Its been a big wedding flower crash course here in DMV this wee! But, before we leave you for the weekend, let’s do one more advice post for wedding floral week here on United With Love. (Rememeber, very shortly we’ll be back with even more wedding floral advice for all of our couples planning a wedding in the Washington DC area. We have so much great advice from the best wedding florists in DC, Maryland and Virginia, that I couldn’t just leave it at one week! So, stay tuned because I’m planning a whole second week.)

For today, let’s talk about specific floral needs, quantities, locations and more. If you know what you need, and what the options are when it comes to flowers, then you can plan and budget a little bit better. There are so many choices of where and who to adorn with flowers on your wedding day, so I asked our expert wedding floral designers in the Washington DC area what they recommend to their clients. Where do they typically see floral arrangements being placed? And, most importantly, where should brides and grooms invest their floral dollars, as in what will have the biggest impact? Here is what they had to say…


Photo Credit: Katelyn James Photography; Floral Design: Petals and Promises

“This is a hard question, because weddings are truly unique nowadays.We are seeing a lot of cocktail receptions, which don’t require the usual escort table or reception centerpieces. Not every wedding has a traditional wedding party, so even bridesmaids’ bouquets are not guaranteed. he important piece is to identify what needs decor and go from there.” – Liza, owner of Studio DBI

“You want to invest your money in what will be in all your photos (the bouquets), and where guests spend the most time (the reception). If it’s in your budget, it’s worth it to splurge on a dramatic escort table piece, as this is the first thing your guests see at the reception and can set the tone.” – Gerry and Rebecca, owners of Petal’s Edge Floral Design

“Typically, you start with the bridal party, which usually includes, the bride, bridesmaids, groom, groomsmen, parents, grandparents, ushers, ring bearer and flower girl. We have seen a great deal of ‘grooms women’ and ‘brides men,, which is a female on the grooms side or a male on the brides side. You may want to consider flowers for the hair and other special people, such as readers, the officiant or family members you want to recognize. The ceremony and reception items will of course depend greatly on the location, but you will want arrangements at the altar, on the huppah, or the space you will be designating to say ‘I do,’ flowers down the aisle, petals, a runner, unity candle, presentation bouquets or flowers for Mary in Catholic weddings or for in memory of a family member, wreaths or swags for the front doors. The reception can be as simple as candles on the table up to a garland of flowers down the table and floral chandeliers hanging above. You should always have something on the escort card table, possibly the guest book table, an entry table, buffet stations, fireplace mantels, cake flowers, a toss bouquet, an arrangement for the ladies room, the list can go on and on depending on the space, the budget and your willingness to get creative.” – Shelly, owner of B Floral and Event Design

“Depending on how important flowers are to the couple and their budget, I recommend the following: bridal bouquet, boutonnieres, bridesmaid bouquets, ceremony flowers, centerpieces, escort card table. Additional floral design items might include, personal flowers for family or children, bar arrangements, cocktail table arrangements, bride and groom chair flowers.”  – Alicia, owner of Alicia Jayne Florals

“Personal flowers for the entire wedding party, and most importantly inspirational altar pieces and/or backdrops. Your guests are seated waiting to see you, but until that time, use your backdrop or altar pieces to evoke emotion – It’s your day, and your stage-make it great!” – Jennifer, owner of J. Morris Flowers


Photo Credit:Birds of a Feather Photography; Floral Design: Alicia Jayne Florals

“These are the main areas we touch on and there are countless more depending on where your venues are: Bridal bouquet (a must!); attendants bouquets; flower girl accoutrements, i.e. pomander, hair wreath; groom’s boutonniere; groomsmen boutonnieres; any other personal florals for mothers, fathers, special people to recognize; nuptials decor to include framing area for couple (This may include draping, arch, chuppah, pedestals with floral, or mandap.); chair/pew decor; entry area; placecard/escort table; cocktail tables; reception; centerpieces; cake/dessert table; and toss bouquet”  – Christi, president of Bergerons Flowers

“Here are the basic pieces that we start out with: Bouquets for brides/bridesmaids; corsages for moms/readers/grandmothers and some children; baskets/wreaths/pomanders for flower girls; boutonnieres for fathers/grandfathers/groomsmen/brothers/readers/etc.; ceremony décor; aisle décor; cocktail hour tables; escort card table; mantels; door wreaths; centerpieces; cake flowers; and buffet arrangements. Other special items would be bar and bathroom flowers, stairway railings and florals for pathways/arches.” – Katie, owner of Elegance & Simplicity

“Bouquet, and boutonnieres are the most photographed, noticed and enjoyed. Ceremony flowers are the least important due to the fact that guests are so enthralled with the couple and wedding party, so that this is the first place to cut back. The ceremony is also the shortest period of time during the entire event. The cutbacks can be made unless the clients are having a Jewish ceremony, which would require a chuppah. Chuppahs are a very high end design item. Centerpieces are the next most important design element, as guests will be staring at these for many hours. The centerpieces will greatly impact your photographs. You can skip the place card, cake, mantels and guest book, if budget is of concern.”– Holly, owner of Holly Chapple Flowers

“In addition to the typical requests (bouquet, bridesmaids, ceremony, reception, escort card tables etc,), cake flowers are a popular request. Also, if the budget permits aisle décor for the church are a nice element.” – Lisa, owner of Petals and Promises


Thank you so much for such great advice on the types of flowers needed for a wedding, and ideas about how best to spend your wedding floral budget! Remember, that we’ll be back for another round of wedding floral week very soon, and in the meantime you can catch up on all of that you missed! Please check out each of these talented DC area wedding florists on their websites. And, remember to come back all week long because we have so much more coming at you; I can’t wait!

In the meantime, be sure to look through our DC area wedding idea galleries and find wedding advice from local DC, MD and VA wedding pros. If that isn’t enough, check out our collection of local DMV weddings from the real world and the best DC area wedding vendors who make it all happen.

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