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6 Popular Wedding Flowers And Their Affordable Alternatives
With changing seasons, it can be difficult to figure out if your favourite flower will be available on your wedding day. Let SingaporeBrides guide you through this mind-boggling task, as well as suggest some popular wedding flowers alternatives that may help reduce the cost of your arrangements!
Your wedding date can make all the difference in whether or not you’ll be able to score those prized peonies to walk down the aisle with. All those Pinterest images with gorgeous flowers… if only they are available all year round! A lot of those beautiful blooms are seasonal, and expensive to import too.
“In Singapore, peonies are, by far and large, the most requested wedding flowers,” observes Jaclyn Lim, wedding florist and co-founder of boutique flower shop The Bloom Room. “But there have been plenty of disappointed brides who were not able to include them into their weddings because of seasonal unavailability.”
When deciding on their wedding date, many brides-to-be tend to neglect the fact that flowers are seasonal. This means that they tend to bloom during a certain time of the year, and therefore are only available during those two or three months. “For example, peonies are usually available from Holland in the middle of the year, and from New Zealand at the end of the year,” Jaclyn explains. “You have a higher chance of walking down the aisle with those big, billowy blooms if you are getting married in May, June, November and December.”
Will in-season flowers be cheaper in Singapore?
In countries with local growers, such as the United States, consciously choosing wedding flowers in season can help you to save a fair bit of money as they are plentiful in the flower farms scattered within their own borders. But sometimes, it is also possible to score out-of-season flowers – you’d just need to pay more to fly them in from countries when they are in season.
Interestingly, this scenario actually doesn’t apply to Singapore. No thanks to our equatorial climate and limited land areas (read: no flower farms!), almost all flowers in Singapore are already being imported from countries all over the world, like Holland, China, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. This means we are already paying extra, just to fly them in fresh every morning. After factoring in labour and logistic costs, chances are that you are not going to get in-season flowers any cheaper here.
But it is precisely because Singapore imports flowers from countries in both Northern and Southern hemispheres that there is a higher likelihood of getting the seasonal flowers you want. The seasonal differences across the world mean that if it is winter in Holland, it is summer in Australia.
“In the case of peonies, if you can’t order them from Holland in May-June, you can still ask for the New Zealand varieties when November rolls by.” Jaclyn adds: “But this also means that if a local florist tells you that peonies are not available for your March wedding, it means that no peonies will be available from these two countries during that time – even if you are willing to fork out more money.”
So… what will be in season during my wedding month?
It can be a daunting task trying to figure out what’s available and when. With this in mind, we’ve prepared a guide to some of the most popular wedding flowers in Singapore, and the months when you can actually order them.
In full bloom, peonies are breathtakingly fluffy and long-lasting enough to include for full-day weddings in Singapore. These luxury blooms are available in a few quality varieties, with the pink Sarah Bernhardt being the most popular. Avoid ordering peonies at the beginning and ending of the season, as you will be paying top dollar for fist-sized, less billowy blooms. Ask your wedding florist if the peonies that are available during your wedding date are of a good quality before you confirm.
Season: May to July from Holland, December to February from Australia/New Zealand
Alternatives: David Austin Garden Roses, Ranunculuses
Ra… what? Don’t let this strange-sounding name put you off. Also known as Persian buttercups, ranunculuses are really dainty blooms that resemble mini peonies. The best thing about them is that they come in a myriad of colours like red, pink, yellow, orange and white. So, it is remarkably easy to work these Spring flowers into your wedding no matter what your chosen colour palette is. The most popular variety for weddings is actually the blush pink “Clooney Hanoi” ranunculus.
Season: November to May from Italy and China
Summer-bloomin’ dahlias are gorgeous pinwheel-like flowers that are quite uncommon here, primarily because they tend to arrive in Singapore with weak and falling petals. This means you often end up paying for a huge batch of flowers, just for the wedding florist to use a couple of stalks in your bridal bouquet. Take the stunning Café Au Lait variety. It looks great on Instagram and styled shoots, but is just not practical for your actual-day wedding here.
Season: June to September from Holland
Alternatives: Certain varieties of chrysanthemums if you are not superstitious, or Dutch standard carnations
Anemones are unique Fall blooms with striking jet-black centers. They come in many shades, with crisp-white poppy anemones being the most requested. Like dahlias, anemones unfortunately don’t travel well to Singapore. They tend to arrive with scarred petals, so only a couple of stalks out of a batch can be used.
Season: October to May from Holland and France
Alternatives: Not many flowers can boast of such a unique look. You might need to choose a different design, or work in white flowers in similar shapes like eustomas. But they will fall short.
#5 David Austin Luxury Garden Roses
David Austin garden roses, loved for their old-world charm, are the most extravagant blooms you can have for your big day. In Singapore, they have become more popular in the recent years. In particular, the beautifully cupped “Juliet” is one of the few blooms that are peach in colour. The “Keira”, a vintage-styled blush pink bloom, is also popular for those seeking a romantic, garden-inspired look for their weddings.
Season: Year-round, although advance order is required
Alternatives: No real alternative, although Kenyan roses can be more affordable
Dreamy and romantic, hydrangeas are extremely popular in garden weddings or elegant restaurant receptions. Each stem features a big bunch of blooms, which comes in lovely colours like bubblegum-pink, sky blue, deep purple and snow white. The downside is that hydrangeas are extremely fragile and unpredictable, wilting into a shriveled ball if left out in our hot and humid weather for a tad too long. Go for them only if your ceremony is short, and only if you understand the fragility of hydrangeas.
Season: Year-round, although colours and varieties vary
Alternative: Matthiolas, viburnum snowballs
What’s available all year-round?
If you prefer not to fuss over seasonal flowers, there are dependable year-round options like roses, tulips, orchids and calla lilies. “These are traditional favourites that are not likely to go out of style,” assures Jaclyn. “But it will be a more challenging task for your wedding florist to create unique designs using these blooms.”
Unconventional choices, such as Dutch carnations, or using filler flowers like gypsophila (baby’s breath) as standalone blooms, are also an option. Jaclyn explains: “Carnation have a dowdy reputation for being a Mother’s Day bloom, but the Dutch varieties are actually quite gorgeous. They are also affordable and long-lasting, making them a perfect fit for tropical weddings.” Meanwhile, baby’s breath can work as chic centerpieces or dainty bouquets when bunched together on their own. The only drawback is that they don’t smell as nice as they look, so try not to overwhelm your wedding venue with them.
So you do have plenty of choices, even if your seasonal flowers are unavailable. But if you have your heart set on a favourite flower, do take its flowering season into consideration before setting your wedding date!
Images courtesy of The Bloom Room
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