In the fall or winter months use potted African violets (they come in white, pinks, purples), plant paper white bulbs, small indoor mums or small rose plants. In the spring, pots of primulas or bulb plants such as short tulips, narcissus, irises, or hyacinths can be striking and fresh. In the summer months, dwarf sunflower plants and annual flowers of all kinds can be a very green way to decorate with flowers as the plants can double as wedding favours.
Using vintage bud vases can keep costs down as often a single flower with greens and baby's breath can create simple arrangement. A newer trend is to use one stem (gerber daisy, orchid look-alike etc.) and grass or just a mass of baby's breath for a simple, clean, modern but soft look. You can use typical milk glass bud vases (below) or use vintage bottles or candle holders.
Using backyard garden flowers and herbs can also save a bride a lot of money. The arrangement below from Poppies and Posies is made of two peony stems and springs of mint and lavender - flowers and herbs commonly found in backyard gardens.
Other backyard flowers (*easy to grow from seed in most regions) that can be striking in simple arrangements are:
- lily of the valley
- sweet peas*
- allium (flowering chive)*
- pussy willows or other willow branches
- greens - ivy, fern, long grass, herbs (sage, lavender, mint, rosemary, basil - note that some herbs will give off a scent e.g. rosemary so make sure you like the scent)
The new modern way to arrange flowers is to cut stems short and create a dome of flowers. Start by stretching a circle of chicken wire over the top of the planter or compote or create a crisscross pattern with scotch or florists tape to cover the top of the planter or compote that is half full of water. This will help support the stems especially in a wider mouth vessel. Oasis or flower foam can also be used as in this video.
Start by cutting some of the taller stems for the middle of the dome. Then add shorter stems arranging them to create a rounded mass of flowers or buds. Nico De Swert from Pottery Barn has some great Youtube videos using simple designs and reproduction glass vases - of course, you can use the same techniques with vintage glass vases and containers.
Of course, artificial flowers can also be a very inexpensive way to go. The arrangement below was made from two bunches of artificial roses purchased at a dollar store. White tulle can add volume and soften the bouquets You can also add ribbon in that matches the wedding colour.