals and columns.
Finally, the expense involved can really take the bloom off the wedding experience. But a beautiful wedding doesn’t have to cost a fortune.