In the past, tradition dictated many decisions in wedding preparations, but today's weddings are often a showcase for the bride's unique style. "If chosen thoughtfully, flowers can weave the bride's floral signature throughout the events of the day, from ceremony to reception," said nationally renowned floral designer René van Rems of San Diego, Calif.
An elegantly simple hand-tied bouquet featuring just one or two types of flowers is the choice of many brides, said van Rems. Clusters of lisianthus evoke a natural, garden-like beauty. For a sophisticated statement, consider the dramatic impact of minicallas or unusual Leucospermum pincushion flowers.
The rose reigns supreme above all other flowers as the ancient symbol of everlasting love. Many brides choose to indulge in the luxury of an all-rose bouquet, said van Rems. For a gorgeous display of voluptuous beauty, bring together roses of different types - regal hybrid teas, dainty spray roses and the open blooms of garden roses.
The choice of color theme gives the bride an opportunity to influence the mood of the day. Intense pastels, "sorbet" colors such as cantaloupe and coral, are current favorites for reflecting the joyous ambiance of a summer wedding. Green accent flowers, such as lime green lisianthus, inject a delightful surprise into bouquets.
From September on, a burst of vibrant jewel tones - deep red, burnt orange, purple and blue - are brought together with roses, stock and delphinium. The burnt orange rose 'Leonidas,' deep champagne rose 'Sahara' and hypericum berries are a perfect combination for an autumn wedding.
Research has shown that our sense of smell is closely linked to memory so include some fragrant flowers in your wedding. Tuberose, lilies of the valley, stock, gardenias and roses - such as purple 'Delilah' and 'Sonora Sunset' - are known for their scents. Memories of your wedding will forever be entwined with the beautiful fragrance of flowers.
Reception flowers should repeat the floral theme chosen by the bride. Van Rems said there is a trend toward a still-life look in table centerpieces, with little cherubs, fresh fruit or gems tucked in with flowers. Fall weddings can incorporate berry clusters, fall foliage and branches. "For reception flowers, many brides are choosing to use flowers that are in season and using them in abundance," said van Rems.
One final floral idea is to give special guests a memory to take home: an individual flower or tiny nosegay.
For a free brochure on how to make your fresh flower arrangements from bouquets to centerpieces, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to the California Cut Flower Commission, 73 Hangar Way, Watsonville, CA 95076, or visit their Web site at www.ccfc.org.
- North American Précis Syndicate