This the fourth installment in my series of unsolicited and probably unhelpful wedding planning advice.
I love weddings. I really do. There are few things more beautiful in this world than to celebrate a dear friend’s milestone with others you equally adore. I’ve had the pleasure and honor of attending more than a few weddings over the past few years and have started to notice a couple things. One is the tremendous amount of time and energy brides spend on their decorations—namely their flowers.
Flowers are an integral element in the overall design and theme for your wedding day. They set the tone, and reinforce your color palette. Bouquets are particularly important. Almost all pictures of the bride will include her clutching her bouquet firmly at her navel. There will likely be one or two where she waves it proudly above her head, but only when she wants to look especially sassy. Therefore, the discerning bride really needs to get to the essence of what kind of obnoxious she is in order to make the right flower decision.
Let’s walk through a small handful of flower choices together. Just a little nosegay of options, if you will, to help you decide what flowers might best fit your personality. Please do add anything I’ve missed in the comments!
Did you travel here in a leased Prius? Do you have edibles in your purse? Can’t get enough of that festival life? Then moonbeam, these flowers are for you. Caught somewhere between Sunday morning cartoons and doing coke in a van with a guy from overseas, daisies tell the world that you are a carefree spirit, dammit. These pretty little blossoms usually look good against bright yellows and pale blues, but always look great with vintage insta filters and strategic sun flares. You’d better start working on your wistful gaze toward the horizon now.
If a bouquet is still a touch too cumbersome (you are expected to dance with your hula hoop, you know), ask some guests from Colorado or Oregon to thread together a flower crown or two. They’ll enjoy riding out their high, and you can save on decorating expenses for your honeymoon to Costa Rica.
Full-disclosure: I was pretty obsessed with an herb bouquet for my wedding day. Peonies too (see below), but I’d rather explain why I wanted to smell like pasta sauce during my nuptials. Somehow, somewhere, I caught wind that brides used to carry herbs. I certainly couldn’t pass up the opportunity to be historically pretentious, honor the days when women were treated like chattel, and how no one bathed. I had it all figured out. I would tell my guests in my least know-it-all voice that this was something our ancestors did. I would be so nontraditional by being completely traditional. It’s my own particular brand of passive aggressive I’ve been honing for years. If you can relate, then I invite you to have the bouquet I wimped out on for ranunculus (the poor man’s peonies). If you throw some lavender in there, make sure to include some antihistamines in your guests’ wedding favors.
Roses are so versatile. They convey romance, classic timelessness, and one anally retentive bride. Set against the backdrop of a strapless ballgown, the tightly-wound round bouquet often mirrors the slicked-back bun that rests atop the bride’s taut face. “The horse-drawn carriage will arrive at 4 pm,” she tells her wedding planner in a voice nearing hysteria.
Every detail of the wedding has been painstakingly planned with just a little help from How to Make Your Wedding Only Mostly Generic, the newest publication from I’m a Princess, Inc. Guests are sure to enjoy the string quartet. They will love the hand-written escort cards on pearlized card stock. Dinner will be great—everyone loves scalloped potatoes and mid-grade beef. The toasts will go off without a hitch; the best man is permitted to one very light jab at the bride’s expense, edited by her in advance of course. Dances will be choreographed. The groom has been expressly forbidden from anything other than one dainty bite for his new wife during the cake-cutting. The evening will close out with a little Frank Sinatra. A preservation box already awaits the soon-to-be-dried rose bouquet. It will then sit on a shelf for years and years, until one day curious hands find it again. The petals will crumble at first touch, quiet reminders of a time long-past. Haunting images of Miss Havisham dance across the mind.
Wait, that got a touch dark. Moving on.
Well hello there, Little Miss Priss. I’m sorry to tear you away from the latest Real Simple article on how to spend 17 straight hours for that effortless look. Something’s gotta fill these mason jars, and peonies will certainly do the trick.
These blossoms are the perfect way to say, “I may look like I love a bargain (can we say J. Crew sale!), but I’ve got a trust fund courtesy of my family and a MRS degree c/o one risque spring semester in undergrad.” Sometimes kissing on the fourth date does pay off.
Peonies are great for those couples who want a low key rustic-themed wedding but wouldn’t go anywhere without running hot water or down pillows IRL. The ceremony will most def be outdoors, set against the backdrop of a lake the couple would never swim in or mountains they’d never climb. Place settings will probably include some green leaves with “LOVE” or “FOREVER” delicately scrawled across them in bouncing faux calligraphy because, you know, Martha Stewart said so.
Those Ball Things
Photo courtesy of MaxPixel.net
Have you ever seen these flowers anywhere besides in boutonnieres set against a grey or blue suit? More importantly, did you know they’re called billy balls? Sit on that one for a minute.
Ok, we get it. You love our planet but you’re kind of a jerk about it. You’re also probably a hipster, and you’re kind of a jerk about that too. At this wedding you can expect Polaroid cameras in the photo booth, and Chuck Taylors on at least one member of the bridal party. Either a Vespa or an old red truck will whisk the happy couple away after they run through an arch of sparklers held by drunk friends who shouldn’t be brandishing blazing hot items right about now. Isn’t it ironic that you’ve chosen drought-resistant plants but half of your guests flew in for your wedding, thus negating any carbon footprint offsets ten-fold? But then, hipsters do love irony. Well-done, my friend. Well-done.
Go on with your bad self, you cheap bastard.
We can’t let any list go without mention of the beach wedding. Doesn’t every bride want a swirling cyclone of sand dancing under her dress while she walks barefoot toward her waiting groom? I know I love having sand in my teeth for a few days in a row.
In addition to ignoring the sudden need to floss, I dare you to recall a beach wedding where lilies were not somewhere in the mix. Even if it’s not somewhere tropical, guests are required to feel like they very well could be in Hawaii. Lilies fit the bill for this Disneyfication of your wedding day. Ignore we’re in Long Beach, guys, look at the ukelele player instead!
If you like clean lines, spray tans, and men in Hawaiian shirts, then choose lilies for your day. They also do well for funerals, so there’s that too.
There you have it. A subversive summary for your consideration.
Please, keep the conversation going!
Let me know what other wedding flowers mean for you in the comments.
Or, if you’d like to see some bouquet ideas I like, check out my Pinterest board here: https://www.pinterest.com/nickitycole/i-d-marry-him-100-different-ways/bouquets/