Alternative floral choices to ‘traditional wedding flowers’ | uk wedding blog

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This morning we have the pleasure of sharing florist Joanne Truby‘s take on what a couple can have for their wedding other than the usual wedding flowers (ie roses and peonies). She shares some of her favourites plus when they are in season. I hope you gain some inspiration and find this helpful!

When discussing wedding flowers quite often the two most popular varieties that crop up are roses and peonies. I feel like the ‘bad cop’ when having to break the news to a bride who has her heart set on peonies that they won’t be in season when she is getting married.  Fear not though as there are many other wonderful flower varieties to choose from, some of which you may not have even considered before. I am going to be sharing with you some alternative floral choices to ‘traditional wedding flowers’.

Go for a Garden Rose

Going back to the point I made about peonies, if they are out of season (their peak season starts from around April until July) then the first suggestion I make as an alternative are  garden roses which are just stunning, some of my most favourite varieties being David Austin. Available in a wide array of colours each one having its own unique name; Darcey which is a rich raspberry shade, Beatrice a creamy vanilla, Juliet which is peachy shade & kiera which is a mix of very light pink and peachy tones to name just a few. When fully open they create a similar effect to peonies being that they are big headed and blousy with lots of ruffled petals and would be a show stopper to add to your bouquets. Not only do they look gorgeous but garden roses also smell incredible. I used Antique Caramel garden roses in the bouquet below for a soft romantic feel and mixed them with different flowers & foliage’s to create interesting textures.


The Prince Jardiner garden rose is a gorgeous blush pink tone and has the most delicious scent the rose opens up to the size of a saucer which means they are perfect for larger arrangements, like the arbour design we created for one of our couples last year.

Mark Bushkes Photography

 Filler Flowers

Gyp is another flower that features a lot at weddings, in particular when used on its own in mass for bouquets & table centres. However another alternative filler flower often overlooked is limonium which is available in white and lilac. Limonium adds a delicate softness to arrangements it’s also really long lasting too. I incorporated the lilac shade to the bridal & flower girl bouquets below to give them a subtle meadow like feel. 

Paddy & Victoria Wedding by Rebecca Douglas 0026 (1)

Paddy & Victoria Wedding by Rebecca Douglas 0086 (1)

Bold and bright

If you’re getting married during the summer & autumn months then sunflowers could be a striking choice for a bright & bold colour scheme. Some grow to have ginormous sized heads that are perfect for larger arrangements such as urns. Sunflowers are also available in a mini variety too which means they are ideal for using in bouquets and table centres too.

Create Contrast

On first glance at both the thistle and scabious seed head you may dismiss them and think they look rather unattractive, but reconsider. When paired with other more feminine flowers they can create a really interesting contrast within your wedding floral designs and personally I am a big fan of both.

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The key is to use them in a subtle way by just adding a few stems to your bouquet/arrangement and mixing them with other more ‘blousy’ blooms to create distinction. Both thistles & scabious seed heads have an unusual shape, thistles due to their spikes and the ball like scabious heads look a little like furry sea urchins! Too many of either could become over powering. A few thistles were incorporated into the bouquets below which work really well with the mix of blousy blooms giving the overall design ‘zest’.

Rebecca Douglas Photography

Just a few scabious seed heads were used for both the flower crown and bouquet below they add to the overall look and feel to create interesting textures.

Rebecca Douglas Photography (2)

Something else which may surprise you about scabious seed heads is that they complement pretty much any colour combination from bold and bright compositions to more soft and romantic tones. Thistles & Scabious heads are brilliant for button holes too as they have a more masculine edge to them which obviously works well for those grooms who don’t want to wear a flower that is too ‘girly’ like a rose for example.  Both varieties will last absolutely ages (I’m talking months) too even once they have dried out you could still use them within your arrangements as their appearance doesn’t really alter. So what’s not to love?

A wild edge

Clematis is probably best known amongst gardeners as a ‘climber’ flower but believe it or not it makes a wonderful wedding flower too. Particularly if you are keen on a more natural style for your wedding as their wispy stems create movement within arrangements and lend themselves more towards more wild like designs. As a cut flower Clematis is available in lilac, purple and also in a pink magenta shade.


Paddy & Victoria Wedding by Rebecca Douglas 0249Scotney Castle 50s Wedding Styled Shoot by Rebecca Douglas Photography 0022

I hope this has given you some inspiration & ideas for those of you that are keen to use more ‘non’ wedding like flowers.

Joanne xx

photography by Rebecca Douglas / Mark Bushkes / Kerry Ann Duffy / Carey Sheffield / Brighton Photo


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