25 Carnation Wedding Bouquets Perfect for Any Season

This "flower of love" will beautifully elevate your big day.
Ariel Taranski
Ariel Taranski
Ariel Taranski
Ariel Taranski
The Knot Contributor
  • Ariel writes on a variety of wedding-related topics for The Knot.
  • She has previously worked for Southern Bride Magazine, Miss Design Berry and other woman-owned wedding brands.
  • She received her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Memphis.
Updated May 10, 2023

There are wedding flowers to consider for your big day, but we're here to tell you all the reasons why a carnation wedding bouquet may be right for you. This flower has an illustrious history, dating back over two centuries, making it the world's oldest cultivated blossom. This popular plant holds significance across many cultures, and its lovely form make it a perfect accent to a wide range of other flowers.

Let's take a closer look at this perennial and see experts and couples alike sing its praises for wedding floral arrangements. We're sharing all the carnation information you need to know along with 25 beautiful carnation wedding bouquets we're sure you'll love.

In this story:

What Is a Carnation?

The carnation goes by many names, like grenadine, dianthus, and clove pink. It's a fragrant flower with fringe petals on a tall stem, and it comes in border and garden varieties. The pink carnation is used as a symbol for Mother's Day in the U.S. and it is the most commonly used flower in Chinese weddings. Since it can come in smaller and larger sizes, it's a popular choice for arrangements. Marigolds, zinnias, lisianthus and butterfly ranunculus are often mistaken for carnations.

Carnation Colors

Carnations come in just about every color, both naturally and dyed. Plus, carnations are available in hundreds of different varieties so that you get just the right one for your bouquet. Their colors are symbolize certain things, such as red symbolizing love and affection or white for luck.

What Does a Carnation Mean at a Wedding?

Carnations symbolize love and fascination, and their scientific name even translates to "flower of love" or "flower of the gods." Many flowers hold symbolic meaning, so it's no wonder that many couples will choose blooms that signify positive things for their wedding day, such as luck, love, or good fortune.

Carnation Bouquet Cost

Carnations are the most affordable flower for arrangements or bulk orders, which is why many couples love working with this versatile bloom in their bouquets. Since individual carnations can cost about $1 per stem, a bouquet will be relatively inexpensive unless incorporated with off-season flowers or harder to ship blooms.

When Are Carnations In-Season?

Carnations are in season from spring to summer, and their long vase life makes them an ideal choice for arrangements. Since carnations are particularly hardy, they may also bloom in fall or winter in certain areas, making them perfect for weddings of all seasons.

Florists' Tips on Adding Carnations to Your Bouquet

Many florists love carnations for their versatility, low-cost and bounty of colors. Here are some tips to adding this lovely flower to your arrangement.

Pairing Them With Other Perennials

Whether you want to cut down on the cost of your bouquet or just pick your favorite in-season flowers, pairing them with other perennials will ensure you get a nice variety of spring and summer blossoms.

Incorporate Other Textured Blooms

Carnations are a shapely bloom, so mixing them in with other unique textures and sizes will make your bouquet pop. To get her knowledgeable take, we spoke with Tennessee-based top wedding expert Joanna Dyer, owner of Snapdragon Floral, founded in 2018. She says, "We love to open our carnations and roses for weddings, but we keep them tight with delivery so you can enjoy them the maximum time." This is important for ensuring you can enjoy your bouquet for as long as possible.

Find Expert Local Florists

While DIYing a bouquet can be fun, sometimes working with a florist to make your vision come to life is better for your big day. You can utilize The Knot Marketplace to find local florists and link up with one who fits your needs.

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Carnation Wedding Bouquet Ideas

Now that we've sold you on using carnations for your wedding, here are some real bouquets that will give you inspiration for your own arrangement. No matter what wedding style you've chosen, there's a beautiful carnation wedding bouquet idea that'll fit the bill.

Peachy Summer Carnation Wedding Bouquet

Peach is becoming a popular flower color, and these pastel carnations show why. This bouquet is perfect for any season or palette since it brings a stunning hue to the forefront while still showcasing a white bridal gown.

One-of-a-Kind Berries and Carnations Bouquet

One-of-a-Kind Berries and Carnations Bouquet
Photography: Jessica Oh Photography,
Floral Design: Asrai Garden

Mix in some texture to your carnation bouquet with unique elements like berries or leaves. This floral wedding arrangement even combines moody colors for a stunning edgy feel perfect for the alternative couple.

Lavish Carnation and Rose Bouquets Wedding

Lavish Carnation and Rose Bouquets Wedding
Photography: Ashley Kelemen,
Floral Design: Honey & Poppies

Pairing roses and carnations together in a bouquet give you a double dose of love, at least according to their traditional flower meanings. These beautiful blooms add romantic vibes to any big day, and those blush shades still add a pop of color.

Positively Pink Carnation Wedding Bouquet

Barbie pink is a classic palette that never goes out of style, and these pink carnations mix gorgeously with these rosy lilies and daisies. Add some brightness to your best day ever when you incorporate complementary shades of your palette into your bouquet.

Alluring Vintage-Inspired Carnation Bouquet

Alluring Vintage-Inspired Carnation Bouquet
Photography: Vangelis Photography,Floral Design: Yucca Flower Creations

This bouquet looks like it was plucked right from a vintage wedding with its lovely combo of carnations, wildflowers and roses. Make it even more unique to you by throwing in some of your own favorite flowers that complement the day's color palette.

Fresh Purple Carnation Wedding Bouquet

This jewel-toned carnation bouquet will definitely wow with its stunning mix of purple shades. This vivid, eclectic arrangement is a great choice for any couple looking to make a statement on their wedding day.

Fabulous Fall Carnation Wedding Bouquet

Fabulous Fall Carnation Wedding Bouquet
Photography: Monika Gauthier Photography
Floral Design: Daughters Flower Shop

This fall bouquet takes a classic white palette and adds some modern updates to make it really shine. With its muted carnations, roses and daisies interspersed with colorful leaves and fauna, elevating your wedding flowers has never been easier.

Unique Pomander Carnation Bouquet

Unique Pomander Carnation Bouquet
Photography: MyLife Photography

Try out a unique shape for your wedding bouquet with this pomander carnation arrangement. You can make it all one cohesive color or throw in a variety of your favorite shades to add some pizzazz.

Monochrome White Carnation Wedding Bouquet

Monochrome White Carnation Wedding Bouquet
Photography: You Look Lovely - Fine Art Photography
Floral Design: Best Day Ever Floral Design

Dried arrangements are becoming all the rage for weddings, and this monochrome carnation bouquet perfectly demonstrates why. Between the oversized blooms and smaller, more classic shapes, you can make your display match your chic, boho aesthetic.

Bright and Simple Carnation Bouquet

"Simple" doesn't have to mean boring, and this carnation wedding bouquet shows that one flower can pack a powerful punch. Utilize your wedding palette or match your wedding party's colors by incorporating different hues into this floral arrangement.

Irresistible Yellow Carnation Wedding Bouquet

We bet you can't name a more brilliant duo than canary yellow carnations and roses. This vibrant bouquet is like holding your own pocketful of sunshine down the aisle, and its glow will be truly unforgettable.

Mixed-Textures Carnation Wedding Bouquet

This bouquet cleverly blends a range of textures and shapes to add some whimsical color and design. From its tweedia to hypericum, it mixes wonderfully with classic flowers such as carnations to elevate a romantic arrangement into so much more.

Wow-Worthy Pink Carnation Wedding Bouquet

Here's one floral display that says, "Why stop at just one shade of carnation?" With lighter pinks coupled alongside darker reds, this blend of hues and blooms is a one-of-a-kind bouquet that will wow your wedding guests.

Mesmerizing Red Carnation Wedding Bouquet

Make your bouquet as deep a red as your love. This burgundy carnation arrangement exquisitely blends richly colored thistles and chrysanthemums to evoke a sense of magic and flirtation.

Marvelous Hydrangea and Carnation Wedding Bouquet

Keep your guests on their toes when you swap the colors of classic lavender hydrangeas and ivory carnations in your bouquet for each other. These white hydrangeas accent the white roses beautifully, while the purple roses and carnations are a delightful surprise.

Sweet Succulent and Carnation Bouquet

Add a pop of green by incorporating a desert plant into your carnation wedding bouquet. These succulents go well with just about any blossom, and you can even play around with different sizes and shapes of these cacti for your floral display.

Enchanting Tulip and Carnation Wedding Bouquet

Tulips and carnations are two spring flowers that offer brightness and charm to any big day. Between the endless color options of these two perennials, you can make your bouquet truly sparkle with a rainbow of shades.

Stunning Oversized Carnation Bouquet

Stunning Oversized Carnation Bouquet
Photography: Katherine Salvatori Photography
Floral Design: Floral Wonders

Cascading bouquets are like a waterfall of flowers, and they pair wonderfully with any wedding theme. Take this one, for example, with its imaginative use of eucalyptus and other greenery to make the carnations, roses and thistles really shine.

Bewitching Carnation and Baby's Breath Wedding Bouquet

This floral arrangement lets the baby's breath and green leaves take center stage, while colorful flowers like carnations and dahlias serve as a beautiful backdrop. This is the perfect inspo for DIYing your own bouquet.

Radiant and Rustic Carnation Bouquet

Radiant and Rustic Carnation Bouquet
Photography: OneLove Photography,
Floral Design: Molly Ryan Floral

If you're wanting a romantic, rustic bouquet with carnations, then this wildflower arrangement may be the one for you. Plus, this range of colors is perfect for summer weddings that give the feel of a springtime meadow.

Knockout Carnation and Orchid Wedding Bouquet

Since purple orchids represent admiration, mixing them in a bouquet with carnations is a fun choice. With these deep purple hues and symbol of love, your walk down the aisle will be full of glamour and good vibes.

Bold Lily and Carnation Wedding Bouquet

Light your love on fire with these gloriosa lilies, also known as fire lilies. You'll be making a bold statement with your carnation bouquet by adding these uniquely shaped blooms into the mix.

Delightful Daisy and Carnation Wedding Bouquets

Delightful Daisy and Carnation Wedding Bouquets
Photography: Mackenzie Orth Photography
Floral Design: Dickinson Floral

This bouquet with daisies gives the sense it came right from your very own garden, while still having the sophisticated touch of a florist. The variety of florals in this arrangement offer a world of color, right in the palm of your hand.

Romantic Pastel Carnation Bouquet

One thing about pastels is that they work for any time of year by injecting a touch of elegance. Pair your white carnations with some delicate colors, like this bouquet does with light purples and pinks.

Perfect Tropical Vibes Carnation Bouquet

If you want to add a tropical flair to your bouquet, here's some lovely inspo that takes a classic flower and makes it beachy. With the inclusion of bright colors and boho accents, like oversized calla lilies, you can create coastal vibes out of any location. It's also worth noting that this bouquet contains orange marigolds, in addition to violet carnations. If you like carnations and are looking for a good alternative, marigolds are the carnation dupe you need to consider.

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