Catherine MacKenzie Photography | Wedding Flowers Explained

Wedding Flowers Explained

May 18, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

If you're a bride or groom who loves incorporating a personal touch through sentiment, wedding flowers are the perfect place to start. Stemming from the Victorian era, the language of flowers is a complex one, with each flower type evoking its own unique persona. Here, we pick popular fanciful flowers & take a look at the symbolic gesture represented by each one.

Over the years I've photographed many fabulous flowers. Check out a selection of them below. Plus, Jil Peterson, florist extraordinaire from The Stables Flower Co. shares her top 5 tips for choosing your wedding flowers.

Wedding flowers explained

Baby's breath

Wedding flowers explained

Belonging to the gypsophila family, the delicate flowers of baby's breath are an iconic symbol of lasting love, and so a perfect addition to your wedding. In bloom all year round, baby's breath work perfectly paired with another bloom, but these no-nonsense flowers definitely stand out on their own. Appealing in particular to brides and grooms wishing to evoke a vintage vibe, these cloud-like fancies allude to a bygone era, perfectly assembled in jam-jars adorned with delicate lace or spectacularly spilling from hand-tied bouquets.

Calla lilies

Wedding flowers explained

Wedding flowers explained

Signifying magnificent beauty, calla lilies in an all-white bouquet offer a sophisticated and classy touch to your wedding day look. Working particularly well with modern dresses, which demand attention, these understated blooms wow without overwhelming. For an autumn or winter affair go deep with divine purple for an instant pop of colour. 


With an underlying meaning of love, it's easy to see why this exotic beauty makes a wonderful wedding flower. With over 20,000 types of orchids, the most popular include phalaenopsis, which are also referred to as 'moth' orchids due to their fluttering appearance, while dendrobium grow in a vast variety of shapes and colours, and cymbidium are renowned for their boat shape. Recognised worldwide for their distinctive style, orchids will offer your day a bright and airy atmosphere.


Wedding flowers explained

Carnations have really shone in recent years, proving a popular choice with couples who love their simplistic style. Symbolising love and pride, their versatility and wealth of colour options shows they are more than just a filler flower. Allow carnations to shine in your wedding centrepieces, finishing touches and even bouquets. Their longevity means they stand the test of time and they dry out perfectly for a post-wedding keepsake momentum of your special day.


Wedding flowers explained

Evoking memories of childhood days spent lovingly stringing together daisy chains and playing outside, it isn't surprising that daisies symbolise innocence and purity. Perfect for a spring rustic chick look, or a country-styled day, bring the outdoors inside with delightful delicate daisies. 


As part of the daisy family, gerbera are a bold bloom, which can really brighten up your bridal bouquet. Representing cheerfulness, these fabulous flowers are a popular choice with couples who wish to let their sense of fun shine through. When it comes to bouquets, go for one hue, or get creative with colours by opting for a variety to really stand out from the crowd. 


Wedding flowers explained

Symbolising understanding, hydrangeas' wealth of colour options ensure they work effortlessly for both bouquets and arrangements. In bloom during the summer months, hydrangeas prove the power of petals in stand-out creations, easily taking centre-stage. Small but mighty, these flowers are loved by brides who wish to make a dramatic style statement on their big day. Blush pinks and whites effortlessly combine for spring and summer weddings, or go bolder with the flower's iconic bold hue.


To add a touch of romance to your day, nothing depicts love more than precious peonies, perfect for spring and summer weddings. Symbolising healing, this delicate yet dramatic flower boasts stunning style and colour selection. From more subtle pastel pinks to dramatic ruby reds, meet your exact flower requirements with powerful peonies.


Wedding flowers explained

Wedding flowers explained

One of the most popular flowers around the world, roses' widely recognised style ensures they are firm favourite for bouquets, centrepieces, corsages and buttonholes. With a rainbow colour palette of options available, each hue evokes a different meaning. While red signifies passionate love, ivory represents infidelity, pink stands for happiness and yellow envisions friendship; each rose is unique in its gesture.


Wedding flowers explained

Wedding flowers explained

A happy and vibrant flower, sunflowers are usually used as the focal bloom. Representing pure thoughts, adoration and dedicated love, sunflowers' popularity have increased in recent years, often found at autumn weddings with a rustic outdoor or bohemian theme, providing a real style statement.

So now that you know the meaning behind the most popular wedding flowers, Jil Peterson from The Stables Flower Co. shares her top five tips for choosing your fabulous flowers!

Wedding flowers explained

1. If you want luxury, professional flowers for your big day, go to a designer, rather than a high street shop that specialises in funerals etc.

2. Use social media to check out a designer's work and then allow them the freedom to create your look.

3. Consider the guest experience when allocating the appropriate budget to flowers. One jam jar posy on the reception tables of a grand marquee can be a disappointment.

4. Book early to avoid missing a designer whose work you have fallen in love with.

5. Allow your floral designer to guide you in the look and how the flowers play their part in the overall set up.

Check out work from The Stables Flower Co. on Facebook here.



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