Wedding days are filled with so many special touches that reflect the relationship of the couple. From thoughtful favors to handwritten vows, the personality of you and your partner shines through in each element—especially when it comes to florals. Unique wedding flowers are a fabulous way to include a glimpse into your style as a couple. From lavish floral installations to understated bouquets, there are creative ways to add a touch of the unexpected.
The word unique doesn’t necessarily equal expensive. If you’re thinking of lavish floral walls and hanging installations, they can be gorgeous, but pricey. However, incorporating artsy items into your wedding bouquets, and blending unique color combinations can be cost-effective ways to be different. Let our unique wedding flower ideas inspire you to break from the norm on your big day.
Part 1: 11 Unique Wedding Flower Ideas for Your Big Day
Part 2: Frequently Asked Questions About Unique Bridal Flowers
Part 3: Other Instances to Utilize Unique Wedding Flower Ideas
Part 4: Unique Wedding Flower Ideas for Bouquets and Bouts
It’s normal to question whether or not to include creative wedding flowers on your special day. However, unique florals can make a statement while adding an element of surprise. Plus, wedding professionals love the challenge of providing innovative florals.
“It’s so awesome when couples think out of the box—especially with creative color combinations,” offers Regina Skinner, owner and head designer at Blossoms and Botanicals in San Mateo, California. “As an artist, we shine when our imagination is engaged. Decorating unique objects and obscure backgrounds will show off your personality!”
Bron Hansboro, owner of The Flower Guy Bron in Richmond, Virginia, echoes this sentiment. “I highly encourage couples to go above and beyond with their flowers for their big day,” he states. “Florals are a major player in the overall wedding design, and they have the ability to take any event from ordinary to extraordinary.” So, whether you choose unique flowers, unusual arrangements, or both, they can genuinely pack a visual punch on your special day.
Weddings are a time to go beyond the norm. Folks spend time looking their best—think hair, makeup, and attire—and pay attention to details from the first impression to final exit. Incorporate unique wedding flower decorations in a variety of ways throughout your big day. However, it’s essential to create a cohesive event peppered with flowers, instead of mixing sparse areas with abundant florals.
“The biggest thing that I would love for couples to know is that it does you no good to pour all of your money into one area of your celebration and forget about the rest,” advises CeCe Todd, owner of CeCe Designs in Birmingham, Alabama. “If you walk into a reception and there is nothing there to greet you, and the guest book is just sitting there, it makes it seem like you haven’t decorated. Instead, you should consider being low-key in some areas, sprinkling flowers throughout.” It’s vital to incorporate unique wedding flowers into your day, and here are a few of our favorite applications.
For high-impact, unique wedding flower decorations, think above the rest and utilize overhead spaces. “One of our favorite ways we have seen couples use flowers is DIY floral chandeliers,” says Joan Wyndrum, owner of Blooms by the Box in Watchung, New Jersey. “These stunning and easy-to-do-it-yourself projects can be suspended from a tent or indoors to provide a large impact.”
“Floral crowns have been popular for years, but we are seeing a trend to utilizing flowers as a different way to accessorize,” states Wyndrum. “From cascading blooms down the back of the veil to adorning hair clips to dress up an updo, we just love these new ways to showcase blooms.” Other options include wearing living jewelry pieces, such as necklaces and rings made from fresh blooms.
Todd also reiterates the need to go beyond the floral crown while including other pieces. “I started to tire of being asked for flower crowns, so I wanted to put a new spin on it and began creating floral headdresses, which I absolutely loved and hope I’ll do more of,” she says.
When looking for unique wedding bouquet ideas, consider using other live elements, such as food. “I enjoy using fruit as staples in our arrangements, such as kiwi and dark purple grapes,” suggests Todd. “We actually just did a number of arrangements with figs, which are just stunning when cut open.”
“A popular flower display trend is the idea of a ‘floating’ installation, meaning that a fishing line or other clear wire is used to elevate the flowers above a reception table, dance floor, or even in lieu of a ceremony arch,” suggests Hansboro. “This illusion is incredibly photo-worthy and mesmerizing, and it adds that ‘wow’ factor to your wedding décor.”
“Floral signage installations are also getting bigger and better with time,” says Hansboro. As a result, think about commissioning a simple monogram or have blooms incorporating your new last name. Including floral signs is a unique way to showcase unique wedding flower ideas on your big day.
Several edible flowers, such as pansies and orchids, add color and texture to a meal. Of course, your guests won’t expect their meal to include unique flowers! Wedding cakes look beautiful adorned with live blooms, which add organic color. Another idea is to have your bartender freeze small petals into ice cubes to float in your signature drink. There are so many opportunities to include flowers on the menu.
When it comes to wedding day flowers, don’t forget the flower girl and ring bearer, if you choose to have them. Unique flower girl ideas include having her tote a basket made of natural blooms with petals inside. Likewise, your ring bearer can carry a pillow made of live flowers instead of a fabric one. At the very least, they should have a tiny boutonniere and a lovely floral hairpiece to wear.
“We had to do a 16 by 22-foot wall of greenery, which may sound easy but remember, you have to keep it alive. It’s half a living wall and half floral installation with plants, greenery, and smilax,” reminisces Todd of an exceptionally detailed flower wall. “We had to build a structure to hold it all. It was for an NFL player’s wedding, and we had to incorporate their logo into it as well.” Blooming walls provide unique flowers for wedding reception backdrops and photo booth opportunities.
Although you may not want artificial coloring in your food, vivid tones are perfect for the wedding day. “Couples are really branching out and getting creative with their wedding florals by opting for artificially colored flowers,” says Hansboro. “These are particularly great for enhancing an arrangement, display, or bouquet. This is the perfect alternative for those that want to experiment with their color palette.”
Of course, substantial floral installations aren’t in everyone’s budget, but if they are, by all means, go for it! “I recently worked on one of my largest installations yet for a gorgeous whimsical wedding. The couple wanted an extravagant design, and I was more than happy to deliver,” says Hansboro. The project required 55,000 stems of garden roses, orchids, peonies, hydrangeas, delphinium, and snapdragon.
From a spiral on the gazebo to the flowered railing down the reception staircase, high-impact areas decked out their big day. “Overall, the venue was filled with four sites with major installations in each. It was beyond rewarding to surprise my clients with detail after luxurious detail,” offers Hansboro.
“If it’s not stapled down in my workroom, I just may use it,” states Todd. “With a recent headdress, I incorporated silk butterflies, which went over very well. At Christmas time, I love to pull in ornaments for winter weddings.” Tastefully using season-appropriate floral decor is a fabulous springboard for unique wedding bouquet ideas.
Before you consider incorporating unique wedding flower arrangements, it’s wise to be familiar with the average budget for flowers. In the United States, the average floral budget is $3,500, although that amount will fluctuate depending on the location. Another factor to consider is the season you’re getting married in, as lush florals in spring are much more affordable than during a mid-winter wedding. Also, account for the number of guests and attendants, which will affect the reception centerpieces and bouquets you will need.
Rather than going with a national average, it’s better to base your floral budget on your total budget. After all, if you can spend $5,000 on your entire wedding, you shouldn’t allot $3,500 on your flowers alone. So, if you’ve allocated $20,000 towards your wedding day, $1,800 to $2,000 should go towards florals. A good rule of thumb is to spend about eight to 10 percent of your budget on florals. However, feel free to adjust that percentage depending on how high-priority flowers are on your big day.
One way to maximize your budget is to look for in-season, affordable flowers. For example, if you love peonies and are planning a January wedding, your budget won’t stretch as far. However, peonies are in bloom in the springtime so that you can get more flowers for your money. Still, some flowers are more budget-friendly than others, no matter the time of year.
When you need affordable wedding flowers, consider incorporating carnations, alstroemeria, baby’s breath, chrysanthemums, daisies, and various types of roses. These blooms can always compose most of your unique wedding flower bouquets. As a result, you can use costlier blooms sparingly and as focal points on your wedding day.
As expected, popular doesn’t always mean budget-friendly, but several flowers are favorites for good reasons. Some are loved because they offer vibrant color, and others due to the fluffy texture they add to a flower bouquet. Highly sought-after blooms are best to utilize in-season or as focal points with less expensive filler flowers. A few tried-and-true favorites are ranunculus, anemones, dahlias, hydrangea, lily of the valley, garden roses, and lilacs. So, what is the most popular flower used in weddings? Hands down, the winner is the peony.
Just because you crave unusual wedding flowers doesn’t mean that you have to go overboard and burst your budget. All you have to do is swap out what’s expected for the unexpected. Instead of a regular bridal bouquet, think about having a nontraditional wedding bouquet in a creative shape. Swap wedding centerpieces for a single, high-impact overhead installation at your wedding reception. Talk to your floral designer about how to get creative.
Beyond your ceremony and reception, other celebrations surround the event date. All of these are opportunities to include unique wedding flower decorations. Take the chance to use another favorite color scheme or coordinate these events with your wedding palette.
“We’ve witnessed quite a jump in terms of couples wanting to include florals in other wedding events or areas that you may not typically think of,” advises Hansboro. “Wedding showers and proposals are becoming more elaborate with huge installations or floral backdrops.”
“A bridal shower is a perfect way for your guests to showcase their creativity with a DIY bouquet favor station,” offers Wyndrum. “You can easily set up a cute station with buckets of different varieties of flowers and greenery along with burlap and string for them to wrap it up to take and enjoy at home.” DIY wedding flowers can not only be treated as a keepsake but can also act as a creative activity to set your wedding shower apart from others.
“I’d love to see flowers at all of the ancillary events from the bridal tea and wedding luncheon to the rehearsal,” states Todd. Of course, if it’s wedding-related, then, by all means, feel free to include unique wedding flowers.
“Truly any wedding-related event could use a few flowers, but you can keep it much simpler,” suggests Wyndrum. “For instance, a casual BBQ rehearsal dinner could use a few sunflowers and baby’s breath centerpieces to enhance the tables.”
Of course, florals have their place on the big day. From bouquets to wedding centerpieces, there are traditional ways to include blooms. However, add them to areas that would otherwise be neglected. “For example, flower arrangements can add that extra touch to a bridal glam suite to make the wedding party feel special as they get ready for the big day,” says Hansboro.
Another location that gets little attention is where guests spend time before the reception. “I find that the cocktail hour for the reception itself often gets forgotten,” says Todd. “If you lead guests into a cocktail hour with nothing but candles, and then the reception itself is heavily decorated, it feels very uneven.”
Surprise your parents, significant other, and out-of-town guests with an flower arrangement the morning of your wedding. “The concept of flower gifting on the day of the wedding is a really lovely gesture—whether you’re sending a bouquet to the parents, your partner, or other VIP guests,” offers Hansboro.
Chances are that you’ll either be wearing a boutonniere or carrying a bouquet on your big day. Although these are ordinary, you can make them extraordinary. From creative bout inspiration to unique bridal bouquet ideas, here are a few suggestions tailored to traditional wedding day flowers.
“I love a good, simple boutonniere,” says Todd. “I don’t feel like grooms should be wearing corsages just dubbed as boutonnieres. One of the favorites I ever made was created entirely out of dried products—it was very understated and clean.” Dried flowers work well in boho weddings, but they can also work in sleeker settings.
“I had the honor of designing a Juneteenth-themed wedding with dried elements, including preserved Italian florals, orchids, garden roses, and foraged greenery,” states Hansboro. “I used chicken wire to craft a light, whimsical structure for the florals in order to give the arrangement an elegant, yet minimalist feel.”
For unique bouquet ideas, florists can always pair fresh blooms with dried elements with stunning results. “Combining fresh flowers with dried greenery or dried blooms adds such a luxurious texture and an ethereal edge to the composition,” suggests Hansboro. “This trend is reminiscent of a garden straight out of a Victorian-era novel.”
Whether you want to memorialize a loved one or have a precious heirloom, consider incorporating mementos into your wedding florals. “Anything sentimental and personal to the couple is always touching,” offers Wyndrum. “From bouquets tied with handkerchiefs to a charm featuring a photo of a family member that has passed away, these touches really allow for a way to feel like those who can’t be with us are there in spirit.”
Adding mementos is usually a tradition reserved for the wedding bouquet, but there’s no reason boutonnieres can’t incorporate a similar sentiment. Attach a small photo to the bout, or have your floral designer wrap the base with a piece of fabric from the memorialized person’s clothing. When in doubt, secure something sentimental to the inside of the jacket, which is a bit more private.
Incorporating a little-used color palette can gain attention in the most fabulous way. “I ended up making an all-green bouquet that was mostly textural with very few flowers,” reminisces Todd. “It did have some green roses in it, but also had green bunny tails and fritillaria. It was very unique and featured one of my very favorites, fiddle fern. It had a very woodland creature vibe to it, and I loved it.”
Another option is to have your floral designer create a unique shape for your wedding bouquet. “I made a bouquet for a bride who wanted it big—a statement,” says Skinner, of a recent elaborate bouquet for a stunning Yosemite wedding. “It was a challenge to make in a wide shape, with a cascade of white orchids and a touch of wildflowers and mauve. I loved making this so much.” Quite often, giving your florist an exciting project is a joy for them as they express their creativity.
Although boutonnieres are limited in size, there are other options when wearing suiting. “Now, if I have a couple that really wants to go over the top, then I love a good floral pocket square,” says Todd. “I think that it’s such a statement piece for someone looking for something extra.” A statement pocket square is a fabulous way to incorporate the color palette into your wedding day look.
Traditional bridal bouquets can grab attention and be more economical at the same time. However, don’t be afraid to break from the norm altogether. “Bouquets for your wedding party are always a favorite, but one alternative that we love just as much is utilizing embroidery hoops and attaching florals to the bottom,” advises Wyndrum. “You can use these for flower girls or really any of the ladies in your wedding party.”
Flowers are such a beautiful element to any event as they provide color, texture, and scent. If you’re craving more tips about your wedding day florals, keep Zola top of mind as you go through the planning process. From mistakes to avoid—don’t forget the big picture—to having elegant florals, Zola has all of the information you need. So, whether you’re concerned about budget or color palette, Zola has you covered. The important thing is that you have a happy, bloom-filled wedding day, and Zola is here to help.