choosing your wedding flowers

Until not so long ago, The Dress (and possibly the bride in it) routinely took centre stage at any wedding. Today, I’m happy to say, the dress is sharing the spotlight with the wedding itself. A fabulous setting, personal and imaginative details, idyllic scenes, fresh, fragrant flowers – all capture the eye and heart of guests and are just as important as the dress.


What will you need?

Most venues welcome flowers, but do establish what the rules are first. Where are flowers allowed? Must you used a designated florist? Are you expected to remove flowers afterwards? Register offices typically allow personal flowers, but no room decoration. Depending on the scale and originality of your wedding, your requirements could include:

Personal flowers for the bridal party

Remember that there is no rule that says you must carry flowers, if it doesn’t feel right. If you’d like them, though, you could have:

  • A bride’s bouquet and flowers for her hair
  • The same for bridesmaids; posies or other flowers for younger girls
  • Buttonholes for the groom, best man, ushers, fathers
  • Corsages for mothers and any other women in then bridal party.

Bouquet options include:

  • A large teardrop, which trails over and down in front of the bride
  • A formal posy, tightly packed and neatly rounded shape
  • A hand-tied or informal bouquet, which is looser, taller and less regular in shape
  • A bride can carry a single, long-stemmed flower
  • Arrive empty-handed, collecting individual flowers from friends or bridesmaids at the top of the aisle
  • Instead of a posy, a child can hold a flower-decorated bag, basket or fairy wand. Young children won’t hold anything for too long; if it’s uncomfortable they may refuse althogether
  • Flowers should naturally flatter, not dominate.


  • Traditionally, a carnation or single rose
  • Nowadays, herbs, grasses and sculptural lilies are just a few of the many original options

Flowers for a church or other ceremony

Wherever you put your decorations, make sure they’re high (or low) enough not to obscure a view, but prominent enough to be visible even when the place is full of people. Don’t forget candles and other props too.

Good spots might include:

  • The entrance, doorways and arches
  • Pew or row ends
  • Windowsills and tables, where small arrangements in vases can double as table decorations later
  • Centre stage: pedestals or tall vases can be placed at the front of the room, beside the altar or by the registrar’s table.

Reception flowers

Depending on the venue, and their rules, keep the following in mind:

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