Remember, flowers aren't just limited to your bouquet and table decorations. Flowers can be used as boutonnieres, corsages, flower girl baskets, floral hair pieces, and posies to bring out your personality on your special day.
Choosing the perfect flowers and your ideal wedding bouquet can be difficult! So here are our top 10 Wedding Flowers and Top 10 Wedding Bouquet Tips for your wedding day!
Below is our current list of Australia's ten favourite flowers for your wedding bouquet and the meanings behind them.
1. Wedding Roses
Flowers symbolise a wide variety of meanings, but there is considered no better flower to convey love than the rose. So it's no surprise that roses are the number one choice for wedding ceremonies. While it depends on you and your partner, what colour rose you choose, the most common colour chosen is white - also appropriately known as the "wedding rose". White roses represent happy love and, when incorporated into your wedding decor, outfit and/or bouquet means happiness in love.
However, it is also fine to combine rose colours in your bouquet. Combining roses results in a more distinct and personal symbolism. For example, white and red roses combined means unity in love. Other popular roses for wedding flowers and wedding bouquet include:
- Deep Pink Roses - appreciation, gratitude, "thank you for being in my life"
- Multiflora Roses - grace
- Orange Roses - passion, enthusiasm
- Peach/Coral Roses - appreciation, congratulations
- Pink Rosebud - new love
- Pink Roses - friendship, grace, admiration
- Purple/Lavender Roses - enchantment
- Red Rosebud - purity in love
- Red Roses - love
- Yellow Rose - happiness, affection, joy
2. Tulip Flower Bouquets
Though they are considered the national flower of Holland, tulips are actually native to Iran. Tulips are grown in a wide variety of colours and are generally available all year round. Tulips are also mostly affordable, though rare varieties can be extremely expensive. A versatile flower, the tulip can enhance any wedding decor, from elegant settings to casual receptions and everything in between. They can be added to your wedding bouquet, boutonnieres, and table arrangements.
Further, there are three main varieties of tulips available:
- Dutch – the most common type of tulip, the kind seen in most florists or gardens
- Parrot – featuring ruffled, striped petals in intensely bright colours
- French – elegant, extra long tulips with long tapered blooms and generally very expensive
Tulips represent consuming love and happy years. The velvet-like centre of the tulip is also considered to be associated with the heart of a lover, filled with love and passion. As a result, using tulips in your bouquet or as part of your wedding flowers is a meaningful wedding choice. Tulip colours and meanings include:
- Blue Tulips - daintiness
- Orange Tulips - happiness
- Pink Tulips - pride and love, contentment, and inner happiness
- Purple Tulips - loyalty and material wealth
- Red Tulips - love and passion
- Striped Tulips - new beginning and eternal love
- White Tulips - peace and forgiveness
- Yellow Tulips - eternal love
3. Wedding Bouquets with Calla Lilies
You cannot find a more unusual and beautiful flower, so deeply rooted in cultural and historical significance, than the calla lily. Sought after across the world for centuries, this flower is native to South Africa and is noted for its remarkable strength. The calla lily has a stunningly unique shape that makes a statement when used as part of a bouquet. Though considered a funereal flower in some cultures, the calla lily is celebrated as the ideal wedding flower, representing marital bliss, faith and true devotion.
As a result, it is hardly any surprise that the calla lily represents beauty and makes a striking addition to any wedding. The pristine, waxy colour of the flower enhances the beauty and elegance of your beautiful day. While calla lilies are most generally considered to be white, there are actually a wide range of colours:
- Black Calla Lilies - elegance and mystery
- Dark Red Calla Lilies - passion and intensity
- Lavender/Light Blue Calla Lilies - grace and refined beauty
- Pink Calla Lilies - admiration and appreciation
- Purple Calla Lilies - royalty and passion
- White Calla Lilies - overwhelming beauty, purity, and innocence
- Yellow/Orange Calla Lilies - gratitude. Joy, growth, and change
4. Lily of the Valley Wedding Flowers
Lily of the Valley is an easily recognisable flower that has been popular at weddings since the Middle Ages. This is due to its symbolism of sweetness, happiness, luck, chastity, purity, and humility. So it’s little wonder that it was popular for brides in eras past to wear as a crown on their wedding day.
Further, in some cultures, lily-of-the-valley replace the "penny" (or, in areas where blue was considered unlucky, the "something blue"), in the traditional rhyme of "Something Old, Something New”.
Also known as the "May Lily", the Lily of the Valley has a long history of symbolism attached to it. But one of the most meaningful is, perhaps, the notion that the person handing over the flower is incomplete without the person receiving the flower. As a result, including Lily of the Valley as part of your ceremony - perhaps exchanging flowers with your partner - gives your wedding a whole new meaning.
Lily of the Valley also symbolises charm, beauty, good luck and, above all, happiness. It was also used in the Victorian era to convey the message, "You have made my life complete" and "It is heavenly to be with you". Most recently, both the Duchess of Sussex - Meghan Markle and Duchess of Cambridge - Kate Middleton's bouquets featured sprigs of lily of the valley.
The reason, however, that even these royal brides didn't walk down the aisle holding a full bouquet of lily of the valley is that, even when the flower is in season, it is quite expensive and delicate. As a result, it is better to add a small piece of this traditional flower to your bouquet and maybe even the flowers used by your bridal party, but don't rely on them as your feature flower.
5. Hydrangea Bridal Bouquet
Hydrangeas are an unusual, though beautiful, choice for your wedding bouquet due to their generally negative connotations in western culture. Victorians generally avoided hydrangeas unless they were using them to turn down a suitor. In fact, growing hydrangeas was considered bad luck for those that weren't married as it was believed they would curse women to be spinsters.
White hydrangeas, only, were considered acceptable, representing the message, "thank you for understanding", and were designated as the fourth anniversary gift. However, in Japan where hydrangeas were first discovered, hydrangeas were seen as symbols of heartfelt emotion, representing enduring grace and beauty, and were treasured for their boldness and delicacy.
Historical tradition in Japan follows that an emperor once gifted a woman and her family with hydrangeas as a heartfelt apology for neglecting her. As a result, hydrangeas are also seen to symbolise the development of a deeper understanding between two people, abundance, grace, beauty, and prosperity. Pink hydrangeas are especially sought after for weddings as they are seen to represent the beating heart in love.
With their wooden stems, beautiful lacey flowers that are packed closely together, and their delicate pastel colours, it is hardly surprising that hydrangeas are growing in popularity as part of wedding day flowers and, especially, wedding bouquets. Due to their varied meanings, however, most modern florists and wedding flower arrangers pair hydrangeas with other flowers in order to tie in their more graceful symbolism.
Hydrangeas vary in colour according to the pH in the soil. These colours include:
- Blue - frigidity, turning down a proposal, asking forgiveness, and regret
- Pink Hydrangeas - the beating heart in love, romance, heartfelt emotion, love, weddings, and marriage
- Purple - desire for deeper understanding, abundance, and wealth
- White - purity, grace, abundance, bragging, and/or boasting
A stem or two look fantastic in a bouquet or to fill out table flower arrangements, adding a soft blush of colour to a table, especially if you are going for predominantly white flowers.
6. Perfect Peony Wedding Bouquets
Peonies are a gorgeous option, and bridal bouquets made entirely of peonies are gorgeous. Available in single and double head varieties, they also create stunning centrepieces and arrangements. Their bright colours, large full heads and strong perfume make a statement at your wedding that you and your guests will never forget.
Considered the traditional flower symbol of China, the peony is called the "king of flowers" as only the Emperor was allowed to own them. Beds of peonies were planted at the Imperial Palace during the Sui and Tang Dynasties. Playing a major role in Chinese holidays and religious traditions, the peony is thought to be the longest continually used flower in eastern culture. Further, these flowers date back to at least 1,000 BC and can survive as long as 100 years.
Because of their association with royalty, the peony is associated with nobility, wealth and riches, and high value. It is also seen to represent honour, especially bringing honour to your family through success. Further peonies also represent romance, romantic love and beauty in all forms. Peonies come in a range of colours Including:
- Deep red - honour, respect, wealth, prosperity
- Pink - romance - ideal for weddings, wedding bouquets and table arrangements
- White/pale pink - bashful, shy
Peonies are available in summer and spring but can be expensive if you are considering them as your main flower for your wedding day. You can also have them imported for winter and autumn weddings but this can be even more expensive. Consider using complementary flowers to bring down the expense a little.
7. Romantic Ranunculus Wedding Bouquets
Ranunculus are beautiful, cost-effective alternatives to roses or peonies. Lush, multi-petaled relatives to the buttercup, the Ranunculus was first discovered in the Middle East in the 13th Century. They are a beautiful, mildly scented flower making them a natural choice for bridal bouquets, nosegays and even whimsical wedding boutonnieres for the bridal party.
These fairy-tale blooms with their thin, layered, crepe-paper-like petals create an interesting look in wedding bouquets and bridesmaids' arrangements. So it's little wonder that there's no flower more trendy, sweet or romantic, or more popular right now for wedding arrangements and bouquets.
In the language of flowers, the Ranunculus means, "I am dazzled by your charms" or that you are mesermised by someone. They come in a range of gorgeous colours, including:
- Orange - happiness, positive energy, beauty
- Pink - romance, love, gentle feelings
- Purple - mystery, royalty, beauty
- Red - love, passion, romance
- Yellow - happiness, joy, positive energy
8. Trailing Bridal Bouquets with Stephanotis - the "Wedding Flower"
Aptly called "the wedding flower" Stephanotis is one of the oldest and most traditional flowers you can have for your wedding. Native to Madagascar and made popular by Queen Victoria who loved the tradition of Stephanotis as part of weddings and wedding bouquets. As one of the most traditional flowers a bride can carry, Stephanotis looks spectacular in bouquets as well as being a classic choice for bridal party boutonnieres. As a result, this makes them the obvious choice for weddings.,p>Stephanotis represents happiness in marriage and a desire to travel, as well as good fortune. These delicate flowers are part of a flowering vine featuring star-shaped, waxy florets with a mild scent that is reminiscent of jasmine.
Moderately priced, if you want to use Stephanotis for you wedding you will need to pay for labour involved in making them part of your arrangements, wedding bouquet, and bridal party boutonnieres. This is due to the fact that Stephanotis needs to be individually wired and placed on a special holder before it is arranged.
However, Stephanotis is a stunningly beautiful, traditional flower to use as part of your wedding and especially your wedding bouquet.
9. Sweet Pea Flower Wedding Bouquets
The sweet pea was highly popular in Edwardian England in all flower arrangements, especially wedding bouquets and wedding flower arrangements. It reached its height of popularity in the Victorian era because of its scent and colours. In France, especially, it is popular in bridal bouquets as it’s considered a good omen for brides. As a result it is the perfect flower for a bride who is looking for a traditional or French themed wedding.
Further, the unique shape of the sweet pea – a name first coined by the poet, Keats - makes it a lovely addition to bridal party flowers, groomsmen boutonnieres, table arrangements and wedding flower decorations. Their sweet smell brings a lovely addition to your wedding day and can be a lovely gift for your guests.
In fact, traditionally, the sweet pea is a very popular gifted flower. Associated with pleasure, having a lovely time, thanks, departure, goodbye, and lasting pleasure, the sweet pea is a delicate choice for a wedding and comes in a range of colours:
- Pink – youth, happiness, joy, beauty
- Purple – royal, admiration, respect, pride
- Red – love, courage, desire
- White – innocence, calmness, gratitude
10. Classic Bouquet of Gardenia
Gardenias are the traditional wedding flowers and it's easy to see why. They make an eye-catching wedding bouquet - or addition to a wedding bouquet - as they fit all colour themes. Brought to England from South Africa in 1754, they can be tucked into bouquets, floated in a low bowl as part of a table arrangement, as part of a scented corsage for the bridal party, and as part of a beautiful fair accessory.
In the Victorian era the gardenia represented new, promising friendships while in France men wore gardenias to express their purity of intent in attracting women. Further, as part of a bouquet or given as a solo gift, the gardenia says, "you are lovely" or "I think I’m in love with you".
As a result, the gardenia is used to represent love, innocence, clarity, self-reflection and protection. They add a touch of elegance to weddings which cannot be matched by any other flower. Gardenias are mostly white but can come in a variety of tinges:
- White - love, innocence, clarity, protection, self-reflection
- Pink tinge - budding ecstasy, blooming love
- Yellow tinge - secret love
10 Tips to Choosing Your Wedding Bouquet and Wedding Flowers
Any of these flowers would make a spectacular addition to your wedding day. However it is important to choose carefully to make sure your flowers work with your vision. So here are our top 10 tips on how to choose your ideal wedding flowers.
1. Choose Your Wedding Dress Before Your Wedding Flowers
It is a great idea to bring a picture of your bridal gown with you when you go to pick your wedding flowers or to talk with your florist. The design of your bridal bouquet is entirely dependent on the style, details and even shape of your wedding dress.
Further, whether you are designing your wedding bouquet yourself or having it designed by a florist, it is important that it doesn’t drown you, create an unbalance in the line of your dress or hide your silhouette. A good bouquet should work with your dress, not against it.
2. Think about the Size and Shape of Your Wedding Bouquet
As we said above, your bouquet should work with your wedding gown. So, it is important that you keep this in mind when designing your wedding bouquet. For example, if you have a long train or bustle you might want a more dramatic, trailing bouquet to match.
However, if your wedding dress is very dramatic, keeping your bouquet simple prevents things from looking overdone. Finally, your waist is going to be the narrowest part of your body, so your bridal bouquet should be narrower at your waist to maintain your silhouette.
3. Choose Flowers that are in Season on Your Wedding Day
Remember that some flowers aren’t available at certain times of the year, so it may be expensive if you want to use them as part of your wedding arrangement. If you must have a certain flower in your wedding, consider only having a few of those flowers in your arrangements or only a couple in your bouquet to keep costs down.
4. Consider the Colour of Your Wedding Dress
As every bride knows, colour is key, particularly when it comes to the many varied white colours. There are so many subtle shades and having one mismatched can look jarring. This is why it is important to bring a picture of your wedding gown with you when you look for your wedding flowers so when you pick them out or when you meet with your florist. A good florist can recommend the best flower to match your dress as well as your bridesmaid dresses.
If you’re having your dresses altered, even better! Take swatches of your wedding dress and bridesmaids’ dresses with you to get a better idea for colour matching. You can even use this extra fabric to wrap around bouquets to add another decorative element to your wedding day.
5. Make Your Bridal Bouquet Personal
Use our flower language list above to find wedding flowers that create a personal message for you or your family. Or choose flowers for your bridal party that has a personal meaning for your family or your relationship.
Further, you can make your wedding bouquet personal by incorporating a family heirloom like a brooch, or lace. This can also form part of your something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue.
In fact, adding brooches and buttons to bouquets is a popular and fantastic way to finish off a bouquet. Or you can look at some beautiful traditions from other countries, like the tassels in Chinese culture, to finish off the look of your wedding bouquet with elegance and grace.
6. How to Hold Your Wedding Bouquet
Many brides are nervous before their wedding and tend to hold their bouquet with two hands, too high. This immediately lifts the shoulders up which makes you look tense and results in less than perfect wedding day pictures. And it can also be tricky if you’re wearing a strapless dress. But it can be difficult to banish those wedding day jitters.
As a result, an easy way to relax body tension, is to learn how to hold your bouquet properly. If you don’t remember, get your bridesmaid to remind you, to hold your bouquet in one hand and below your hip. Hold it slightly away from your wedding dress so everyone can see the silhouette of your dress. This will naturally relax and open your shoulders. As a result you will automatically improve your posture and create a stunning pose for your wedding day snaps.
7. Choose a Comfortable Bridal Bouquet
Something a lot of brides forget is that a wedding bouquet needs to be comfortable as well as beautiful. When choosing your wedding flowers or working with your florist, don’t choose something that is going to be over large or awkward to carry. Further, heavy and awkward bouquets can make your shoulders hunch or stand lop sided, leading to uncomfortable looking wedding photos.
8. Picture Perfect Wedding Bouquets
Photographs of your wedding bouquet can make wonderful additions to your wedding day photographs. Ask your photographer to take shots of it close up. Wedding bouquets look especially lovely in baths, propped up on lovely chairs, or placed alongside your wedding cake to create a truly memorable moment.
9. Keep Your Bridal Bouquet Fresh All Day
Not all wedding bouquets can be refreshed throughout the day. However, if you have a hand-tied bouquet you can refresh your bridal bouquet by cutting an inch or two off the ends of the stems and popping the bouquet in water. This is a great job for the mother of the bride or a bridesmaid.
10. Enjoy Your Wedding Bouquet
And finally, enjoy your gorgeous wedding bouquet and your wedding day. Remember, you don’t have to toss it. You can preserve your wedding bouquet a variety of ways, from pressing the flowers traditionally to freeze drying them to even having them set in silica and turned into a beautiful piece of wall art. A wonderful way to remember you wedding day!