Winter is such a festive season, and many couples try to capitalize on that feeling as the holidays approach. Then, January comes, and some duos take advantage of discounts and specials as vendors long to book weddings during what is considered the off-season. However, as venues, photographers, and caterers offer deals to entice folks, one set has to stick to (and possibly raise) their prices: florists.
As temperatures reach freezing and below, many blooms become scarce. A limited selection means that your floral designer may have to order flowers from more temperate climates for your wedding day. A budget-friendly option is to utilize in-season flowers and holiday greenery to accent your winter wedding bouquets. Cold-weather weddings are gorgeous and ethereal, and here’s everything you need to know about choosing your winter wedding flowers.
Part 1: A Guide to Winter Wedding Flowers by Color Part 2: Trust Your Floral Designer With Your Winter Wedding Flowers Part 3: Pros and Cons of Using Holiday Winter Wedding Florals Part 4: Creative Ways to Use Winter Wedding Flowers
Selecting wedding flowers in winter partly depends on what you want as a couple. As a result, there are many things to consider beyond a list of the best winter wedding flowers. First, decide whether or not you want to include the holidays and traditional winter color palettes on your big day.
However, just because you’re having a winter wedding doesn’t mean you must include the season into your special day. For example, a pastel palette of pink and yellow is stunning against the stark whites of winter. Another popular choice is to go formal with a palette of black, gold, and white. Whatever you decide, be sure to look at your budget, as seasonal winter wedding flowers can be cost-prohibitive. Your florist can help you decide on a color scheme and determine the best florals for your wedding.
Like other seasons, any color you desire is available—if you’re willing to special order your winter wedding flowers. Blue and white is a popular color combination for winter wonderland weddings. Other couples wish to have a more muted palette of blush and green. However, a whole world of color schemes are possible, none of which are dependent on the season.
Of course, florists have their favorite blooms in several color palettes. “Garden roses are a big favorite, and we love them in alabaster white, Darcey red, and vitality ivory to give a classic winter look,” says Joan Wyndrum, co-founder of Blooms by the Box in Watchung, New Jersey. “Calla lilies are another popular favorite, along with hybrid delphinium, tuberose, tulips, ranunculus, and anemones.”
Many of these blooms are available in various colors throughout the winter. Bron Hansboro, owner of The Flower Guy Bron in Richmond, Virginia, offers additional suggestions for winter wedding bouquet flowers, like holly, snow flurry camellias, sweet azaleas, and winter jasmine.
Hansboro also proposes dying blooms to get the desired hues. “Couples can also play around with preserved florals and pampas grasses to mimic the meaning of the season’s hibernation and rebirth,” he suggests. “Dying your blooms is a perfect way to achieve the color palette you desire, even if the seasonal florals don’t naturally grow in the hues you want.” In addition, altering a flower’s original color is a creative way to have what you desire on a budget. Whatever your color scheme, here’s what blooms you can find during wintertime.
No matter the season, white wedding flowers are popular. Not only are they the perfect complement to any color palette, but white has long been associated with weddings. The poinsettia is a classic for December wedding flowers and can make quite a statement when incorporated into winter wedding flower bouquets and arrangements.
Other lovely, readily available options include camellia, sweet pea, calla lily, gerbera daisy, orchid, anemone, carnation, rose, stephanotis, lily, and amaryllis. When their bulbs are forced, paperwhite narcissus also makes a beautiful addition to bouquets and boutonnieres. Finally, if the growing conditions are ideal, you can secure gardenia and early season tulips in shades of white.
Burgundy is a trendy color for winter weddings. When paired with foraged greenery, it can take on a holiday tone. However, burgundy can also add a striking element to a monochromatic palette of red and pink tones. Some of the most beloved blooms, such as carnations, roses, and mums, are available in burgundy. Other flower options include anemone, astrantia, and snapdragons. Eucalyptus also comes in burgundy for a dried element, which will add an extra dimension to your winter wedding venue flowers.
Blue flowers are more of a rarity no matter the season, especially in winter. However, their scarcity doesn’t discourage couples who love the idea of showcasing icy winter wedding flowers in shades of blue. A few options for blue-toned winter flowers are anemone, blue thistle, and some shades of grape hyacinth. Using quality silk flowers and dying white flowers blue are both viable options when you can’t find blue flowers in winter. Non-floral options include juniper boughs, dusty miller, silver brunia, and viburnum berries.
Bright, sunny yellow is an unexpected hue to use in cold weather. As a result, the color can add an element of surprise to a winter wedding palette. Classic flowers—such as roses, carnations, tulip, alstroemeria, freesia, and ranunculus—come in yellow tones. However, those aren’t your only options, as hypericum berries, gloriosa, acacia, and craspedia are lesser-known, but still worthy yellow elements to use as winter wedding bouquet flowers. Solidago is used as filler, which is a lovely way to add details of yellow to your winter flower arrangements.
Plum, a deep purple, is another popular winter color that isn’t necessarily associated with the holidays. The hue blends perfectly with lighter tones of lavender, but it also adds richness to a jewel-toned palette. Anemone, amaryllis, tulip, daisy, orchid, liatris, freesia, lisianthus, sweet pea, stock, gladiolus, and veronica are all available in regal purple tones for your winter wedding.
Nothing says Christmas more than a combination of red and green. Additionally, if your wedding is around Valentine’s Day, you may be pondering a palette that includes red. On the other hand, maybe you don’t want to focus on a holiday theme, and red is one of your favorite colors. No matter your reasoning, there are plenty of elegant winter wedding flowers for you to include in your bouquets.
Red roses are always a favorite, although you may also consider including amaryllis, tulips, anemones, and ranunculus for a pop of red. Carnations are readily available, and for a holiday feel, incorporate poinsettias. There are also several berries, such as hypericum and holly, that can subtly add clusters of red to your arrangements.
Greenery is easily foraged, which means that it’s cost-effective. Greens also add texture and dimension when placed alongside winter flowers for wedding centerpieces. “I’m personally fond of utilizing greenery in your bouquets and arrangements during the winter to complement your flowers,” says Hansboro, who also believes that they can help shape winter wedding bouquets. “Cascading bouquets are still wildly popular, which foraged greenery can play a huge role in.”
Wyndrum also has her favorite greens. “We love opting for greenery, like dusty miller for a soft texture and silver dollar eucalyptus,” she says. “If you want a holiday vibe, then balsam, cedar, juniper, and boxwood are all great additions as well.” Placing greens in winter wedding bouquets with pine cones is also a lovely way to add holiday flair.
For couples who enjoy the color green but don’t want their event to be wintery, think about using more trendy options. “Boho couples will be eager to know that succulents and air plants are readily available during the colder months since they are very hearty,” says Wyndrum. Mini potted succulents also make adorable winter wedding favors when added to each place setting.
Additionally, large, waxy magnolia leaves are stately and add color to winter wedding arrangements. “While magnolia blooms aren’t in season, magnolia greenery is available and quite popular,” says CeCe Todd, owner of CeCe Designs in Birmingham, Alabama. Magnolia leaves are green on one side and brown on the other, so your florist can use them to add either color to your winter flower arrangements.
As with any season, selecting in-season flowers is the most cost-effective approach. However, a bit of creativity and a chat with your floral designer can go a long way. Although winter wedding flowers in season may be a mystery to you, a professional florist is used to working within a budget and incorporating what’s readily available. Communication and trust are both vital when conveying your wedding day dreams to your floral designer.
No one likes surprises, so be upfront about what you can allot to your winter wedding flowers. Likewise, be honest with your florist if you aren’t willing to trade your beloved peonies for garden roses. Above all, this is your wedding day. As a result, your florist wants you to be happy and for their work to be well represented. Transparency and having frank conversations go a long way to ensure your wedding day is what you envisioned.
“Couples might think a winter wedding means less floral availability in season, but there are quite a few blooms,” says Wyndrum. “While winter is generally associated with berries, pinecones, and evergreen, you have various available florals that can be more reflective of your personal style.”
If you’re unsure of your style, head to Pinterest and start to create boards filled with ideas you love. Not only will this help you curate your style, but it will also give your wedding vendors a springboard for ideas. The more you add to your boards, the easier it is for vendors to hone your style.
Many flowers are reminiscent of each other. For example, a garden rose often resembles a peony, and delphinium and gladiolus can perform the same functions in a bouquet. However, if you have your heart set on fluffy peonies, a favorite wedding flower, they may not be available mid-winter. Consequently, when they are available, they will most likely be at a premium.
“While you can source flowers that aren’t in season, it is important to remember that it will be harder, more expensive, or even close to impossible to find specific types of flowers during the winter,” says Wyndrum. “So, it might be worth drawing inspiration from the colors and textures of bouquets and centerpieces and selecting in-season blooms that will be close to them.” Although your florist’s alternatives may not be your first choice, rely on their expertise and be open to other options.
Hansboro also agrees that blooms are scarce in winter. “There aren’t as many flowers that are in-season during the winter months here in Virginia, but we do have a few floral species that thrive,” he states. “That said, you can certainly have your florist outsource any flowers you’d like for your winter wedding if they don’t happen to be in-season in your area.”
Ordering winter wedding florals from more temperate climates doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be out of your wedding budget. Part of the cost depends on where they come from and how abundant they are in that area. Your floral designer can guide you to maximize your budget and what could potentially break the bank.
If you’re getting married around the holidays, you may be undecided about incorporating traditional December wedding flowers. On the one hand, using greenery and holly berries is a gorgeous combination. On the other hand, a holiday palette may not be your first choice. For those undecided about their winter wedding flowers, here are a few things to consider.
Foraging is the process of going out into nature to clip blooms and greenery for your wedding flowers in winter. One thing to remember is that you need to secure permission to cut foliage. However, you can ask neighbors, friends, and family if you can scour their yards for usable items. Magnolia leaves, evergreen branches, pinecones, and holly berries are easily found in nature. Foraged items can either be the main focus of your winter wedding floral arrangements or be used as filler.
December is a season for celebrations, which means that as folks organize office parties and holiday gatherings, the demand for the best winter wedding flowers increases. “When planning a winter wedding, one thing to consider is that this time of year is filled with holidays, which can affect the availability of flowers because of supply and demand,” says Wyndrum.
No matter what celebrations you encounter during the winter, seeing seasonal decor puts everyone in the holiday spirit. Plus, the chances are that your venue—especially if you have a church wedding—is already decked out with festive decorations. Being able to rely on existing decor will help you be able to stretch your budget. As a result, you may be able to afford those luxury flowers for your winter wedding flower arrangements after all.
Folks are used to seeing holiday decor year after year. Therefore, you may lack creative ideas for making your winter wedding flowers stand out from other decorations. That’s where your florist can help. Your floral designer can make an unexpected winter wedding bridal bouquet or create an incredible hanging installation.
Some couples simply don’t want to stress over their winter wedding flower ideas—and that’s perfectly okay. Perhaps curating a gourmet menu or investing in a fabulous local band is more important. However, relying on familiar decor that is tried-and-true, while still being beautiful is a terrific way to go. So give your floral designer carte blanche to design and surprise you with your winter wedding reception flowers.
Whether you crave simple winter wedding flowers or want the most luxe florals around, the weather may be a factor. If your area—or an area between point A and point B—gets snow, ice, or sleet, it could impede your floral delivery. Unfortunately, inclement weather is something that can’t always be accounted for. Therefore, work with your florist on other options if the necessary items for your winter wedding floral arrangements are delayed.
Natural greenery and blooms can dress up a wedding cake. If you love to DIY, order a plain cake in white or cream, and add the flowers. However, your florist or cake artist is also fully capable of placing blooms on your cake.
Whether you opt for a holiday wreath or take a less seasonal approach, decorate your entry doors with wreaths. A plus is that wreaths can double as gifts for your parents or other loved ones after the wedding.
Tuck greenery into the fold of a napkin or lay it on each plate. These are beautiful ways to welcome guests to your winter wedding reception. Using greens in small applications is the perfect way to carry through with your floral theme.
Everyone wants to see you kiss at the reception—cue the clinking of glass—so, give your guests what they want. Hang a sprig of mistletoe right above your seats. It’s a fun way to include the holidays, even if you don’t have a holiday-themed wedding.
Collect pine cones, cut evergreens, and scour yards for holly berries (with permission, of course!). All of these are ways to add decor to just about any area of your wedding ceremony and reception. Fill baskets with pine cones, and lay berry-laden holly branches down the length of your farm tables. Instead of centerpieces, use small vessels of varying heights to hold greenery and berries. Then, use pieces from your wedding florist as the final touches for a gorgeous winter wedding day.
Whether you need to formulate your budget or crave color palette inspiration, Zola is your destination for all things wedding. If you’re not sure about having a winter wedding, Zola can help you determine what season is right for you. From your first impression—save the dates—to leaving your wedding, Zola can help you plan every step of the way. With a library of articles just waiting to help you plan, partner with Zola to make your wedding day dreams come true.