The church may be simply or elaborately decorated as your taste and budget allows. The pews, interior window sills, church and chancel entrances, and even the altar may be decorated very effectively. Depending on how much extra you want to pay, you can have full aisle decoration, pedestals or Topiary Trees.
The Altar Society
It is common courtesy when booking the church to consult with the Altar Society to let them know your plans for flowers in the church. You'll find them surprisingly helpful. If you are planning fairly elaborate church decorations, get advance permission, as there may be some unforeseen problems. Check to see whether or not there is another wedding, either shortly before or after yours, as this could lead to certain complications with decorating. The chances of each wedding party opting for identical colour schemes, flowers, etc. is highly unlikely. This is where the advice Altar Society can prove invaluable. It may be possible to choose flowers that will blend beautifully with several colour schemes, while at the same time not appearing bland or uninteresting. Another advantage is that the respective wedding parties can share the overall cost of the church flowers.
PEW ENDS - Pew Ends can be made into round, heart, horse-shoe or triangular shapes, to mention but a few. You may wish to use ribbons and foliage instead. Depending on the size of your church, you may wish to decorate the first six rows, or, in a larger church, every second or third row. Pull Bows are very often used instead of flowers. They can look spectacular at the end of a seat, and cost a lot less.
PEDESTALS - These small pillars topped with flower arrangements may be placed at the church entrance, by the altar and/or in the sacristy (for register photographs).
TOPIARY TREE - This is a round ball of flowers, something like a Chinese lantern, which hangs above the church entrance.
ALTAR FLOWERS - Large arrangements at the front of the altar are important as the photographs are taken close by them.
Don't forget to arrange for the removal of the church flowers after the ceremony. If you have no specific plans for these, the church may be glad to accept them as a gift. Apart from pew flowers, it is a nice gesture to leave your floral arrangements to beautify the church.
Flowers for the Reception
Your hotel reception `Package' may include floral arrangements. Most hotels will try to accommodate your tastes and colour schemes.
Reception flowers have to withstand conditions of heat and smoke for much of the day. Delicate flowers may droop and wilt (as will some of your guests !). Flowers such as carnations, roses and lilies will stand the pace best.
As your guests begin to arrive for a sumptuous wedding banquet, a large elaborate arrangement will look spectacular in the foyer.
You can place small arrangements on the guests' tables, while larger ones may be displayed at the head table. Avoid tall or arrangements that obstruct the guests views.
Don't be afraid to experiment with garlands of flowers and foliage. They can be draped anywhere from the entrance hall through to the reception area and along the borders of the longer tables.
Dark corners and awkward spaces can be brightened up with splashes of floral colour.
Supplying Your Own
When providing your own flowers, remember to plan well in advance to avoid panicky moments later! You'll have enough to think about besides flower arranging on your wedding day! You can use an imaginative variety of shapes, sizes and style of floral arrangement within your colour theme.
Select locally-grown flowers which may be in season, or those which may be available in the countryside.
Allow enough time for delivery of flowers which may have to be imported or transported from floral wholesalers not in your own area.
Most floral arrangements can be made the day before the wedding, as long as you have a cool storage area in which to keep them.
Surprise and delight your Mothers-in-Law with a basket or bouquet of flowers each!
After the reception, why not arrange to have the flowers delivered to a local hospital or old folks' home, where they would continue to give joy.
Traditional Flowers and their Months
January - Carnation & Snowdrop
February - Primrose & Violet
March - Jonquil & Daffodil
April - Daisy & Sweet Pea
May - Hawthorn and Lily of the Valley
June - Rose & Honeysuckle
July - Water Lily, Larkspur and Delphinium
August - Gladiolus & Poppy
September - Morning Glory & Aster
October - Calendula & Marigold
November - Chrysanthemum
December - Holly, Narcissus and Poinsettia
Traditional flowers and what they symbolise
Carnation - Pure deep love
Daisy - Share your feelings
Honeysuckle - Devoted love & fidelity
Hyacinth - Constancy
Iris - Good health
Ivy - Fidelity, friendship, marriage & good luck
Lilac - First emotions of love
Lily - Purity
Lily of the Valley - Return of happiness
Orange Blossom - Fertility & happiness
Red Rose - I love you
Wild Rose - Simplicity
Rosemary - Remembrance
Violet - Faithfulness