Wedding Flowers ? What Every Bride Should Know before Her Big Day

Whether your wedding will be coming up roses, daffodils, or something else, choosing the wrong flowers for that blissful day can create a scene you'll want to soon forget. But armed with a few basics about flowers, the arrangements you choose will land you a bevy of compliments and queries.

When selecting your wedding flowers, the single most important thing to keep in mind is that all flowers have distinct characteristics. Knowing what the characteristics are of the flowers you'll be choosing can mean the difference between crying because you're exchanging vows with the man of your dreams and tearing up thanks to an allergic reaction to the pollen in some of those beautiful flowers in your wedding bouquet.

To avoid sniffles and sneezes at the alter, know which blooms might cause you trouble. And ask each person in your wedding party which blooms they are allergic to before ordering bouquets. Topping the list of highly allergenic blossoms are lilies and gardenias.

If you are planning a warm-weather wedding, be sure to stick with flowers that can withstand heat and high humidity. Delicate flowers, like hydrangeas, are likely to wilt and sag in warm weather. Choose hardier flowers, such as orchids, roses, or herbs.

The fragrance from flowers will be stronger during warm weather, therefore take this into consideration when making your selections. You will want your guests to feel as if they've just walked into a flower garden, not a perfume factory. When planning a summer wedding that will take place in a small, completely enclosed room, choose less-fragrant flowers such as orchids or asters. Freesia, tuberose, and gardenias should be avoided.

Want to take your guests' breath away (figuratively speaking, that is)? Near the entrance to the reception area, be sure to have lovely floral centerpieces, or perhaps candles, at eye level. Stringing garlands, ribbons, or some other kind of delicate ornaments above windows or doorways will also add to the effect.

Winter brides should consult a florist before settling on a particular arrangement. Below 42 degrees, some flowers may turn black. This doesn't necessarily mean that those flowers must be excluded from your bouquet, but it does mean that they shouldn't be taken along for an outdoor photo shoot.

Lilies will help you to put on a stunning show, but before you carry them next to your dress, be sure to have your florist remove the stamens. Left intact, they'll stain your dress with bright yellow pollen.

Although charming to look at, some field flowers are best left out in nature. Once they are cut, most-poppies and bluebells, for example-will droop and wilt before you get to the altar. Notable exceptions to this general rule include asters, sweet peas, and daisies.

Flowers are sensitive to cigarette smoke. So, if you don't want your bouquet to turn colors or wilt, ask your guests to smoke outside.

Some popular wedding flowers, such as euphorbia and daffodils, are hollow-stemmed, so their sap can drip onto your lovely gown. If you choose one of these varieties for your bouquet, have your florist completely wrap the stems.

Many couples begin greeting their guests well before the ceremony is scheduled to begin. If this is your plan, the groom's boutonniere may be completely flattened by the time he has finished hugging and kissing his and your relatives and friends. Consider ordering a second boutonniere, which will be fresh for the ceremony and the photo session.

Don't allow your centerpieces to hinder conversation between guest. Centerpieces should always be either high or low, never in between, forcing your guests to crane their necks to speak to someone on the other side of the table.

Here are a few final points to keep in mind:

Know in advance where everything is supposed to take place. In fact, it's a good idea to write down the schedule of where everyone should be and when. Give a copy to your mom or dad, the maid-of-honor, your caterer, and your florist. Giving a copy of the schedule to the florist will help to ensure that the right floral arrangements arrive at the right location on time.

Reusing the floral arrangements from the ceremony for the reception areas will help to keep down costs. As long as you've planned in advance by making sure that the color schemes blend, there is no reason not to recycle wedding flowers.

About the Author

Jean Bachcroft is a former public relations director, the founder of Bachcroft and Aloha Labels, and the publisher and editor-in-chief of Town and Country Shopping Bargains Magazine. For designer wedding, holiday, and year-round mailing and return address labels, visitBachcroft Mailing and Return Address Labels and Aloha Return Address Labels.

For bargains and bargain shopping articles, visit Town and Country Shopping Bargains.

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