winter wedding flowers

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image: A./B. Larsen

Common name: Boat orchid

Botanical Names: Cymbidium orchid

Origin: Tropical and subtropical Asia, China, India, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines and Northern Australia

Colours: white, green, yellow, pink, red, brown

Cymbidiums are sometimes known as boat orchids, their name is pronounced ‘SIM-bid-ee-um’.  It comes from the Latin Kumbidion which means little boat, referring to the shape of the flower.  They became popular in Europe during Victorian times, and are now one of the most desired orchids in the world. They are prized for their beauty, bright colours and lasting qualities.  They withstand cooler temperatures than other tropical plants and are ideal houseplants.

Plants can have up to 15 flower heads.  The flowers have a waxy texture and can last up to ten weeks.  They require lots of light and regular watering, to keep the soil moist.  They like humid conditions so regular misting helps them too.  Providing they like the conditions they will continue to flower year after year.


Cymbidiums are also very popular as a cut flower; they add a tropical luxurious feel to any bouquet.  They range in size from 30cm length stems with lots of very small heads, to 90cm with 10 or more large heads. A single stem makes a lovely gift, wrapped simply with a little foliage or grass.  They are mainly available from October to June and last from 2 to 4 weeks as a cut flower.


Large stems make an impressive focal point in bouquets and arrangements, they often out last other flowers in a mixed arrangement.  Large heads are big enough to separate and use individually in small water vials.

They are frequently used in bridal work as they come in many beautiful colours and are very versatile. The individual heads can be wired and used in bridal bouquets , corsages or table arrangements.

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Winter wedding flowers

amaryllis arrangement

Even though there are not many flowers whose natural season is winter, there are still plenty to choose from.  Such as roses, amaryllis, freesia, lisianthus and lilies.  As well as exotics from the southern hemisphere such as gingers, orchids, proteas, kangeroo paw and euphorbia.  Some early spring flowers also are obtainable such as rannunculas, tulips and narcissi.  With the short days and dark nights in winter, rich colours can really brighten up a room and create a warm, inviting atmosphere.  Velvety reds with dark glossy foliages or jewel colours with beads and luxurious ribbons add texture and colour into a room.

exotic flowers

Another popular winter look is icy whites and silver with pale blue accents for a frosted winter wonderland. With crystals added for a touch of glamour and sparkle.  Of course all winter wedding flowers are brought to life by candles.  Whether using tiny tea lights dotted around the room, chunky church candles in hurricane lamps or glamorous candelabras dripping with flowers, crystals and flickering candles.  They create a wonderful romantic ambiance.

Rather than trying to match colours exactly, a more pleasing effect can be achieved by picking shades of the same colour. This also applies to any others items you are chosing such as stationary or chairs bows.  Selecting several shades of one colour can help give a colour scheme more depth and can soften a look. As well as making life a bit easier for you, rather than getting hung up trying to match a long list of things to one swatch of fabric.

You should have booked your venue by the time you start to think about your colour scheme.  The style and décor of your venue will be part of the look on your big day so don’t forget to look to the colours in your venue for inspiration.  Many older buildings will have more classical decoration with patterned wall coverings and carpets.  So a thoroughly modern and contemporary theme for your flowers might look out of place in that type of venue.  On the other hand you may have chosen a modern hotel that would look fabulous with contemporary flowers.

Choosing colours to complement your venue will give a pleasing look.  If you are unsure or don’t want to be swayed by the colours in your venue, a neutral colour scheme of cream and whites with greens would suit most surroundings.

pedestal arrangement

This is the last blog in our colour series.  I hope they have provided you will some useful information and inspired you to pick the perfect color palette for your wedding.

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