Lessons in wedding flower etiquette

Flowers do so much for the atmosphere at a wedding so it is important to give some thought to your floral arrangements on the day. So what Kind of flowers should be at a wedding? - Different flowers have different symbolic meanings which can help the couple to express their feelings for each other. 

Who Pays for Wedding Flowers?

Traditionally the Groom is expected to pay for the flowers in the church and for the wedding party With the bride's parents pay for the flowers at the reception venue. The men should be given buttonholes, bridesmaids require a bouquet and the respective mothers receive a corsage.  

The Church

Remember that some churches and other wedding venues hold more than one wedding ceremony per day. Particularly in the busy periods of Spring and Summer. If this is the case with your wedding venue think about contacting the people getting married before and/or after you and sharing the cost of the floral decorations. If it's a church wedding you may find that the people at the church will be happy to help you arrange the flowers and provide advice on where and how to arrange them. 

Bear in mind, however, that a wedding venue may not have time during busy periods to change floral arrangements for each couple and may require all the weddings on that day to use the same displays.

The Venue

Although reception venues don't have more than one reception per day you may find that some venues include the cost of floral arrangements in their service. In this case you should make sure that the flower theme at the reception matches the rest of the day. Alternatively, ask them for a quote without flowers and use your own florist to decorate the reception venue.

For those venues which allow you to use your own florist to decorate. Ask the florist to double check with the management a couple of days before that the venue will be accessible on the morning of the wedding. There are few hard and fast rules about floral decorations at the reception venue. Generally there is a large arrangement on the top table and smaller arrangements on each of the guests' tables. There is usually also a large arrangement at the point where the reception line up is to take place at the point where the guests enter the reception venue. 

Ask the florist to visit your reception venue with you and ask their advice on how to decorate the rooms. Smaller rooms are generally quite easy to do but large rooms, halls or marquees take a bit more planning and thought. Since those rooms have a lot of space it can be expensive to decorate them with floral arrangements. So consider using flowering plants and shrubs. Flowering pot plants can be an ideal way to decorate a large space cost effectively. Unless you are having a very simple wedding or you have a friend or relative who genuinely knows what they are doing. It is generally advisable to use a professional florist. Not only will they will co-ordinate the flower arrangements at all stages of the day they will also be able to advise which flowers are in season. Therefore less expensive, as well as being able to advise you on the symbolism behind your choice of flowers. 

Finding a florist is usually one of the easier elements in organising the wedding. It makes sense to ask first at the wedding and reception venues. Since they have weddings daily and will have seen the work of just about all the local florists. A good florist will usually be happy to oblige. Choose your florist well before the wedding since good florists is usually booked months in advance. The exact choice of flowers and colours can wait until 1-2 months before and should only be made once the colours of the wedding have been chosen.

The Bouquet

When choosing the bouquet, keep in mind the two essential features; colour and form. The base colour for the bouquet is traditionally white. To symbolise purity but the proper use of one or two elements of colour can really bring the bouquet alive. The form of the bouquet can either be long and trailing or compact and bunched. The bride's body shape and style of dress should be major factors in deciding which type of bouquet to go for. Again, a good florist will probably be able to advise.

Bridesmaids' bouquets: The bridesmaids usually carry smaller and much less detailed bouquets. The colour and form should complement the bride's if possible, but should certainly match their dresses.


The male members of the wedding party wear Buttonholes.

The mothers of the bride and groom respectively wear Corsages. Which are similar in idea to buttonholes but much larger and more detailed.

Looking for floral inspiration? Check out our latest Pinterest inspired by all things Spring!

Don't forget to visit Bride & Groom Direct for affordable wedding stationery and accessories.

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