by Robbin Montero

            Someone once said, “Flowers are love’s truest language”. Next to the bride’s gown, her selection of flowers for her wedding most vividly reflects her personal style and taste.

            You may prefer the look and fragrance of roses, lilies or gardenias, but many brides design their bouquets based on the meanings of various flowers—daisies for innocence, forget-me-nots for true love, honeysuckle for generosity and devoted affection, and ivy for fidelity. A single long stem rose represents simplicity and a red tulip symbolizes a declaration of love. No matter your choice of blooms, your bouquet and floral arrangements will romantically transform your wedding and reception site with timeless beauty and elegance. 

            Select a professional florist who can reflect your taste and ideas using their unique combination of artistic flair and style. Review the florist’s wedding portfolio and request a sample bouquet or centerpiece, which many florists provide for a nominal charge. In addition to flowers for the wedding party and family members, you will need flowers for the church, arrangements for the reception tables, head table and guest book table. Inquire about flowers for the cake and a small bouquet for the ladies’ room. Request a quote in writing, ensuring that all items discussed are incorporated in the agreement. 

            The floral industry is a unique aspect of the bridal vendor community. There are specific basics to keep in mind when planning flowers for your wedding and reception.


Seasonal buying. Especially if you are watching your budget, choose seasonal flowers. Flower prices during the wintertime are higher due to grower hot house and energy costs. Flowers are especially expensive around Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day and holidays. Inexpensive greenery or filler flowers reduce the cost of bouquets and arrangements. Simple long-stemmed flowers will be less expensive for your bridesmaids to carry than hand-tied bouquets.


Live plants. Blooming plants or those with beautiful green foliage work well as alternatives to expensive alter arrangements. They also provide an alternative to heavily aromatic flowers in reception table centerpieces. Guests with allergies will thank you and a leafy green plant won’t compete with the delicious aromas wafting from your carefully selected menu.


Floral recognition. Express affection toward special people in your life—parents, step-parents, grandparents—by presenting them with corsages and boutonnieres. Include groomsmen, ushers and anyone who assisted with handing out favors or with the guest book. Corsages often drag or weigh down delicate gown fabrics and spaghetti straps. Wrist corsages are an alternative to the traditional pin-on corsage.

            Done in addition to or instead of a corsage to honor both mothers, present a single exquisite long stem rose during the post-unity candle ceremony portion of the service (and before exiting the church). Arrange with your officiant the ideal time in which to present the rose. Remember, this is a surprise for the moms—don't rehearse this part!


Preserving the bridal bouquet. You’ll want a bouquet to throw so you can preserve your bridal bouquet as a memento. To preserve it, simply hang the bouquet upside down in a dry place for several weeks. Floral suppliers carry products, such as silica, that are appropriate for preserving flowers. Or, ask your florist to refer you to the many new companies offering this service.

            Fresh flowers underline the importance and elegance of your wedding day. Select them to provide a visual and sensory gift for your wedding guests.


“Stress Free, Leave the Details to Me,” is the tried and true philosophy of Robbin Montero, California Wine Country wedding planning expert and owner of A Dream Wedding.  Robbin is the premier wedding planner in the Northern California Wine Country, transforming any vision into the perfectly designed wedding creation. Robbin and her weddings have been featured in The Knot, Brides, Elite Magazine, Your Wedding Day and Vine Napa/Sonoma magazines, and Travel & Leisure magazine calls Robbin, “The expert wedding planner in the California Wine Country.”

Robbin Montero is a wedding coordinator and special events planner in Northern California.

©2006 Robbin Montero

This article cannot be reprinted without Robbin Montero’s expressed written permission.