Everything You Need to Know About Peonies for Your Wedding

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Bouquet by Spellbound Weddings, photo by Alwin of Trouvé via The Wedding Scoop.

Peonies signify good fortune and happy marriages so it’s little wonder that these fluffy, full-headed blooms abundant with ruffled petals are the stuff of brides’ dreams! Join us as we chat with Jo of Floral Magic today and find out everything you need to know about this feminine flower including some ideas for how even brides on a budget can work this posy into their celebrations!

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Bouquet by Floral Magic.

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Photo via Style Me Pretty.

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Photo via Style Me Pretty.

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Photo via Pinterest.

Tell us a little bit about peonies and why do you think brides are so mad for them?

Jo: Peonies are spring flowers, and typically we use ones from Holland between May to July. Thankfully and additionally, we have Australia and New Zealand's Southern Hemisphere's Spring time, for peonies between December to February. So we do get the best of both worlds for these full-bloomed beauties, available in white, pink, red and coral. Peonies are large and lasting, and I think that is why they have become so endearing. Locally, the Chinese also recognise it as a flower that signifies good fortune and a couple's relationship blooming as lushly and fully as the peonies.

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Bouquet by Floral Magic.

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Photo via Style Me Pretty.

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Photo via Brides.

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Phtoo via Belle The Magazine.

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Photo via Colin Cowie Weddings.

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Photo via Burnett's Boards.

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Photo via Colin Cowie Weddings.

How can peonies be styled in bridal bouquets/centrepieces/elsewhere in a wedding?

Jo: Whether your wedding is a casual and natural event, or a modern, luxe affair, you can still incorporate peonies into your big day. Using them en masse without any other accompanying blooms will give you a luxurious look. If you prefer a bit more variety but the same lusciousness, you can also add hydrangeas, roses or eustomas. Otherwise, the use of smaller, textured flowers such as blushing bride, lavender, spray roses, wheat, and even ferns, will lend the arrangements a more casual feel and make it more interesting to look at!

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Photo via Style Me Pretty.

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Photo via Ruffled Blog.

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Photo via Fly Away Bride.

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Photo via Pinterest.

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Photo via Style Me Pretty.

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Photo via Wedding Chicks.

{TWS tip: Sugar or gum paste flower peonies are also a great way to dress up your wedding cake.}

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Photo via Wedding Chicks.

Can budget-conscious brides still include this flower in their arrangements?

Jo: If budget is an issue and you can't include them everywhere, decide where you think there will be the most photo opportunities. Some brides reserve the peonies for their bouquet or bridal table, while others prefer to use it on their reception styling instead so that all their guests can enjoy them. Also see our alternative suggestions to peonies below where we take a peek at some more wallet-friendly options.

{TWS tip: As a bloom with a high petal count, you can get away with less flowers in your arrangements and still make an impression. We suggest mixing peonies with other (less expensive) flowers or carrying a posy instead of a full bouquet for brides looking to maximise their budget.}

If peonies are not in season, what are some great alternatives?

Jo: Brides use peonies for their large bloom size and fluffy petals - there is no perfect substitute if you have your mind set on them, but consider these options:

Ranunculus
Ranunculus are right up there with peonies in terms of petal density, but have a more symmetrical, layered look. The full blooms are also smaller, measuring 1-3" wide, compared to the peony's 3-5" head. They are available for a slightly longer season from November to May, and have many more colours to choose from: red, pink, white, yellow, orange, dark purple.

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Photo via Bodasnovias.

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Bouquet by Floral Magic.

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Bouquet by Floral Magic.

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Photo via Wedding Chicks.

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Photo via Style Me Pretty.

David Austin Roses
These garden roses have different bloom structures depending on the colour, but they all feature a pretty, curly, centre enveloped by larger petals that form a teacup shape. They are slightly smaller than peonies even when fully bloomed, but are just as show-stopping. These are available all year round from different parts of the world. Popular colours are Juliet for peach, Keira and Miranda for pink, Patience for white, and Tess for red.

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Bouquet by Floral Magic.

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Bouquet by Floral Magic.

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Photo via Style Unveiled.

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Photo via Bridal Musings.

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Photo via Wedding Chicks.

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Photo via Wedding Mix.

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Photo via Mod Wedding.

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Photo via Fab You Bliss.

The cost for ranunculus and David Austin roses are similar to peonies but for more budget-friendly options, we have two more suggestions:

Carnations
Some brides are averse to the idea of using carnations for their wedding because of it's association with Mother's Day (how is that a bad thing?). But carnations can bloom up to about 3 inches wide if you give them time. Plus, when you put a few together in a tight cluster, it highlights pretty, curly petals, similar to what we like in peonies. Carnations are available all year round, and come in a much larger variety of colours: white, pink, red, salmon, purple, green, yellow, and orange.

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White carnation, cream rose and white dahlia bouquet by Floral Magic.

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Coral carnation, fuchsia peony, hot pink rose spray, lamb's ear and pieris bouquet by Floral Magic.

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Photo via Ruffled Blog.

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Photo via Style Me Pretty.

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Photo via Ruffled Blog.

Roses
Regular cut roses, not of a special garden variety are also a great option. We like to use them because there's no other velvety texture like it, and they come in colours very few other flowers can replicate.

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Photo via Style Unveiled.

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Photo of a composite rose bouquet via Fab You Bliss.

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Bouquet by Floral Magic.

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Bouquet by Floral Magic.

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Bouquet by Floral Magic.

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Photo via Pinterest.

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Photo via Want That Wedding.

{TWS tip: Whilst researching alternative flowers to peonies, we also came across silk flowers and bouquets which may be a option for some brides who have their hearts set on peonies during an off season, or who want a bouquet to last in perpetuity as a wedding keepsake.}

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Photo via Etsy.

 

Thanks Jo and to all our readers, have a wonderful Easter weekend!

 

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