Kylyssa Shay worked as a florist for eighteen years and has created and taught an assortment of crafts to adults and children of all ages.
Make an Informed Decision on Your Wedding Flowers
Many people do not consider the availability of particular flowers during the time of year during which their wedding will fall when choosing flowers. I think that maybe they are not as aware that they are seasonal products as they could be.
While much has been done to manipulate the availability of blooms so that many varieties are now available for more months out of the year, seasons still apply to many varieties. Those manipulations of temperature and lighting are costly and out-of-season blooms often do not achieve the perfection of flowers picked at the natural peak of their season.
Some methods for providing out-of-season blooms include shipping them from areas of the world with different growing seasons, refrigeration of bulb plants to encourage blossoms out of season, and growing flowers in heated greenhouses. All of these options use more energy and fuel than simply using varieties that are in season at the time of your wedding. They can result in more costly blooms inferior to those grown naturally.
Another aspect many do not consider when choosing flowers is the durability of the flowers themselves. Wedding decorations need to look good throughout the ceremony and the entire wedding reception. Some flowers can handle the stresses of a wedding better than others.
Some of the most popular flowers have limitations many people are unaware of. To save you some time and to make choosing your wedding flowers easier I've given some of the seasons, drawbacks, and benefits of some popular wedding flowers in this article.
10 of the Most Popular Wedding Flowers
- Casablanca Lilies
- Calla Lilies
- Lily of the Valley
- Gerbera Daisies
1. Casablanca Lilies
Casablanca Lilies are available year round. They have large, flat blooms which take up quite a bit of surface area and can really fill out a bouquet. Casablanca lilies are also vulnerable to bruising but not as vulnerable as callas. Some people delight in the Casablanca lily's strong fragrance but others are allergic to it.
Casablanca lilies are more resistant to cold temperatures than callas but more prone to wilt from high temperatures or from lack of water. Their large bloom size makes them great for decorating the wedding ceremony as they are easily seen from a distance and they hold up very well when they have a water source.
These lilies have a strong fragrance that some people associate with funerals as they are so commonly used in sympathy tributes. Also, a fair number of people who have allergies will be affected by their scent. However, some people adore their strong fragrance. You'll need to weigh those factors in when deciding whether or not to use Casablanca lilies.
Gardenias are available all year. These richly scented flowers are typically cut by the grower to have a stem less than an inch long. Florists can easily remedy this for use in your bouquets and corsages with the use of a bit of wire and tape but it makes the use of gardenias impractical in some types of centerpieces.
Gardenias don't come cheap, they can cost as much as $20 a bloom so keep that in mind when using them. They put off so much lush scent that just a few here and there can fill a room with fragrance.
Gardenias are wonderful when floated in shallow bowls. They can be used more sparsely that way and can last up to a week in good condition if the water is changed every day or so.
Gardenias will brown very easily from contact. Handle them with care and expect corsages and bouquets made with them to show some wear and tear by the end of the evening both from lack of water and from handling.
Hydrangeas are available all year. However, there are wide variations of price and quality for this flower. Hydrangeas are in season during the summer. While many varieties are available all year, many hydrangeas bought off-season are undersized and lower in quality for a much higher price tag.
They are very thirsty and prone to wilt easily from heat or lack of water. The white varieties of hydrangea show bruising more than other colors do.
These flowers are prone to wilt easily no matter which color you choose so they are best when arranged in water or wet foam. In a garden style hand tied bouquet, you will notice drooping within less than an hour of removing the hydrangeas from water.
4. Calla Lilies
Calla lilies, also known as arum lilies are available all year round but experience wide fluctuations in price. Callas are seldom inexpensive as they are somewhat vulnerable to bruising during bulk shipping. This causes a lot of waste and increases the cost of the calla lilies that make it to the retailer in good shape. However, if they arrive in your florist's hands undamaged they are not likely to get bruised by normal handling.
Callas are sensitive to cold temperatures and can get frost damage easily. They tolerate heat very well and retain their moisture well even without a water source. This makes them ideal for use in bridal bouquets wherein they may be required to last out of water for some time. The miniature calla varieties make great boutonnieres because they are not terribly harmed by body heat or lack of water. Callas are one of the few flowers that hold up especially well in Summer weddings.
The tops of the calla lily's blooms don't take up much surface area so you can expect to use a lot of calla lilies in a round, all calla bouquet. Callas can fill more space when used as to expose the length of the bloom rather than just the top such as in the train of a cascading bouquet or in the length of an arm bouquet.
Not all callas are as lovely as those in the photo and you may wish to keep that in mind when ordering callas as wedding flowers. Chances are, your wedding florist will still use some less-than-perfect blooms. Some florists may agree to use only near-perfect blooms, providing you are willing to pay double to triple the regular cost.
Wonderful Ideas - Practical, realistic, and beautiful wedding flowers in many different styles
As a wedding florist, I saw many lovely photos taken from bridal magazines that included designs or flowers that wouldn't last through a wedding ceremony. This book is chock full of wedding bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages, ceremony arrangements, and reception flowers that are well put together from both artistic and practical standards.
Lilacs are in season in the spring though some may be available into the summer months. Off-season lilacs can rarely be counted on and their quality is usually inferior.
This fragrant flower requires a good water source and is sensitive to heat. Lilacs are very likely to show wilting in a bridal bouquet within an hour or so due to the bride's body heat even when arranged a water source.
Because they are grown outdoors and subject to the whims of weather the supply of lilacs is unpredictable so choose a different variety of flower as a backup in case they are not available on your wedding day.
6. Lily of the Valley
Lily of the Valley is available in the month of May but only sporadically during the rest of the year. Even in season, lily of the valley can be very expensive per tiny stem, I've seen it sell for as much as $10 per stem!
These flowers are sensitive to heat, handling and dehydration. They will tend to wilt and discolor quickly when used in body flowers such as boutonnieres and corsages so they are best saved for use in other arrangements.
Lily of the valley often does not have very long stems making it impractical for some types of arrangement. It is extremely fragrant so a little goes a long way towards creating a wonderful, scented setting.
Orchids are available year round depending upon their variety though their prices are subject to great fluctuation.
Orchids are sensitive to cold and may bruise or drop blooms with rough handling during shipping. However, if the orchids reach the florist in great shape they can be tough as nails! Orchids are resistant to moisture loss and heat so they make great bouquet and body flowers.
Their resistance to heat and dehydration makes them perfect for summer weddings.
Roses are available year round. They are lightly fragrant and come in literally thousands of varieties. Roses are versatile and beautiful flowers.
Roses are a middle-of-the-road flower when it comes to durability being neither tough nor overly fragile.They are prone to open up in warm conditions. Sometimes this is desirable, such as when the roses are part of a garden style arrangement. Other times it is not, such as when they are used in boutonnieres.
There is one time of year that it would be advisable to steer clear of roses - Valentine's Day! This period generally extends from the end of January through the middle of February. The rose market is awash with substandard roses during this time most of which are horribly over-priced.
9. Gerbera Daisies
Gerbera daisies have recently outranked stephanotis, pushing them into a well-deserved space in the ten most popular wedding flowers.
Gerbera daisies come in a wide variety of colors and are available year round. However, some colors and varieties have limited availability. Ask your florist if that is the case when ordering a specific variety. It's best to choose gerbera daisies by color rather than to insist on a specific cultivar or variety because the exact gerbera cultivar you choose may not be at its best for your wedding.
Gerbera daisies are tender, water loving flowers that wilt easily. Gerbera daisies should be arranged in a water source or stored in a vase of water until right before use. Because of their large size and tendency to wilt, gerbera daisies are not ideal for use in boutonnieres and corsages.
Tulips are available most of the year but are at their best quality and pricing from February through April. They can be one of the most economical choices when used in spring weddings.
Tulips are vulnerable to heat which tends to blow them open which can result in lost petals. Tulips also actually grow after they are cut. The combination of these phenomena can change the appearance of an arrangement in mere hours!
Tulips hold up pretty well out of water but do not make ideal body flowers due to their heat sensitivity.
What's Your Favorite Wedding Flower?
To Every Thing There Is A Season
Including Wedding Flowers
While many flowers are available year round, many still are not, or if available, they are not always at their best. I've broken the listed types into four seasons of availability, which designate at what time these flowers are securely available. If one is not on the list for a season, it means it is very likely to be unavailable at that time. If the flower is in bold, it is best during that season. If it is in italics, it may be available but is going to be off-season and thus over-priced and unreliable as to quality. An asterisk* indicates that the flower is always unreliable. This guide applies to North America and so may not be relevant if you live elsewhere.
Lily of the Valley*
Lily of the Valley*
Stephanotis is available year round but its condition is always unpredictable. This fragrant blossom is very delicate and vulnerable to damage from heat, cold, and handling.
Unless provided with an adequate source of water, stephanotis blooms will wither in bouquets. Expect stephanotis blooms to show marked wilting and browning by the end of your wedding reception even under the best of conditions.
While stephanotis are a traditional wedding flower and can be both beautiful and richly scented their delicate nature should be considered carefully before using them. No matter how good a job your florist does, the stephanotis will wilt in corsages in boutonnieres within a few hours due to body heat and handling.
I have included stephanotis on this page because it was only recently bumped out of the ten most popular wedding flowers in the United States.
© 2009 Kylyssa Shay
What Wedding Flowers Are Your Favorites? - Or what advice would you give to people buying them?
sam ahuja on June 20, 2019:
Camille on August 19, 2017:
If you are using 'thirsty' flowers think of hand tied bouquets. They can stand in water up the beginning of the wedding march, You shake them gently and pat the stems dry, and off you go !
peachy from Home Sweet Home on February 11, 2015:
guess what? i love the Hydrangeas flower since it is purple in color
WriterJanis2 on May 27, 2014:
I personally love roses.
Heidi Vincent from GRENADA on March 26, 2014:
I love the lilacs.
BudgetWedding on November 19, 2013:
I like them all, but my favorite are the casablanca lilies. Their fragrance is wonderful.
BudgetWedding on November 18, 2013:
I like them all, but my favorite is the Asian lily, which was not featured here. The fragrance of the Asian lily is wonderful and unique.
Lorelei Cohen from Canada on May 21, 2013:
I know that Calla Lilies are one of the most popular wedding flowers but I think lilacs are so fragrant and beautiful. My brother and his wife had lilacs as their wedding flower.
psiloveyou1 on May 12, 2013:
Gerber Daisies are my favorites, especially the bright colored ones. I love them in my yard too, but they are finicky!
Rose Jones on March 13, 2013:
I love calla lilies, they are just so pretty. And of course I am fond of roses since "Rose" is my name. I grew up in Missouri and calla lilies were so expensive: in California here they are almost growing wild.
BodyLanguageExp on January 06, 2013:
The lilies are most definitely my favorite. They are so dainty and pretty.
MKEflorist on December 16, 2012:
I would add ranunculas and peonies to this list as well. They were our best selling wedding flowers this past year. Good lens with solid information.
Elyn MacInnis from Shanghai, China on October 03, 2012:
This is a really good lens full of important information for brides. I loved the part where you divided them up into seasons. That makes for a really intelligent decision... Blessed by a SquidAngel.
JoshK47 on August 31, 2012:
Great information, indeed! Blessed by a SquidAngel!
Keepingscore on June 28, 2012:
Was needing a lens for a summer activity quest, was thinking weddings and flowers also came to mind. However the Squidlike was earned, you have created a very nice lens here with good information. Thanks for caring to create.
LesleyOC on June 22, 2012:
Fantastically useful information - I had an orchid bouquet and it took a lot of punishment, as you say, tough as old nails. At my later church wedding I had carnations - horrible - horrible horrible. Glad to see they didn't make your list.
Aster56 on June 11, 2012:
I like white flowers. Very nice lens. Thanks.
Budeni on May 31, 2012:
What a wonderful lens. I read all of it - and I'm certainly not gonna marry in the next few years. :-)
LuvinDaLegal on May 19, 2012:
Thanks! Now I know the different kinds of wedding flowers - didn't know there were so many.
Namymartyn on April 18, 2012:
Nice and interesting post.......................Like and A+
decvamlada on April 12, 2012:
what a great lens.......
MelonyVaughan on March 24, 2012:
I absolutely adore orchids!
Dywaz on March 20, 2012:
Lilacs is the most beautiful flower.
ifuturz on February 01, 2012:
anonymous on January 15, 2012:
Happily returning to this beautifully presented excellence with a blessing.
Kylyssa Shay (author) from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA on October 06, 2011:
@Michaelyady: In the eighteen years I spent as a wedding florist, I thought about them a lot. Most brides choose flower colors, types, and styles and apply them throughout the entire wedding and reception. I've used all of these flowers in all of the types of arrangements you mention. This page is about the ten most popular wedding flower choices for whatever arrangements the bride and groom want them in. That is why, when some of these flowers don't hold up so well in certain applications such as corsages, I have mentioned it here. It would be tiresome to readers if I listed everything each flower is good for rather than just listing what types of arrangements they are problematic in. Lack of focus on a webpage makes it far less likely to ever be found and read.
Michaelyady on October 06, 2011:
There is so much more to wedding flowers than just the bouquet. Have you thought about flowers as a decoration, boutonnieres, bridesmaids, corsages and table decorations?.
Lisa Auch from Scotland on September 05, 2011:
Beautiful! I am currently helping my friend start up her business, this is a beautiful page my firend blessed By a passing angel and hope this finds you well!
Attie on August 26, 2011:
Great lens, glad you featured so many scented flowers. Thanks.
Laura Hofman from Naperville, IL on August 20, 2011:
Very well done lens with gorgeous photos! I had roses, lilies and stephanotis in my bouquet - summer wedding. Great suggestions for brides.
Kylyssa Shay (author) from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA on July 18, 2011:
@ArtformTheHeart: I'd love to see gerbera daisies replace stephanotis or gardenias in the top ten most popular wedding flowers because they are sturdier, more versatile, and more readily available in excellent condition.
ArtformTheHeart on July 09, 2011:
very informative lens, I just tweeted it. My favoraite flowers are Gerbera daisies so they would have to be incorporated somewhere.
aliciamaggie54 on June 27, 2011:
Very nice. I like the tulips and roses.
phoenix arizona f on June 27, 2011:
It's hard to choose what flower is the best. They are all beautiful.
Maui-photographer on May 24, 2011:
Hydrangeas are so popular right now.
OrganicMom247 on May 13, 2011:
My favorite are roses. This is a very informative and useful lens. Great lens.
lizziehumphreys1 on May 12, 2011:
really gorgeous lens, i love the lilies, lilacs and roses. there's a really nice flower shop at the top of my road, they do gorgeous flowers for weddings.
Wedding Mom on May 10, 2011:
The flowers looked awesome. what Wedding wouldn't be complete without flowers. The selections are really beautiful. Calla lilies and orchids are still are favorite for most weddings. Superb Lens, I love it!
LouiseKirkpatrick from Lincolnshire, United Kingdom on April 01, 2011:
Lily of the Valley is such an under-rated flower and the scent is gorgeous This is such a helpful and beautiful lens :) I'm getting married myself next month, so have an April Fools Day Squid Angel Blessing on me :)
Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on March 16, 2011:
Orchids are my favourites. They are exquisite and elegant.
howtocurecancer on March 11, 2011:
My favorites? White Freesia.
LakeMom on March 11, 2011:
Great information (wish I had it 25 years ago!)!
UKGhostwriter on March 09, 2011:
very nice lens
Russ-and-Toni on February 22, 2011:
I checked out your lens because I like flowers. I love looking at flower photos and my husband likes taking the photos. My compliments on your photos. I'm liking the roses for weddings. I had orange roses for my fall wedding 38 years ago.
CarterLenhart on January 31, 2011:
My fianc and I are getting married next year and we are now looking for amazing florists (Calgary-based) who will arrange beautiful flowers for us. My mother told me that the florists in Calgary are actually exceptional in doing different flower arrangements so I think we might just wanna give it a shot 'coz we want our wedding to be the best one ever.
dahlia369 on January 06, 2011:
Nice lens, beautiful flowers and much useful info!
Senora M on November 22, 2010:
cool lens. i used gerbera daisies for my bridesmaids and don't remember what i had--lots of white. :) i wanted berries, but they said getting married in june the berries would all be green. oh well.
WhitU4ever on November 16, 2010:
Wonderful lens, Kylyssa! Beautiful photos. I lean toward Gardenias... they smell wonderful. We have two of them growing in our front yard... in the desert!
Bambi Watson on November 15, 2010:
Beautiful photos! :)
piedromolinero on November 11, 2010:
Good information about the most popular wedding flowers. Having some insights can make the difference between saving and wasting money on the flowers.
Tonie Cook from USA on November 10, 2010:
Your knowledge about this topic certainly shows. Thank you for putting together such a beautiful and helpful page about wedding flowers.
Yvonne L B from Covington, LA on November 10, 2010:
Very informative and beautiful lens. Great photos.
Kylyssa Shay (author) from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA on November 09, 2010:
@anonymous: Yes, as written above, roses and orchids are available all year round. Marigolds are available though undependable during Summer and early Fall. You may experience substitutions if you order a specific size or color of marigold for your wedding as marigolds are not as widely cultivated for use as cut flowers in the commercial floral industry as other flowers are, thus fewer varieties of them are dependably available. It is my hope that this will change as they are so nice to work with.
anonymous on November 09, 2010:
I think roses and orchids are available throughout the year . Marigolds are another variety that are available in large blooms.
Nancy Tate Hellams from Pendleton, SC on November 09, 2010:
Beautiful photos of the Ten Most Popular Wedding Flowers. I love to see Hydrangeas used either dried or fresh.
Cynthia Sylvestermouse from United States on November 08, 2010:
Fabulous information and all of these flowers are beautiful!
vitar on May 23, 2010:
Great lens, very informative. Gave you 5 ***** ;)Please stop by and check out my lens Wedding Ceremony. Thanks!
norma-holt on October 03, 2009:
Lovely lens from a lovely florist. 5* and fav
squid-janices7 on October 03, 2009:
Great lens with lovely photos and info. Brides can save so much money by choosing flowers that are in season. 5* and lensrolled to my Cheap Wedding Tips lens.
Laura Schofield from Chicago, IL USA on June 22, 2009:
You do a fantastic job with the lenses you put together. A total 5 stars: intelligent, concise and well-organized!
Dianne Loomos on June 05, 2009:
Kudos from a fellow retired florist!
Floraluniverses on May 22, 2009:
Good information!! Lensrolled to my Floral Photography by Floraluniverses lens.
GrowWear on May 21, 2009:
Very beautiful lens! Love flowers!
Sojourn on May 17, 2009:
Beautiful and informative lens. As I was browsing down the page oohing and ahhing at the flowers I reached your poll and had to pause. Way too hard to pick a favorite! :) Roses are my general favorite but gardenias have great sentimental value for me, too, and I love their smell is heavenly. Nice job!
rane84 on May 17, 2009:
Informative! Love the pictures! You made me decide on Orchids - when I am to get married, I will def have some of those beautiful white orchids in my bouquet :)