The Ultimate Wedding Flower Guide

If you are planning a wedding, and you aren’t sure what wedding flowers you’ll need, or where to start and how to ask your florist for a quote, this simple and easy to follow wedding flower guide will help get you started. We’ve listed all the most important floral requirements (plus a few extras) that you should consider when planning your perfect wedding, and advise you on how to save money by making the right flower choices. 

White & Red Bridal Bouquet

First and foremost, you need to decide on a colour scheme and theme for your wedding, as this will help determine the type of flowers, colour and style of arrangements you’ll need. We've also put together a list of flowers with their available colours and meanings to help you choose the right flowers to match your wedding's colour scheme.

Flowers for the Wedding Party

Bridal BouquetBride

Decide on the style of your bridal bouquet. Popular options are posy style, arm sheaf and cascading, but there are many others as well. You’ll also need to decide if you want flowers for your hair.

Throw Bouquet

An optional second bouquet to throw to all the single ladies so you can keep your main bridal bouquet.

Bridesmaids & Maid of Honour

Bouquets and flowers for their hair.

Flower Girl

A clip with flowers for her hair, a coronet or halo, pomanders (a ball of flowers to carry) or a basket with flowers.

Corsages

An orchid, roses, mini carnations or any flower of your choice pinned on the shoulder or made up as a wrist corsage for the bride and grooms mothers and grandmothers (optional).

Button Holes

A single rose or small flower of your choice pinned to the lapel or shoulder for the groom, best man, groomsmen, page boy (ring bearer), bride and grooms fathers and grandfathers (optional), minister/pastor, master of ceremonies and driver.

The Church or Chapel

Flower Arrangements

One or two large flower arrangements in front of the church or chapel, or at the entrance. These can be moved and used at the reception venue as well.

Flowers for the Pews

Wedding Flowers for Pews & Rose PetalsNormally just one flower on every second pew or chair, or scattered rose petals down the aisle. Other options include pomanders, small mixed bouquets, vases of gyp and garlands etc.

Flowers for the Registry Table

These are optional, as placing the bridal bouquet on the table while signing is just as beautiful.

Fresh Rose Petals for Confetti

Find out if this is allowed at the church or chapel before the time.

The Wedding Reception

Table Centrepieces

The type of flower arrangement will depend on whether you want vases, special dishes/containers, bird cages, candelabra or lanterns. If it’s an evening wedding you might need candles, or flowers and candles. The number of centrepieces will depend on how many guests you are inviting and how many tables there will be. Just remember, the more guests you invite, the more tables you’ll need, which means more centrepieces... and more expensive!

Main Table Arrangement

This is traditionally a long flat flower arrangement in the middle and to the front of the table or flower edging. For a more modern look, consider various smaller votives, vases and dishes with a variety of flowers.

Main Table Wedding Flower Arrangement

Chairs

A flower, garlands, ribbons or mini bouquets at the back of every second chair (optional).

Food Tables

Wedding Cake FlowersFlowers can be moved from the church/chapel and placed on the food tables, or optionally, use simple tall glass vases with flowers.

Flowers for the Wedding Cake

Let your florist know if you’d like fresh flowers on your wedding cake so she can advise you on the options available.

Thank You Flowers

Bouquets of flowers to show your appreciation and to acknowledge those who played a role in making your day extra special, such as your parents, friends and family.

Choosing your Wedding Flowers

We often receive enquiries from couples wanting extravagant arrangements that they’ve seen in magazines and on the internet, but when they see the costs, they are shocked. Here’s an explanation of the costs, and a few alternative substitutions that are more affordable.

Always Available

Roses, Lilies (St. Joseph, Casablanca, Stargazer), Gerbera Daisies or Barberton Daisy, Carnations, Lisianthus, Proteas and Gladiolus.

Seasonal Flowers

Seasonal Wedding Flowers

Check availability with your wedding florist first to avoid disappointment. Tulips, Peonies, Calla or Arum lilies, Orchids, Hydrangea and Frangipani are only available at certain times of the year in South Africa. Also, seasonal flowers may be more expensive at certain times of the year, and flowers are generally more expensive around flower holidays like Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day.

Most Popular Flower Choices & Costs Explained

Red Rose Ball CentrepieceRoses are usually the first choice for most brides, but are unfortunately also an expensive option in certain kinds of arrangements. As an example: Rose Ball Centrepieces require around 30-40 roses to fill one ball because rose buds are quite small and don’t cover a large area of the arrangement. So to save money, we need to use fewer flowers. This doesn’t mean you can’t use roses, it just means we need to add or use flowers with large petals and buds that cover a greater area. Lilies and gerberas, or even King Proteas will work well.

Lilies are also quite pricey, however open lilies are quite big, especially Casablanca lilies. Since they take up more space than roses, you would need fewer lilies to fill the same sized arrangement, and it will cost you less. Brides are often reluctant to use lilies because they are scared the pollen will stain their white table cloths and dresses. Since florists remove all pollen from the lilies for this exact reason, rest assured you have nothing to worry about.

Gerberas are similar to lilies in that they work out to be less costly since they are quite big and take up around the same amount of space as three roses would. This means you only pay for one flower instead of three in the same style of arrangement.

If you are looking for inspiration and ideas for your wedding flowers, take a look at our Wedding Flower Ideas Board on Pinterest. We regularly update this board with all our favourites from around the world, so feel free to follow it.

Extra Bits & Pieces

A few extras you might forget or haven’t given any thought to are overlays, runners, chair tie backs and wedding favours. They are available in any colour to match your colour scheme and definitely something to consider since most venues only supply white tablecloths, chair covers and serviettes.

Overlays

Wedding Decor RunnersA square piece of material that can be scrunched up in the middle of the table with the centrepiece on top, or laid out flat over the white table cloth.

Runners

A long rectangular strip of material that runs across the table and down both sides.

Chair Tie Backs

Long strips of material tied around the back of the chairs. This is the perfect place to put your flowers.

Wedding Favours

Little thank you gifts and treats placed on the tables at the reception for your guests. You can either do one gift per couple, or gifts for men and ladies. These don’t have to be expensive; they can be as simple as boxes or containers with sweets, chocolates, cupcakes and handmade beaded key rings, or go green with a lovely potted herb or flower.

We hope these ideas will help you plan the perfect flowers for your wedding and that it will make communicating with your local wedding florist or event co-ordinator a little easier. If you are looking for flowers for a wedding in Durban, visit our weddings page and send us an enquiry. If you feel we’ve missed anything, or you have any questions, please feel free to post them in the comments below.

If you would like a printable PDF version of this guide to take with you, let us know in the comments and we will gladly send you a copy.

Written by

Lizé Williams

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27 comments on “The Ultimate Wedding Flower Guide”

  • Kerry-Lee van Heerden Kerry-Lee van Heerden

    Thank you for making this so incredibly simple.
    You're the flower professionals, not I, so the assistance is greatly appreciated!

  • You are most welcome Kerry-Lee! We are delighted to hear you liked our guide, and that we were able to make things a little easier for you.

    Lizé will get back to you soon regarding the enquiry you sent us...

    Thank you.

  • Candice Candice

    Hi there,

    Please send me a printable pdf of the above. Please also include flower prices. The wedding colour is coral and white.

    Thank you

    Kind regards
    Candice Barnes

  • Hi Candice,

    Thank you for your interest in our wedding flower guide. The PDF version is on its way to you by email. Let us know what you need, and we'll be happy to send you a quote.

    Thank you.

  • Melinda Terblanche Melinda Terblanche

    Please could you email me a printable pdf of your wedding flower guide. Thank you.

  • Hi Melinda,

    Thank you for your interest in our wedding flower guide. The PDF version is on its way to you via email.

    If we can be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

    Thank you.

  • Nokwanda Nokwanda

    Hi,
    I would like to receive the PDF please including prices. My brides colour scheme is peach and silver, this article is very informative will use it as my flower bible.

    Thank you so much,

  • Hi Nokwanda,

    We're delighted to hear you found our wedding flower guide helpful. We have sent you the PDF version by email.

    Please note that our arrangements are unique to each wedding or bride's requirement, so we don't have a set price list. If you send us a list and description of your requirements, we'll get back to you with a quote as soon as possible.

    Thank you.

  • Can you please send me prices of ur wrist Corsages for my bridesmaids. Also please send me pictures.

    Your speedy response will be highly appreciated.

  • Hi Karabo,

    In order for us to know whether we are able to assist you we would need to know which city you are in. Please contact us via our Weddings page here: http://www.inmotionflowers.co.za/weddings/.

    Thanks.

  • Bronwyn Bronwyn

    Good day

    Please email me a flower guide with prices in rands. My color theme is blue, black and silver and looking at blue flowers. I found cornflowers and blue hydrangea as the wedding is late March but all the prices I find online are in pounds or dollars.

  • Nomthandazo Nomthandazo

    Hi there my name is Nomthandazo please send me a quotation as well its mint, cream and orange

  • Hi Bronwyn,

    We've sent you an email with our flower guide and further information.

    Thank you.

  • Jane Jane

    Hi please send quotes for marsala,orange,lime green
    Not necessarily too many roses.

  • Gail Gail

    We are planning a wedding and want to use sunflowers, could you please send me some prices of flowers. The wedding is next year October, but we would like to get some type of estimate how much to budget for flowers

    Thank you

  • Hi Gail,

    Sunflowers can cost between R 15 - R 25 each depending on availability, area and how many you will need.

    Sunflower season is expected to start in November, but you might be in luck and can get some in October already. As an alternative, you might want to consider Gerberas. They are family of the Sunflower, and look very similar, just a little smaller.

    We've sent you an email with more info.

    Thank you.

  • shakes shakes

    I would like a quote for a corsage for a Matric Dance

  • Hi Shakes,

    Thank you for contacting us. If you require the corsages in Durban or surrounds, please send us an email from our Wedding page here: http://www.inmotionflowers.co.za/weddings/.

    Thank you.

  • Vicky Vicky

    Hi my name is Vicky, I am planning a wedding and would like a quotation for all white flowers for bouquets, centerpieces and other arrangements. The wedding is next year March but we'd like to have an estimate of the cost of flowers. Hope to hear from you soon.

  • Hi Vicky,

    Thank you for contacting us. If your wedding is in Durban or surrounds, please send us an email from our Wedding page here: http://www.inmotionflowers.co.za/weddings/, and we'll get back to you with a quote as soon as possible.

    Thank you.

  • lavaillante lavaillante

    hi i m in pretoria and i would like to know how to contact you and your address.for a bride throw flower

  • Hi lavaillante,

    While we deliver flowers and gifts throughout South Africa, our wedding services are only offered in Durban unfortunately. We recommend you contact a local florist near you rather.

    Sorry we couldn't help you.

  • Lorraine Lorraine

    Hi pls send me an email with all available flowers including prices for March 2016 for a function. Looking at King Proteas about 16 and must be the pink or the white

  • Lorraine Lorraine

    Need king Proteas white or pink for a function in March 2016. Need 16 . Cape Town area. Pls also send me a detailed price list via email

  • Susan Susan

    Please help me !!
    I am getting married on 02 July 2016. I thought roses would not be a problem. Deep red like wine and of white or cream to go with the runners???
    Do you think this will be possible?? I am in Pretoria in the Waverley erea.

  • Hi Susan,

    Unfortunately we are based in Durban and only do weddings in the Durban area. The roses shouldn't be a problem, but we suggest you get in touch with a wedding florist in Pretoria, and ask them to order the flowers ahead of time.

  • Marlene Marlene

    Good day,
    can you please send me a quotation for the bride's and bridesmaids bouquets ,wrist corsages,button holes.My color theme is light orange,white and gold.
    I need synthetic flowers not natural.
    Thanks

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