written by Hannah Baker
When it comes to wedding flowers, it can certainly be overwhelming (to say the least) as it comes time to tell your florist what you want. Besides the plethora of styles and color palettes, having to figure out what specific blooms you want—especially if you aren’t a “flower person”—can be a headache and a half. Once you’ve decided on one kind of flower you like, say a rose, you come to find out that there are over 100+ different types of roses.
So what’s a wedding flower newbie to do? Well first of all, we’d like to congratulate you for taking the first step by admitting that you’re a newbie. You’re in a safe space here. Secondly, you’ve obviously come to the right place—we’ve compiled a list of the top wedding flowers we see time and time again; the perennial classics and some newcomers that we foresee sticking around and becoming a sort of modern classic.
This one is no-brainer—we all know what a rose is! What you may not know is that there are more varieties of roses than you can shake a bouquet at. The larger, fluffier, and more multi-petaled kinds are perfect face flowers (meaning, the showstoppers of a bouquet or centerpiece) for when you don’t want to use a peony, and smaller ones—like spray roses—add a delicate accent to bouquets and centerpieces.
Consider clustering spray roses alone in little bud vases and sprinkling them down your tables for a simple centerpiece solution.
Hands down, this is the most highly coveted of all wedding flowers. Everyone loves ’em, everyone wants ’em, but sadly they’re also one of the most expensive wedding flowers. So if you have to have them but you don’t have a big budget, maybe just keep the peonies to your bouquet and perhaps the head table (if you’re having one).
Usually black and white, these graphic flowers are perfect for the modern bride. The beauty of anemones is that they’re amenable to working alone in a mono-fleur arrangement or mixed in with other flowers as more of an accent. But beware! These beauties tend to be on the more delicate side, so if you’re getting married out in the heat, make sure your florist water-picks the stems!
One of our all time fave flowers, dahlias are great face flowers because they have such a grand presence (dinner plate dahlia’s can be as large as your head) without packing the punch price wise of a peony. Plus, they come in so many beautiful colors and a wide array of sizes so there’s a variety out there for every kind of bride.
One of the sweetest smelling blooms, lilacs are drapey and romantic and can also work well on their own in a simple bouquet. Coming in shades of purple and white, lilacs are also quite delicate, so you have to be very careful to prevent wilting. Once it starts to go, there’s pretty much no reviving it.
You’ve probably seen these little guys in 75% of the arrangements you have pinned on your flower Pinterest board, but might not have known it. They are usually used as accents and not as the stars of the show. Ruffly petals with wiggly stems, these are great for adding a little movement and wildness to your bouquet or centerpiece, and come in a huge spectrum of colors, but are all around the same size.
There’s nothing not sweet about sweet peas. Everything from their scent to their dainty stems and almost translucent petals is oh-so-sweet. They often come in variegated colors, which somehow adds to their ethereal look and softness. We love the idea of a simple, small bouquet of sweet peas held together by a loose silk ribbon.
Mainly seen in classic blue or white, we’re really digging the sophisticated, chic older sister of the aforementioned classics—hydrangeas that are dusty and multi-colored, known as antique hydrangeas. Not only are they hardier (the diva-ish blue and white variety will die the moment they are even the slightest bit uncomfortable), but they’re also just so much more interesting. Take it from us.
Like many of the other flowers we’ve listed, tulips are so much more than the generic variety you’re probably picturing in your head. There are fringed tulips (that look just like they sound), double tulips (with twice as many petals than a normal tulip, making them much fuller), Rembrandt tulips (with beautiful red streaks running down their petals), and more. Plus, they aren’t budget busters, which is always a pro.
Although beautiful as house plants, orchids have long been synonymous with a kind of tackiness when used too aggressively as wedding flowers, or solo in all-orchid arrangements—à la so many early aughts wedding mistakes. Recently however, there’s been a resurgence of using orchids in much more interesting ways; there are some gorgeous sherbet and pastel shades, and some dusty colors that are really stunning. Take a chance on this up-and-coming modern classic.
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