No matter when you're planning to tie the knot, there's one thing to know for certain: You'll have your pick of unique and beautiful in-season blooms. Sure, you can get peonies in December and ranunculus in July (for a pretty penny, that is) but why splurge on spendy, imported blooms when you can use what's growing right now? As summer turns to fall, there are so many gorgeous, wedding-worthy flowers popping up, and the best way to maximize your budget and get some serious floral style is by decorating your ceremony and reception with in-season flowers. During a recent chat with San Francisco-based floral designer Natalie Bowen of Natalie Bowen Designs, we got the full scoop on fall flowers that are perfect for centerpieces.
But how do you make sure what's in-season fits with your aesthetic? "I always suggest being clear on your color palette and the flowers you are most in love with," Bowen says, "but also being open to exact varieties. Allowing your florist to select the most beautiful blooms that have the feeling and colors you want will help them achieve the overall look without being stuck on getting the exact variety you think you want. When your floral designer has some flexibility and freedom, a more full and bountiful design will be achieved."
While most couples will turn to their florist for flower recommendations that are seasonal, colorful, and abundant, it's helpful to have a head start by knowing what can be expected throughout the autumn months. Here, Natalie suggests the flowers she thinks are the best of the season's offerings.
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Bowen often incorporates autumnal foliage into her centerpiece designs during the fall months, especially utilizing maple leaves and sweetgum because of their rich tones. As she says, "I think it connects us to the season, and it's the only time of year we can really use those." For fillers, she suggests using plenty of seasonal foliage that has started to golden.
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As for her favorite seasonal flowers, Bowen is a big fan of couples who chose to incorporate dahlias and garden roses into their centerpieces. She also uses a lot of berry branches and fruits, which bring a richness of hue and textural variety to her designs.
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There are countless varieties of beautiful garden roses to chose from throughout fall, but Bowen points out that, "the availability of garden roses is dependent on the way the season unfolds, and so the exact weeks they're available is weather dependent. Excess rain or a heat wave will affect the cutting and that can mean the difference of having them one weekend and not the next." So the key is to be open to different shapes and colors since you won't know which type of rose will look best on your big day.
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Rich color palettes are popular for fall weddings and Bowen suggests couples take advantage of the dark-hued dahlias that grow during this time. "Berry-toned dahlias are beautiful, rich hued blooms," she says. "Cornel, Black Narcissus, Moor Place, and Naomi are a few of my favorite dahlia varieties." In the above centerpiece, she's used both Cornel and Black Narcissus dahlias to create contrast against the blush tones and greenery of the arrangement.
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