The autumn season, late August through early December, is a great time to have an outdoor wedding in Southern California. The temperatures have started to come down and Mother Nature is showing off her keen sense of fashion as she dresses the area in colors ranging from the yellows and golds of falling leaves to the the deep , rich hues of black calla lillies.
You may associate flowers with springtime, but trust and believe that there is no shortage of beautiful, seasonal flowers and plants with which to decorate your seasonally themed autumn wedding or to carry in your bouquet. Here are a few of my favorites. In fact, black calla lillies were the main flower in my September 2006 wedding bouquet.
Asiatic lilies: Unlike stargazer lilies with their lovely but overpowering fragrance, Asiatic lilies have no fragrance. What they do offer is a wider range of eye pleasing colors than other lilies. They tend to bloom early and have a long blooming season that ensures they will still be in season come autumn.
Gebera daisies: Gebera daisies are the fifth most popular flower in the world. These natives of South Africa come in a multitude of hues and symbolize innocence, purity and happiness. The large heads make beautiful and inexpensive centerpieces when placed atop river stones in large glass bowls or vases.
Roses: Roses are the Beyonces of wedding flowers. Not only do they come in a myriad of colors, white roses can be dyed to match a rainbow of color schemes. For autumn weddings, try matching blush colored roses with darker colors. Blush colored roses pair well with navy, burgundy or black bridesmaids dresses.
Sunflowers: Known as the “happy” flower, sunflowers symbolize adoration, loyalty and longevity; all the qualities that you want in your marriage. Sunflowers always look towards the sun, the brighter side of life. In doing so they carry the energy of faith and belief in something “out there”. Photo credit Marisa Taylor Photography
Calla lilies: The word “calla” means beautiful in Greek. Calla lilies have a wide array of meanings. White calla lilies are associated with the Greek goddesses Hera, patroness of marriage, and Venus the embodiment of lust and sexuality. From a Christian perspective they represent the purity of the Virgin Mary and the resurrection of Christ. Pink calla lilies represent innocence while black (purple) calla lilies represent royalty or passion, depending on your source. Photo source, The Bouqs Co.
Hydrangeas: According to the Flower Shop Network, “Hydrangeas are mostly used in spring and summer weddings. However due to their year round availability they are also popular in autumn and winter wedding bouquets: especially for winter brides who want a large white bloom.” To make a lovely autumn bridesmaids bouquet, wrap one or two hydrangeas blooms with burlap or seasonally colored ribbon. Photo credit Florium Soto Grande.
Succulents: Nothing says California wedding like succulents. These tiny cactus cousins can either serve to accentuate your bouquet, as in the photo at the start of this post , or they can be the focal point as in this creation by Succulently Urban. They are available in such seasonal colors as eggplant and pomegranate. Succulent bouquets add a really nice touch to outdoor and rustic weddings.
Coffee berries: Coffee berries., aka hypericum berries, are a popular and less expensive means to fluff out a bouquet. These berries come in red and green and add a colorful pop to your florals.
Autumn leaves: Brightly colored autumn leaves are a charming way to add a seasonal vibe to your wedding. They can be added to bouquets and centerpieces or strewn along the runner instead of petals. They can also be used to decorate arches, chairs and place cards. Autumn leaves make beautiful props for wedding photos. They can be used as background or you can take photos of your rings resting atop single or multiple leaves as I did with my husband’s and my rings
Wheat and barley: The autumn season is all about the harvest and nothing symbolizes the harvest like wheat and barley. This boutonniere, featured on the Wisconsin Bride blog, would look right at home in a barn wedding. Before deciding to use dried wheat and/or barley in your wedding florals, be sure to inquire of your florist if she has experience working with dried plants.
One final consideratiion in selecting your wedding flowers is to factor in the impact on the planet. When you choose locally grown plants that are seasonal to your area over those that have to be transported from long distances, your wedding will leave a much lighter carbon footprint on the environment.