There are a few quintessential things that come to mind when anyone thinks about weddings: the white dress, the first dance, the cake, and, yes, the flowers. From the bouquets to the centerpieces, flowers can take center stage during the big day. But if you can’t tell the difference between a hydrangea and a hyacinth or don’t care to learn what blooms are in season during your wedding, don’t fret. All you need to know about wedding flowers is to trust your gut — and your florist.
When Should You Actually Start Planning The Flowers?
If you don’t really have an idea of where to start, but know you want the help of a professional, find a florist between three to six months before your wedding date, says Amy McCord Jones, florist, wedding planner, and owner of Flower Moxie, an online floral company for DIY brides. Importantly, McCord Jones notes, you’ll want to find a florist whose personality you jive with. If you want to do the bare minimum, you’ll “probably want to pick a florist that's a bit more laid back and isn’t going to be so pushy as far as upselling,” she says.
For clients who don’t have concrete ideas in mind, McCord Jones assigns easy tasks to give her an idea of what she’ll be designing. First, she’ll instruct them to create a Pinterest account and to make a board of colors, and another of any bridal flower images they like. “Type in ‘bridal bouquet’ and if anything excites you, pin it,” she says. “When I sit down with them, I can usually see a recurring theme develop and that will tell me this bride likes roundy moundy bouquets or she likes a really organic, loose, wildflower looking bouquet.”
Next, McCord Jones asks couples for a rough estimate of how big their wedding party is and about how many guests are expected to attend. That way she has an idea of how many bouquets, boutonnieres, and centerpieces she’ll need to make. It’s always better to give a lower estimate than a higher one, since it’s easier to tack on a few extra centerpieces than to suddenly have too many flowers you won’t want to pay for.
How It Worked IRL
Katie’s Washington, D.C., ceremony was two days before her outdoor reception in West Virginia in 2019, so she needed flowers that would look just as beautiful on day three as they did when she walked down the aisle. In lieu of fresh flowers, she chose a dried wildflower flower bouquet and matching boutonniere for the groom. For the reception, the 34-year-old used painted balsa wood flower centerpieces. Both arrangements could be ordered far in advance and didn’t need to be refrigerated. Opting for dried and wood flowers allowed her to experiment before the wedding — and she got to hold onto her bouquet afterward. “A benefit of the dried flowers and wood flowers is having ready-made keepsakes from the wedding,” she says.
The Best Hacks To Cut The Hassle
Think about the wedding photos you’re most likely to share (and that your parents will most likely hang on their walls). “Usually it’s the ceremony picture when they kiss. Maybe it’s them cutting the cake. Maybe them sitting at the head table,” McCord Jones says. This is where you’ll want to focus most of the flower power. For couples who really love their ceremony landscape, McCord creates a flower installation that accentuates the surroundings and a more minimal centerpiece design of candles and loose greenery. “What are those valuable moments for you at the wedding?” she says. “And when I identify that, that's where we're going to focus.”
Amy McCord Jones, florist, wedding planner, and owner of Flower Moxie