10 ways to include peonies in your wedding day

12 Apr 2018

Love peonies as much as Meghan Markle? Here’s how to incorporate them into your wedding day

Peonies have always been a popular choice of wedding flower, but with news that Meghan Markle loves peonies and is going to include them in her wedding floristry, the much-loved bloom will undoubtedly be catapulted to new heights as a wedding flower favourite.

The history of peonies is an interesting one, with significance in Greek mythology and medieval Europe. Today, there are no traditions associated with peonies but they are thought to be symbolic of ‘bashfulness’ and represent good fortune and a happy marriage for the brides who carry them.

With a palette that ranges from dusky pink and periwinkle blue to deep crimson and rich burgundy, there is usually a colour of peony to suit most wedding colour schemes. Coupled with a delicate fragrance which is usually more potent in pink peonies than red, this lush flower ticks all the boxes.

Whether you’re incorporating peonies in to your bouquet and wedding décor or fancy an all-out peony wedding theme, there are various ways you can celebrate the flower in style. Here are 10 top ideas for making peonies a part of your perfect day…

1. Bouquet

Offering an array of beautiful and feminine colours in a host of varieties, it is clear to see why peonies are a popular wedding flower. Their peak bloom time is between April and June and so are particularly suited to late spring and summer weddings, providing a versatility that allows them to be paired with a range of other flowers and types of foliage. Roses are a common accompaniment due to their similar appearance and complementing qualities, providing a more classic and romantic take on a bridal bouquet. Peonies can also be used in more extravagant arrangements and add a touch of elegance to more modern bouquets which are less structured and more whimsical in their presentation.

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2. Flower crown

Complementing your peony bouquet, your chosen wedding flowers can be echoed in a floral crown. With their large heads, a peony flower crown is reserved for those who want to make a statement. Loud, proud and beautiful in every aspect, peonies can be used solely to create the headpiece, or interspersed with smaller, more dainty flowers to break up the uniformity. Speak to your florist about possible options and what will suit your bridal style, face shape and body frame before committing to a peony crown. If a flower crown isn’t your style, a single peony clipped into place will add an extra dose of glamour to your wedding hair.

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Image: Dobbies

3. Buttonholes

Don’t forget your groom. Choose peonies for the groomsmen’s buttonholes to carry the floral theme through to the men’s attire. Whether buds or full blooms, a peony buttonhole adds a pop of colour to the grooms’ wedding ensemble in an instant.  

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4. Floral wreaths

Adorn your venue with a multitude of peony wreaths which offer a DIY project for brides who wish to put their own hand to their wedding décor. British garden centre retailer Dobbies collaborated with leading stylist and author, Selina Lake, to create this peony wreath and here, resident gardening expert, Louise Golden, details how to do it yourself...

“With their showy flowers in a range of gorgeous colours from pure white to richest crimson, peonies are hardy herbaceous perennials. To make your own floral summer wreath, start with an oasis wreath ring (£6.99 from Dobbies) soaked with water and fill the base with foliage. Here I used white wax flowers, eucalyptus and astrantia, then cut the stems short, and added a mix of roses and peonies. Use green florist wire or pretty ribbon to make a hook for hanging your wreath. Mist regularly with water to prolong the blooms.”

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5. Centrepieces and table décor

Allow your guests to admire your peonies throughout the wedding breakfast by including them in your table set-ups. Statement centrepieces such as vintage urns or hurricane vases filled with the blooms can create a dazzling focal point, while mismatched bottles and jars sprouting varying displays are full of charm. Alternatively or to complement, table settings could feature individual peonies and petals scattered the length of the table or around the centrepiece for optimum effect.

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Image via Pinterest

6. Favours

Double up your table décor with your wedding favours, and give the floral displays to your guests as a memory of the day. You could even tie Kraft name tags around the necks of the bottles to clearly display them as gifts for your guests. Alternatively, for a lasting reminder, use silk or paper peonies that will survive all seasons.  

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Image

7. Flower wall, ceiling, or overhanging structure

Display your favourite flower for all to see as a pop-up wall that can be positioned behind a display table or in a space that easily allows for photos to be taken. Flower walls can be made at home but are best left to the experts for a professional finish. Similarly, flower ceilings and suspended structures made entirely of peonies or combined with other flowers are just as impactful.

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8. Pew ends, chair décor and ceremony arch

The wedding ceremony sets the theme for the rest of the day, so don’t forget to add peonies to enhance your aisle set-up. Simple displays at the end of the pews will add colour to your ceremony space, while an aisle bedecked in petals leading to a floral archway bursting with blooms and draped in soft voile looks great in photographs.

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9. Floral stationery

Extend your peony theme to your wedding stationery, with invitations, RSVPs, save the dates, menus, orders of service, place settings and table numbers all perfectly poised to feature a floral design. Watercolours in blush pinks, pastel blues and soft purples offer a complementing colour effect.

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Image: notonthehighstreet

10. Cake décor

For the ultimate floral cake topper, a peony or two sat atop your wedding cake offers a simple and effective cherry on top. If you have a three, four or five tier cake, positioning peonies on every other tier will only enhance the theme. Continue the floral theme at the base of the cake too with petals and fruits that promote spring and summer vibes. 

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