Wedding Flower Ideas

jlhart76(6)October 30, 2012

I've been a long time lurker & sporadic poster, & this year I've pretty much abandoned all gardening because, well, I've been preoccupied. I met someone, & now we're getting married next fall. Anyway, our budget is ridiculously skimpy, & I'm hoping to cut costs by doing a lot of DIY projects. One in particular is my flowers. So I'm hoping some of y'all will help me out & give me some ideas for easy to grow, long lasting flowers that will be in season come Oct/Nov. Also, some ideas of a back up plan for when I murder all of them & need to replace them at the last minute. I still haven't made many decisions, but I'm going between lots of herbs & green stuff with a few pops of color, & a bouquet full of bright colors. Ideas? Suggestions? Advice for what I can manage on my own?

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Lisa_H OK(7)

Congratulations on your engagement! How exciting! You didn't miss much in the gardening department this year at all :)

Are you wanting cut flowers? The weather in October and November can be so dicey that I am afraid you might make yourself miserable watching the weather forecasts to make sure nothing kills your flowers. I wouldn't put yourself through that misery right next to your wedding. There will be plenty of other stressors.

If you were doing an outside wedding or wanted some table decorations, the fall flowers are mums, pansies, snapdragons. You should be able to find them very inexpensively at Lowes/HD/WM and repot them in some cute little containers. You could let people take them home as wedding favors. Or you could take them home and fill up your flower beds :)

I hear Sam's actually has nice cut flowers for a reasonable price. You might check them out. I would go very, very simple. One of the most elegant weddings I went to, each attendant carried one long stem rose and the wedding bouquet was pretty simple too. I would think spring type flowers (peonies) would be expensive, but the florist should be able to give you an idea on more reasonable selections.

Congratulations again!! Don't forget to keep us updated!


    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 9:42AM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Congrats on the engagement! Like Lisa said, you haven't missed much this year in the gardening area---lots of drought and heat, dead plants and huge hordes of plant-eating pests. This was a good time to skip gardening because you were busy with other things.

As Lisa mentioned, the weather can be dicey in fall, and that makes your choice of flowers sort of critical and weather-dependent. With early frosts always a possibility here in our highly variable climate, growing your own flowers could be nerve-wracking. Here's an example: here in southcentral OK, our average first frost or killing freeze is around mid-November. However, it has occurred as early as Sept. 29th or Oct. 4th (this year) and as late as mid-December. So, whatever you grow either would have to be protected from cold weather with the heaviest-duty floating row cover you can find, or you'll have to plant cool-season flowers while it is almost still too warm for them and hope the heat isn't too hard on them.

If it were my wedding, I'd plant zinnias and marigolds from transplants in August, and water carefully so they could tolerate the heat. Then, I'd have some floating row cover handy to cover them up in case it was needed on an unusually early cool night. These flowers would work best if it is an early to mid-October wedding, and could be supplemented with chrysanthemums purchased just a couple of days before the wedding. Potted chrysanthemums in bloom are available in stores everywhere from August through November here in southern OK, but further north I am not sure if they still are in the stores and readily available in November.

If the wedding date is for late October through sometime in November, I'd go with the cool-season flowers like pansies, violas, snapdragons and mums.

October-November is such a transitional time of year for plants and it is just hard to predict what kind of weather you'll have. Here at our house, we've had at least 6 frosty and freezing nights already and the flowers we have still in bloom are very limited. We have Laura Bush petunias and ornamental kale, which are both heat-tolerant and cold-tolerant, that survived uncovered. Everything else that survived (zinnias, periwinkles and verbena bonariensis) was covered by a double layer of Agribon floating row cover, and they only were covered because they were in beds with beans and southern peas that I covered up. Everything else that was gorgeous as recently as last week is frozen now. That's an example of how much your flowers will be at the mercy of the weather. There might be a few four o'clocks still unfrozen and unfrosted under the pecan tree, but there won't be many---if they survived the first frosty night, then the second, third or fourth night got them.

To add to what Lisa said about beauty in simplicity, some friends of ours threw together a wedding in two weeks when it became apparent that his father, who was dying of brain cancer, had less than a month to live and their planned wedding was still several months away. For their hastily-rescheduled wedding, each bridesmaid carried one single perfect white calla lily, and the bride's bouquet was maybe 3 calla lilies and a very small amount of greenery. Their table decorations were also single calla lilies in vases. The flowers were breathtakingly beautiful in their simplicity.

I've been to autumn weddings where all the flowers were simply potted chrysanthemums. The key to success with these is to pick them up just a couple of days before the wedding and choose the ones in fall bloom. If you choose the ones that are "about to bloom", they might be stubborn and not bloom until a couple of days after the wedding, and if you pick them up too soon and they already are in full-bloom, they could finish flowering before the wedding.

With cool-season flowers like pansies or chrysanthemums, you generally can find pansies in a wide range of colors, but with chrysanthemums you're more limited to autumn colors like yellow, gold, bronze, maroon, red, etc. Sometimes you can find them in purple or white.

There are a few autumn-blooming bulbs, but the timing of their bloom period can be very tricky.

Good luck, and please feel free to discuss this more. I think you can successfully grow your own flowers, but you'll need a Plan A, Plan B, etc. just in case the weather goes wild right before your wedding.

I hope you'll keep us posted.


P.S. If I was getting married (not likely since I already am married, lol), I'd just beg Lisa to let me get married in her flower-filled yard. : )

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 10:47AM
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Lisa_H OK(7)

Dawn had a good idea with the zinnias. Mine were finally beautiful until the first frost hit last week. I didn't really mention it earlier, because zinnias can get mildew and look pretty leggy and scrawny by the end of the summer, but if they were planted later, that might get around those issues. I've seen some daisies blooming late too.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE calla lilies. I wish I could grow them successfully here. Believe me, I've tried. When I read that Californians consider them a weed I almost cried :).

Nobody would want to get married in my yard this year, believe me :)!!! If you stood still long enough the bermuda, passionvine or zuchetta would have taken you down. My garden starts looking pretty pitiful about mid summer....I hate to weed in the heat!

If you are doing a garden themed wedding...seed packets are a nice wedding favor too.

Who got married in the round barn? I bet she has some great ideas!


    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 11:42AM
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I have to scream KAAAALLLLEE because I am totally in love with kale right now. I do not know how easy it is to grow from scratch in our area, I have a packet of seeds but didn't get around to planting them this year, but I know they are relatively constant and reliable to find in stores for the time of year you are thinking. I beg you to google "kale wedding bouquet" and not drool over some of the gorgeousness you see.

I just got around to purchasing kale at TLC last week as I couldn't find it at Lowes or HD and found out they'd been sold out since late Sept, but TLC had them for about $7 for a really large head - you'd probably want to time it so they were not as huge as what I did for my landscape, but you could always strip off tons of outer leaves to winnow the head down to the size you like.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 5:01PM
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Another one

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 5:02PM
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Ok, one more. I have to stop myself now because I know you know how to google... but they are so pretty!!!

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 5:05PM
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Lisa_H OK(7)

Ohhh, Mia, I had never seen those!!! I love the three together in the square vase.

jlhart: do you do pinterest? I don't, but I KNOW there are all sorts of wedding ideas out there. ....that kale bouquet idea has pinterest written all over it :)


    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 10:12PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

I like the suggestion of kale but sometimes getting it to be at the right stage at the right time for a wedding can be tricky in a home garden. For an autumn wedding, you'd have to start it from seed in summer, transplant into the garden in autumn, and keep it sprayed to keep the cabbage loopers (I've been hand-picking them off cole crops all week longs) or imported cabbage worms from leaving holes in the leaves. You also could grow it in containers. I wouldn't try to raise kale plants in anything smaller than a gallon container, with one plant per container. You could put several of them in a really large container though, or grow a row in your garden to harvest and use as needed. Ornamental kale comes in green (kale's green tends to be a dark bluish-green), white, pink, red, and purple, although the red is not a bright red---it is more of a subdued wine red or almost burgundy. Most ornamental kale plants are two tone---like green and purple, green and white, green and pink, etc.

Growing kale from seed is ridiculously easy---you grow it the same way you grow cabbage, broccoli, etc. Grasshoppers prefer edible garden kale to all other kale crops, at least in my garden, but rarely touch the ornamental kale. Maybe they don't like the frilly leaves.

The ornamental kale plants in my garden were planted into the ground in early October from transplants started from seed in August, and they're about 1/2 grown now. They might be larger but early in the fall they had to fight a lot of hot, dry weather and grasshoppers. I have seed for pink, red and white varities for spring. For fall, I am growing white and purple ones.

There's a special kind of kale grown for cut flowers. The variety of the cut flower kale with which I'm familiar is 'Crane' and it comes in several colors. It is a hybrid which means you would get fairly uniform plants with it, which would be important if raising them for a wedding.

I'll link one example of crane below. Harris Seeds has a good selection of ornamental kale varieties as does Pinetree Garden Seeds.


Here is a link that might be useful: Kale Crane at Harris Seed

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 4:42PM
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Congratulations! I love kale with blue pansies, lambs ear or dusty miller and variegated vinca. But as for other flowers, my cosmos is at its best through mid-October and they have a long vase life. They are pretty scraggly now though.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 8:53PM
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I probably would not try to grow flowers. Aside from the timing isssue of having pretty flowers at the proper time, you are going to be busy with the wedding. I had an October wedding. I only bought the bridal/bridesmids bouquets, corsages, and boutineers from the florist. I bought really nice looking mums from a greenhouse two days before the wedding.

If you have some ideas on what type of flowers you like, you could check at some place like a grocery store floral department. They may be able to get them for you a little cheaper than a regular florist. If you have someone who could put the bouquets together, you could just order loose flowers.

I also did some decorating with leaves. If you check out places like Hobby Lobby and Michaels, fall stuff should either be on sale or you could possibly use a coupon for some pretty good deals.

I also had some pumpkins and hay bales sitting out in place of flowers. The pumpkins were shined up by putting a little vegetable oil on a paper towel and wiping them. A little vegetable oil goes a long ways.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 12:27AM
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Thanks for all the tips. I think I was really looking for someone to convince me not to attempt it. And trust me, I'll have plan A, B, C, and half a dozen contingency plans.

The kale bouquets are gorgeous! Definitely gonna have to keep that in mind. And my Pinterest account is nuts right now with ideas.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 11:02AM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

I thought about trying to talk you out of growing your own, but then I didn't. Only you know if your nerves can handle having Mother Nature messing with your plants...and wedding plans.

I think growing cool-season flowers for a wedding is a lot easier because there's so many less pests out and about in fall than in summer, so that's one good thing about the timing of your wedding. Also, killer hail storms that can wipe out plants in the blink of an eye are more common in spring and summer than in fall.

As long as you have back-up plans, I think you'll be fine.

Keep us posted on your plans.


    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 8:31PM
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Tuberoses bloom in September/October and smell heavenly, as sweet as gardenias. If you can find the bulbs and get them planted now and mulched down good, they should bloom next year. And if they don't, there's always plans A,B,C and Ds.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 10:13PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

And don't forget Plans E, F and G.

If I was going to grow kale for a fall wedding, I'd practice growing it in winter/spring in 2013 just to get the experience of knowing how long it takes to germinate, how fast it grows, how far each variety spreads out, etc. Practice makes perfect.

One nice thing about kale is that it does reach a good size, but if it is bigger than you want, you just strip off the outer leaves to downsize it to the size you prefer.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 10:16AM
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Silk flowers are never out of season. LOL I think everything in Hobby Lobby goes on 50% sometime during the year. I would be prepared to fill in with silk flowers or combine them in places where it doesn't matter so much.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 11:17AM
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I've thought about fake flowers, but I'll do without before I'd use fake. I just don't care for how they look. Thanks for all the tips and suggestions. I appreciate it.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 10:08PM
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Thought this may be of help, WEDDING FLOWER CHECK LIST:

Wedding Party
Bridal Bouquet
Flowers for bride's hair
Bridesmaid's bouquets ___number of bridesmaids
Different bouquet for maid of honor?
Flower girl headpiece
Flower girl petals to toss
Groom's boutonniere
Different boutonniere for best man?
Mother of the bride corsage
Mother of the groom corsage
Stepmother corsage
Father of the groom boutonniere
Father of the bride boutonniere
Stepfather boutonniere
Grandmothers corsages
Grandfathers boutonnieres
Any accessories like tussy mussy holders, boutonniere and corsage pins, ribbons, flower girl baskets that the florist is providing you ___Other

Altar, huppah, or other central arrangements
chair decorations

Entryway arrangements
Centerpieces for each table
number of tables
Buffet table decorations
Bar decorations
Flowers to decorate passed trays
Cake decorations
Other do you think…

Here is a link that might be useful: Flowerlakes

This post was edited by Aban on Fri, Nov 22, 13 at 2:53

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 8:56AM
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