Peonies: The Bride’s Must-Read Guide to a Peony Filled Wedding
21 Jul 2015
The beautiful, frothy flower are the favourites of many a bride-to-be, but what do you need to consider if you’re planning of using peonies in your wedding day? We as the experts at Passion for Flowers in Warwickshire – TWIA 2015 best wedding florist in the West Midlands.
White bridal peony bouquet by Passion for Flowers. Photography by Billingham Photography
What varieties of peonies are available?
There are so many varieties of peony available now and there are almost 200 varieties which are grown specifically as a cut flower. The most popular soft pink peony is ‘Sarah Bernhardt’, with ‘Shirley Temple’ and ‘Duchess to Nemour’ as classic white and cream varieties. ‘Coral Charm’ is a gorgeous coral-coloured peony that opens into a deep goblet shape and turns to a soft peach as it ages, and ‘Coral’ is another great coral pink.
Coral charm bouquet by Passion for Flowers. Photography by Jo Hastings Photography
Which months are peonies readily available?
Peonies are generally available February through to July, although peaking in April to June. By special order (and at an increased price) specialist florists should be able to get peonies flown in for Christmas weddings. There is also a source of peony from Alaska available in August and beyond which is currently being talked about in floral circles, so watch this space! As with all flowers we cherish them because of the naturalness and the changing seasons so I love the first peonies arriving in the workshop in the spring, adore them with great abandon at the height of the season and treasure the last ones at the end of the season.
Peony bouquet by Passion for Flowers. Photography by Millie Benbow Photography
There is also a source of peony from Alaska available in August and beyond which is currently being talked about in floral circles, so watch this space!
Mixed peony button hole by Passion for Flowers. Phootgraphy by Ten Foot Tall Photography
What are the pros and cons of using peonies?
CONS: Peonies can be the bane of a florist’s life; either waiting for them to open or praying that they don’t open ahead of time… and watching them shatter and lose their petals before your eyes. Early in the season they come into florists tightly budded and can take five days or more to open. In warmer weather (and when they are more readily available) they can open up very quickly. For a wedding, our job is to deliver them at that perfect moment for the wedding day.
PROS: The biggest pro of using peonies is undoubtedly their amazing scent.
Peony jug centrepiece by Passion for Flowers. Photography by Jo Hastings Photography
What colours are peonies available in and what do the go with?
Peonies come in a gorgeous array of colours from deep reds to all shades of pink, cream, white, peach and coral, as well as soft yellows.
We are currently seeing brides using blousy coral-toned peonies perfect for a coral and peach wedding. ‘Coral Charm’ and ‘Coral Sunset’ are big favourites with soft daisies and summer flowers.
For a romantic bouquet, a favourite is a lush cream white ‘Duchess to Nemour’ or ‘Shirley Temple’ hand tied bouquets are beautiful in a massed bouquet, on their own, or with the addition of stocks or astilbe.
A more country style bouquet can include a mix of pink peonies, roses and textures of thistle, veronica and other summer flowers. Make sure the button hole that accompanies the bouquet has a small peony bud included in the mix.
For table centrepieces at a marquee wedding, place them in jugs with a mix of flowers including peonies, roses, Pittosporum and veronica - lovely and informal. Try using a highlight of peonies mixed with summer blooms to create a rustic table plan.
A rose and peony bouquet by Passion for Flowers. Photography by Anna Clarke Photography
What is a good alternative if I am getting married when peonies are not available?
At times of the year when peonies are not available you could use the blousy garden type roses David Austin ‘Patience’ or a ‘White O’Hara’ rose, or for peach try ‘Juliet’ rose – there are many varieties to choose from.
MIxed peony and rose bouqeut by Passion for Flowers. Photography by Ten Foot Tall Photography