Top 5 Flowers for Wedding Bouquets: What to Do When They’re out of Season

by Danielle Salazar July 11, 2014

Unless you’re a florist or grew up planting in your mother’s garden, choosing the flowers for your wedding bouquets can be a bit overwhelming. Sure, there’s tons of inspiration on the internet and in magazines, but what happens when that dream bouquet of yours is out of season or just plain ol’ out of budget? Luckily, if you’re willing to pay the price, you can get just about any stem regardless of season, but since most of us don’t have an unlimited flower budget, paying $15 for one imported stem just isn’t that practical. So rather than sulking about what you can’t have, talk to your wedding florist and consider alternatives to those seasonal flowers that have the same look and style that you were originally hoping for!

Flowers for Wedding Bouquets: What to Do When They're Out of Season

Alternative flowers for wedding bouquets.

If you're in a bind and your desired flowers are out of season (or just way too spendy!), don't start going all bridezilla on your florist, because you're still in luck. We've listed 5 of the top requested wedding flowers and some fabulous alternatives that will look just as stunning, if not better!

Peony (Spring)

Alternatives: Garden Rose (Spring/Fall/Winter), Ranunculus (Spring), Hydrangea (Summer), Mums (Fall)

They’re full, ruffled, and just so dang pretty! We are obsessed with the look of peonies, but since they’re season is short, their availability is limited. If you want a blooming peony look, try a gorgeous garden rose, which has the same high-petal count and cup-shape look. If you want a closed peony look, a ranunculus will give you the same round, layered shape. While Hydrangea and Mums are a different style, it’s their big, full look that makes them a great substitute for a peony.

Hydrangea (Summer)

Seasonal Flower Alternatives for Hydrangeas

Alternatives: Lilac (Summer), Snowball Bush (Spring)

We love the round, clustered look of a hydrangea bouquet, but if you’re going for a similar alternative, lilacs and snowballs are the way to go! Lilacs, although limited in colors, have very full stems and are known for their amazing scent. Snowballs, which are often mistaken as hydrangeas, have almost the exact same look and feel as a hydrangea, they are just a bit more delicate.

Calla Lily (Summer)

Alternatives: Easter Lily (Spring), White Orchid (Spring)

The long, trumpet-shaped look of a calla lily is absolutely elegant, but a bit unique. If the stems aren’t yet in season, instead try an Easter Lily, which has the single flower look of a Calla Lily and is available in a classic white color. White orchids, also on a long stem, blossom in more of a cluster, but have the same long, elegant look.

Rose (Fall/Winter/Spring)

Seasonal Flower Alternatives for Roses

Alternatives: Lisanthius (Summer), Carnation (Summer/Fall/Winter)

If you’re looking for classic roses, you’re probably going for a traditional, romantic feel. To achieve that look, try a lisanthius or carnation. Lisanthius, a summer and fall bloom, is best known for its rose-like appearance and is gorgeous for a full bouquet. Although slightly more full, carnations, which are available almost every season, have a similar shape and come in white, red, pink, and yellow hues, just like a rose.

Tulip (Spring)

Alternatives: Rose (Fall/Winter/Spring), Crocus Flower (Winter/Spring)

Most people that are attracted to tulips are attracted to the closed look rather than when it’s fully blossomed. Since tulips are very short lived, a closed rose is a gorgeous alternative that is available almost year round. Want something a bit less traditional than a rose? Crocus flowers have the same bell-shape and look almost identical to a tulip.

Be open to ideas from your wedding florist.

If you’re going to take anything away from this blog, let it be this: Don’t get discouraged if exactly what you want isn’t available. It’s okay! There are gorgeous alternatives for every possible stem out there, so have an open mind and be willing to make changes. Florists are total experts in their field so as long as you have an idea of what you want, they’ll easily make that vision a reality. Remember to start planning 3-6 months before the wedding and bring in pictures and ideas for inspiration. Whether your ideal seasonal flowers are available or not, your wedding florist will work with you to make your day that much more beautiful!

Danielle Salazar
Danielle Salazar


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Measurement Guide

Taking Your Measurements

For the most accurate measurements, do not measure over your clothing. Your measurements should be taken while wearing undergarments similar to the ones you will wear with your dress. The measuring tape shouldn't be pulled too tight or have too much slack, and should always be parallel with the floor. 

**Wedding apparel is typically sized differently than retail clothing, so keep in mind that it's not uncommon to find yourself requiring alterations.

Bust size: Wrap the tape around your back and under your arms at the fullest part of your bust (not underneath the bust).

Waist size:  While standing up straight, bend at the waist to one side. Take the measurement where the natural crease happens in your side. This should be a few inches above your belly button.

Hip size: Standing with your feet together, wrap the tape around the fullest part of your hips and butt to get this measurement.

Choosing your correct size

Compare  these three measurements to the Kennedy Blue size chart above. It is very important that you order the largest size that corresponds to your measurements. For example, if your bust measures 40.5" (size 12), your waist measures 31" (size 10) and your hips measure 41.5" (size 8), we advise that you order a size 12, and get your dress altered down to custom fit your body. Ordering anything smaller than a size 12 would not fit in the bust area. Please note: Our bridal gown size chart is different than the bridesmaids sizing and is listed below.