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Wedding Flowers: I Dream of Peony

When I first got engaged, I was completely cool and collected and budget-savvy about wedding flowers. After all, why pay a load of cash for something that will look pretty for a few hours before drying and browning as flowers are wont to do?

Perhaps I was a touch over-confident. While scrolling through some wedding websites today, I happened upon pictures of pink peonies. Just look at this beautiful bouquet (via The Knot).

pink peonies with white ribbon Wedding Flowers: I Dream of Peony

All of a sudden, I went from “don’t care about flowers” to “must have peonies – fields of peonies.” Lush, romantic, and fragrant, the peony is an important flower in my country of origin. We are not incorporating any of my heritage into the wedding (no tea ceremony, for example), so peonies would be a nice touch, even if no one else sees anything but pretty blooms. Everything I’ve read about the flower makes me love it more.

Everything, that is, except the price. As I’ve learned in my crash course into peonies, this flower only blooms from late April to early June, and can cost up to $12 per stem because of its limited supply and popularity with brides. I am getting married in early June, so I should be at the tail end of the peony season. If I’m lucky, Trader Joe will sell a bouquet of 5 stems for $7 or $8.

So the plan is this: I am trekking to the LA Flower District the day before the wedding. I am going to have with me $200 in cash, a couple of friends, several buckets, and a cart. And I am going to pick out cabbage roses and peonies in shades of pink, dusty rose, and mauve. At the very least, I’m going to get enough peonies to make the bridal bouquet!

  • wmwo - I love your idea of taking $200 down to the flower district and making your own! I wish we had big flower markets like that up here, I'm envious of you for that. That bouquet in the picture is absolutely gorgeous, and I'm sure yours will be too :) ReplyCancel

  • Wedding Flowers: Peonies | Well Heeled Blog | Wedding in LA - [...] Read the article: Wedding Flowers: Peonies | Well Heeled Blog [...]ReplyCancel

  • Meg - A friend of mine had a dream of peonies but got married in August so they weren't an option for her. A florist recommended she try certain colors/varieties of garden roses. They had a very similar aesthetic, cost a lot less, and did a beautiful job! It might not end up being a good option for you, but thought I'd share! (she went with light khaki and pale pink ones, btw)ReplyCancel

    • Well Heeled Blog - If peonies are not available, I will certainly look for cabbage/garden roses. It'd be hard not to love fresh-cut flowers, no matter what kind they are. :) ReplyCancel

  • Peonies Wedding - Love that pink peony bouquet! I am a peony grower in Michigan. Our season is actually early June through mid to late June. We'd be glad to overnight ship you some peonies for your wedding. You can sign up on our e-mail list at the link below.
    http://www.bridgewatergardens.com ReplyCancel

  • TLC - Very beautiful flowers! If we had had a larger budget, we would have splurged on more elaborate flowers, but in the end.. our arrangements from Michael's Idea Center did the job just fine. Plus, my MOH (and myself) liked being able to save our bouquets. ReplyCancel

  • Red - The Knot! It was so bad for me while I was wedding planning, lol. I had that strict budget, but then I'd find beautiful ideas on The Knot. Candy bar! With only candies in my wedding colors! For guests to take home as gifts!

    I actually found the bouquet I ended up carrying on The Knot. Our flowers total ended up costing $484 from a florist. That was for two bouquets, 7 boutonnieres, and 5 corsages. My bouquet was $175 of the total! UGH! It was beautiful, but my god, that's a lot of money for something I threw at a group of girls later. I think I had it in my possession for all of 5 hours.ReplyCancel

  • fabulouslyfrugirl - I love the idea of getting your flowers and making your own bouquets! You can't go wrong with flowers – they are all so pretty! :) ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - Have you thought about fake flowers? I know they're not quite the same…but I had 'fake' calla lilies in my wedding bouquet, and now they look beautiful in a vase on my kitchen table. I couldn't stand the idea of paying all that money for something that would die! ReplyCancel

    • Well Heeled Blog - I thought about silk flowers, but I rarely get fresh flowers for myself and I figured, if not for the wedding, then when? ;) ReplyCancel

  • First Step - Here's a link to a florist friend's site with photos of her most popular bouquets. Good luck with the flowers! http://thefullbouquetblog.com/galleries/bouquets-ReplyCancel

  • Clare - Never Niche - Peonies are going to be my wedding flower too one day! LOVE THEM. Used to watch ants eat them open when I was little. ReplyCancel

  • Beth - I know this is a little late for you wedding but…Alaska has peonies that bud in July and August so therefore bloom in August and September and even into October. Check out http://www.alaskapeonies.org for contact information of farms and their availability. ReplyCancel

  • Calla Lily Bouquets - Peonies have been a problem for many brides, but I think if this is an important flower to you, because of your heritage, you are doing the right thing. They are gorgeous flowers. As you say large open roses can give you the same look, and there are also varieties of tulip which can be easier, why not, as a backup, talk to someone who sells tulip bulbs and ask how to delay the flowering, then buy some peony tulips and grow your own in large tubs? Hopefully you wont need them, but you never know! ReplyCancel

  • alaskablooms - Peonies are available July-September out of Alaska – And they're bigger than anything you've ever seen! Check out the Alaska Peony Growers Association for more info… ReplyCancel

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