Wedding Flowers | A to Z Guide (with Photos)

By, February 04, 2016

It’s amazing how much impact florals can have on the wedding day. There are flowers to match every personality and style, from the classic elegance of the calla lily, to the exotic flair of the king protea. With a talented floral designer on your wedding team, you will be amazed at what can be done with bouquets, boutonnieres and centerpieces.

For a dose of fresh inspiration, and tips for selecting the perfect floral ensemble, check out our extensive A-to-Z floral guide below. As you scroll through the images, make sure to pin your favorites :)

Classic bouquets using anemone flowers
Floral Credit: McCann Florist (image on right)


One of the few flowers to bloom in black and white, Anemone has a classic look perfect for any traditional wedding. Unscented and cost-friendly, these flowers are in season from October to May, and pair well with ranunculuses or eucalyptus leaves.

Billy Button Boutonniere
Floral Credit: Tenfold Style

Billy Buttons

Available all year round, the billy button is a fun, ball-shaped flower that adds a punch of color to your details. Perfect for bouquets of all styles, the billy button is versatile and blends well with spring, summer and rustic themes.

Collage image of calla lily
Floral Credit: Wholesale Flowers and Supplies (on left), Isari Flower Studio (on right).

Calla Lilies

Known for its elegant beauty and distinct shape, the tropical calla lily is available year-round. Although pricy, it is one of the most popular flowers used in weddings. The calla lily is originally from Africa, and comes in a variety of colors such as ivory, yellow, orange, pink and red.

Colorful bouquet of dahlias
Floral Credit: The Flower Shop


Named as Mexico’s national flower in 1963, the Dahlia is a robust flower with a rich history throughout South America and Europe. Discovered in the Aztec gardens by traveling conquistadors, this flower became cherished for its bold colors and unique shape. The intricately patterned petals and fullness make dahlias ideal for centerpieces and bouquets. Diverse in color, they stand out on their own, or when paired with other flowers.

Ways to Use Eucalyptus at wedding
Floral Credit: Rae Florae (on left), Urban Garden & Floral Event Design (on right)


Eucalyptus is a versatile plant used primarily for its leaves and seeds. Because the natural muted greens go well with flowers, it makes a great filler. With over a hundred varieties to choose from, it is popularly incorporated into garlands, wedding arches, bouquets, boutonnieres and centerpieces. Eucalyptus is great for adding fullness and texture to details, and it pairs well with blush, orange and reds.

Rustic bouquet using false goats beard
Floral Credit: Gaslamp Floral (on left), Jolie Fleur Del Mar (on right)

False Goat’s Beard (Astilbe)

A tough little flower, false goat’s beard (AKA astilbe) is a feathery plume native to the mountain ravines and woodlands of Asia and North America. Coarse in texture, this flower is beautiful in wildflower bouquets, and ranges in color from cream, pink, red and amethyst. This shade-loving flower has a pleasant aroma, and gives an overall romantic feel to the day.

Traditional Wedding Bouquet
Floral Credit: Kathy Wright & Co.

Garden Roses

Garden roses have risen in popularity over the last few years, especially as a reasonably priced alternative to the peony. These roses are lush and full, with a spiral center of tightly wound petals. When in bloom, these beauties open up for a full, ruffled look. Another rose commonly used in place of more traditional varieties is the Juliet Rose.

Hydrangea bouquet
Floral Credit: Root 75 (on left), Organic Elements (on right)


A scentless shrub flower originating in Eastern Asia, hydrangeas are clustered blooms that form one large flower. They make a bold statement on their own, and can also be used to complement other flowers. Hydrangeas are thirsty, so we suggest keeping them well-hydrated to last the whole night through.

Rustic inspired bouquet using wild flower
Floral Credit: Isari Flower Studio

Jasmine Vine

Associated with love and purity, Jasmine Vine is a chic garden floral, and adds great texture to a bouquet or centerpiece. Admired for its fragrant perfume, the vine is often used in trailing bouquets for a bohemian twist.

Exotic wedding bouquet
Floral Credit: Isari Flower Studio

King Protea

A dramatic focal piece in any ensemble, the oversized King Protea demands attention. Adorned with spiky pink petals and a white, fuzzy center, this durable flower is perfect for desert environments. The national flower of South Africa, the King Protea is one of the oldest known flower types, dating back nearly 300 million years.

Lavender bouquet and boutonniere
Floral Credit: Bloomers of La Jolla (on left), Painted Primrose (on right)


Known for its aromatic fragrance, lavender is a rustic flower that can be used dried or in fresh bouquets. Its soft muted colors create a calm atmosphere, and a romantic, timeless look.

Colorful bouquet of nigella flower
Floral Credit: Sharrie Woods


Vibrant and colorful, Nigella is a rich blue garden flower that blooms in early Summer. Its nickname, Love-in-a-Mist, comes from the fennel-like foliage that grows on top of the flower, creating a mist-like appearance.

Colorful orchid bouquetFloral Credit: Trendee Flowers (on left), Artistic Floral Design (on right)


A sexy tropical flower, orchids are a popular choice for Summer brides due to their ability to withstand heat. They can be used alone as a creative boutonnière, or bunched together in a eye-catching cascade bouquet. Coming in over 20,000 various shapes and colors, the most commonly seen types are Cymbidium (usually green), Phalaenopsis (white and purple), Vanda (blue), and Dendrobium (used in Hawaiian leis and cascading bouquets).

Classic pink Peony bouquet
Floral Credit: Adornments Flowers


The quintessential wedding flower, peonies are admired for their classic romantic look. With lush, ruffled petals and a sweet aroma, these flowers are ideal for Spring weddings but can be challenging to find during the off-season.

Rustic bouquet with ranunculus
Floral Credit: Isari Flower Studio


Adorned with lush, dense ruffles and fluffy petals, Ranunculus have quickly become a modern wedding favorite. These beautiful flowers bloom in a variety of colors, ranging from white, orange, pink and burgundy. Popularly used as an alternative to the peony or rose, Ranunculus are extremely versatile, and can be paired with a wide assortment of flowers.

Colorful desert themed wedding succulents
Floral Credit: Sweet Marie Designs (on left), Penny Blooms Floral & Event Design (on right)


Heat-resistant, and therefore perfect for Summer, succulents have become a modern addition to many rustic weddings. When combined with other flowers such as ranunculus or dahlias, succulents provide a beautiful, textured accent. They also make great focal points, and can be incorporated into bouquets, party favors, and creative wedding backdrops.

Colorful orange tulip bouquet


Tall and elegant, with an egg-shaped blossom, tulips add a fun burst of color to the wedding day. You can find tulips in most hues, with shades ranging from white to rich dark purple. Although the traditional styles, such as Big Smile and Menton, are most popular at weddings, there are also many exotic varieties. Our favorites are the Parrot Tulip, with ruffled petals that mimic the feathers of a parrot, and the Double Bloom Tulip, which resembles a peony.

Colorful bouquet incorporating red uva ursi berries
Floral Credit: Adorations Botanical Artistry

Uva Ursi

Also known as Bearberries, Uva Ursi is an evergreen shrub that grows beautiful red berries in the Fall. A perfect accent in bouquets or on boutonnieres, the complementary green and red tones will add a pop of color to your details.

Colorful flower bouquets using veronica flowers
Floral Credit: Splendid Sentiments (on left), Cherry Blossom Floral Designs (on right)


A tall spike of small, bushy petals, Veronica Flower is one of the truest blue flowers on the market. The flower can be found in a variety of colors beyond blue such as purple, pink or white. Available from Spring to Autumn, these flowers radiate a tea-like fragrance that often attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.

Classic bouquet incorporating yew plant
Floral Credit: Franco’s Flowers


With thin spiky leaves that can bear cones and berries, yew is a coniferous shrub that brings a touch of the forest to the wedding day. It adds texture and greenery for a pop of drama, and is perfect for couples planning winter or rustic weddings.

Bride Zoe holding calla lily bouquet


We know these are lilies. But they are gorgeous lilies, and they are from our bride Zoe‘s beautiful wedding. So we get by on a technicality, right?

For dozens (and dozens) of additional wedding flower photos, to use as inspiration, please click here.


A Springtime Wedding with Fresh Blooms by Matteson’s Florist | L’Auberge Hotel in Del Mar

By, May 02, 2013

I was first introduced to Nicole at the beautiful L’Auberge Hotel in Del Mar. We sat in the cozy couches at the bar, and discussed her wedding to Gene. Over lemonade, we shared ideas regarding the floral vision for the big day. Nicole had such a warm smile which reflected in her style: nice, simple, and uncomplicated.


Nicole knew she wanted simple Calla Lily bouquets for each of her Bridesmaides, which created a nice starting point for her wedding design. To complement the look and feel of L’Auberge, she chose to incorporate white, green, and blue into the arrangements.


Spring is such a beautiful time to get married! You can have nice bulb plants, such as blue Muscari, which are not available year-round. For Nicole’s bouquet, we used mini white calla lilies with Green Eye Ranunculas, white Dendrobium Orchids, and a touch of Muscari.

San-Diego-Wedding-Flowers-by-Matteson's-Florist-Matteson's Florists San Diego Wedding FlowersSan-Diego-Wedding-Flowers-by-Matteson's-Florist

Traditionally, we like to match the Groom’s Boutonniere to the bridal bouquet. Here, we chose a Mini Calla Lily and an Orchid Bloom, which we wrapped in charcoal ribbon.


For the ceremony, we rented Nicole and Gene a beautiful wooden structure, which we drapped in white tulle and sage chiffon. We lightly decorated the structure with flowers used in Nicole’s bridal bouquet; she loved it! The fabric was such a nice touch, especially with the light breeze coming up from the ocean.


For the reception florals, Nicole envisioned a low, unstructured look. We gathered white and green tones in bubble bowls, and placed them on top of round mirrors.


The lily theme was even carried over to the wedding cake, which was topped with white lilies crafted out of fondant.


From the earthy tones, to the ocean breeze, Nicole’s wedding came together beautifully. She and Gene were an absolute joy to work with!


Florist: Matteson’s Florist
Photographer: True Photography
Venue: L Auberge
Musician: Caprice Strings
Tuxedo: Friar Tux Shop
Coordinator: Krissie Simek
Disc Jockey: Positive Energy Productions
Photo Booth: San Diego Flashy Photo Booths
Hair Stylist: The Big Day Hair & Makeup by Kristi

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