One of the blessings of being a wedding photographer is that I get to experience so many different and unique kinds of wedding days. I get to see first hand what works and what doesn't work. Now I'll never be able to replace a good wedding planner, but I really hope that the future brides & grooms finding my blog can at least get a few helpful pieces of information from everything I've seen at weddings.
There is one topic I have yet to focus on - flower arrangements. Most of my clients have done such a wonderful job with their flowers that it's never stood out to me just how huge of a role the flower arrangements can play in tying your wedding day together. Each of these image slideshows feature a different wedding, and as you can see the flowers tie everything together visually, from the beginning of the ceremony to the end of the reception. This plays a huge role in creating a personal and memorable experience for both you and your guests!
Katie & Matt's wedding - H-E-B Blooms
Besides the traditional bride's bouquet and the boutineers, where else are flowers used at weddings? Everywhere. Most churches will let you bring in your own flowers (and I highly recommend you do, as it's often the only visual element you have control over in the church). Decorate the ends of the pews on the main aisle, set arrangements up near the alter, no matter where or how you use flowers at your ceremony it will be a huge help in visually tying your ceremony into the rest of your wedding day. When it comes to wedding photography (and videography) this makes for a smoother flow, and all together better look in your wedding album. Some brides include florals in their hair, you can also use them as decor on cakes, on all the tables in reception areas (for example a guest book table, a memorial table for family members who've passed on, as centerpieces on the dining tables, etc.).
Courtney & Shane's wedding - Forget me not Floral design
First of all, if you're trying to decide between real flowers and silk - the answer is always real. From a photographer's perspective silk flowers, even from a distance, do not look the same as real, fresh flowers do. That being said, I know budgets play a HUGE role when it comes to flowers, but if it is possible avoid silk flowers at all costs. If you're wanting to save costs on your wedding by doing the florals yourself I only have two things to say - practice ahead of time, and keep it simple. Hiring a florist will make your life so much easier, but of course it comes with a higher price tag.
While fresh flowers are beautiful for weddings they typically live on past the wedding day. You can re-purpose them by donating them after your wedding day to a local nursing home and brighten up others' day as well! If you're having your wedding in Texas you can reach out to Floranthropy, an organization who does just this - collects and donates fresh flowers after events and donates them to assisted-living homes and hospitals.
Erica & Victor's wedding - Rosaleen Canavati
Second - and this may just be common sense, but make sure your choice in flowers match the overall look and feel of your wedding. If you're having a country style wedding with your reception in a barn you would go with different flower than a wedding held in a ballroom at a 5 star hotel. The flower arrangements are part of the visual ques that tell your guests what kind of day they're in for and you can use this to your advantage. If you're wanting a more laid-back wedding day then you can choose flowers that represent that. A looser, less formal and traditional bouquet. If your wedding is a formal-wear only event then you're going to want flowers that echo the poise, sophistication, and elegance of your wedding day.
Andrea & Sean's Wedding - Fresh Urban Flowers
Last - and most importantly, if you're having a completely unique, different from the "average American wedding", it is 100% okay to throw these rules out the window. You don't have to have flowers at your wedding at all, and there is nothing stopping you from having the wedding of your dreams, even if it completely defies everything I've written in this blog post. This honestly is the most important part because at the end of the day - your wedding should reflect you and should be a celebration of your love.