Freebie! Ways to Honor Family and Friends at Your Wedding, Part 2 — Florals


caneel engagement ring in flower 2

Welcome back to Part 2 of my freebie series! I decided to make my ebook a big freebie for you, sharing tips on how you can honor your family and friends at your wedding. This time, we’re talking wedding flowers and floral décor as a way to honor departed loved ones, or just give your nearest and dearest a special wedding tribute:

caneel ring in flower


  1. If you have a departed parent, leave a chair open for them at the ceremony, and place a single white rose on it.
  2. Or, on the departed parent’s or grandparents’ chair, place their favorite type of flower.
  3. Create a grand floral tribute arrangement displayed on a pedestal by your ceremony altar or chuppah, and write in your wedding program that the arrangement is in memory of your departed loved ones, listed by name.
  4. If you’re marrying by the ocean or by a lake, set a floating floral piece in the water in memory of your departed relatives.
  5. Incorporate into your wedding bouquet some of the same flowers your mother used in hers. Kate Middleton did this, using a type of florals used in Queen Elizabeth’s wedding bouquet, so it’s definitely a trend!
  6. Decorate your wedding trellis or chuppah with some of the same flowers used in your parents’ weddings.
  7. Use your birthmonth flower in your bouquet. See the list here.
  8. Mix your birthmonth flower with your kids’ birthmonth flowers, or with your groom’s, your parents’, and so on.
  9. Use flower that’s central to your culture, or to the region where your wedding will take place to add extra personalization to your bouquet or to your floral arrangements and décor. Let guests in on the meaning with pretty signs placed on their tables, or via a note in your printed wedding program.
  10. Missing a departed relative? Use their birthmonth flower in your bouquet as a way to carry a little piece of them with you.
  11. It doesn’t have to be your departed relative whose birthmonth flower is in your bouquet. If your groom’s mother of grandmother has passed away, using their birthmonth flower is a lovely tribute to his family and will be very touching to all, especially to him.
  12. Create a small tribute floral arrangement, with a note explaining the meaning, on your family wedding photos table. Keep it subtle, so that it doesn’t come off like a funeral remembrance floral, and create a lovely sign naming the honored relatives.
  13. Re-create your mother’s wedding bouquet as a special and sentimental floral feature on your family wedding photo table. The same can be done with your grandmother’s wedding bouquet. Again, create and display small signs sharing the meaning with guests.
  14. You may have heard of the “Language of Flowers,” an age-old collection of symbolism attached to a wide variety of flowers and their colors. For instance, a white rose can mean ‘purity’ or ‘innocence.’ See the list here. Use these symbols to create pretty floral pieces for your relatives, and share the meanings with them.
  15. Or, have relatives look over the Language of Flowers list of meanings and select their own flowers according to what they wish to ‘say’ with them.
  16. Set apart the VIP chairs or pew at your ceremony by affixing pretty florals to the backs of seats where parents, grandparents, and other honored family members will sit. Spread the joy by doing this for the second or third rows where special relatives like great-aunts or godparents will sit.
  17. If you have children or are blending your families, make the kids’ chairs extra-special by affixing special floral pieces to the backs of their chairs to give them a special chair of their own.
  18. If you have a daughter or daughters, or your groom does, surprise them by giving them mini versions of your bouquet to carry, instead of a basket of flower petals.
  19. Boutonniere styles can be personalized to honored men in the family, such as to fathers, grandfathers, great-uncles, godfathers and cultural honored men in the family to set them apart.
  20. For men’s flowers, look again at the Language of Flowers to give their blooms special meanings.
  21. During your ceremony, present your parents with long-stemmed roses or other flowers as a moment of love, thanks and tribute to them. This can be a surprise element not practiced at the rehearsal to pack an emotional impact.
  22. Some cultures feature rituals of exchanging fruits, flowers and other items with parents and grandparents within the ceremony. Explore your culture’s good luck and prosperity rituals with parental involvement, and either use them as-is, or give them a modern twist. Relatives love it when you honor an ancestral rite in your modern wedding.
  23. As guests depart your ceremony, have an attendant distribute small flowers to each, that they are to tuck into a trellised décor feature that already has an arrangement of flowers in it. Instruct guests to do so while thinking good wishes for you, and then have your photographer capture that pretty floral décor structure for your wedding album.
  24. Your new family monogram letter can be spelled out in flowers on the lawn where your outdoor ceremony, cocktail party or reception will take place.
  25. If you’ll marry in a garden or sprawling grounds, have your floral designer create flower petal tributes to your relatives, such as your parents’ first initials of S + D and your groom’s parents’ initials of M + H, and so on…beautifully-done and photo-captured as soon as they’re created so that the wind doesn’t ruin the effect before photos can be taken.
  26. Kids’ initials can also be spelled out in flower petals on the grounds’ lawn as a special tribute to them as well.
  27. Florals hanging from trees can be inspired by the same flower types used at relatives’ weddings, with a note in your program saying that’s the design inspiration. Be sure the flower types work together, so that you don’t have non-seasonal or clashing flowers in this display. Work with your floral designer to perfect this unique and pretty outdoor wedding display.
  28. Floral wreaths can adorn your ceremony site’s doors, with your birthmonth flowers or family members’ wedding flowers included.
  29. Back to the table of family wedding photos or portraits: add little touches of floral prettiness with tiny sprigs attached to each frame, and the same type of flower sprinkled on the table top for a budget-friendly, super-stylish effect.

Love this freebie? Find out how to get more in my book The Bride’s Guide to Freebies.

bride's guide to freebies



Wedding Flowers and Decor: The Symbolism of Herbs


It’s not just flowers that have symbolism, as in The Language of Flowers. Since herbs are such a pretty addition to wedding bouquets, wedding centerpieces and wedding decor, it’s fascinating to know that some herbs have symbolic messages adding even deeper meaning to all of your bridal floral pieces.

Here are the symbolic meanings of some of the most popular herbs used in wedding décor and floral pieces today:

Aloe: healing, protection, grief, bitterness, affection

Angelica: inspiration, magic

Bay: glory, honour, reward

Calendula: sacred affection, joy, remembrance, grief

Chamomile: energy in adversity, patience, long life, wisdom

Chives: usefulness, why do you weep?

Dandelion: faithfulness, happiness

Dianthus: dignity, woman’s love, symbol of Mother’s Day

Dill: preservation, good spirits

Dogwood: love undiminished by adversity, durability

Elder: compassion, bad luck, zealousness

Fennel: strength, worthy of praise, flattery

Garlic: protection, strength, healing

Grass: submission, utility, usefulness

Iris: message, wisdom, faith, valour

Ivy: patience, fidelity, undying love, eternal life

Lavender: housewifely virtue, acknowledgement

Lily of the Valley: contentment, return of happiness, let’s make up

Marjoram: joy happiness

Mint: eternal refreshment, wisdom, virtue

Mugwort: be not weary, tranquillity, happiness

Mustard: faith, indifference

Nasturtium: patriotism, victory in battle

Pansy: happy thoughts, meditation

Parsley: useful knowledge, feast, joy, victory

Rose: love, victory

Rosemary: remembrance, love, loyalty, fidelity

Saffron: beware of success

Sage: wisdom, long life, esteem immortality, esteem

Sassafras: foundation, considered choices

Sunflower: haughtiness, lofty, pride, pure thoughts

Thyme: activity, bravery, courage, strength

Violet: humility, devotion, faithfulness, forgiveness

Yew: immortality, sorrow

Yucca: opportunity, fidelity

Zinnia: thoughts of missing friends

Reference:  Rigsby, Gem. 1998. Herb Seed for Thought, Spur Ridge Press, Frankston, TX.

PANTONE’s Fall 2013 Colors Are Here! See How Spring’s Shades Evolved

PANTONE Fall 2013 Colors

pantone fall 2013

PANTONE Spring 2013 Colors:

pantone spring 2013


Fab Find: Blossom and Bee Flowers for Valentine’s Day

Stick with local floral designers, people! For your wedding and especially for any flowers you’ll send or give as gifts, like Valentine’s Day presents or thank-you gifts for your wedding coordinator, vendors, parents and, yes, you can give bridesmaids pretty florals as their thank-you gift, too! When you buy from local floral experts, you support the local economy and keep their fabulous, personalized businesses going strong. One of my favorite floral artists is Pennylyn Kaine of Blossom and Bee, and I’ve re-blogged her recent post here for you!

How lovely are these flower arrangements?

Flowers are a timeless tradition for Valentine’s Day. Visit our retail website to order something special for your sweetheart this Valentines Day! We strongly urge our clients to pre-order their desired floral designs, things get a little hectic the closer we get. Orders may be submitted online or by calling the design studio at 973-874-0302.

We are happy to help you design something special for your valentine :-)

Wedding Flower Pick: Anemones

anemones weddngs by lilly come

Anemones are such a stunning flower for weddings! They’re not something you see every day, and the dramatic size, color contrast, elegant dark center and creamy petals add up to a sensational pick for wedding bouquets and arrangements — either mixed in with other blooms, or as shown above in this bouquet by, used all on their own for a gorgeous look.

I’m also finding anemones used more often as wedding cake accents…just two or three artistically-placed on the different cake tiers to create a fabulous effect for a super-low price. If you think it takes a ton of time to make sugar-paste anemones, think again. Bakers say these are among the easier sugar-paste flowers to make, and that big flowers are easier and more cost-effective to make than tons of tiny sugar paste blooms.

So get to know your anemones using this great chart by, which I have on my Pinterest board:

anemones chart flirty fleurs

Hot Wedding Flower Trend: Using Your State Flower

Personalizing wedding flowers just took a new twist! Brides are incorporating their state flowers in their bouquets and floral decor! [We even have a bride who entered my current contest who’s using her state flower!]

Photo courtesy of Monday Flowers

Do you know what your state flower is? Here is a list from the site that will show you the blooms! Use one state flower for the locale of the wedding, or use both your and your groom’s homestate flowers. Or, tribute the state where you went to school, or where you met one another! So many ways to use this trend!

Alabama Camellia  
Alaska Forget Me Not  
Arizona Saguaro Cactus Blossom  
Arkansas Apple Blossom  
California California Poppy  
Colorado Rocky Mountain Columbine    
Connecticut Mountain laurel  
Delaware Peach Blossom  
Florida Orange Blossom  
Georgia Cherokee Rose  
Hawaii Pua Aloalo  
Idaho Syringa – Mock Orange  
Illinois Purple Violet  
Indiana Peony  
Iowa Wild Prairie Rose  
Kansas Sunflower  
Kentucky Goldenrod  
Louisiana Magnolia  
Maine White pine cone and tassel  
Maryland Black-eyed susan  
Massachusetts Trailing-Arbutus  
Michigan Apple Blossom  
Minnesota Pink and white lady’s-slipper  
Mississippi Magnolia  
Missouri Hawthorn  
Montana Bitterroot  
Nebraska Goldenrod  
Nevada Sagebrush  
New Hampshire   Purple lilac  
New Jersey Violet  
New Mexico Yucca flower  
New York Rose  
North Carolina American Dogwood  
North Dakota Wild Prairie Rose  
Ohio Scarlet Carnation  
Oklahoma Mistletoe  
Oregon Oregon Grape  
Pennsylvania Mountain Laurel  
Rhode Island Violet  
South Carolina Yellow Jessamine  
South Dakota Pasque Flower  
Tennessee Iris  
Texas Bluebonnet  
Utah Sego lily  
Vermont Red Clover  
Virginia American Dogwood  
Washington Coast Rhododendron  
West Virginia Rhododendron  
Wisconsin Wood Violet  
Wyoming Indian Paintbrush