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The beginner's guide to ordering wedding flowers.

Orange and peach wedding altar flowers at Peacock Gap Golf Club in Novato, California
Photo by: Frank J Lee Photography

How do you know which flower arrangements to order for your big day? This can be a daunting task for some couples, but it doesn’t have to be. Listed below are the 20 most common arrangements ordered from Laurel and Vine numbered from most to least ordered. You’ll learn which arrangements are most worthy of your investment and get some bonus tips along the way.

1. Bridal Bouquet: This one is a must. It’s tradition. If a wedding includes a bride, it should also include a bridal bouquet. Not only does it make the bride feel more special on her big day, but it makes the wedding day more beautiful. The bride is often the focal point. She’s at the altar

Colorful Fall Bridal Bouquet
Photo by: Ballads by Sarah

and she’s at the sweetheart table. She’s everywhere to be seen! And so is her bouquet. BONUS TIP: Check out my last blog post about how to correctly hold your bridal and bridesmaid bouquets.

2. Boutonnieres: Okay gentlemen! Your turn to shine. Usually boutonnieres are ordered for the groom, groomsmen, fathers, step fathers, and grandfathers. Sometimes they’re also ordered for other family members who aren’t in the wedding party. Boutonnieres are the most inexpensive item on your “to order list,” so you’ve got no excuses! Ordering someone a boutonniere is an excellent way to show them that they’re special to you.

3. Bridesmaid Bouquets: If you’ve got bridesmaids, they’ll need bouquets. Don’t make the ladies walk down the aisle with their arms dangling awkwardly by their sides.

4. Centerpieces: You and your guests will spend a lot of time at your reception tables, making this a “top priority” area for flowers. Your centerpieces will be seen and enjoyed for hours. BONUS TIP: Gift the centerpieces to your guests at the end of the night! That way you don’t need to pay your florist to remove them after the wedding and your guests will be ecstatic to bring them home.

5. Corsages: These are the item that I get the most questions about.

Here are my FAQ about corsages:

-Who gets corsages? Usually corsages are ordered for mothers, step mothers, and grandmothers.

-Do I need to order corsages? Some people don’t want to wear corsages. But more often than not, corsages are a wonderful way to make the important women in your life feel special and beautiful.

-Does anyone wear corsages anymore? Yes, this tradition is alive and well.

Mother of the groom and groom hug as the mother of the bride wears her chest corsage.
Photo by: Marble Rye Photography

-Should I get wrist or chest corsages? That is totally up to you. One isn’t better than the other. BONUS TIP: If the corsages aren’t a surprise, ask your family member what style they would prefer. This is another way of making them feel special and involved in wedding planning.

6. Altar Flowers: The altar is the focal point of your ceremony, so you want to put your dollars here. It’s going to be in most of your ceremony photos and the guests will be admiring it for a long time. BONUS TIP: If you leave your altar flowers up throughout the reception, it creates a stunning photo-op for your guests.

7. Sweetheart Table Flowers: The sweetheart table is the small table, reserved for the newlyweds only. Usually the centerpiece for this table is a little more “POW” than the other centerpieces. Again, this is a focal point, so we want to invest in it.

8. Cake Flowers: The wedding cake is an iconic part of the wedding reception. All eyes will be

Photo by: Ballads by Sarah

on it during the cutting of the cake, and we want it to look perfect for its big moment.

9. Welcome Table Flowers: The welcome table is the first impression your guests get of your wedding day. “Wow” them with welcome table flowers, and you’ll get them stoked for what’s to come.

10. Rose Petals: There are 4 different ways I typically see petals used: Tossed by the flower girl in the aisle, lining the sides of the aisle, covering the whole aisle, and scattered on tables as décor. They’re a very traditional way to decorate your wedding day. About 70% of Laurel and Vine couples order rose petals.

11. Aisle Marker Flowers: These are the flowers that hang on the aisle chairs or pews, creating a beautiful floral aisle, leading up to the altar. They are always a gorgeous addition to the ceremony décor. That said, if you are choosing between altar and aisle marker flowers, choose altar flowers. They are more seen and photographed than aisle marker flowers.

12. Gift Table Flowers: If you want to beautify your wedding as much as possible, gift table flowers are definitely for you! However, if you’re looking to “cut back” on flowers, gift table flowers are a good place to do so. In my opinion, gift table flowers aren’t a “must” because guests don’t spend too much time there.

13. Bar Flowers: Your guests will be visiting the bar all throughout the night, so it’s a wonderful place to “flower up.”

14. Sign Flowers: It's very popular to attach flowers to your welcome or seating signs. And I’m not mad about it! The flowers on these signs are so darn cute! Your guests will love them.

15. Dessert Table Flowers: These sometimes get left to the chance of “flower and greenery leftovers.” Those are not guaranteed. Most florists make calculated recipes for their arrangements, so usually there aren’t loads of “left over” flowers. Don’t assume your florist will have any extra flowers that you haven’t ordered. Order the flowers in advance and you won’t be disappointed.

16. Toss Bouquet: Most brides are choosing not to order a toss bouquet. I think this is a mistake. The bouquet toss is a fun tradition that gets people out of their seats and laughing.

17. Floral hair clip or crown: These come down to personal aesthetic preference. I, for one, am ALL about them. They’re a gorgeous, feminine, boho, fairy-nymph detail for your wedding day.

Bridal hair with burgundy, yellow, and white flowers.
Photo by: Claire Johnson Photography

18. Bathroom Flowers: Nothing says, “We’re going the extra mile,” like bathroom flowers. If you want your wedding to be “extra,” flower up those bathroom counters.

19. Mothers' Bouquets: Some mothers prefer not to have corsages. Couples present their mothers with a bouquet as an alternate way of honoring them. It’s so sweet!

20. Buffet Flowers: Guests don't spend too much time at the buffet, so I don't consider these a "must." Don't get me wrong though, the more flowers the merrier. BONUS TIP: Tell your caterer ahead of time if you’ll have flowers on the buffet. That way there will be enough space on the table for the flowers.

Happy planning!



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