Before meeting with potential wedding florists for consultations, it’s worthwhile to spend 10 minutes thinking about how many and what type of florals you will need for your wedding. You probably have no idea, because you’ve never done this before! Here are some tips to get you started.
These are all the florals that are worn or carried by the people in your wedding. Obviously this changes a little bit if there are two brides or two grooms, but this will give you a general idea.
Bride: bouquet & tossing bouquet (a smaller version of the bride’s primary bouquet).
Maid of Honor and Bridesmaids: maybe you want the MOH bouquet to be a little different than the bridesmaids’ bouquets. Sometimes it’s a little larger, and sometimes it has different flowers in it. Usually the bridesmaids’ bouquets have similar flowers to the bride’s bouquet, but maybe they are a different color.
Flower girls: will they wear flower crowns? Carry floral wands or posies? Toss loose petals out of baskets?
Corsages: generally for the mothers and grandmothers, but can also be for sisters or other special family members you want to honor. Keep in mind that corsages can either be worn on the wrist or pinned onto the dress. Check with each person who will be wearing a corsage to see what their preference is. Some dresses are very delicate and will not be appropriate for a pinned corsage.
Boutonnières: groom, best man, groomsmen, ring bearer(s), fathers, grandfathers, other special family members, and potentially your officiant.
Each dinner table will need some sort of centerpiece arrangement. A standard round table seats 8-10 people. Eight is comfortable; ten is a little snug. Divide your total guest list by 8 or 10 to get an estimate of how many tables you will have. This number will change once you get your RSVPs in and finalize the guest list, but for an initial consultation, an estimate will do.
Don’t forget about the sweetheart table or head table. The head table is usually a set of long, rectangular tables where the couple sits in the middle with their wedding party members out to each side. The sweetheart table is a small table where the couple sits by themselves.
With a head table, you may want to do multiple centerpieces or a long garland. Keep in mind that your bridesmaid will have bouquets. You can put empty vases filled with water on the head table and ask the bridesmaids to put their bouquets in the vases to take the place of centerpieces.
If your sweetheart table is round, a small centerpiece is a nice fit. If you’re at a rectangular sweetheart table, a garland draping across the table and down the sides makes a dramatic impact.
There are a lot of tables in and around your reception space besides the dinner tables. Signage also sometimes benefits from a bit of floral emphasis.
Welcome sign: maybe a small sprig at the top or on one corner.
Entryway or foyer: consider two tall arrangements, or arrangements on pillars, flanking the entrance.
Guest book/gift table.
Escort card table or sign: with a sign, a small sprig like on the welcome sign dresses it up just a bit more. If you’re doing tented escort cards on a round table, a statement centerpiece in the middle is eye-catching upon entry.
Favor table display.
Beverage station/bar/bar menu: if you’re offering cold beverages before a summer ceremony or hot beverages before an autumn ceremony, dress up the station with an arrangement. The bar menu can also benefit from a spring of florals.
Buffet tables: check with your caterer to see if they have standard decor they use. Buffet tables are often pretty crowded with chafing dishes and serving utensils. They generally don’t need a lot of adornment.
Cake & cake table: whether or not you have fresh flowers on your cake, you may want some loose petals for the table or to place around the base of the cake.
Ceremony arch: you will certainly want to dress it up with some combination of a fabric drape and a floral display. Often we use more greenery on the arch because it’s a lot of real estate to cover, and flowers are expensive. If you can find a place to re-purpose the arch display (say, on the sweetheart table), you can get more bang for your buck.
If you don’t have a ceremony arch (or even if you do), you can place two large arrangements on either side of the ceremony space to designate it. This is another good place for arrangements on pillars.
The aisle: consider lining it with loose rose petals, or drape fabric swags between each chair and hang arrangements off the side of the chairs lining the aisle.
Loose petals or lavender to toss. Check with your venue to see if they allow this and whether there’s a clean-up fee.
Thinking about all of these possibilities before your consultation allows you to have a more productive meeting and get a more accurate floral quote from your florist.
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This post was written by Sacramento wedding planner Risa Weaver-Enion. If you're feeling overwhelmed by planning your wedding, we are here for you! Read more about what we do on our Welcome and Packages pages. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions or want to inquire about getting help with wedding planning. And if you'd like to have future blog posts delivered to your inbox, please join our Insider’s Club on the Welcome page.