As we all know, most weddings are held during the summer and early fall – think the months of June, July, August, and September. Though not as common, winter weddings are special in their own right and can be extraordinary with the right selection of flowers, branches, and berries particular to the winter season. The only tricky part is having décor that affirmatively states “winter wedding” and not “holiday office party”. Of course, there is nothing wrong with simply ignoring the winter season if your wedding happens to fall within a winter month. But if you would like to make the wedding look seasonal, there are many interesting and exquisite wintry flowers to use!
White is very bridal and also brings to mind snow and frost. I love red because it is festive, romantic, and warm. Both white and red are perfect for a winter wedding, and you can also add in accents of another color – perhaps a pale pink, a deep burgundy, a light blue, or a silvery green.
Seasonal flowers perfect for a winter wedding include peonies, ranunculus, amaryllis, anemones, and narcissus. Think “early spring” for winter flowers. Here in LA, ranunculus, anemones, and narcissus are grown at local ranches in Carpenteria, CA in the winter. Peonies are mostly imported from Israel or New Zealand. In addition, there are several very dependable flowers available all year and can also be used in a way that states “winter wedding” especially in shades of white or red. These include roses, tulips, mini callas, lilies, tulips, chrysanthemum, freesia, and baby’s breath.
A word on baby’s breath, also known as gypsophilia: baby’s breath has come a long way! We have definitely grown wary of the florist who uses a sprig of baby’s breath next to a red carnation or red rose. The varieties of baby’s breath available today are simply stunning with each stem filled with hundreds of large, fluffy white blossoms – I especially love the varieties from Esmeralda Farms. Floral designers today are using baby’s breath in such creative ways that we forget we are looking at the humble baby’s breath! They make excellent flowers for a whimsical winter wedding.
We might accent the flowers with a festive and seasonal look using red berries such as ilex or hypericum. Hypericum or coffee berry is available all year in shades of red, brown, and green. To move away from that holiday party look, you can mix in silver tinted greens rather than the green leaves typically used during the spring, summer, and fall seasons. This softens the red/green or white/green contrast. My favorites include berzillia and dusty miller. Their silvery-grey colors evoke snow dusting the leaves of trees and brush.
Birch bark also creates the imagery and feeling of walking through a forest on a snowy winter’s morning. They have a silvery-white coloring. You can use sheets of birch bark to line clear glass containers. I have also seen hollowed out birch “logs”. These can be used as actual containers for a long reception table by either gluing flowers directly to the birch or by cutting out holes to slip flowers through the bark and into a vessel of water hidden within the hollowed log.