A Glossary of Wedding Flowers by Season

flowers

Photo by Joel Serrato

In This Article

Whether you subscribe to a Claude Monet mindset on flowers, i.e. “I must have flowers, always, and always,” or color yourself a newbie in the flower department, you will never know more about florals than when you’re getting ready to say "I do." Apart from getting familiar with all the kinds of floral options you should have on your wedding flower checklist—from boutonnieres and bouquets to ceremony flowers and centerpieces—you’ll also want to start thinking about seasonality because every bloom has a life cycle and a resulting impact on your budget.

To learn more about the best flowers for every season, we consulted florists Kristina Oh and Lily Roden. After all, going with in-season stems will always be more cost-effective. However, if you have your heart set on a specific variety that won’t be readily accessible when you say your vows, you can always consult your florist on which flowers would make beautiful substitutes. 

Meet the Expert

  • Kristina Oh is the owner and design mind behind Fleure Studio in Richmond, Virginia. She specializes in dreamy, garden-inspired florals filtered through a modern, minimalist lens. 
  • Lily Roden is the owner and lead floral designer at Southern California-based Lily Roden Floral Studio. She has an affinity for whimsical, garden-style floral design, and pursues all of her work with incredible attention to detail and purpose (supporting non-profits along the way). 

“I usually ask my couples to have flexibility on flower choices, especially in the fall and winter months” relays Roden. “I encourage couples not to get too attached to a certain product because many of them are only in season for a few months. The best way to approach flowers, in my mind, is to work with local botanicals that are in season. Not only is there less stress, [but] there’s also so much beauty and intrigue in working with a rare product that you know won’t be around for very long.”

Wondering what flowers will be in season on your wedding day? Read on for our complete guide to types of flowers by season.

Spring

If your wedding bells will be ringing in the spring, you’ll truly have your pick of the prettiest and most colorful petals. 

Daffodils

Talk about an ultimate springtime flower (blooming at the end of winter into early spring): the yellow, white, and sometimes even blush colorations on these single-bloom stems give off straight sunny-weather vibes. And they can stand on their own or shine with other spring stunners like roses and ranunculus. Just keep daffodils in numbers since legend has it that a boutonniere with one single daffodil can bring bad luck.

Garden Roses

We wouldn’t even say that Shakespeare’s iconic line, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet," would apply here because these beauties are one of the more fragrant roses. They come in nearly every color, from peach-bellini sherbet shades to cotton candy pinks, and they’re an amazing substitution for peonies, at a much more affordable price.  

Light Brown Lisianthus

Lisianthus is a popular spring wedding flower for a number of reasons, one of which is its hardiness. These flowers have serious staying power and that’s why florists love to use them as linchpins for perfecting all of their arrangements and bouquets. Oh has a favorite—the beigy brown lisianthus—for “neutralizing bright color palettes or softening an all-white monochromatic moment.” She wagers that with their multiple small stems, they’re easy to tuck in, fill gaps, and hide mechanics—while simultaneously creating depth and movement. 

Lilacs

Just as lustily as the word slips off your tongue, these plush purple and white pretties are loose, drapey, romantic, and luscious. “My love for lilac is so real,” says Roden. “I like lilacs because they’re bouncy, they smell delicious, and they’re perfect for a lot of things and you don’t have to use a ton of them, either—the foliage is a delicate green and the blooms provide a lot of texture.” 

Lily of the Valley

Our love for Lily of the Valley runs deep, but deep pockets are a must-have to work these beautiful bell-shaped blossoms into your spring wedding. These extremely fragile and delicate small white blooms render a look that’s timeless, refined, and oh-so chic. So, if your wedding already has a modern, classic vibe going for it, think about simple bouquets that make big statements.  

Pieris Japonica

Both Roden and Oh sign off on this shrub-like foliage for early spring, with Roden mentioning how “beautiful the hanging seeded texture” is. Oh follows, sharing that the filler flower is “great for adding texture to any floral arrangement. Because of their naturally droopy shape, they work really well for creating asymmetrical, overflowing arrangements and also hiding the lips of your flower vessels.” See if you can have your florist help with foraging to save some money while bringing some rawness of nature into your designs!  

Ranunculi  

“These babies come in so many colors, and can blend into even more color palettes,” notes Roden. “Plus, they don’t mind the heat too much, which is nice when you’re marrying in late spring into summer.” If you love the look of this ruffly, big face flower, you can brainstorm ways to make it fit into your budget (usually by way of lesser expensive counterpart flowers).  

Sweet Peas

Everything from the delicate scent of these sweeties to their waif-like, watercolor petals is picture-perfect for spring. They often come in variegated pastels, which adds to their ethereal look and softness. “But have you seen sweet peas on a vine?” Roden asks. “I love using long sweet pea vine because it comes with the cutest curls and tendrils. And the kaleidoscopic colors of the flowers give any piece where they’re used a lot of ruffles!” 

Tulips

With a meaning like "perfect love," tulips are naturally a great match for weddings. If you’re getting married in the spring though, you’ll have an even more unique variety of colors to choose from. What’s even cooler is that several of these cup-shaped styles even have a painterly quality to their petals, which makes them ideal for blending in bouquets and arrangements. 

Tweedia

This teensy pop of color is the perfect "something blue" for your modern bridal trousseau. The preppy, full personality blooms can range in color from light blue to purple, even lavender—but we’re obsessed with the simple blue and white star-shaped iterations. And you don’t even need to use them in bulk for a lasting impression (even though they’re among the least expensive flowers already). In fact, they’re best for bright accenting jobs and their maneuverable greenery. 

Summer

If you’ll be getting married when it’s hot outside, these are the best flowers around. Do note, though, that with weddings in the summer months, most flowers will need to be tubed or given some sort of water source to ensure proper hydration throughout your celebration’s duration. 

Clematis

Have you found yourself dreaming about a wedding bathed in a soft, fine art focus, beautiful pastels, and a bouquet that cascades before you? If your response is "that's me," then you have to ask your florist about what you can do with clematises. They’re an expensive stem to weave into your day, but believe us when we say they’ll absolutely blow you away for the portrait-stealing purple, pink, and mauve shades they come in and for the way that they fall so softly down the silhouette of your bouquet. 

Cosmos

Even though they’re not matches for clematis’ or tweedias’ size or colors, cosmos are likewise star-shaped, ethereal, and smile-inducing at a doable $3 to $4 per stem. “I always want my bouquets and centerpieces to have an organic feel and that requires creating movement,” advises Oh. “Cosmos have a natural bounce to them, and they’re available in a wide array of colors—including dual tones. Apricot lemonade cosmos are one of my favorites for a bright summer palette.” We feel totally confident saying that they’re like the older, cool-girl cousin of the cheerful daisy. 

Delphiniums

Whenever you’ve seen a pretty soft blue floral in your Instagram feed and double-tapped without hesitation, you’ve probably fallen in love with the lengthy and delightful delphinium. These cottagecore-friendly flowers are favorable for their height (they’re ringers for long-stemmed bouquets) and their functionality to act as both line (structure/boundary-setting flowers) and focal flowers (the ones that draw all the eyes). At roughly $5 to $6 per stem, they’re not cheap, but they can be used sparingly and still achieve maximum impact. 

Foxgloves

Summer is all about embracing color and you can do it gorgeously with foxglove blooms, reveals Roden. “Foxglove stems are long and they do a great job of carrying your color upward and outward. The flowers are the cutest little bells, each with their own freckles and they can be found in solid and dual tones including blush, cream, nude, peach, and burgundy.”  

Hydrangeas

Even if you haven’t done much recon on wedding flowers yet, you’re probably familiar with hydrangeas. These fluffy, full-bodied blooms are on every florist’s "must-have" list because they come in so many useful and blendable single tones like blue, white, pink, purple, and green, plus a whole variety of multicolored, dusty antique iterations. They’re solid, too, which is important during the summer months. You might also love them for what they emblematize—perseverance—especially if the pandemic put you and your partner through the wringer with planning.   

Poppies 

The orange, white, and coral pink poppy is a popular choice in late spring and summer. Oh loves them, specifically Colibri Icelandic Poppies, because their light, tissue-like petals sparkle in the sun. “They come in such nice bright colors that pair well with spring and summer flowers (in soft yellows, pinks, and whites). And at $5 to $7 per stem, the champagne-inspired flora to match your summer Champagne towers isn’t budget-busting, either!"

Scabiosa

While the name is funky and the look is a little wild in and of itself, Roden stands by these white, black, burgundy, pink, and purple pincushion-centered pretties. “Scabiosa is a dancing queen, truly! She’ll provide a lot of movement and bounce to bouquets, without breaking the bank!” You’ll just want to make sure your florist can work in some support (like wire for the stems) to prevent the blooms from drooping.  

Sunflowers

We just can’t get over the bright and happy facade of these focal flowers—which do look right on-point for a rustic nuptials but can work well for any summer soirée. If your couple's aura has been yellow from the get-go, it’s safe to say that you two just exude joy, confidence, and magnetism. And so, this marigold magic is your flower power, capable of conjuring up all of that pleasing, electric, and jubilant energy at your event—for a reasonable cost, too!  

White Campanulas

We certainly love a minimalist, all-white bouquet with larger-than-life flowers, but daintier blooms also work to create an effortlessly chic look. Campanulas, which are also known as Canterbury Bells, are light, feminine flowers that resemble sweet little baby bells. Available in shades like blue, lavender, violet, pink, and white, this airy assortment with frilly petals almost looks identical to the edible flower cup that Willy Wonka takes a bite out of in the room of pure imagination. Oh lauds them as “true white-colored flowers” that will always get compliments when they’re used in floral ensembles because they can act great as fillers or line flowers, adding height to any arrangement or bouquet. So, the $3 to $4 per stem is well worth it!   

Zinnias

These fun flowers symbolize friendship, thoughtfulness, and endurance (they bloom from mid-summer through to early winter), which bodes well if you’re stumped about what to use for your bridesmaid bouquets. Like the color and uniqueness of your crew, these flowers come in a range of playful colors from berry pink to pistachio green. They also attract butterflies, which might just make for the perfect summer ceremony picture!  

Your florist or floral designer will know best when it comes to in-season flora, so pick their brains and see what’s worked out for them in the past. They’re sure to have some secret weapon varieties in their toolkits, not to mention they’ll regularly think about the whole picture, not just the flowers. 

Fall

If you’ll be saying "I do" during wedding season’s true golden hour (a natural autumn backdrop is spectacular for photos), you’ll want to embrace color cues and also stay abreast of in-season foliage.

Chrysanthemums

Before you start scrolling, please hear us out on these stereotypical front stoop florals because their colors, their hardiness, and their rustic charm translate seamlessly into a fall fête. The types include smaller button mums and statement Fuji and Football mums in a festive palette comprised of golden, terracotta, yellow, rust, and burgundy hues. Most importantly, though, they give you incredible bang for your buck—and with some impressive styling, you’ll be absolutely smitten. Mum’s the word! 

Dahlias

Though they begin to bloom in late summer, these folds or ruffle-brimming flowers thrive in the fall because they love colder weather, Roden shares. “They are water-sensitive and do not like the heat, so I typically use them when the temperatures start to cool down.” You can truthfully find a shade to go with any wedding color story, and their 3D layered petals offer so much to play with per stem (usually $3 to $5 each). 

Hanging Amaranthus

“I love hanging amaranthus,” confesses Roden. “While I’m not fond of the bright colors it can come in, there are rust and pale blush bunches that add beautiful texture and movement to any piece.” Blooming from October through December, the swaying foliage looks right at home peeking out of centerpieces, sprawled out on tablescapes, or suspended from a hanging chandelier or ceremony-positioned pergola.  

Kangaroo Paws

Whimsical is the best way to describe these quirky one-of-a-kind fan blooms. “They come in fall colors like browns, oranges, and reds without screaming Halloween,” reassures Oh. “They have an interesting shape and texture that can align beautifully with a boutonniere or centerpiece. I also like that you can trim them into smaller pieces to use as filler flowers.” At $3 to $4 per stem, you can grab guests’ attention without spending too much! 

Toffee Roses 

Should you want to pay homage to a fall ambiance without going for a whole cornucopia of red and orange colors, toffee roses can be sweet and satisfying—albeit a bit expensive, at $10+ per stem. “Toffee roses can be paired with literally any color because, to me, anything brown and muddy toned is considered a neutral,” shares Oh. “So you could add these to a white and creamy palette, a palette full of burgundies and mauves, or even a palette full of blue flowers. Bringing in a grounding neutral can offer your eyes some rest, and allow the colorful flowers to really shine.”  

Winter

If a cold-weather wedding is on your wish list, you’ll have a little less to work with in terms of floral variety, but what is in season can make for a truly wonderful showing. 

Amaryllis

A snow-like, all-white vision is usually exactly where we go with winter weddings, but you don’t have to limit yourself. Options like the large, star-shaped amaryllis come in plenty of warm, rich shades like red and burgundy with color-diffusing centers. There’s even a dual-tone peppermint striped flower that can stoke nostalgia for candy canes at Christmas. They’re not beyond-reason expensive, but luckily since each stem has a number of blooms, you can get away with using a lot less. 

Anemones

We will always be here for the classic and impossibly chic anemone, especially when they’re used for interest in winter wedding florals. The soft petals of the circular bloom are delicate and charming, while the hypnotic, deeply pigmented center kind of dances before your eyes. While they come in a variety of hues like blue, red, plum, and cocoa, the black and white edition is the most striking and modern, in our opinion. You’ll have to account for around $10+ per stem from your overall budget, but with a flower that symbolizes anticipation and excitement to come (i.e. your marriage and many happy years ahead), we promise it is worth it!

Astilbe

Okay, so while these aren’t necessarily cold weather-blooming beauties (though a few selects are available late December through April), they’re still appropriate for florals taking center stage in winter. Oh continues, “I don't think these are winter-specific flowers, but they’re available via wholesalers. I like using astilbe in the winter because of their fuzzy, fluffy texture, which I think resembles a sweater and provides a cozy warm feeling to arrangements without feeling too over the top wintertime or Christmas-like.” Those winter-evoking touches, like evergreen springs, berries, and acorns, go a long way!    

Branches

Like the season itself, sometimes nature—in its barren, raw state—is undeniably beautiful. “Branches are a great way to play with lines in arrangements and to create unique sculptural arrangements. I especially like using branches in ikebana arrangements and holding them together in pin frogs,” explains Oh. “Once you have your branches in, you can play around with whatever winter foliage or flowers you have, as secondary items, to support your branches.” And the best part? They’re free if you can forage them (or enlist your florist for a trip out together!). 

Hellebores

Similar to the amaryllis, hellebores have a beautiful and romantic look for winter weddings. Loved for their gorgeous range of entrancing colors like mauve, eggplant, burgundy, and beige, they can stand up well in jewel tone-forward floral arrangements and stun in oversized bouquets. Although the petals are paper-like, “they have a really nice, sturdy stem with multiple blooms on them, so you can get a lot of depth and movement with these arrangements,” Oh adds. “I find the ones grown locally are usually in the best condition and can last over a week sometimes!” They cost around $6 per stem.

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