Wedding Bouquets And Flowers: White Flower Ideas

White flower suggestions for wedding ceremonies and receptions, including a list of many white flower choices, their symbolic meanings, availability and uses.

Flowers are as integral to a wedding as the bride's gown, the cake, and the rings. Many weddings feature a rainbow of flowers in artful arrangements, but as life gets more complex, many couples are opting for the simplicity and elegance of white wedding flowers. Far from being monochromatic and unimaginative, white wedding flowers provide a classic, luxurious palette to create a tasteful, sumptuous setting.

Shades of White

Like any flower, white flowers come in many different hues, including alabaster, bone, ivory, candlelight, cream, snow, and frost. These shades can be combined to create a rich tapestry for bouquets, garlands, centerpieces, or other decorations. Pairing white flowers with greenery such as ivy or ferns makes them even more distinctive, as will using different varieties of white alongside other vibrant colors. When choosing a white flower, it is important to know what other colors will figure prominently in the wedding so that a coordinating white shade can be selected.

White Flower Choices

Dozens of flowers can be found in shades of white. Couples select flowers not only for color, but also for sentiment and purpose, whether the flower is for a corsage or the bride's bouquet. Size and texture is also a consideration, and different white flowers can be varied for interesting and unique creations. The following examples include both common varieties and more unusual choices. Seasons noted indicate when the flower is most readily available and would be less expensive, but most florists can import flowers at any time.

Aster: A common wildflower available in spring and summer, asters symbolize love and daintiness and are perfect for a less formal wedding or as a filler.

Baby's Breath: This year-round bloom is scentless and is often used as filler for more dramatic flowers, but can be dramatic on its own. The simplicity of the flower suggests innocence.

Calla Lily: Large and elegant, these tropical flowers can be used in many different arrangements. Available in the spring and summer, they represent beauty.

Carnation: This round bloom is symbolic of pure love and innocence, and is available throughout the year. It can be found in both large, single blooms as well as miniature flowers with several blooms per stem. Sturdy and long-lasting, it works well in all arrangements.

Daisy: Another year-round choice, daisies symbolize innocence and loyalty, and are a nice filler or less formal choice.

Freesia: Available in spring and summer, this small flower means calm and innocence, and works well as a corsage or to add greater texture to a bouquet or centerpiece.

Gardenia: Year-round availability and longevity makes this flower a popular choice, but it bruises easily and is best suited for arrangements rather than bouquets. Gardenias are stemless and make an elegant statement of joy and purity when floating in a pool or shallow vase.

Iris: With meanings of friendship, hope, and faith, this springtime bloom is perfect for large arrangements.

Lilac: This fragrant choice is widely available in late spring and early summer, and represents youthful innocence. The myriads of tiny flowers work well bundled together or as filler.

Lily: With many varieties to choose from, lilies offer a dramatic summer display meaning purity, sweetness, and majesty. Different types of lilies can be combined for vibrant arrangements.

Lily of the Valley: These tiny flowers with their classic bell shape and symbolic meaning of unity and happiness are a favorite choice for weddings. They are available throughout spring and summer.

Narcissus: Representing formality, this flower is available during the fall and with several blossoms per stem, is a perfect choice for centerpieces.

Orchid: A Chinese symbol for many children and representing refinement and rare beauty, these highly dramatic blooms can be imported year-round for all types of exotic arrangements.

Peony: Available in late spring, these large blooms suggest bashfulness and a happy marriage, and are a frequent choice for bouquets and corsages.

Queen Anne's Lace: This wildflower, available in late summer and early fall, is a dramatic filler and symbolizes self-reliance.

Rose: By far the most popular wedding flower, the rose symbolizes love, purity, joy, and beauty. It is available all year and is suitable for any arrangement.

Snowberry: Though not a flower, this tropical plant is available during fall and winter and adds interest and variety to corsages and bouquets. Meaning fate, it adds perfect symbolism to a wedding.

Stephanotis: This year-round, star-shaped blossom means both happiness in marriage and a desire to travel, which makes it a sentimental choice not only for the wedding, but also for the honeymoon. Its compact shape works well for all arrangements.

Sweet Pea: Available in late spring and early summer, this delicate bloom means lasting pleasure and is a favorite for bouquet accents and filler.

Tulip: Though fragile, this late spring flower representing eternal love and passion and provides a simple, elegant appearance to bouquets and centerpieces.

The Bride's Bouquet

While weddings use flowers for many different decorations, the bride's bouquet is unquestionably the most prominent. A white bridal bouquet provides elegance for both simple ceremonies and formal affairs. When choosing a white bouquet, however, it is important to consider the shade of white of the bride's dress. Just as white flowers have different hues, so do wedding gowns, and taking a swatch of fabric along to the florist will insure a complimentary combination.

White bouquets have one consideration that colored bouquets do not: if not chosen carefully, the details and elegance of a white bouquet can be lost in the white of the bride's gown. To avoid this blending, a white bouquet can be framed in greenery, tied with a contrasting ribbon, or highlighted with colored flowers.

White wedding flowers are appropriate for different types of bouquets, including classic cascades, nosegays, and hand-tied bundles. A single stem of a large flower, such as a calla lily, can be filled with smaller blooms, such as lily of the valley stems, for an elegant and creative hybrid bouquet. Many brides crave even more individuality, and white flowers can be paired with a prayer book or candle as a dramatic yet understated alternative to the traditional bouquet.

Other Arrangements

The bridal bouquet is undoubtedly the highlight of wedding floral arrangements, but no wedding would be complete without other floral accents, including bridesmaids' bouquets, corsages, boutonnieres,and centerpieces. Using white flowers for each arrangement creates a unity throughout the event.

Bridesmaids' bouquets are usually smaller and less dramatic than the bride's bouquet, but no less important. Using small white flowers creates a startling contrast against a maid's dress, and such bouquets need no framing as white flowers would against a bridal gown. Understated blooms such as baby's breath can create a simple and beautiful arrangement when paired with other flowers or bundled alone.

Many brides arrange flowers in their hair, either to accompany the veil or as an elegant alternative. White flowers are a beautiful to coordinate with the gown and work well for dark-haired brides. The fragrant gardenia is a favorite for such accents.

Groomsmen, parents, and other close family members are often honored with boutonnieres and corsages. Choosing white flowers for all recipients or those closest to the bride symbolizes the love and unity of everyone involved. White flowers are a particularly practical choice because they will coordinate with everyone, no matter what colors each guest may be wearing.

Ceremony and Reception Decorations

White flowers create an elegant ceremony setting, both indoors and outdoors. White petals, whether from roses or other large blooms, are a stunning alternative to the traditional aisle runner, and white garlands can further highlight the aisle as pew or chair decorations. Tied with ribbons coordinated with the bridesmaids' dresses, such decorations unify all members of the wedding party. Flowers are also necessary to adorn the alter, and white flowers reflect both the solemnity and the romance of the occasion.

When decorating the reception, white flowers allow couples to express individuality far more than most flowers. Tablecloths can be colored, even different shades of color, and white centerpieces provide unity. When affixed to chairs, a light floral touch adds a further feeling of intimacy. White flowers can also be used to decorate the wedding cake. Atop white frosting, such flowers create an exquisitely elegant treat for the eyes, or with colored frosting, a startling contrast.

Normally considered an inconspicuous color, white wedding flowers are actually among the most elegant. With dozens of varieties to choose from including different sizes, arrangements, and hues, white flowers offer a wide range of choices. By contrasting white flowers with colored surroundings such as the bridesmaids' attire, tablecloths, or ceremony setting, couples create an elegant and romantic atmosphere - the perfect fairy tale wedding.

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