Choosing your flowers is a big part of the planning and decor process for your wedding, but it can feel more than a little overwhelming to think about all the different options you have. While a florist can help you make some of those decisions and ensure you get what you want for your wedding florals, it’s best to have an idea of the types of arrangements you envision for your wedding. This gives you and your florist a starting point to discuss your options and what will work best for your unique wedding. So, before you head to your initial consultation, take a look at our wedding flower checklist to make sure you’ve considered all your options.
Complete Flower Checklist for a Wedding
Before you even think about floral decor, you’ll want to think about those flowers to be carried or worn by specific people in attendance or those participating in the ceremony, such as ushers or your wedding party. These flower arrangements could include:
- The main bouquet
- Wedding party bouquets
- Floral hair accessories
- Flower girl tossing petals
- Flower girl basket decorations
- The main boutonniere
- Wedding party boutonnieres
- Ring bearer’s boutonniere
- Ring bearer’s floral nest
- Corsages for the couple’s mother(s)
- Corsages for the couple’s grandmother(s)
- Boutonnieres for the couple’s father(s)
- Boutonnieres for the couple’s grandfather(s)
- Boutonnieres or corsages for step-parent(s)
- Officiant’s boutonniere or corsage
- Ushers’ boutonnieres or corsages
In most cases, the central bouquet and boutonniere will match or be coordinated in some way, standing out from others in the wedding party. Roses, tulips, and calla lilies are popular choices for these items. Some couples may choose to use more expensive blossoms to create the bride’s bouquet, which is often larger than others in the wedding party. A recent trend has also been to designate the best or bride’s man and maid or man of honor from the rest of the party by differentiating their floral arrangements as well. As for special guests or guests of honor, many weddings still follow the formal tradition of providing boutonnieres and corsages to the parents and grandparents of the couple. However, as families become more unique and expanded, many have started to abandon or alter this tradition to better suit their family.
Photo Credit // Kiel Rucker Photography
Once you have determined which guests will need personal flowers, it’s time to consider if—and how—you want florals to decorate your wedding ceremony. Depending on your venue, there may be certain rules as to what kind of decor you are permitted to bring in for your day. Typically, though, all types of flowers are accepted and add a special touch to make the space feel more like your own. Some popular arrangements or displays to consider include:
- Welcome table arrangements
- Entryway display
- Aisle runner (with or without petals)
- Aisle arrangements or markers
- Pew or chair decorations
- Reserved seat arrangements or bouquets
- Altar, chuppah, or other central displays
- Floral decor for arches or arbors
- Tossing petals for guests
Much of what you decide to incorporate into your ceremony will depend on the type of venue you have selected, as well as the type of service to be performed. While this list is meant to guide you, there may be unique decor traditions for a variety of ceremonies that you would like to include, so this is by no means a comprehensive list. The type of blooms you choose for the ceremony decor is entirely up to you, but popular choices include roses, gardenias, and hydrangeas.
Last, but certainly not least, you’ll need to think about how you want to include flowers in your reception. Many couples immediately begin to think about centerpieces for the wedding reception, but there are many more options to consider for this part of your wedding. The right floral arrangements can transform your reception venue. Here are some of the most popular reception flowers:
- Entryway arrangements
- Guest book display
- Place card table arrangement
- Cocktail table arrangements
- Guest table centerpieces
- Head or sweetheart table centerpiece
- Sweetheart chair decor
- Floral table runners
- Hanging arrangements
- Bar decorations
- Passed tray decor (check with your caterer)
- Place setting florals
- Buffet/food station displays
- Floral cake decorations
- Cake or dessert table arrangement
- Tossing bouquet
- Lounge area arrangements
- Restroom or powder room displays
- Newlywed car decoration
The possibilities for floral arrangements at your wedding reception are genuinely endless. Traditionally, many couples choose to match their reception flowers to those at their ceremony, but you may want to incorporate other blooms. A recent trend has been to opt for low centerpieces, so that guests’ view of one another is not hindered.
Photo Credit // Brit Jaye Photography
Preparing to Meet Your Florist
Now that you have a good idea of the types of floral arrangements you want to include in your wedding, you can start to compile a list of all the other information your florist will want to know about your wedding at the consultation. Despite what you may think, your florist will actually do a lot more than provide fresh flowers. Many florists rent vases, candles, and aisle carpets to help round out the look of your arrangements, plus coordinate with other vendors like your wedding planner, baker, and caterer to ensure a cohesive look. Here are some of the other questions, beyond the types of flowers and quantities, you should come prepared to answer when meeting with your florist or floral designer for the first time:
- What is your budget?
- Where is your venue?
- What is your vision for the ceremony and reception?
- What is your favorite flower, and why?
- Do you or anyone in your wedding party have allergies?
Answering these questions accurately and honestly will help your florist get to know you as a couple, allowing them to provide a more comprehensive service. However, it is important to remember that you are choosing your florist as much as they are choosing to work with you. So, don’t forget to ask them some questions as well. These might include:
- What is your planning and design process?
- How many weddings do you design per day, weekend, and year?
- How does your contract and payment system work?
- Does your fee include setup and tear-down services?
- How did you get started, and why have you continued in this line of work?
It is essential that you, as a couple, feel comfortable around your florist, so you can openly discuss all of your ideas and concerns as they arise. Flowers are a high cost for most weddings, and having a positive working relationship with your florist will ensure that your big day is as beautiful as you always imagined.