Wedding Ideas

Wedding Flowers 101: A New Bride Introduction

Posted At : January 13, 2010 5:11 PM   |  Posted By : Bridal Network   |  Views: 114,056
Articles on these Topics: Wedding 101,Style & Decor,Do It Yourself (DIY)
Articles about these Services: Flowers & Florists

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Happy bride with fresh flower bouquet. Photo by Hamid Attie, Vancouver

photo: Hamid Attie Wedding Photography, Vancouver

Wedding Ceremony Flowers 101

Why? For one thing, because bringing flowers to your ceremony allows you to decorate the space with colour and fragrance without having to add a lot of design elements. Carefully planned and placed arrangements can easily add your personality and taste to the ceremony location.
For example:

  • Two or more pedestal arrangements placed in a very focal location are very effective. The entrance to the ceremony and the front of the church just before the altar are excellent choices.

    Floral décor, church wedding ceremony

    Over The Top Events, Montréal

    Wedding Ceremony flower arrangements on pedestals

    Our Creations Wedding Décor, Vancouver

  • Make use of window ledges and fireplace mantles where you can lay floral arrangements.


  • Place a flower or flowers at the end of each pew. This will look fabulous as they will frame the bride's walk down the aisle. If budget is a concern, put flowers only on the last two pews before the altar.

    Wedding church flowers aisle decor

    Memorable Moments Décor, Calgary

    Contemporary floral decor, wedding church aisle

    Wishahmon - Wedding Creations, Calgary

  • Place a garland over the church door for everyone to see as they arrive. Alternatively, place trees (usually ornamental trees like bay trees or topiaries) at the entrance of the church. One advantage to using trees instead of garland is that the trees can easily be moved to adorn another location, like the reception.

    Wedding entrance, floral arch

    Wedding entrance drape and flowers

    Karolina's Decor, Kitchener

Keep in mind, whether you are decorating a church, a temple or a civil ceremony, that you must first check with the officiant to verify that you are allowed to place flowers and other décor on the doors, altars, pews etc.

Wedding Reception Flowers 101

The ceremony is done. Now, you have to worry about the reception décor. Flowers are an excellent choice for adorning your tables at the reception. Aside from your guest tables, you should also consider adorning the cake table and head table.

Head Table

A large, long and low arrangement at the centre of the table in front of the bride and groom is the traditional rule here. However, if you have an exceedingly large wedding party where everyone is seated at a very long table, you may want to consider having three separate arrangements along its length. Garland can also be used to adorn the head table in either a straight line on top or arranged in swags along the front.
(Of course, there are a multitude of design options for the head table that may or may not include flowers. Discuss options with both your florist and decorator to decide what look you want to go with.)

wedding reception head table flowers

Decor By Elisa, Brampton, ON

wedding head table flowers: garland

Our Creations Wedding Décor, Vancouver

orange-pink theme flowers at wedding head table

Karolina's Decor, Kitchener

Flowers & green decor: wedding reception head table

A Unique Boutique, Coquitlam, BC

Guest tables & Centrepieces

Using flowers for you centerpieces is an excellent way to dress the table according to season, colour theme, and personality. When deciding on floral centerpieces, make sure they do not impede guests from seeing and talking to each other. Choose arrangements that are low so that guests can see over top of them or choose a tall thin arrangement where the flowers rest at the top, above the guests' direct view.

Elegant & subtle floral centerpieces on a white theme wedding reception

Our Artisan Event Decor and Design Inc., Vancouver

Elegant red floral wedding centerpiece

Chic Wedding & Event Design, Montréal

Tall & slip, floral wedding centerpiece

Memorable Moments Décor, Calgary

Tall, red rose, wedding floral centrepiece

Over The Top Events, Montréal

Cake Table

The cake itself will usually be adorned by the cake meister; however, the cake table does require a little decoration itself. For example, some light swags of fabric with flowers at their gathers are both elegant and understated.

Floral decor, for the wedding cake table

Memorable Moments Décor, Calgary

wedding cake table decorator in white flowers

Karolina's Decor, Kitchener

Venue Arrangements

A simple and cost effective way to add more flowers to your reception is to bring the pedestal arrangements from the ceremony to the venue and have them placed at very focal locations, like the entrance or on either side of the head table.

wedding reception flowers & decor

A Wedding Finesse Inc, Calgary.

Head table: subtle flowers

Simply Elegant Decorations, Calgary.

DIY Flowers

empty flower vases, for DIY wedding flowers

The "do-it-yourself" craze has surely taken off in all aspects of wedding planning including wedding flowers. Arranging your own wedding flowers, however, can be a little tricky. If you have a very specific idea in mind that you don't want to comprise, hire a professional. This will take the added stress off your day. If, however, budget is the priority, here are a few tips to keep in mind for DIY wedding floral arrangements:

  • Easy does it: unless you have had formal training, your best bet is to keep your arrangements as simple as possible.

    Daffodils in vase

    Simple & elegant DIY floral wedding centerpiece

    Mirage Floral, Montréal

    simple and modern bridal bouquets

    Designing on the Edge, Calgary

    modern and simple: yellow, DIY wedding centerpiece

    © larose.com

    easy and simple, DIY floral wedding centerpieces

    © goodhousekeeping.com

    yellow rose and orchide floral DIY wedding centrepiece

    © Grandi-Flora

  • Organize: have all your necessary equipment ready to go well in advance of the day. That means decide what type of arrangements you will be making and plan accordingly. Choose and buy/rent the appropriate vases, plus, find the right distributor for the type of flower you require. You will also need to plan for the transportation of the flowers to the venue and to the members of the wedding party that will be wearing corsages, boutonnieres and carrying bouquets.
  • Type of Flower: unless you are experienced in the handling and maintenance of flowers, make sure to choose flowers that last and that are easy to work with. Roses and lilies are excellent choices. Tip - use greenery to add volume to your creation.
  • Practice Makes Perfect: don't use your wedding day as the trial run. Do a few practice arrangements well in advance to make sure you know what you are doing and how long it will take you to get the job done.
  • Recruit Help: make sure you have a couple of trustworthy friends or family members to assist you. DIY is an excellent way to save some money on your wedding but it is also an excellent opportunity to completely stress yourself out. Don't try to do it all on your own. You want to be rested and to look fantastic on your wedding day not fatigued and stressed!

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