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Guide to Wedding Flowers Tuesday, November 23, 2010 ~ 6:30 p.m.

Like beautiful stationery, flowers have the ability to transform any wedding event into an elegant affair. As I try to make the impossible decision of which flowers I want to use, and where I want to use them at my wedding, I thought I'd do a bit of research and see what flowers are the most popular for weddings. I learned that the most popular breeds are roses, lilies, hydrangeas, tulips and peonies, all of which will range in price depending on the time of year that you need them.

Generally, It's a good idea to begin working with a floral designer at least six months prior to your wedding date. By this time, you should already have your wedding date, ceremony and reception venues secured, and you can work with a floral professional to create the wedding you are envisioning. For a more convenient and timely route, consider flowers deliveries for your wedding, and choose from beautiful and vibrant arrangements to compliment your wedding decor. Before you begin working with a floral designer or place an order for a flower delivery, it's always a good idea to research the flower(s) that you're focusing in on to see what time of year they are most popular and what varieties are available to you. It's also fun to learn more about what they symbolize! Roses, for instance, represent love, joy and beauty...perfect for weddings!

It's not shocking that roses are considered the number one, most popular wedding flower. There are more than three thousand varieties of roses available, many of which are available throughout the year. The three varieties of roses that are most popular, specifically, are hybrid tea roses (the classics), spray roses (smaller, with a "home grown" sort of look), and garden roses (pricey, old-fashioned and fragrant). They're great for bouquets, boutonnieres, arrangements and corsages, and represent love, joy and beauty.

Calla Lilies are technically available year-round, but are most often used in the spring and summertime. They fluctuate a lot in price, and tend to be expensive, because they are very prone to bruising, and pricey to transport for that reason. Two types of Calla Lilies are commonly available: larger varieties with long stems that are often used for bridal bouquets and tall centerpieces, and a smaller version typically used boutonnieres and such. Creamy ivory is the most popular color, but calla lilies also come in yellow, orange, pink and purple.

Hydrangeas may be purchased at any time of the year, but depending on the season, they can range greatly in quality - size, color and fullness. Spring and fall are usually the best times to purchase these wedding flowers. They are unscented, and require constant hydration in order to prevent wilting, so they are best kept in water at all times, in centerpieces, rather than bouquets or boutonnieres. You'll find the hydrangea in white and shades of green, pink, burgundy, and blue.

Meaning love and passion, tulips are a popular choice for weddings because they are grown in a wide variety of colors, and are highly versatile flowers that can be used in casual or elegant occasions. When I see tulips, I immediately think spring wedding, which is when tulips are in season and at their most affordable. However, tulips are at their best when used in arrangements and centerpieces, rather than bouquets, because of their sensitivity to heat. There are three different kinds of Tulips: Dutch, which is the most common variety, French, which are more expensive, with longer stems with larger blossoms, and the most rare of the three, Parrot tulips, which have ruffled and striped petals.

I knew that I couldn't possibly leave out the peony as one of my top five wedding flowers. A relatively expensive flower choice, pink peonies are a favorite of "Gossip Girl's" Blaire Waldorf, a rather fitting choice for her given that the peony is considered the Victorian meaning of "bashfulness," symbolizing ambition and success. A peony is a large, full bloom, with a pleasant fragrance and vivid color, considered in season in the late spring to early summer. Peonies are great for arrangements, but can also work well in a bouquet because of their fullness and beautiful colors.

Bouquet of Peonies

Personally, I am most fond of daisies. Not Gerbera Daisies, but Pom Daisies. I think it's a heady mix of childhood nostalgia and emotion that makes them my favorite flower ever and always. I like to call them my "happy" flowers, because they're so bright and cheery (and cheap!). Any time I'm lucky enough to receive them, it makes me smile instantly, and for that reason, I also love giving them to my friends and family whenever the opportunity arises.

I know that Pom Daises aren't your typical wedding flower. Gerbera, yes, but when I say "Pom Daisies" to any vendor, I usually get a confused look in response. In my opinion, they are way under-utilized for how beautiful and timeless they are. I'm not a florist, but I'm sure there's a good reason why they're not used as much as other flowers...the stems are too thin and breakable, perhaps? Regardless, I decided a long time ago that my bridal bouquet would be filled with Pom Daisies, and nothing else. No Poms in season? "Honey, we're changing the date!"

Candice Benjamin Photography via Ruffled | A Brit & A Blonde via Style Me Pretty

I've looked for other ways to integrate daisies into my wedding, of course. I've noticed that it can be difficult to find anything that's as upscale as I'd like it to be. It appears as though many brides used daisies back in the 80s...mixed in with some Baby's Breath, along with their krimped hair and big, pouffy wedding gowns. Alternatively, when I do find images of other couples who recently used them at their weddings, its more of a shabby chic wedding theme. They're placed in Mason jars, and set beside big jugs of fresh lemonade sitting on a wooden picnic table. A theme I am rather fond of, actually, but definitely not suitable for a wedding in Mexico. Daisies are a stretch there, as it is! The flower bouquet pictured above is beautiful, and slightly more modern, but it has more of a wildflower look to it.

I know that no matter where I end up using daisies on our wedding day, they have special meaning to me, and that makes them fit in just about anywhere I put them!

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