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A sensation of intimacy, nostalgia and comfort is captured in this color palette, a blend of delicate warm and cool colors with lavenders and pinks at its heart. Romantic arrangements express loving sentiments and admiration to mothers, sisters, grandmothers, aunts, best friends, significant others and brides-to-be.

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Flower Holidays, Occasions & Parties - Wedding Flowers

Wedding FlowersBrides need not worry about matchmaking when it comes to wedding flowers. From the bridal bouquets to the boutonnières, wedding flower trends include diversity of choice, boldness of color and distinctiveness of design, according to a leading expert.

Floral and interior designer Rebecca Cole is author of Flower Power, co-host of Discovery Channel's Surprise by Design and a regular contributor to the Today show. She describes leading trends.

“Wedding flowers follow fashion trends,” Cole said, “and today, individuality, rather than convention is in style. No longer do the bridesmaids' bouquets need to match the bridal bouquet, the boutonnières and centerpieces.” In some cases, each bridesmaid may have a different bouquet, according to Cole.

Colorful blooms, in contrast to traditional white, also are en vogue, with lavenders and plums beautifying bridal parties. Bold and powerful arrangements dominate over the traditionally romantic. “Modern, Zen and even monochromatic designs featuring only one flower or color will in many cases replace traditional delicate mixes of flowers headed down the aisle,” Cole said.

When it comes to dramatic and distinctive design, hand-tied French twist bouquets incorporating bold ribbons and pearls will make a striking statement. Cascading bouquets, a current popular selection for brides, will continue to add drama. And, table décor will become even more of a central focus.

“The containers that hold the flowers and what surrounds them, the candles, are attracting significant attention from brides,” Cole said. “Even for smaller, more intimate weddings, flowers can make a big design statement, on any budget.”

Think Outside the Bunch

Bridal BouquetBeyond the most established uses for wedding flowers – room and table décor and corsages – flowers of all varieties are being used to enhance the special day in many non-traditional ways. For example:

  • Welcome gifts for out-of-town guests and members of the bridal parties,
  • Thank you gifts for those people who make the bride and groom's day special,
  • Rehearsal dinner and wedding brunch décor,
  • Decorations for the wedding transportation,
  • Floating arrangements for ponds or pools, and
  • Accessories for the bride's hair, in some cases replacing the more traditional veil.

Working with a Florist

Wedding FlowersFor many brides, the most difficult floral decision can be finding the right florist. “One of the biggest mistakes a bride can make is not entrusting a professional florist to design their wedding flowers. The touch of a good floral designer is unmistakable and will be reflected in the feel of the ceremony, as well as in the wedding pictures,” Cole said.

The best way to find the florist right for you is to ask friends and family for names of some florists they know and trust.

“Ultimately, you should select a florist whose style you like. Visit a number of florist shops to get a feel for their style, and once you think you've decided on a florist, have your fiancé send you flowers from the shop, and see if you like what arrives,” Cole said.

The Society of American Florists, the trade association that represents thousands of U.S. florists and other members of the floral industry, wants every bride's day to be perfect and offers helpful advice for brides-to-be.

Some key pieces of information brides should share with their florists include descriptions of the wedding dress, bridesmaids dress colors, church and reception rules and pictures of arrangements they like and don't like.

“Seeing your personal style will help your florist translate your concepts into workable floral designs that will make your wedding day look like you've always imagined,” said Jennifer Sparks , vice president of marketing for the Society.

The organization also suggests some questions brides should ask during a floral consultation, such as:

  • Do you have any pictures of your work at my wedding/reception location?
  • Will the newest floral varieties be available in the colors I have chosen?

“Flowers are one of the most important elements of your wedding day,” Cole added. “They set the mood and tone for the event and will remembered for years to come.”

To find a wedding florist, visit SAF's National Florist Directory at www.nationalfloristdirectory.com.

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Flower Meanings

Aster = Contentment

Aster Flowers

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Aboutflowers.com is the information resource on flowers, florists, plants and gifts.

Aboutflowers.com features photos and images of flowers, floral arrangements, bouquets, floral designs and plants, as well as tips on flower and plant care, a comprehensive list of flower meanings, the latest flower holiday statistics and numbers, flower design trends, sample card messages, flower gift-buying advice and a directory of local florists.

Aboutflowers.com offers flower gift and decorating and entertaining ideas for all occasions, including Christmas, Hanukkah, Mother's Day, Valentine's Day, Thanksgiving, Easter, Secretaries Week and Administrative Professionals Week. Brides-to-be will find tips for wedding flowers, including bridal bouquets, ceremony and reception flowers and advice for working with a wedding florist. Sympathy flowers help comfort a relative, friend or associate who has lost a loved one. Aboutflowers.com also features get-well flowers, prom flowers, and tips for ordering flowers and sending flowers to a man, and ideas for flowers for every room of your home.

Florists have always known that flowers make people happy, and now scientific research proves flower power. Aboutflowers.com highlights university research proving the emotional and behavioral benefits of flowers and plants. Rutgers research shows that the presence of flowers triggers happy emotions, heightens feelings of life satisfaction and affects social behavior in a positive manner far beyond what is normally believed. Another Rutgers study demonstrates that flowers ease depression, inspire social networking and refresh memory as we age. A Harvard study reveals that people feel more compassionate toward others, have less worry and anxiety, and feel less depressed when fresh cut flowers are present in the home. And a Texas A&M study demonstrates that workers' idea generation, creative performance and problem-solving skills improve substantially in workplace environments that include flowers and plants.

Aboutflowers.com is hosted by the Society of American Florists, the U.S. floral industry trade association.

Visit www.nationalfloristdirectory.com to find a local SAF member florist to send flowers, roses and gifts for delivery.