Since most of us don't walk around every day carrying a bouquet of tulips or set our dinner table each night with a vase of fluffy roses, we associate flowers with something special. That's why, whether it's an elaborate nuptial celebration or the simplest city-hall vow exchange, flowers play a major role in just about every wedding on earth. They represent beauty, life, and new beginnings, perfect symbolism for a twosome about to embark on the greatest journey of their lives. And speaking of journeys, if you want flowers that look their loveliest, order varieties that are available locally during the season you're getting married—the less of a journey a flower has to make, the fresher it will be; buying in-season is also a great way to save money on wedding flowers. When you visit your florist, bring photos of flowers you love, your dress, and your venues so she can get a sense of your taste and style. Here's an all-inclusive list of the flowers you'll (probably) want to order to make your big day blossom with beauty and love. Customize it based on your own big day needs.
Besides choosing a flower type and color for your bouquet, you'll also have to pick a shape. Some popular choices include the classic round, with densely arranged flowers formed into a circle. A nosegay is a smaller, tightly packed arrangement that looks good when carried by a petite bride. Like a vine climbing a wall, a cascading bouquet is loosely gathered, with the flowers cascading, or draping, downward on their stems, often trailing with greenery or ribbons. A hand-tied bouquet has a casual look, as if you just went into the garden, plucked a few flowers, added greenery, and tied it all up with ribbon or fabric. Consider getting bouquets for the following:
These lapel lovers, which add personality to a groom's or groomsmen's outfit, have moved beyond a single rose and are now often comprised of a flower and another element like seeded eucalyptus, berries, and small fruit like kumquats.
Let ceremony flowers do double-duty at the reception. Plan a way to transport the flowers and let large arrangements decorate the reception entryway or buffet table. Smaller arrangements can add a pop of color to the guest-book table or ladies' room.
Before ordering any kind of floral décor to dress up the reception, check with your venue first, to see if any flowers will already be in place, such as in the ladies' room. You also don't need full arrangements to score decorating points: Low glass vases filled with peonies make as much of a statement as a tall vase overstuffed with blooms. Here are some of the places you may like to flower up: