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Flowers for church weddings

If you’ve decided to go for a church wedding, but are feeling a bit stuck on how to decorate it for your ceremony, then today’s post is for you. Our expert on all things floral, Gemma has some great advice on how to make the biggest impact with your flower budget…

Feeling daunted?

Whether you are being married in a small parish church or a large grand cathedral, it can be quite daunting to know where to start with floral decorations in these special sacred places. There can be so many areas that can be dressed with flowers and it’s hard to decide which spots to concentrate on. From my experience, there are a few key areas in most churches that are the perfect place to create a statement which all your guests will notice, without having to fill the venue from top to bottom with flowers.

Creating a welcoming sight and a feeling of celebration within the church is the most important part of decorating the church. Three main areas that I try to concentrate the ceremony floral budget on are places you know your guests will have their eyes drawn to – the entrance, the aisle and, of course, the most important place, the altar.

Making an entrance

The style of the doorway to your church will contribute to what can be created around the door. Full arches of flowers are a popular choice. Filling them with an abundance of flowers and foliages, making sure that scented flowers, foliages or even herbs are used, makes them even more special for guests to walk through.

If your doorway is too large for an arch then two over-sized arrangements flanking the doorway can create just as much of a statement and yet still keep a sense of elegance to the entrance. Smaller doorways can lend themselves to simple planters or trees, as if they are there all the time and part of the landscaping of the church.

The aisle

Leading your guests eyes up the aisle is our next mission. Fresh little posies of floral goodness, attached to the pew ends with soft tails of ribbon sitting pretty on intermittent pews is effortlessly beautiful and can help sometimes soften a dark wood church.

Nothing screams romance more than a candlelit aisle – especially in the winter months when it can be slightly darker in churches and a little warmth is needed, always leaving a magical lasting impression with your guests.

In cathedrals that can handle a little more drama within the aisle, the choice of floral decorations is limitless. I love free-standing installations lining the aisle for that classic wedding grandeur. Giving a nod to the greenery trend at the moment, bring trees within the church to give a fresh natural feel. Any wedding involving trees is a winner in my book – the bigger the better!

The altar

Using flowers that are in keeping with the colourings and style of your reception venue is the best way to give your guests a sense of what is to come once they leave the church.

The altar is the most important place for flowers, giving colour to the backdrop of your wedding ceremony. If budget is tight or you don’t feel the need to spend too much of it within the ceremony venue, then I would always prioritise this area.

Modern vs classic is a debate that often happens at Planet HQ over church flowers. As long as it is beautifully designed and you are respecting the surrounds, I think both can work. Be it a modern installation of simple plinths filled with vases of copious amounts of flowers – that can then be transferred to your reception venue – or a wonderfully summery arrangement decorating your altar, filled with fresh herbs and seasonal flowers. Really neither can be at fault; it is all down to your own personal choice and style.

Top tips from Gemma! I love the idea of bringing the outside in, and filling the church with greenery. Christina x

Based in Edinburgh, Gemma has been surrounded by flowers since a very young age, and loves to push the boundaries when it comes to floral art. Along with her Planet Flowers team, she has been adding botanical magic to weddings and events (remember the Chanel Metiers d’Art show in Scotland?) for many years, and is now bringing her crazy craft skills to WFIL.

Photos by Paul Raeburn Photography, Elemental Photography, Planet Flowers & Blue Sky Photography.


  • Chelsea Elizabeth - April 20, 2017 - 8:32 am

    Those flowers are beautiful! I’m a big fan of fresh flowers and can’t wait to organise my own for my big day!

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