These Are the 13 Wedding Flower Mistakes You Need to Avoid

From a floral expert, these tips will keep your florals looking snatched.
Broken vase with flowers
Photo: simonkr / Getty Images
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Lauren Nowack
lauren nowack headshot
Lauren Nowack
The Knot Contributor
  • Lauren is a freelance writer for The Knot Worldwide.
  • While Lauren has been writing her whole life, she began her career by travel writing and reviewing outdoor gear.
  • Lauren is passionate about encouraging people planning a wedding to make it exactly what they want and need it to be.
Updated Dec 05, 2023

After all the planning you've done to make your wedding just right, it's important to do some proactive research to minimize major wedding mistakes before the big day arrives. When it comes to florals, there are a few major wedding flower mistakes to steer clear of too. Knowing this, we spoke with Alona Chasin, the founder and Creative Director of Chic Flowers in San Diego, California, to figure out how to make sure your flowers look just as good as you do on your wedding day. She shared her insight and advice about each mistake below.

1. Not Hiring a Pro

    First and foremost, there are incredible wedding florists for a reason. These professionals know how to design stunning bouquets, how to get the best bang for your buck and ensure the arrangements make it to the ceremony in one piece. If you're looking for a wedding florist near you, head to The Knot Vendor Marketplace to see the best in the business.

    Wedding Florist's Tips: "Choosing not to hire a professional florist may lead to logistical and design challenges. A florist brings expertise, creativity and the ability to navigate unforeseen issues, ensuring your wedding flowers are a highlight rather than a headache for you or your friends. You may end up paying even more for flowers and supplies if you go DIY."

    2. Choosing Out-of-Season Flowers

    There is a time for everything under the sun - and that includes flowers. Each species and variety blooms at a different time, and choosing flowers that will peak during your wedding date will ensure both a budget-friendly and lively bouquet. If not, you may end up with a bad bouquet of flowers.

    Wedding Florist's Tips: "If peonies are not in season in September, search for a substitution that will not only look similar but will be more economical. Even if you are able to get a flower out of season, like a peony in October, the quality bloom will not be the same. Opting for out-of-season flowers can strain your budget and compromise the quality of arrangements. Seasonal blooms are more cost-effective, fresher and align with the natural aesthetic of the time, enhancing the overall look of your wedding."

    3. Opting for Trends Over Authenticity

      Trends come and go, and brides and grooms can easily get caught up in the latest ones. This could look like opting for feathers over flowers for boutonnieres or a single-stem bridal bouquet when you always dreamed of something extravagant. Make sure you stay true to yourself and your vision even as all the snappy wedding trends buzz around you.

      Wedding Florist's Tips: "While trendy flowers and colors can be appealing, prioritizing authenticity ensures timeless and personally meaningful florals on your special day. Choose blooms that resonate with your style, have some meaning in your family or one you just love. Talk to a professional florist and ask advice, but always stay with a classic, elegant wedding for a more genuine atmosphere."

      4. Low-Balling the Flower Budget

        It's difficult for a florist to make your floral dreams come true if they're constrained to a small budget. However, not everyone can spend thousands on wedding day flowers. So, if you're tight on a budget, consider less expensive alternatives where flowers would typically go, such as table centerpieces.

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        Wedding Florist's Tips: "Underestimating the floral budget may result in compromises on the size or variety of arrangements. You may not achieve the look that you are going for. In my opinion, it is better to skip florals and do minimalistic candle displays than use low cost florals that will not make an impact. In the end, they will not make you happy on your wedding day. Realistic budgeting allows you to achieve the desired floral look without sacrificing quality."

        5. Ensure Your Venue Has a Floral Fridge or Ability to Keep Flowers Fresh

          If you're hiring a floral designer to make your wedding flower dreams come true, you need to protect your investment. Make sure your venue is prepared with a fridge or ample water for the flowers to avoid a wilted bouquet.

          Wedding Florist's Tips: "Confirming the venue's ability to keep flowers fresh is crucial, especially in warmer climates. Ask your florist: Will all flowers have water supply? Can the flowers stand the heat or beach wind? Without proper storage, flowers may wilt quickly, impacting their visual appeal during the ceremony and reception. Also, one key point is making sure they are not placed too early at the ceremony or outside reception."

          6. Locking Down Florals Before Other Big Ticket Items

            For many couples, it's easy to jump right to flower design when you're wedding planning, but this could lead to one of many wedding bouquet mistakes. Lock in your big-ticket items like the wedding dress and venue first, as these set the tone and ambiance for the ceremony and reception. A waterfall bridal bouquet may not be the way to go if it covers up the unique detailing on the front of a bride's dress.

            Wedding Florist's Tips: "Prioritize major wedding elements before finalizing floral arrangements. This ensures that the flowers complement the overall theme, colors and style of the venue, dress and bridesmaid dresses."

            7. Asking a Florist to Copy Someone Else's Design

              If you're hiring a wedding florist, you're bringing an artist onto your wedding team! While they will likely ask for inspirational photos for your bouquets, centerpieces and arches, allowing their creativity to take the driver's seat will ensure you have the most incredible floral display possible.

              Wedding Florist's Tips: "This may limit creativity and personalization. Every florist is a bit different, but I always ask for at least 5 inspirational images of their favorite floral works, and I design with them in mind. We go through all flower types and colors as well as your meaningful blooms and unique elements. Allow your florist to create a unique arrangement tailored to your preferences, ensuring that the flowers reflect your individual style."

              8. Waiting Until the Last Minute to Book a Florist

                Flowers take time to get from point A to B, especially if you have a particular variety picked out. This, as well as the fact that florists need time to put displays together and they may have many clients hoping to book them on the same day, means you need to book a florist months or even years ahead of time.

                Wedding Florist's Tips: "Booking a florist well in advance is essential to secure the right professional and allow sufficient time for planning and adjustments. Usually, I have bookings scheduled years in advance. The design process starts at the time of booking. Last-minute bookings may limit your options and lead to rushed decisions. Your florist may end up with limited flower choices or inventory shortages."

                9. Going Overboard on Everything

                  There are some luscious wedding arches that we would live under if we could, but that doesn't mean every floral piece at your wedding should be extravagant. Focus your statement flower pieces on spots that will be the focal point of the ceremony and reception, such as an arch or cake table, rather than spots like the seating chart that will really only be seen once by each guest.

                  Wedding Florist's Tips: "While flowers enhance the ambiance, excessive blooms can overwhelm the space. Strike a balance between a beautiful floral display and a layout that complements the venue and overall wedding theme."

                  10. Limiting the Space Flowers Are Used

                    The flip side to going overboard is limiting your floral creativity. There are so many spots where flowers can be placed to spread a little love. From garlands and accents on the altar to backdrops and boutonnieres, florals are one of the best ways to tie your event together.

                    Wedding Florist's Tips: "Distribute flowers strategically throughout the venue rather than confining them to specific areas. This ensures a cohesive and integrated look, enhancing the overall atmosphere of the wedding."

                    11. Prioritizing Looks Over Function With Centerpieces

                      A table centerpiece truly gives a florist a large canvas to do their work, but make sure to think about the piece's function and where guests will be seated before asking for one that will tower over friends and family. By balancing beauty and practicality, your flowers won't fall into the dreaded "flower arrangement mistakes" category.

                      Wedding Florist's Tips: "Consider the practicality of floral arrangements to avoid obstructing views or impeding guest movement. Your guests need to be able to see each other and see you. A harmonious balance between aesthetics and functionality ensures a seamless experience for everyone."

                      12. Using Flimsy Flowers and Structures at a Beach Wedding

                        One of the most important beach wedding mistakes to avoid is using delicate flowers and lightweight stands to hold arrangements. Beach weddings come with gusts of strong wind, unstable surfaces, scorching sun and abrasive sand. Each of these elements alone can ruin a bouquet, and all together can be quite destructive.

                        Wedding Florist's Tips: "Stable structures, vases, candle holders - make sure they are stable and heavy duty because beach weddings may get breezy. Consider weather conditions and choose blooms that are more sturdy and heat-resistant. Also, it is so important to talk to your florist about timing; sometimes even fragile blooms can be used at a beach wedding ceremony or reception, they just need to be in a water source all the time and not placed too early."

                        13. Not Positioned Correctly for All to See

                          From bouquets to boutonnieres, flowers need to be held so they look good and don't get crushed. Bouquets should be held with your hand at belly-button height with the blooms facing outward. Chat with your florist ahead of time, as your bouquet may even have a front and back! Lastly, make sure all boutonnieres are placed in the same spot on groomsmen, up high enough that they won't get squashed during an impromptu chest bump.

                          Wedding Florist's Tips: "I've seen it so many times, and this not only depends on you but on your photographer. Make sure to hold your bouquet stems facing you and flowers facing everyone else. This ensures that the beauty of the bouquets is visible in photos and enjoyed by all attendees, enhancing the overall visual appeal of the event."

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