10 of the Most Popular Wedding Flowers, and What You Should Know Before Choosing Them
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.
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.
As a florist, I love this book. It is just full of beautiful photos as well as artistically and mechanically sound floral wedding decorations.
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.
So please, keep these facts in mind when choosing your wedding flowers to assure the best quality, durability, and pricing. Your florist can also guide you to more seasonal flower choices for your wedding and help make the best choices to decorate your wedding celebration.
What's Your Favorite Wedding Flower?
Of Those Listed, Which Do You Like Most?
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.
Questions & Answers
© 2009 Kylyssa Shay