Choosing flowers for a wedding and reception can be almost as important as choosing wedding attire. According to Laurel McCulloch of Redondo Beach florist Magic Blooms, many bridal couples now choose the images of flowers they like from social media sites, such as Pinterest or Instagram.

“It can be very helpful for the florist to see these images,” McCulloch said. “Of course, there will always be brides who choose flowers for sentimental reasons. You may wish to carry some of the same flowers your mother carried, or a flower he gave you on your first date. It can be a very personal choice.”

Conventional wisdom is there are no right or wrong choices when it comes to flowers.

But remembering less is more, is a good idea, so that floral arrangements don’t distract from the wedding dress or tux.

Keeping things simple can also keep costs down, and the use of inexpensive foliage and good styling can create the fullest look without breaking the bank.

Determining a budget for flowers and discussing it with your florist is also key for creating the ideal arrangements.

And of course, it’s important to consider the season, and the wedding and reception color theme when selecting bouquets and table displays.

McCulloch said current reception décor and bouquets are both trending toward a looser, “more garden-y” look. There's a a wilder, more rambling look overall.

“They use interesting foliage and fillers like Queen Anne’s Lace. Designers are also incorporating interesting bleached and preserved materials for an intriguing contrast,” she said.

At Magic Blooms, McCulloch said many of the company’s clients simply prefer a less formal look.

Another noted trend: garlands are often being used on long tables, rather than traditional centerpieces on round tables.

To choose and have a florist create the best bouquets, boutonnieres and reception flowers, McCulloch suggests couples turn to the internet for ideas, but also rely on the expertise of a good florist.

“Images chosen from social media are a helpful tool for conveying what kind of look you like, but the designs pictured may not always have been designed to last an entire summer day in the sun, or the flowers may not be in season on your wedding day,” she said.

“Be open to suggestions from your florist. A good florist will treat your wedding like her own.”

When choosing flowers, start with the bridal bouquet, the most personal floral accessory for any wedding.

White is still traditionally the most popular color, but today other choices can include soft pastels and even a rich pink, violet or rose.

After the bridal bouquet, choose bridesmaids bouquets and groomsmen flowers, corsages for mother and mother-in-law, and flowers for the flower girl, if present. From there, reception décor choices can be more easily made in terms of scope and color.

As to the most popular types of flowers, McCulloch mentions that traditional flower choices such as peonies and garden roses are always in demand.

“Sunflowers have been very popular for weddings recently, too,” she said.

Contact Lisa Jacobs or follow her on Twitter @lisaannjacobs.

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