Ephemeral Beauty: Wedding Flowers

There is nothing more beautiful than a bride holding her gorgeous bouquet as she walks down the aisle to exchange vows with her new husband.

Flowers are a visually significant part of a wedding ceremony. They may not be the most expensive part but their appearance and scent will evoke memories for many years to come.

There is so much more to wedding flowers than the bridal bouquet. The bride may also wish to have a “toss” bouquet. The couple will have to think about bouquets for the bridesmaids and the flower girl, a corsage for the mother of the bride, a corsage for the mother of the groom, and possible corsages for the grandmothers on both sides.

The men in the wedding party will need to consider the groom’s boutonnière, best man’s boutonnière, boutonnière’s for the ushers, the ring bearer, fathers of the bride and groom, and the grandfathers.

Flowers also have to be planned for the reception table, for the bride and groom’s table, flowers at the altar, and flowers at the entryway. Many couples also opt for flower swags where the guests sit for the ceremony. A trellis may have to be decorated. Many brides also love to have rose petals strewn where she will walk down the aisle to meet the waiting groom.

While some couples will try to make all the arrangements on their own, most will not, preferring to hire a flower designer or wedding planner to handle all the details.

Mary Schofield, owner of In the Company of Flowers in Keene, states, “I do not work with catalogs. I meet with the bride in person and get to know her personality.”

Every bride is unique. Her wishes will guide the direction of the wedding. If she picks three different color choices the flower designer will show her what is available during the time of year she has picked for her wedding. You will not find tulips in August. There are many other flowers that will give the same color and size.

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Before investing in anything, you will want to compare prices from a couple different places to get a reasonable average. Be aware that different flowers have different costs. The season may also affect the price.

“I am always close on estimates,” says Schofield. “We create and work within the budget as we move along.”

Florists generally do all they can to obtain flowers from local growers. When they can’t due to our short growing season here, flowers are flown in or otherwise delivered from other locales. There are many flower farms in New England.

Buyers who purchase the flowers need to determine when they will open, how long each variety will last, its color and size, and sometimes its rarity. The highly fragrant peony, lilac, and sweet pea will always be popular. Larger flowers such as dahlia, gladiolas and sunflower are equally sought after.

Herbs are also a popular addition to many bouquets. They are fragrant and have a unique texture beside the flowers. Vegetables sometimes find their way into bouquets giving it a somewhat unusual but always beautiful appearance.

Some couples enjoy a theme wedding. Woven into their flowers you may find a small bird, settled nicely into the bouquet. A nest could be found in the centerpiece. Be cognizant of the possibilities.

According to Holly Long, floral and event designer for Naturally Elegant of Keene, “We will do anything to accommodate the bride.”

To individualize her bouquet, a bride may pick a piece of jewelry or perhaps prayer beads, or even a bird’s nest to place in it.

Colors have hidden meanings, which is something to consider when choosing wedding flowers. For example, white signifies purity and cleansing. Red is symbolic of passion, romance and energy. Green is often found in bouquets because of its message of hope. All colors have a message.

As to flowers their message is deep and clear. The Gerbera daisy is increasingly popular due to the many colors it comes in. It is fairly large, fitting nicely into most bouquets. Its significance is cheerfulness. The orchid is charm and refinement. The lily is purity. And one cannot forget the rose, which symbolizes love.

“Nationally, brides may be increasing their budgets for their weddings but locally they are not,” says Cindy Sawyer of Anderson the Florist of Keene. They are committed to making your wedding flowers the best that they can be.

Weddings are becoming more personalized. Brides are choosing flowers with traditional meaning. Bouquets are becoming increasingly meaningful and trends will be fascinating to watch as the future unfolds.

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