Nothing sets the mood of your wedding ceremony and reception quite like flowers. Not only do they add ambience to your venue, they are the perfect accessory for you and your wedding party.
And while wedding flowers may not be as high on your to-do list as finding the perfect dress or booking an amazing venue, putting together a list of who gets flowers at a wedding is an important part of the wedding planning process.
Most couples allocate 10-15% of their overall wedding budget to flowers, but there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to choosing flowers for your wedding party and family. It’s your big day and you should make your floral decisions based on what you want rather than being governed by tradition.
To help you choose your wedding flower must-haves and maybes, we’ve crafted a list of all of your personal bouquet and arrangement options. By using our guide, you’ll be able to put together a list of all of the personal wedding flowers you want and set an appropriate budget.
Who Gets Flowers at a Wedding: Personal Floral Options
Personal wedding flowers can be broken down into four main categories: bouquets, hair flowers, corsages and boutonnieres. From the bridal bouquet to the flower girl basket, our guide will make wedding planning — at least when it comes to personal flowers — a breeze.
Now, let’s dive into the wedding flower arrangements available to you.
Wedding Party Flowers
Your wedding day should be a reflection not only of your personality as a bride, but of your identity as a couple. And the flowers you pick are a big part of that. The key is to ignore tradition and choose what works best for you and your groom.
The bridal bouquet
Without a doubt, the bride’s bouquet is the most important part of your floral budget. Most brides spend between $100 and $350 on the arrangement they will carry, but it is money well spent if you choose a bouquet that makes you happy on your big day. Whether you opt for an elegant cascade bouquet, a timeless round bouquet or a hand-tied arrangement, be sure to choose in-season flowers to get the biggest bang for your buck.
Some of the best flowers for a bride’s bouquet are calla lilies, carnations, gardenias, gladiolus, lily of the valley, orchids and roses. Not only are these lovely blooms available year-round but they work in almost any style of bouquet and are a great accessory for any bride.
Your bridesmaids should also carry bouquets. They can be smaller versions of your bridal bouquet, a paler version of what you’re carrying or a different style all together.
Bridesmaid arrangements are typically between $65 and $125 but can be cheaper if you opt to provide your bridesmaids with a single long-stemmed flower to carry down the aisle. Popular choices are dahlias, hydrangeas, magnolias, peonies or roses.
Flower girl arrangements
The flowers you choose for your flower girl to carry should match her size and age. A basket of rose petals is a nice idea for a younger flower girl while an older child can carry a single long-stemmed flower, a nosegay, a pomander bouquet or even a hoop bouquet.
Flowers for hair
While this isn’t a style for every bride, choosing to wear flowers in your hair is particularly fitting for boho and beach weddings.
The flowers you choose for your hair should be subtle if you’re planning to carry a bridal bouquet but you can go bold if you forgo the traditional bouquet for a smaller nosegay style or a single stem flower. Your bridesmaids and flower girl can also wear flowers in their hair if you want to create a uniform look.
Rather than pinning flowers in your hair, why not opt for a floral crown? Best for the boho bride, a floral crown is also a popular choice for the flower girl, particularly for outdoor nuptials.
The best flowers for wedding hair include baby’s breath, freesias, daisies, orchids, roses and wax flowers.
The boutonniere is a floral decoration worn by men to accessorize their suit or tuxedo for a formal event. While it’s certainly not mandatory, boutonnieres can be a nice touch on the groom’s lapel, especially if you’re hosting a formal wedding. We recommend choosing a flower for the lapel of your groom’s suit that matches your bouquet.
The best man and the groomsmen can also sport a boutonniere. You can choose a uniform look for all of the men in your wedding party or have the best man’s boutonniere be slightly different so he stands out. The best flowers for a boutonniere are roses, carnations, calla lilies and tulips.
Other people to consider
If you’ve opted to provide flowers for all of the other members of your wedding party, then you may want to consider providing a boutonniere to each of your ushers and the ring bearer. A corsage or boutonniere for the officiant is also a nice touch.
Your family is a huge part of your special day and many brides opt to recognize that with corsages and boutonnieres. Providing flowers for parents and grandparents is always a nice gesture. Not only does it make your loved ones feel included on your big day, it looks great in wedding photos.
If you do opt for corsages and boutonnieres, parents and step parents as well as the grandmothers and grandfathers for both you and your groom should be remembered.
A corsage can be worn on the wrist or secured to a dress with a pin. If you are planning to purchase a corsage for your close female relatives, it’s always a good idea to ask them which style they prefer. If the groom’s mother is wearing a silk dress, for instance, she may prefer a wrist corsage to avoid ruining the fabric. You can also choose one corsage style for the mothers and stepmothers and a different style for the grandmothers, if you wish.
Roses, carnations, orchids, chrysanthemums and lilies are top corsage choices. Roses and carnations in particular are a good corsage base because they come in a wide range of hues and are hardy enough to last the entire day.
While not mandatory, many brides like to include their guests in the wedding day festivities by offering flower petals to throw after the ceremony or by having a small custom bouquet made for the single-lady bouquet toss.
Flower petals for throwing
Providing your guests with tossing petals for your grand exit down the aisle as newlyweds is a nice touch. Not only are flowers an eco-friendly confetti alternative, they’ll be sure to add a touch of romance to your wedding exit photos.
Special bouquet for bouquet toss
Traditionally held during the later half of the reception, the bouquet toss is a fun activity many guests look forward to. While some brides simply use their wedding ceremony bouquet during the toss, it’s not always the best option, especially if you have a large arrangement. Choosing a smaller version of your bouquet not only makes it easier for you to throw backward over your head, but it makes it easier for the single ladies attending your reception to catch.
Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life and that day will be enhanced by the wedding flower arrangements you choose. And, now that you know who gets flowers at a wedding, you’ll be better equipped to discuss with your florist everything from what style of boutonniere you want to bridal bouquets.
Meta: If you’re at a loss on who should receive flowers at your wedding, worry not. Our guide breaks down everything from the bride’s bouquets options to who should receive a boutonniere or a corsage.