This morning I had the pleasure of waking up to a lovely boost of optimism from my mom. She posted a picture of an orchid on her Facebook and urged that I post a peony on mine. She knows me all too well; I've always adored the pink peonies that pop up in her garden every spring. And who doesn't like flowers on a dreary Sunday morning?
I'd like to thank her for giving me the inspiration I needed to spend my day engaged in beautiful and productive things. My search to find the perfect peony afforded me the double opportunity to plan my wedding. One thing led to another and the search for pretty peonies became the search for centrepieces, bridesmaids gifts, lawn games, and signage. Notebooks all around me, I found myself excitedly envisioning our outdoor ceremony with the help of Pinterest, Esty, and TheKnot. Had I not gone back to the original topic of flowers, I could have easily maxed out my credit card.
Deciding on what flowers to have at our July wedding is proving harder than I expected, especially since my number one choice--peonies--just so happen to bloom in June. Not every flower is a summer flower and it is very expensive to order out-of-season blooms. I made it my mission (very willingly) to find the prettiest summer flowers to narrow down my choice. Once I found the ones in season, I compiled a few... or rather a whole lot... of images so I could see everything side by side. Still smitten with peonies, I have yet to decide what else to incorporate into my bouquets; however, I do hope my research will prove helpful to anyone with better decision-making skills. To all the girls out there with summer weddings, enjoy!
Allium - in the onion family, a sign of good luck and health (the big round purple things)
Alstroemeria - comes in many varieties, good for table arrangements as many flowers come on one stem, may cause dermatitis
Amaryllis - originated in South Africa, odorless
Aster - "the ancestor flower", available all year round (the pink ones with the yellow in the centre)
Baby's Breath - Gypsophila, derived from the Greek word "to love", scentless (the little white ones with the green stems)
Bouvardia - named after Dr. Charles Bouvard, the physician to King Louis XII, this flower is thought to be responsible for the king's long life, symbolizes longevity
Calla Lilly - derived from the Greek word meaning beautiful, available year round, scentless
Carnation - derived from the Greek word for divine flower, very abundant and affordable
Chrysathemum - also called mums, very popular and abundant
Dahlia - have a strong, spicy smell, make an excellent hairpiece (the light pink biggest and centermost flower)
Delphinium - also known as larkspur, the Greek name means "to strengthen"
Eucalyptus - also known as silver dollars, thought to bring good health and fortune to newlyweds (the leaves dropping from the bottom of the bouquet)
Freesia - need to be handled with care and love sugar water (the white ones)
Gardenia - have a jasmine-like scent, dainty and often dried as keepsakes
Gerbera Daisy - best for informal weddings
Gladiolus - excellent for large table arrangements, scentless
Iris - means "rainbow", blue and white flowers were traditionally placed in a vase at the bride's table to remind her that marriage is both vibrant and pale (the indigo ones with the yellow in the middle)
Lily - very fragrant, used frequently at weddings
Lisianthus - large and dramatic (the mauve flowers)
Nerine - contemporary and often used for corsages (the lighter pink starfish-looking things)
Cattleya Orchid - expensive and fragile, sometimes worn in a corsage on the mother of the bride and/or groom
Cymbidium Orchid - available year round, scentless, should be kept out of the sun
Peony - not a summertime flower, but I just love them so much that I might have them ordered in
Queen Anne's Lace - delicate and lacy, sometimes must be plucked from the wild, only keeps for 3 days
Rose - complement any wedding decor, nothing says love better
Snapdragon - very useful in vase arrangements, should not be placed near fruits and vegetables
Statice - known as sea lavender and often used as a keepsake (the fluffy purple stuff that looks like parsley)
Stephanotis - fairly expensive, traditional
Stock - inexpensive, good in mixed bouquets (seen in magenta)
Sunflower - not my favourite, but it's quite inexpensive
Tuberose - expensive, fragrant, great for small table arrangements
Sigh... if only we could have them all.