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Reception Necessities - Flowers

- Meanings of Flowers
- Styles of Bouquets
- What Flowers Do I Need?

- Back to the Planning Guide

Meanings of Flowers

It was common in history for brides to only use flowers that had positive connotations. If you want to follow tradition- here's the list:

Anemone- Expectation
Baby's Breath- Innocence
Bluebell- Everlasting love
Calla Lily- Magnificent beauty
Carnation- Boldness, love, talent
Chrysanthemum- Wealth, abundance, truth
Daffodil- Regard
Daisy- Loyal love
Delphinium- Swiftness, lightness
Forget-Me-Not- Faithful love
Freesia- Innocence
Gardenia- Purity, joy
Heather- Admiration
Hydrangea- Thank-you
Iris- Faith, wisdom
Lilac- Love's first emotions
Lily- Majesty, truth, honor
Lily of the Valley- Happiness
Magnolia- Love of nature
Orchid- Love, beauty
Pansy- Merriment
Peony- Happy marriage
Primrose- I can't live without you
Ranunculus- Radiant
Rose- Love, joy, beauty
Stephanotis- Marital happiness
Stock- Lasting beauty
Sunflower- Adoration
Sweet Pea- Blissful pleasure
Tulip- Love, passion
Violet- Faithfulness
Zinnia- Lasting affection

If you are a little on the superstitious side, you may want to avoid these flowers:
Christmas rose: Scandal
Fig: Idleness
Foxglove: Insincerity
Larkspur: Infidelity
Lavender: Distrust
Marigold: Grief
Mulberry: I shall not survive you
Raspberry: Remorse
Red carnation: Alas for my poor heart
Red poppy: Consolation
Rhododendron: Danger
Striped carnation: Refusal
Striped pinks: Refusal
White poppy: Sleep
Yellow carnation: Disdain
Yellow chrysanthemum: Slighted Love
Yellow lily: Falsehood
Yellow rose: Jealousy

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Styles of Bouquets

With so many different types of bouquets- it hard to decide which would be best. Just make sure you take into account your overall theme for your wedding.

Ballerina: A round bouquet composed of masses of tulle or net and few flowers. This type of bouquet was popular in the early 1940s when flowers were scarce due to World War II.

Basket: Flowers arranged and carried in a shallow basket and often used in a garden or garden-like wedding setting.

Beidermeier: A nosegay made up of concentric circles of different flowers for a somewhat striped effect.

Cascade: A waterfall-like "spill" of blooms and greenery that's anchored in a hand-held base. Looks like a miniature floral train. This bouquet can be designed very dense with flowers and foliage or can be more loosely arranged for an "airy" or "wispy" look.

Classic Hand-Tied Bouquet: Generally round in shape, hand tied styles are also referred to as clutch bouquets. A dense bunch of blooms either anchored in a bouquet holder, wired, or hand-tied.

Composite: A handmade creation in which different petals or buds are wired together on a single stem, creating the illusion of one giant flower.

Crescent: A dramatic bouquet of arching flowers and foliage that extends from the center of the bouquet and can be designed to project a traditional or contemporary look.

Fan: A small bouquet or cluster of flowers attached to an elaborate fan. This style of bouquet is reminiscent of the Victorian Era, and is popular for vintage style, Southern style, and Asian-inspired weddings.

Freeform/Contemporary: As the name implies, this style bouquet often has flowers or greenery coming out at various angles with no specific, recognizable shape; most often designed with tropical flowers and foliage that have unique shapes.

Heart: A romantic, alternative shape bouquet, featuring two, full, arched shapes at the top while tapering down to a point at the bottom of the bouquet.

Nosegay: A small, round cluster of flowers, all cut to a uniform length. Usually made with one dominant flower or color, nosegays are wrapped tightly with ribbon or lace for a delicate effect.

Oval: This bouquet is a hybrid of both a cascade and a round. It is elongated in shape, but features rounded shapes on both the top and bottom. Generally the bottom is narrower than the top, but the overall shape resembles an oval.

Pomander: A bloom-covered ball suspended from a ribbon, perfect for child attendants. (Flower girls may carry a basket of petals instead.)

Presentation bouquet:
Think of the roses carried by Miss America along her arm. This can be as simple or as elaborate as you wish but should not be longer than what can fit comfortably, with some spillover, along the length of your lower arm.

Single Stem:
Single stem designs generally feature a unique design element, such as an intricately wrapped stem (for a long-stemmed flower), elaborate bow, streamers, or a decorative lace bloom collar to give the design more interest and appeal.

Wreath or Hoop: This "bouquet" is a large ring decorated or intertwined with foliage and flowers- generally thought of as a symbol of eternity with no beginning or end.

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What Flowers Do I Need?

Weddings are by far the most flower-oriented events in the world. Here are all the types of flowers that people like to have at a wedding. Luckily, only about half of these are actually "required".

Bridal bouquet - This is exactly what it sounds like, the bouquet that the bride has. It is always the biggest and best bouquet out of all the rest.

Maid of honor's and bridesmaids' bouquets - These are bouquets for the women in the wedding party. They can either be miniatures of the bridal bouquets, or a completely different style and/or color.

Boutonnieres for the groom, best man, dads, and grandfathers - Boutonnieres are very important so that your guests can distinguish who is part of the bridal party/ immediate family. Generally, the groom's is bigger and/or more elaborate.

Corsages for moms and grandmothers - Corsages are bigger boutonnieres that are worn on the wrist. They are also good for distinguishing immediate family.

Flowers to decorate the ceremony venue - (Optional) Often ceremony sites will not need very many decorations, but if you choose to do so, you may be able to reuse them at the reception hall as well, which will help your budget.

Flower girl's basket of petals - Everyone knows that the flower girl needs petals to sprinkle on the ground; just make sure the basket is proportionate to your flower girl.

Reception table centerpieces - (Optional) Most centerpieces are made with flowers. However, it is becoming increasingly popular to use other items instead to save money.

Other reception flowers (place settings, doorways, etc.) - (Optional) Many brides choose to decorate their reception hall with either flowers or ribbon/tulle. If you choose a good reception hall, they may have it decorated already.

Flower-covered arch or huppah - (Optional) Arches an huppahs can be left plain, or decorated with flowers for a more festive look.

Floral wreaths for bride's and/or bridesmaids' hair - (Optional) Some brides choose to have their bridesmaids wear floral wreaths instead of having bouquets. You could also choose to have both if you wanted a very floral wedding.

Rose petals for tossing - (Optional) There are so many different things to throw now that petals are not very common. If you do choose to use them, 150 guests require 10 bags.

Tossing bouquet - (Optional) This bouquet is optional for the one reason that is that some brides choose to throw their original bouquet. If you want to keep yours, you'll need to get a tossing bouquet.

Extras (such as row decorations) - (Optional) As mentioned above, many ceremony and reception sites will already have decorations, or a decorative feeling (a garden location), so extra decorations are usually not necessary.

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