Weddings and hydrangeas go together beautifully. Whether used in bouquets, arrangements, or even on the cake, hydrangeas create an elegant and beautiful accent. One can choose to use hydrangeas sparingly or to make them the theme for the entire wedding and reception.
The delicate bridal bouquet below (left) is from the wedding and is composed of pink roses, orchids, and a single white hydrangea.
When we asked the bride about her bouquet, she provided this description: "The style of my bouquet is called Biedermeier. I saw pictures of bouquets with concentric circles and liked the appearance; then I discovered it was called Biedermeier, which suited me just fine as I'm a German teacher! Some bouquets have more clearly defined circles, but mine turned out a little softer which I like."
Sources for Wedding Hydrangeas
There are basically three ways to obtain hydrangeas for a wedding:
(1) Pick blooms from your own hydrangeas or from a friend's,
(2) Purchase hydrangeas directly from a grower, designing and arranging them yourself.
(3) Use a florist who can provide the hydrangeas and the designs, as well as create the arrangements.
(1) Pick Your Own Hydrangea
The obvious advantage of picking your own hydrangeas is that you can save a great deal of money compared to purchasing them from a grower or a florist. However, it is important to plan ahead and learn as much as you can about handling hydrangeas.
Here are some things to consider if you are planning to use home-grown hydrangeas:
- Hydrangea blooms are at their peak for 2 - 3 weeks, or a little longer.
- It may be difficult to schedule a wedding at the exact time blooms are at their peak. The hydrangea blooms to the left were originally blue. As they aged they turned deep pink. Even if you cannot catch hydrangeas at their peak, the blooms can be lovely even after they've past their prime. They usually retain some antique shades of pink, green, burgundy or even blue. The color of the blooms may change, but they will often still be beautiful. Being flexible with color coordination can be important if you are not sure when your hydrangeas will bloom.
- After hydrangeas are cut they occasionally wilt without warning.
- Don't let this scare you away from using hydrangeas. This does not always happen, and there are steps one can take to prevent it. I have heard from several visitors to my site who have said the methods described here (Prolonging the Life of Hydrangea Blooms) worked beautifully for them.
- Plan to pick hydrangeas from older, well-established plants.
- Some visitors to my site have tried planting hydrangeas a year before their wedding in an attempt to grow their own hydrangeas. With rare exceptions, hydrangeas produce few blooms the first and second year after they are planted. Even if they are covered in blooms when they are purchased (a rare occurrence), they may not produce many blooms again for a couple of years.
- Learn all you can about hydrangeas before the wedding.
- Those who are most successful using home-grown hydrangeas are those who are already familiar with hydrangeas, with their bloom-times, and with handling them after they are cut. If you are new to hydrangeas, enlist the help of a gardening friend or a knowledgeable person in a garden center to help answer questions you may have.
- Consider a backup plan in case weather causes the hydrangea blooms to fail.
- Occasionally, after a hard winter or a freeze that occurs at an unusual time, hydrangeas may fail to bloom as well as usual. Having an alternative plan will insure that the bride and her mother will keep their sanity.
(2) Purchase Hydrangeas Directly From The Grower
If you are able to design and arrange your own bouquets and floral displays, or if you have a talented friend who can do this, hydrangeas can be purchased directly from a grower at a substantial savings over those from a florist. For those who like arts and crafts, it can be a lot of fun, too.
Hydrangea growers can be found on the web. These growers will ship large or small boxes of hydrangeas to your home. The grower will condition the flowers by allowing them to soak up special preservatives before they are packed for shipping. In addition, instructions for hydrating the blooms and keeping them fresh will accompany the flowers.
We have heard of instances where the bride ordered hydrangeas from a grower and had a florist design her bouquets and arrangements. We don't know if there is a financial advantage to doing this, but it would be useful if the florist were giving his or her services to the bride as a wedding gift.
(3) Use a Florist and Their Services
There are many advantages to using a florist's services for your wedding flowers. Sometimes the peace of mind that comes from having a professional take care of everything is well worth the expense. Here are some of the services you will get with a florist that you will probably not get using your own hydrangeas or those of a grower:
- Most florists can obtain hydrangeas in any stage of bloom at any time of year. Florists can order hydrangeas worldwide.
- Most florists have a great deal of experience and training in designing arrangements, bouquets, and floral decor. Most florist can achieve a high level of sophistication and beauty. (This is not to take away from the charm and beauty that can be achieved when friends and family do the flowers - not to mention the fun!)
- Florists can take some of the stress off the bride and her mother. Some people do not want the additional responsibility of dealing with flowers right before a wedding is to take place.
- Florists will know the rules and traditions of each church in their community. They will know which churches allow flowers in front of the altar and which do not. They will know if the brackets that one uses to attach flowers to the pews are allowed by the church and how to keep candlewax off the carpet. In short, a good florist can save the bride and her family many unwanted surprises.