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The Beginner's Guide to Wedding Flowers - What Wedding Flowers Do I Need?!

burnt orange boho wedding tablescape with text over lay "the beginners guide to wedding flowers, what wedding flowers do I need by Emma Jane Floral Design

At Emma Jane Floral Design, we know wedding planning can be overwhelming. With so many choices to make, how do you know where to start?! We like to keep things as simple as possible for our couples. We do the hard work to make your wedding planning journey as fun as it should be; relaxed and filled with anticipation for your big day! This is why we have created The Beginner's Guide to Wedding Flowers, helping you sort through the never-ending Pinterest inspiration and social media advice and honing into the key aspects of planning your wedding flowers.

Okay so, here's the big question:

What wedding flowers do I need?

We believe there is no right or wrong when it comes to wedding flowers; it's your day, do it your way. The amount of wedding flowers you order will be based on a number of factors; your venue, your floral budget, your vision of your big day.

As a guide, we like to split flowers into the 3 categories. This helps our couples to focus in on each key aspect of their wedding.

1. Personal Flowers - The flowers for your wedding party.

For example; Bridal Bouquet, Bridesmaid Bouquets or Hoops, Flower Girl Bouquets or Posies, Hair Flowers or Flower Crowns, Buttonholes, Floral Pocket Squares, Page Boy Buttonholes, Pin or Wrist Corsages, Handbag Corsages.

So, who needs what?

Traditionally, the couple getting married would have a floral bouquet and buttonhole. But, if this doesn't feel comfortable for your, don't do it! Two bouquets, two buttonholes or something completely different works as well!

Bridesmaids will typically carry a bridesmaid bouquet (usually a smaller version of the bridal bouquet, still flower filled and substantial but with a few less varieties of flower) and flower girls have a basket of petals or a flower girl posy (a petite version of the bridesmaid bouquets, perfect for little hands)!

Traditionally, the groom, groomsmen, ushers and fathers of the bride and groom would wear a buttonhole on their left lapel and any close female relatives (i.e. Mother of the Bride and Mother of the Groom) would wear a pin corsage on their right.

These days buttonholes and corsages are pretty much on a "who you want to have them" basis and we have many more options of floral adornment available! Floral pocket squares are a modern twist on a traditional buttonhole or can be a nice way of making the groom stand out from the rest of the groomsmen. Ladies also have plenty of choice with pin or wrist corsages, hair flowers or handbag designs - there's something for everyone!

Check out some of the personal flowers our wonderful couples chose for their big day...

Two brides sitting on a car bonet, one wearss a wedding dress the other has tailored white trousers and a white waistcoat

Photo by Pix By Vix

bride in whte dress and bridesmaids in mix and match pink dresses holding bouquets
a man in black suit with red bow tie pinning a buttonhole to his lapel
bride and groom kissing, the birde holds an ivory and blush pink floral bouquet
bide and bridesmaids laughing, the bridesmaids wera dusky pink dresses and hold pastel pink and lilac bridesmaid bouquets
flower girl in white tuille dress holding a bouquet of red and ivory flowers with trailing red silk ribbon
groom in tweed suit with a white flower buttonhole
woman with ginger plaited hair wearing a flower grown of peach and orange flowers tied with ribbon
3 bridesmaids wearing pink and duck egg dresses carrying hoops of flowers

Photo by Caroline Miller at Picture Partnership

bride in white off the shoulder dress and floral head piece carrying a bridal bouquet
a floral pocket square of fresh flowers in orange and red on a blue suit
brightly coloured pink and orange buttonholes sitting on a wooden chair

2. Ceremony Flowers - The floral designs used to decorate your ceremony space.

These can include;

  • A statement ceremony piece: Such as urn arrangements, a floral arch or moongate, floral installation piece or "Broken Arch" design. These designs create masses of impact and are a fantastic backdrop for your ceremony to take place in front of. They are perfect for creating endless photo opportunities by framing you and your love as you exchange wedding vows.

  • Aisle decoration pieces: Such as pew end flowers that are tied to the pews or chairs lining the aisle or, our favourite, aisle meadows. These designs draw the eye down to your ceremony space and create beautiful memories as you sweep down the aisle.

  • Registrar table arrangements: An arrangement to sit on the table at the front of your wedding ceremony, creating a focal point and tying all of your other floral arrangements together.

  • Installation pieces: If you are lucky enough to have a ceremony space with a gorgeous feature such as a fireplace, staircase or fabulous window, dressing it with flowers is the perfect way of creating cohesion between your venue and your wedding décor.

  • Confetti: At Emma Jane Floral Design we provide our couples with fresh or dried petal confetti. This can be used as decoration to line the aisle with petals or for that all important confetti shot moment!

Need some stunning ideas for your wedding ceremony flowers? Keep scrolling...

ornate blue room dressed for a wedding ceremony with urn arrangements and aisle flower meadows
ourdoor wedding ceremony set up in front of a door archaway, dressed with large floral displays and aisle meadows
bride standing in front of an assymetric arch of flowers
aisle of white washed chairs lined with aisle meadow floral arrangements
bride and groom standing in front of a moon gate arch dressed with fresh flowers
arched doorway decorated with urn flower arrangements on white plinths
bride and groom walk through guests being showered with confetti

3. Reception Flowers - The floral designs used to decorate your reception space.

These will alter depending on your venue, if you are using the same room for the ceremony and reception (we call this a "room turn-around"), or if your reception venue is totally separate to your ceremony venue (for example, a church ceremony with a marquee reception).

Wedding reception flowers can include;

  • Flowers to decorate your wedding tables (we call these "centrepieces"): These will differ depending on the style of table you are using, the most common options for weddings are round tables or oblong trestle tables. Some designs that work well as table decoration include; pomander centrepieces, candelabra centrepieces, bowl centrepieces and bud vases. You may also want to consider other décor pieces such as candles, table runners, coloured napkins or charger plates.

  • A focal flower arrangement: A larger scale arrangement used to create impact or frame the newlyweds during the wedding breakfast such as urn arrangements, a floral archway, floral installation piece or "Broken Arch" design.

  • Meadow Arrangements: Meadow arrangements look fantastic placed in front of the top table or on the ends of trestle tables if you are have a banqueting style reception. They also work well in front of a DJ booth during your evening party.

  • An installation pieces: Again, if you are lucky enough to have a reception space with a gorgeous feature, dressing it with flowers is a great way of highlighting it.

  • A hanging floral installation: Is there a better way of creating a totally immersive experience than with hanging flowers?! Guaranteed to WOW your guests, they work fantastically in marquee or barn venues. Be sure to check with your wedding venue first though as they may have restrictions in place regarding hanging flower installations.

  • Welcome sign flowers: From a simple cluster of flowers to adorn an easel to a large installation piece, signage flowers are a great way of welcoming your guests to your wedding and giving them a sneak peek of what the day has to follow!

  • Flowers to decorate your present table or guest book area.

  • Bar flowers: some couples like to add arrangements such as bud vases, around other areas of their wedding; on a bar, window sill for example, to make the whole event feel thoughtful and cohesively styled.

  • Wedding cake flowers: Be sure to liaise with your wedding cake designer, will the be adorning your cake with fresh or sugar flowers? If fresh flowers are required it is easiest for these to be supplied directly from your wedding florist, this means they will match perfectly with the rest of your wedding flowers ensuring a thoughtful and cohesive design for your wedding day.

  • Anything else you want to dress with flowers! The sky is the limit when it comes to wedding flowers, if you have something in mind that you simply love ask your florist about it! Just because it isn't a "typical" wedding arrangement doesn't mean it's not possible! It's your day, your way!

Scroll for some gorgeous wedding reception flower inspiration...

wooden trestle tables dressed with bud vases and candles behind is a hanging curtain of fresh flowers
ornate period room dressed for a wedding breakfast wth fresh flower bud vases and white candles
white marquee set for a wedding reception with a hanging floral installation of ivory and pink flowers
barn wedding reception with hanging floral instllations bud vases and meadow arrangements of brightly coloured flowers
moon gate arch with fresh flowers sitting behing a table dressed with log slice centrepieces, candles and bud vases
personalised neon sigh hanging from a copper frame dressed with flowers in pink and ivory shades
a large floral arrangement of brightly coloured summer flowers sitting next to a table plan
wedding cake made of cheese dressed with fresh flwoers and foliage
wooden trestle table set for a wedding reception with foliage garlands, bud vases and candles
wicker basket card box with photo frames and bud vases of fresh flowers
centrepiece arrangement of blush flowers sitting on a dusky pink table runner
wooden trestle tables dressed with brightly coloured flowers in bud vases and bright candles
white wedding cake with blush and ivory flowers
staircase dressed with fresh flowers
fresh flower wedding centrepiece of earthy brown tones
wedding breakfast set up of trestle tables dressed with candles and bud vases in front of an ornate fireplace dressed with flowers
bride and groom sit on 1970s style peacock cheairs dressed with fresh flowers in a boho style
white staircase dressed with fresh flwoers in pink and ivory tones
2 brides standing behing mirrored letters spelling LOVE in front are meadow arrangements of white flowers

Photo by Pix By Vix

If you're looking for a florist to help guide you through your wedding planning, we still have availability for 2024 and 2025 weddings. Drop Emma a message via our contact page, and we will get back to you very soon!

Cover image by Pix By Vix


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