“Can I have peonies in December?” It’s a question we are often asked, and up until recently we’ve had to disappoint many a bride by saying no. We love working with the seasons and encourage our couples to choose wedding flowers by season so they get the best available for their big day.
Gorgeous peonies in May and June will be bigger and blousier than their winter counterparts imported from Columbia and Kenya, which may look like golf balls and never open. Any flower grown in its natural season will be stronger, and definitely lighter on the purse strings.
There is a growing trend for romantic, multi-petal blooms. This has seen a revival of garden favourites such as dahlia, ranunculus, bloom chrysanthemum, garden roses and, of course, peonies, in a seemingly endless range of colours.
Here are our recommendations for the very best wedding flowers by season.
Wedding Flowers Available in Winter (December, January, February)
Focus on foliage for a winter wedding, when evergreens come into their own. Think scented pine, eucalyptus, myrtle (a symbol of love), rosemary and winter flowering jasmine. Also, don’t be afraid of bare branches such as magnolia and pussy willow.
A pared down palette of fresh whites, such as early flowering narcissi paperwhite, roses (now grown all year round), hellebores, anemones and early flowering tulips, make a wonderful classic contrast with rich greens.
Winter is the season when shorter stemmed flowers are widely available. By contrast, rich reds are an enduring favourite around the festive season, particularly amaryllis and ilex berries.
Wedding Flowers Available in Spring (March, April, May)
There’s an explosion of colour for spring wedding flowers. Spring sees the flower market at its best, with tulips, hyacinth, narcissi, ranunculus and blossom in glorious shades of pink, blue, yellow and zesty green.
From early March, English blossom comes into its own, starting with the delicate soft pink plum and ending in late April with sumptuous double cherry (everyone’s favourite!).
In May, look to the trees again for heavy boughs of scented lilac, followed closely by hawthorn, commonly known as May blossom. Spring is the best season for a palette of true blue wedding flowers. Forget-me-not, hyacinth, muscari (grape hyacinth) and cornflower all take centre stage.
Wedding Flowers Available in Summer (June, July, August)
Summer is silly season; just ask any florist! It’s still the busiest time of year for weddings, when British grown flowers come into their own. Summer is when we can buy flowers by the box rather than the bunch.
English peonies (currently extending into August), delphinium, roses, foxglove, stocks, snapdragon and sweet pea are all at their best during the summer months. A huge variety of English garden foliage, including herbs and lavender, give us endless possibilities when designing summer wedding bouquets and floral displays.
From mid-July look for garden hydrangea in gorgeous mottled shades of pink, blue, purple and green.
Wedding Flowers Available in Autumn (September, October, November)
In autumn, late summer flower favourites continue with the arrival of dahlia, bloom chrysanthemum and gladioli. Rich berried foliage, rosehip, seedhead and autumn hydrangea take on the russet shades of autumn. Green foliage gives way to richer tones of red, gold and chocolate brown which you can use to dramatic effect.
A fruitier palette prevails in autumn, including physalis (Chinese lanterns), blackberries, snowberries, callicarpa, and even pumpkins. Particular favourites also include trailing amaranthus, crocosmia and chocolate cosmos, a delicate bloom which really does smell of chocolate!
So, whichever month you’re getting married, choose your wedding flowers by season to ensure you get the very best your money can buy.
Guest post by Simon Nickell and Victoria Taberer Bond
Table Display with White Roses and Foliage: The Singlers Photography
Amaryllis: Cinzia Bruschini
Blossom: Siobhan H Photography
Muscari: Fiona Kelly Photography
Basket of Summer Flowers and Foliage: Shan Fisher Photography
Hydrangea Bouquet: Simon Nickell
Autumnal Bouquet with Bloom Chrysanthemum: Venetia Norrington Photography
Bride on Swing with with Trailing Amaranthus: Wedding’s Art