For Every Season There Are Appropriate Wedding Flowers

April 28, 2000

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Even if you are not planning a June wedding, there are plenty of pretty flowers available for the big event. In fact, a floriculture specialist in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences says savvy couples can keep floral expenses down by choosing flowers that are in season on the wedding date.

"Even the prices for popular wedding flowers that are available year-round -- carnations, daisies, roses, chrysanthemums, lilies and orchids -- fluctuate by season or variety and generally are less expensive in the spring and summer months," says Dennis Wolnick, associate professor of floriculture.

Conventional wisdom has it that most people get married in the summer -- June in particular. Not so. Statistics from the Society of American Florists' Web site, http://www.aboutflowers.com, indicate that 35 percent of weddings take place in summer; 29 percent in spring; 23 percent in fall; and 13 percent in winter.

"Work with your florist to find standard all-year varieties and in-season flowers to create an arrangement that reflects your personal style," he says. "Many brides feel they can't stray from what they see in a bridal magazine or from tradition, but a professional florist working in today's global economy can get almost any flower, including some pretty exotic ones. However, exotic or out-of-season flowers can be very expensive."

Wolnick lists, by season, flowers that are appropriate for weddings.

Spring

--Bulb flowers. Tulips, irises, daffodils and ranunculus symbolize new beginnings.

--Specialty spring flowers. Delphinium, freesia, larkspur, peonies, viburnum, heather, genista, waxflower and Queen Anne's lace can be effective.

Summer

--Roses. Roses are used all year, but a wider variety is available in summer. Roses also better withstand hot, humid conditions.

--Lilies. Asiatic lilies have a wide range of colors and fragrance.

--Calla. These come in large and miniature sizes in white, yellow or pink.

--Gerbera. This boldly colored, daisy-like flower is available in standard or miniature varieties in a range of bright and delicate colors.

--Specialty summer flowers. Snapdragon, sweet pea, hydrangea and astilbe are versatile flowers that fit a variety of wedding themes.

Other flowers to consider. Bouvardia and stephanotis. "These are generally greenhouse-grown and pricey at any time," Wolnick explains.

Late Summer, Early Fall

--Chrysanthemums, asters and dahlias. Mums are most plentiful in the fall and have a wide range of colors. Dahlias also have a large color range and have a large enough form to make bold and pleasing arrangements.

--Sunflower and yarrow. Miniature sunflower varieties can work in arrangements.

--Specialty fall flowers. Birds of paradise, pincushion protea and several orchid varieties are tropical varieties available in the fall. Other specialty flowers include amaranthus, celosia, gloriosa, montbretia and zinnia.

Winter

--Tropical flowers. Anthurium, cymbidium and dendrobium all come in white or white-green hues.

--Amaryllis and oriental lilies. Both flowers come in traditional color varieties -- deep red and pristine white. Other colors add variety to arrangements.

--White flowers. Agapanthus, euphorbia, tuberose and ornithogalum are effective in arrangements with winter greenery.

--Berries. Hypericum, pepperberry and holly branches complement winter foliage and purple and red color schemes.

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EDITORS: To contact Dennis Wolnick, please call 814-865-6596.

Contacts: John Wall jtw3@psu.edu 814-863-2719 814-865-1068 fax

Last Updated March 19, 2009