Chicago Wedding and Event Planning

Ryan Alexander Events

Flowers 101

FLOWERS 101 {When Are Flowers Really in Season?}

Hello Chicago Brides! Let me introduce the very talented  Kristen Janes of Kio Kreations. Today Kristen will be tackling the topic of Seasonal Flowers. All to often RAE brides will fall in love with a particular flower that unforntunatly is out of season {which is sad} but with help from Kio Kreations we will be able to create something in season and on budget!

You may be surprised to learn that there are a ton of flowers available all throughout the year…of course, that doesn’t mean they are always the same price! Flower availability and pricing varies by growing season, seasonally popularity, color, size, etc.

Roses are one of the flowers that are ALWAYS available. However, red roses are usually more expensive in December and February as they are a seasonal, high-demand color. Likewise orange, rust, burgundy, yellow and champagne roses are often a bit pricier in the fall. And sometimes pink and lavender roses are pricier around Mother’s Day.

Soft Pink and Ivory Rose Bouquet

A soft textural bouquet featuring garden roses designed by Kio Kreations


Speaking of roses, have you ever wondered how the grocery store can sell a dozen roses for $9.99 but your all rose Bridal Bouquet was quoted at $100? It all comes down to quality & size. Those grocery store “budget bouquets” are usually 30-40mm roses which means their stems and heads are smaller than average. A florist-made bouquet is typically made with 50, 60 or 70mm roses which are longer, fuller and in turn, more expensive! Of course there are also labor costs, ribbon, embellishments, and tax, that go into a Bridal Bouquet as well.

Orchids are also always in season…because they are usually imported from warmer countries like Thailand. And the rumors are true…they are expensive–if you are choosing Cymbidiums, Phaleanopsis, Cattleya, or Lady Slippers. If you want the orchid look for less, try using Dendrobium, Oncidium, Mokara or Vanda varieties. Orchids are the most popular choice out there for submerged centerpieces and they also work well for hair accents. They can be used as an entire stem or individually wired for bouquets and boutonnieres as well.

Hydrangea have become one of the most popular choices for weddings these days. They come in a variety of colors such as white, ivory, blush pink, sage green, purple, blue and antique red (seasonal). Hydrangea has a great ethereal quality and takes up a lot of fluffy space in centerpieces and bouquets. They too are available year-round.

Altar Arrangement and Placecard Table Design

Stunning Altar Arrangement and Placecard Table Designed by Kio Kreations

However, Hydrangea does not favor well in extreme hot or cold temperatures. If you have a hydrangea bouquet in the midst of summer, think about keeping it hydrated in between photoshoots (by putting it in a glass with an inch of water) to keep it going all day long. Don’t wait for wilting–prevent it. Flowers, like people, appreciate A/C in the summer but never put flowers directly in front of a stream of cold air, direct air can sometimes be too cold.

Speaking of too cold, if your wedding is in the winter, keep your hydrangea bouquet shielded with a baggy when transporting it in and out of the limo. Hydrangea, along with all other flowers, can freeze in temperatures  below 30 degrees.

Callas or “Cally Lilies” are also always available. There are different sizes of callas. The kind you would most likely want in your bouquet or for a boutonniere are mini callas and the kind you’d want in a tall centerpiece are large callas. Sometimes large callas are used for presentation-style bouquets, but that trend has yet to make a full comeback to the United States.

Lilies are large, 5-petaled flowers that work well for centerpieces, altarpieces and as a feature/focal point flower in a bouquet. They are usually at least 4-7 inches wide when fully open, so they can really dominate whatever you put them in. Varieties are broken down into Oriental and Asiatic. Casablanca and Stargazers are examples of Oriental lilies and plain (not-spotted) orange and yellow colored lilies are examples of Asiatic.

Tulips are not really available all year. They are a bulb flower and usually readily available November-mid Summer. While you can sometimes get them August-November, they cost more, and the variety is more limited. The spring is the best time for tulips! Tulips come in lots of different shapes and sizes these days. There are Dutch tulips (the most popular and most affordable), parrot tulips, French tulips, fringe tulips, double tulips, and even peony tulips!

Peonies are available December through June and they are most abundant in the spring. Peonies are one of the more pricey flowers but getting them from a florist (rather than Grandma’s Garden) ensures longer life and NO ANTS!


Pink peonies are paired with Cymbidium orchids to create this bouquet designed by Kio Kreations

Ranunculus are a fun choice as accents in a bouquet or boutonniere. They look like a small round peony and are available mid-fall until mid-summer. Keep in mind that while they are tiny, they are not at a tiny price. Their buds don’t get much larger than a half-dollar at their fullest and they can cost more than a rose at certain points in the year.

Stock sounds boring, but it is really a great flower. It has a medium to tall stem so it works well filling out a bouquet, centerpiece or altarpiece. It has a sweet fragrance and comes in a bunch of beautiful colors and BONUS–its price can’t be beat!

Monkeytail or “Fiddlehead Fern Curls” are a HOT HOT HOT trend now. Warning! They are $ expensive. But as an accent in a bouquet or boutonniere they can’t be beat! Monkeytail are actually a live plant that is almost like a straw inside. They are a dark, dark burgundy-brown color and could even work with a black color scheme since they are so dark. If you like them–ask your florist about them!

What else is there? Other flowers to check out would be Anemones, Amaryllis, Bells of Ireland, Lisianthus, Larkspur, Delphinium, Celosia, Dahlias, Mums, Freesia, Sweet Pea, Gladioli, Gerbera Daisies, Kale, Iris, Hypericum berries, Sunflower, Snapdragon, Scabiosa, Veronica, Heather and Star of Bethlehem.

For More inspiration head click here to see a photoshoot that Ryan Alexander Events and Kio Kreations along with many other talented Chicago Wedding Vendors worked on!

Happy Planning!


*All Images Courtesy of Kio Kreations 








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