Flowers are an integral part of any wedding celebration because they enhance the beauty and romance of the entire occasion. Depending on the time of year, there are literally hundreds of different varieties of flowers that are used at a wedding, and often times couples choose seasonal types or classic flowers such as red roses and carnations. However, there is much more to wedding flowers than just knowing the types you happen to like such as vases, arrangements, and all other sorts of terminology that you’ll never need to know again. Since most people aren’t too familiar with floral arrangements and won’t ever need to know about them again, we’ve put together this guide to wedding flower terminology to help you deal with your wedding florist and get exactly what you want for your ceremony and reception.
Standard Wedding Flower Terminology
- Architectural Arrangements: These arrangements use sculptural flowers to create a very modern look. Usually done in a clear vase, architectural arrangements usually are comprised of only one type of flower.
- Chuppah: Usually only temporary, a Chuppah is a little garden altar that is covered in flowers and sometimes fabric. A Chuppah is almost always included in traditional Jewish wedding ceremonies, and it is meant to represent the couple’s first home.
- Corsage: Traditionally, the couple gives corsages to important female family members and their closest friends that have played a major role in their lives. Some couples match the corsages to the bridal bouquet, but this is up to the couple.
- Boutonnières: Boutonnières are the male counterpart to corsages, meaning important male family members and their closest friends that have played a major role in their lives. The boutonnière should always compliment the bridal bouquet, and readers and ushers should also be given boutonnières so that the guest may identify them as part of the wedding.
- Cascade: A type of bridal bouquet design that features woven flowers cascading down like a waterfall and hanging below your waistline.
- Dome or Nosegay Bouquet: A classic style of bridal bouquet, the dome or nosegay arrangement is shaped somewhat like a dome and often features a ribbon that trails behind. Typically, these bouquets contain only three types of flowers.
- Filler: Fillers are used to make an arrangement or bouquet appear larger than it is, as well as add a little color separation between flower varieties. Examples of fillers are ivy, baby’s breath, and ferns; all of which are relatively inexpensive.
- Freeze-Dried Petals: If you are having rose petals scattered down the aisle or having a flowers girl toss them as the bride enters, chances are that they’re freeze-dried. Freeze-dried petals retain their color and texture longer than fresh ones, so they are pretty much the industry standard.
- Pomander: A bridal bouquet that is in the shape of a ball with a tightly wrapped ribbon handle.
- English Garden Arrangements: A very colorful arrangement that is very fluffy and full in appearance as is less formal than a “romantic” arrangement.
- Romantic Arrangements: Typically comprised of white, blush, cream, and occasionally pink flowers, these fluffy looking arrangements are very traditional and formal.
- Tuscan Arrangements: Typically comprised of yellow, orange, and dark red flowers, Tuscan arrangements are very warm and earthy in appearance and often incorporate fruits into their design. These are commonly found at “rustic” style weddings that have a lot of wood grain and earthy tones throughout the color scheme.
- Tussy Mussy: Nearly extinct and incredibly vintage, the tussy mussy is a cone-shaped, metallic bouquet holder popular during the Victorian era.
The terminology listed above should help you greatly while discussing arrangements with your florist and shopping for the perfect wedding flowers. Though we tried to cover most of the terminology we are asked about on a regular basis, the above guide to wedding flower terminology is far from a complete guide. Be sure to discuss all of your options in great detail with your wedding florist to get exactly what you want for your special day. If you found this guide to wedding flower terminology helpful, please feel free to share it on your favorite social media platform. Good luck and have fun planning your wedding!