Heat-Tolerant Flowers for Your Summer Wedding

If you’re planning a summer wedding, having heat-tolerant flowers is essential. We have the best heat-tolerant flower options for you.

By Rachel Varina

Heat-Tolerant Flowers for Your Summer Wedding
Photo by Brio Photography

Every season of the year brings beauty and joy, which is why we love weddings year-round. The chance to get your loved ones together and celebrate such an important milestone is special, no matter when it takes place, but lots of couples choose to say their “I dos” when the weather is warm and sunny. Summer weddings are great because plenty of people are looking to travel, children and educators are out of school, and everyone’s ready to celebrate in the sunshine.

That said, planning for a warm-weather wedding means paying close attention to the temperatures to ensure that your decorations look fresh until the grand exit. If you’re looking for heat-tolerant flowers for your summer wedding, we’re breaking down everything you need to know to select the most beautiful—and hardy—colorful wedding flowers.

Table of contents:

What Are Heat-Tolerant Flowers?

If you’re looking to plan a summer wedding—or are having a warm-weather celebration in warmer climates —opting for heat-tolerant flowers is essential to ensure that your well-coordinated decor lasts until the last guest leaves. So, what exactly are heat-tolerant flowers? In short, they’re types of florals that can withstand and, in some cases, thrive in hot conditions. So, if your wedding is taking place in the summer months or in a tropical locale, it’s essential to pick the right flowers so that your blooms aren’t wilted before your vows. Luckily, there are plenty of heat-tolerant flower options out there, perfect for any wedding venue or theme.

Part 1: Everything You Need to Know About Heat-Tolerant Flowers

Before selecting your dream florals, it’s important to consider many different elements surrounding your big day. Not only do you want to ensure that your flowers will withstand the heat, but you’ll want them to highlight your venue, your theme, and your aesthetic, so as to pull the celebration together.

Why Should You Have Heat-Tolerant Flowers?

Flowers are a major focal point for many weddings, and lots of couples plan to utilize blooms when designing their dream celebration space, no matter the season. From bouquets to centerpieces to ceremony decor, blooms are an integral part of weddings for many couples, no matter the size of their celebration. If you’re getting married in the summer, however, it’s important to consider the heat when selecting your flowers. Some blooms—such as hydrangeas and peonies—have a harder time withstanding the hotter temperatures and will not only take extra care, but oftentimes wind up looking wilted and less-than-flourishing when subjected to the summer heat. If you want your florals to flourish on the big day, it’s important to choose blooms that can take on the warmer temps.

Do You Need to Have Heat-Tolerant Flowers?

Chances are that you have a vision for your big day, whether it’s seasonally themed or not. Ultimately, all that matters is that your celebration feels true to you and your relationship. If fresh florals aren’t a major focus—or you don’t need them to flourish for long—choosing heat tolerant flowers might not be as crucial for your celebration. That said, if you’re having an outdoor celebration in the summer sun (or are just in warmer climates with extra high temps), you’ll want to seriously consider heat-tolerant flowers, so that you get the most bloom for your buck.

Are Heat-Tolerant Flowers More Expensive?

Speaking of cost, there’s some good news: Heat tolerant flowers aren’t usually any more expensive than daintier florals. Selecting an in-season summer flower is the key to keeping your floral prices down, and since you’re shopping for flowers that are thriving in the summer, you’ll likely get the best deal. That said, there are plenty of options for every budget, depending on where you buy from, what your vision is, your wedding location, and what type of flowers you purchase. It’s always a good idea to get quotes from multiple florists and be flexible with your vision so that you don’t go over budget.

Are Heat-Tolerant Flowers a Good Option for Your Wedding?

If you choose to have blooms at your celebrations, there are a wide variety of floral options that are more heat-tolerant than the average cut flower. The most hearty florals for a summer wedding tend to be tropical blooms and species that are used to exotic environments—think orchids, birds of paradise, and even some types of lilies. If you’re having a tropical-themed wedding, a beach affair, an outdoor celebration in the warmer months, or an event in a warm locale any time of the year, heat-tolerant flowers are a good choice.

Part 2: Types of Heat-Tolerant Flowers and How to Pick

If you can’t picture your summer wedding without florals, blooms, and greenery you’re in luck! There are plenty of heat-tolerant flower options (and ways to utilize them) that will wow your guests and fulfill your floral dreams that will be up to the challenge of a warm-weather event.

What to Consider When Selecting Your Heat-Tolerant Flowers

Because there are so many different types of fresh and faux heat-tolerant flowers, as well as floral alternatives, selecting the one (or ones) that’s best suited for your event is an important step in the planning process. Consider your venue, the amount of sun exposure the flowers will have, the temperature of the day, your theme, and your budget to determine the best way to add florals to your summer wedding.

Your Venue

If your venue is outdoors—especially in the summer—you’ll want to take extra care to ensure that your flowers stay fresh. Consider your venue's locale and natural beauty to better narrow down your heat-tolerant flower choices. If you’re having a tropical or beach wedding, hibiscus, anthuriums, and birds of paradise will look right at home, whereas, if you’re getting married in a garden or more traditional venue, roses, lilies, or carnations would fit the bill.

Sun Exposure/Temperature

Potted flowers—such as orchids, spray roses, or petunia—add the same amount of color and floral beauty as cut stems, but have a much better chance of withstanding the heat. If you’d prefer cut florals, make sure that you have a good idea of how long the flowers will be exposed to the sun/heat to help you decide which blooms to select.

Your Theme/Colors

One of the biggest components to consider when selecting your florals is your theme/color palette. Search for florals that work for aesthetics and seamlessly blend together the elements of your celebration. While the type of flower makes it different, color is easier to notice at a distance, so ensuring that you have blooms that match the rest of your decor—or at least compliment it—is pertinent.

Your Budget

Whether you’re having a summer wedding or not, considering your budget is crucial when selecting your florals. While heat-tolerant flowers tend to fall in the same general price range as average flowers (and fresh floral alternatives are usually even more budget-friendly as well as sustainable), you’ll want to account for the extra care needed for some flowers. If you shop for out-of-season florals or daintier blooms in the summer, the chances of your final bill being higher is likely. Shop for a summer flower that thrives in the heat to get the best flowers on a budget.

Decide on the Type of Heat-Tolerant Flowers

Before you stress about selecting your summer blooms, you’ll be happy to know that there are plenty of options to consider from tropical, exotic species to classic flowers that radiate romance. Here are a few of our favorite heat-tolerant blooms that will stand up to the elements throughout your celebration:

Anthuriums

Anthuriums love humid environments and look right at home in tropical locales.

Hibiscus

Whether or not you’re getting married in Hawaii, the state’s traditional flowering plant makes for a tropical addition to any warm-weather event.

Zinnias

Like a mix of a sunflower and a daisy, zinnias come in vibrant shades such as pink, purple, orange, and yellow that are perfect for colorful celebrations.

Cymbidium Orchids

Orchids are a classic wedding flower, and luckily, they also hold well in the heat! Cymbidium orchids start blooming in the spring and look spectacular at elegant, summer weddings.

Proteas

Also called sugarbushes, proteas are a South African flowering plant that boasts vibrant, exotic, and unique colorful blooms. We love these for boho or beach weddings, or any event where you want some outside-the-box florals.

Birds of Paradise

The distinctive, purple and orange blooms seen in birds of paradise flowers are a favorite for beachy brides or destination weddings. Since these tropical plants need lots of sunshine, you won’t have to worry about them wilting, since they’ll soak up all the sun and still stand tall and proud.

Lilies

Lilies are one of the most classic wedding flowers, and there are plenty of options that can stand the heat. We love Peruvian lilies for a casual, outdoor celebration, and calla lilies for more elegant formal affairs.

Daisies

You might not have thought of utilizing daisies for your wedding, but we love to see the classic blooms used in playful, seasonally-themed celebrations. Incorporating the white and yellow florals in spring and summer weddings for a pop of color is the perfect compromise of classic and cute.

Carnations

Budget-friendly and they come in a wide variety of hues, carnations will last through your summer event without wilting or losing their luster.

Lisianthus

If you’re having a country chic or Southern wedding, we hope you consider lisianthus (also known as prairie gentians) for your event. These grassland florals are native to warm, southern regions of the United States and come in a variety of hues.

Chrysanthemums

Also called mums, chrysanthemums are like little balls of sunshine, which is why they’re perfect for a summer wedding. Not only do they flourish in the warmth, but their memorable shape and vibrant colors exude summertime vibes.

Roses

While you might not have expected roses to land on this list—and granted, they need a little more care, refrigeration, and watering than the rest—these classic wedding flowers are surprisingly resilient in the heat. If you have your heart set on the romantic blooms (and have the room in your budget for the extra care needed), your roses should last you well past your first dance.

Part 3: Fresh Cut Flower Alternatives: The Complement to Heat-Tolerant Flowers

If you’re still undecided on your cut florals, or you’re not in love with any of the heat-tolerant plant or foliage options, there are an endless amount of fresh flower alternatives that will still elevate your decor and add plenty of freshness, but won’t make you stress over wilted flower displays.

Choose a Fresh Flower Alternative

Another way to ensure that your blooms will stand up to the heat—especially if you have your eyes on an out-of-season type—is to ditch the fresh flowers altogether. From faux florals to flower alternatives, there are plenty of options for your summer wedding that don’t involve cut flowers that might wilt in the seasonal heat.

Silk Flowers

Not only do high-end silk flowers look pretty much identical to the real thing, but because they’re faux, they have a much longer lifespan. While direct sunlight makes them fade faster, if you purchase them new or rent them from a company, you won’t have to worry about them looking less-than-perfect, no matter how long your event goes.

Fabric Flowers

Whether you DIY your fabric arrangement or order them online, fabric flowers are temperature-resistant and perfect for any outdoor wedding, from rustic to elegant. Cotton bouquets in their raw form look at home in barn or country chic weddings, but cotton can also be turned into flowers, which result in big, beautiful blooms. Either way, you can keep these flowers long after the big day, so you can relive the celebration for years to come or resell them after the event to make a little bit of cash. Win-win!

Paper Flowers

Not only do paper flowers look realistic and make for stunning backdrops and decor, but they last forever post “I dos.” You can opt to either make the blooms yourself or order them, but either way, you won’t have to worry about watering or wilting with these one-of-a-kind florals.

Dried Flowers

There are so many reasons to love dried flowers for weddings, especially if you’re having a summertime celebration. They’re the perfect way to incorporate seasonal blooms out of season since they don’t involve all the extra work, resources, and care that go into growing out-of-season blooms. Additionally, if you shop for dried flowers from places such as Zero Waste Flowers, you’re actually getting auctioned blooms leftover from local flower markets that would have otherwise been thrown out, which is great for the environment. Not only do you not have to worry about dried flowers wilting (since they’re already preserved), but you can keep them long after the big day is done as a magnificent memento.

Herbs/Greenery

Instead of out-of-season or heat-tolerant flowers, consider in-season greenery such as evergreens, eucalyptus, and palms, or opt for herbs for bouquets, centerpieces, and other decor.

Succulents

Not only are succulents gorgeous and on-trend, but they come in a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes. Succulents are an amazing wedding flower alternative and can be used for virtually anything from bouquets to centerpieces to favors. We adore this option for desert or boho celebrations, but we’ve found that these adaptable floral alternatives can work for virtually any themed event.

Air Plants

Air plants, such as succulents, need much less water and refrigeration than cut flowers, but they look just as stunning. You won’t have to worry about them wilting anytime soon, and they can be utilized as easily as florals. Plus, they’re much cheaper!

Potted Flowers

If you have your heart set on live flowers, but you don’t want to worry about wilting (or don’t want to stress about ensuring that your plants have enough shade and water), consider utilizing potted plants in your celebration. Not only do they make phenomenal additions to ceremony and reception decor, but because the blooms aren’t cut, they can withstand much more heat and sun. Additionally, you can utilize the potted plants as favors to your guests (one of our favorite summertime gifts for loved ones) or you can take them home to plant in your garden, symbolizing the life you’re tending together and the love that will continue to grow.

Part 4: How to Utilize Heat-Tolerant Flowers in Your Wedding Celebration

Now that you know what type of sustainable flowers or flower alternatives you want to utilize in your wedding, the next step is figuring out where and how to incorporate it all. Anywhere you’d normally think to use flowers, you can use sustainable flowers or sustainable flower alternatives.

Centerpieces

Whether your centerpieces are made from faux flowers, succulents, air plants, or heat-tolerant blooms, as long as they decorate your space, adhere to your theme and color palette, and feel true to your event, you can be sure that they’ll wow your guests. Don’t feel like you have to have sky-high flowers for a memorable centerpiece, especially if your event is outside. Lean into the built-in decor of the venue to save on costs and reduce the number of florals you have to purchase.

Bouquets

Bouquets are one of the most traditional ways to show off your florals, and luckily, they’re the easiest to keep looking spry. Keep the flowers in water until right before walking down the aisle (just make sure to dry off the stems to avoid water droplets on dresses) to ensure that they look perky for their big moment.

Boutonnieres

Just as you would with your bouquets, wait until right before walking down the aisle to add your boutonnieres to ensure that they avoid wilting in the summer heat.

Ceremony Decor

Instead of cut blooms lining your aisle or altar, opt for potted plants or other decor to not only cut down on cost but avoid having wilted blooms. Ceremony spaces are one of the hardest to keep blooms looking fresh (since oftentimes they’re in the sun and not in water), so try to find other alternatives. If it’s not possible, be sure to chat with your florist so that you pick blooms that are up to challenge.

Reception Decor

If your reception is taking place inside (and your blooms have access to air conditioning, shade, and water), you have a little more flexibility when selecting your flowers. That said, considering elements such as travel, the amount of time spent outdoors/loading, and how long your event is will all come into play when selecting your reception decor. Even if your celebration is taking place inside, we suggest utilizing heat-tolerant flowers for summer weddings for the freshest wedding day decor.

Zola: The End-All Be-All Source for Heat-Tolerant Flowers Fit for a Summer Wedding

Summer weddings are one of our absolute favorite ways to celebrate, and while sunshine and sunsets provide a gorgeous backdrop and festive vibes, you’ll have to take extra care to ensure that your florals are up to the challenge of looking dapper all day. Luckily, Zola can take care of everything, from shipping out your heat-tolerant flowers to helping you find the perfect team of vendors to coordinate your summer celebration. Whether your day is full of tropical blooms, classic daisies, or dried flowers, as long as you have your loved ones by your side, we guarantee it’ll be a day filled with warm wishes and sunny sentiments.

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