Summer's abundance of blooms brings dinner plate-sized dahlias and peonies in various hues. Garden roses and ranunculus find their way into bouquets and floral arrangements, while vines and green foliage provide fillers. In light of all the beautiful options, how do the pros pick their seasonal favorites? Here, wedding florists dish on some of the unexpected floral options they love, plus share how they incorporate these blooms into summer nuptials.
Wedding planner and floral designer Elizabeth McKellar of The Nouveau Romantics loves flowers in shades of summery yellow and copper. Her favorite blooms to get the colors just right? Sweet peas. She especially loves pairing these dainty blooms with sturdier options like hellebores, heuchera leaves, spirea, oak leaf hydrangea, golden bougainvillea, roses, peonies, and ranunculus.
Wild grasses have a summer look that adds a feeling of nostalgia to any setting, swears Kate Holt of Flower Wild. She likes to line a couple's ceremony aisle with golden-hued wild grasses. For a little more green, add in some complementary smilax foliage.
Designer Nicole Sillapere relies on straw flowers in the summertime since they're durable in the heat. "They're intricate and graphic, and they dry incredibly well," she says. "They also make the sweetest flower crowns." Look for single-color varieties, which this pro says are her favorites.
McKellar highlights foxglove, garden roses, and grasses as some of her other summer favorites. She likes to use foxglove as a main feature in her summertime bouquets, then complements them with plum foliage, astilbe, umbrella ferns, geranium leaves, thistle, ranunculus, caramel Antike garden roses, white dahlias, and sea grass.
To create modern table arrangements for a summer wedding, the pros at Scarlett & Grace like to feature colorful gloriosa lilies in their designs. One of their favorite ways to highlight the fiery bloom is by weaving them through geometric sculptures.
Teddy Bear Sunflowers
Sillapere loves using yellow blooms in her summer floral designs, and says teddy bear sunflowers are one of her go-to options. "I once created a striped walkway with teddy bear sunflowers by completely removing the stems," she explains, and adds that their fluffiness and substantive size make these pretty flowers especially fun to work with.
These fluffy blooms (which come in a variety of different shades, including white, yellow, blue, purple, pink, and green) are practically a hallmark of summer. Floral designer Sarah Winward recommends using hardy, end-of-summer hydrangea in a creative way by draping them through the bride's hair. To create the right effect, Winward likes to string individual hydrangea petals and porcelain-vine berries onto a length of gold thread, then drape it around the crown of the bride's head, allowing the ends to dangle free.
Floral designer Ariella Chezar notes that zinnias are a gorgeous summer flower that just don't get enough love. "Zinnias have a big impact when massed together by color," she says. "It's when you mix all the shades together that they seem more pedestrian and familiar." To create a summer reception table, she loves the idea of filling pitchers with zinnia bunches in shades of red, gold, orange, and chocolate.