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Meeting with a florist soon? Then it's time to put together a wedding flower checklist. If you're keeping it simple, you may only need bouquets, boutonnieres, and centerpieces. If you're going all out, however, you might want arrangements on every cocktail table and even in the bathroom.
With so many details to plan for, it's important to have a set budget for your wedding flowers. You can expect to put about 10-15 percent of your wedding budget toward those beautiful blooms. If you're using flowers as your main source of décor, you may allocate a little more funds, however, if you're looking to save in this area, Shannon Morrow, founder of Arvo Floral Studio, says it's best to do this early in the planning process since it requires a bit of foresight. "Choose a venue you absolutely love from top to bottom, from the architecture to the view," she advises. "Choosing a venue you are not in love with, or one that feels drab will inherently require more décor for the couple to be happy with the design."
Many couples desire flowers throughout every space on their wedding day. Michelle Hodgson of Blossom & Vine Floral Co. suggests using reusing arrangements from one space to another. "We try and re-use florals from the ceremony for the reception," she says. "There's no reason a welcome arrangement from the ceremony can't be repurposed on the bar, or pieces from the ceremony altar can't be repurposed in a lounge or on the head table." This will ultimately cut down on costs and waste.
Meet the Expert
- Shannon Morrow is the founder and lead designer of Arvo Floral Studio. Founded by Morrow in 2013, Arvo has served countless couples on their wedding day by bringing their floral dreams to life.
- Michelle Hodgson is a floral designer and owner of Blossom & Vine Floral Co.
Whatever your floral vision, this guide will help you think over every possible type of wedding flower you might desire and who gets them, right down to cake flowers and toss petals.
The bride's bouquet is the most important arrangement to nail down. "Splurge on this," suggests Hodgson, "it's easily the most photographed floral piece in your whole wedding. Also, remember that more expensive doesn't mean bigger. Pricing is based on the value of the flowers, not the size.
Bride's Floral Crown or Hair Flowers
This is an optional arrangement but should be made a priority if you're going this route. If you do have flowers as hair accessories, you'll want to take extra care to get them just right. After all, they may be even more photographed than the bouquet.
Following the bride's bouquet, the bridesmaid bouquets are easily the next most important arrangement. Of course, you don't have to include them, but many couples choose to. They also make for fun photo ops with the bridesmaids.
Tossing Bouquet (For the Bouquet Toss at the Reception)
Many brides choose to simply use their wedding bouquet during the bouquet toss, but if you're planning on preserving your flowers, you may want another option. This could be a simple and scaled-down version of your bridal flowers.
Use a bridesmaid's flowers for the bouquet toss if you're saving yours for preservation, that way you don't have to spend money on an extra one.
Flower Girl's Bouquet (Or Basket of Petals, Floral Crown, or Pomander)
Hodgson says to keep this one small and simple. You can also have her toss other alternatives to petals like feathers.
Boutonnieres are a cute way to match the groom with his betrothed on the wedding day. This doesn't have to be anything too elaborate, a few small flowers will do.
Other Boutonnieres, Corsages, and Nosegays
While not required, you may consider having matching boutonnieres, corsages, or nosegays for other members of the wedding party and/or important guests. This could include the ring bearer, the bride or groom's parents and grandparents, the officiant, and the ushers.
Entryway or Welcome Table Arrangements
These arrangements are a nice touch to welcome everyone into the day. You can totally get away with using alternative décor elements and still have the same effect. Think lanterns, fruit, branches, or even terrariums for centerpieces.
Altar or Chuppah Arrangements
These arrangements will backdrop the majority of your ceremony photos. While it's not required to include florals for your altar, we do love a good floral arch. There are plenty of other ways to decorate the altar besides flowers, however, if you're looking to cut back on flower costs.
Pew or Chair Arrangements
These will elevate the look of your guests' seating and make the wedding aisle oh-so-beautiful. Hodgson suggests an organic style arrangement on the floor for the easiest reuse as reception décor, "a traditional pew marker is harder to repurpose."
To make a big impact without spending a fortune, Hodgson says to set two statement arrangements on either side of the aisle. "It frames the aisle and makes for a great photograph without adding lots of little arrangements all the way down the aisle." These look stunning both at the beginning and the end of the aisle.
Tossing Petals for Guests
Guest tossing petals are used for the grand wedding exit. This makes a memorable photo op but definitely isn't required. Have your guests toss leaves, herbs, or eco-friendly confetti as alternatives.
Cocktail Table Arrangements
Cocktail table arrangements are another optional idea. "Keep these small and simple," says Hodgson. "We usually suggest a bottle bud vase arrangement as cocktail tables are already small."
The bar is meant for a good time. That's why Hodgson suggests having fun with these, "It's a great opportunity to repurpose a statement arrangement from your ceremony."
Escort Card Table Arrangements
Escort card tables aren't a requirement (escort cards can be displayed in a number of ways) and their table arrangements aren't either. However, it is definitely something to consider if you're looking to spruce up these displays.
These are the main attraction when it comes to reception flowers. "Your guests are sitting in front of these all night," Hodgson notes. "Consider size and scent as well as aesthetic as they will be looked at throughout your reception. We encourage couples to spend a little more on centerpieces because of this.
Hodgson advises that couples put more of their floral budget towards flowers that are typically photographed the most and arrangements guests will be sitting up close to.
Newlyweds' Chair Decorations
If you're using flowers for wedding chair décor, you don't have to go over the top to create something stunning. Smaller arrangements to adorn other décor elements look just as beautiful as something much larger.
Wedding Cake Flowers
If you're going for a floral wedding cake, be sure to include it in your flower budget. And don't forget to consider any cake table arrangements.
Buffet Table/Food Station Arrangements
There's generally not a lot of extra space on the food tables, so if you're decorating them will florals, keep these on the smaller side. You might consider installing flower chandeliers above the buffet to free up tablespace.
Lounge Area Arrangements
Lounge area décor can be as full or empty of flowers as you desire. This space is generally a cozy area for guests to gather and—well, lounge. Floral arrangements can range from absolutely none or small vases to extravagant installations, it all depends on your taste, price range, and how much you were able to repurpose from the ceremony.
Powder Room Decorations
If you're looking to douse every last corner of your wedding day in blossoming blooms, don't forget to add the powder room to the list. "We love adding special details that may be overlooked like little bud vase arrangements in the washrooms," says Hodgson. "These additional pieces help carry the tone of your wedding throughout the spaces where people will be spending time throughout the night."
Getaway Car Arrangements
While not entirely necessary, flowers make the prettiest addition to cute getaway car signs and décor. Go for a lush wreath or garland for the full "just married" effect.