By Julie Christensen
Summer brides have an abundance of choices when it comes to flowers. Most greenhouse flowers are readily available and you can also choose from the flowers growing in your own backyard or even wildflowers. Color palettes for July can range from a subdued Victorian theme to riotous purples and yellows. From classic elegance to whimsical fun, July offers limitless possibilities.
When choosing your flowers, choose those that reflect your personality and your theme. Roses, gardenias and stephanotis usually denote a formal, traditional theme. Sunflowers, gerbera daisies and poms create a more colorful, extravagant feeling. Many July brides select a whimsical or party-like theme. How about an old-fashioned soda fountain, complete with a soft-serve ice cream bar or slushy machine? Maybe a country fair with hot dogs and cotton candy suits you. Casual, whimsical occasions are the rage right now, especially for summer weddings.
Whether you opt for a traditional wedding or one a bit more avant garde, we’ve rounded up our favorite picks for July wedding flowers.
Astilbe. This shade-loving perennial produces feathery plumes of flowers in shades of white, peach, pink, purple and red. It adds a soft, romantic touch to Victorian or vintage-themed weddings.
Calla lilies. The quintessential wedding flower, white or cream calla lilies bring to mind elegance and sophistication. Calla lilies are a bit more expensive than some flowers, but you don’t need a lot of them to make a statement. In fact, less is more. A bridal bouquet of just a few flowers wrapped simply with ribbon is all you need. Calla lilies now come in vivid shades of violet, yellow and orange, as well as miniature sizes. Use colored calla lilies to create a completely different feeling.
Delphiniums. Lovely, old-fashioned stalks of extravagant flowers create a soft, romantic feeling. Delphiniums are best used in mixed bouquets to soften their vertical affect.
Gerbera daisies. These big, colorful daisies come in a riot of colors, including hot pink, bright orange, yellow and lime green. Their sturdy stems make them an excellent cut flower. Gather the daisies in tera cotta pots or combine them with other brightly colored blooms for a fun, casual look.
Hydrangeas. Most brides opt for creamy white and green hydrangeas to create a soft, elegant bridal look, but you can also use pink or blue hydrangeas. The soil pH these hydrangeas grow in determines their color. Acidic soil creates blue hydrangeas, while alkaline soils create pink ones. Hydrangeas have large clusters of flowers and a few go a long way. The flowers wilt quickly so make arrangements at the last minute.
Poppies. Sweet, simple poppies are as versatile as they are charming. Gather armfuls of poppies and tuck them into mason jars for a country picnic feeling, or arrange two or three in tall, slender vases for a modern, Asian feel. Cut poppies don’t last long. Touch their stems with a lighter before placing them in water to extend their life.
Ranunculus. Ranunculuses, or buttercups, are incredibly versatile and long-lasting flowers. They have a rounded, multi-petaled form, similar to roses, and a papery texture. Ranunculus comes in white or creamy white, as well as vivid pinks, oranges and yellows.
Stephanotis. Stephanotis is a wedding classic, and what’s not to love? Tiny bell-like flowers are wired into clusters of fragrant beauty. Use stephanotis alone with greenery for a traditional wedding theme or pair it with roses and other blooms.
Sunflowers. Sunflowers are the ultimate summer wedding flower – large, extravagant and cheery. Although it’s tempting to use wild sunflowers or those growing in your yard, make sure you choose a variety specifically bred for florist use. Garden sunflower varieties drop a lot of pollen, which you don’t want on your wedding day.
Wildflowers. Gather a casual bouquet from the flowers growing wild near your home or even in your backyard. Any of the following make lovely bouquets: coneflowers, lavender, yarrow, coreopsis, black-eyed Susans or larkspur. Cut the flowers and place them in cool water quickly. Store them in a shady location outdoors overnight so any bugs can make their escape.
Julie Christensen learned about gardening on her grandfather’s farm and mother’s vegetable garden in southern Idaho. Today, she lives and gardens on the high plains of Colorado. When she’s not digging in the dirt, Julie writes about food, education, parenting and gardening.