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Choosing the Right Wedding Flowers

Real MD Wedding: Playful and Fun in Summer Pink. Photo by Kathleen Hertel Photography.

Real MD Wedding: Playful and Fun in Summer Pink. Photo by Kathleen Hertel Photography.

There are a number of elements that need to be considered when you’re choosing your wedding flowers. And with the many choices as brides have today in wedding flowers, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Here are simple tips to get the look you want in your wedding flowers without breaking the bank.

The Bridal Bouquet

Skip fillers such as baby’s breath and replace them with white carnations. Carnations are an inexpensive flower, and if they’re put in your bouquet correctly, they’re excellent filler flowers that make your bouquet look lush and full. Just be sure your florist doesn’t put all the attention on the carnations; have them use larger “focus flowers” such as tiger or calla lilies to draw the eye away from the carnations. Small pearl or rhinestone accents can add a simple sparkle without taking away from the flowers.

The Bridesmaids’ Bouquets

Bridesmaids’ bouquets usually smaller than the bride’s bouquet. Don’t go too small, however; you want your bridesmaids to have lush, gorgeous wedding bouquets too. They don’t have to be “miniature versions” of your bouquet either — feel free to create something unique and beautiful that coordinates with your flowers.

REAL WEDDING: Sweet and Simple Beach Wedding. Photo by Andrea Jay Photography, LLC.

REAL WEDDING: Sweet and Simple Beach Wedding. Photo by Andrea Jay Photography, LLC.

The Boutonnieres

Boutonnieres are usually a single flower that the groom, groomsmen, fathers, and other male participants pin to the lapels of their jackets. Boutonnieres usually coordinate with the bride’s and bridesmaids’ bouquets. While this is the traditional way to do boutonnieres, you don’t have to stick with just the flowers you’re using in your bouquet.

The Corsages

Whether you choose to have corsages for the mother of the bride, the mother of the groom, grandmothers, and other female participants like readers is up to you. Many brides elect not to have corsages because it is an additional expense, but corsages allow everyone who attends the wedding to immediately identify the mothers as well as other women important to the couple. When choosing flowers for your corsages, it is important not to go overboard. Corsages should be only slightly larger and fuller than boutonnieres.

The Ceremony and Reception Flowers

Brides and grooms tend to have a lot of freedom when it comes to ceremony and reception flowers. Since these arrangements are generally larger than the bouquets, you can use a number of flowers here. Gladiolas, hydrangea and dahlias aren’t good choices for bridal or bridesmaids’ bouquets, but they can make a stunning impression when used for decorating a ceremony arch or in reception table centerpieces. Here, you can also get more colorful and incorporate different shades of these flowers into the decorations to reflect your wedding palette.

Going Green

The environmental impact of cut flowers is huge – and your favorite out-of-season flower can cost you a pretty penny. Many flowers are grown with large amounts of pesticides, and they need to be transported — sometimes across the country; sometimes across the globe.

Locally grown, in-season flowers are the best option for the environment, but if that doesn’t work with your floral dreams, try these ideas:

  • Choose in-season flowers. They’re also going to be cheaper than out-of-season blooms.
  • Buy organic flowers. They will have been grown without pesticides.
  • Go flowerless! Brooch bouquets are becoming increasingly popular, and you can easily work family heirlooms into your bouquet for a personal touch.
  • Try fake. Have you seen fake flowers lately? They’re more realistic than you remember.

You can give your floral arrangements a second life by donating them to a nursing home or hospital afterward. They’ll cheer up the residents.

Saving Money

Flowers can be expensive, especially when you start adding up all the bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages, and decorations you may need. Here are some simple ways to save money on flowers;

  • Buy in-season flowers. What’s in season when in Maryland? Check this chart for ideas.
  • Buy local flowers. You’ll not only get what’s in bloom right now, but you’ll get flowers native to your area. Some brides like to shop the local farmer’s market for their wedding flowers.

Make arrangements do double duty. Ceremony arrangements can be moved to the reception to decorate the hall while you party. The bride and bridesmaids bouquets can be put in vases or other holders to decorate the head table or the cake table at the reception.