From Kris McKee Floral Design, The Language Of Pastel Flowers For Your Wedding is a love story about pastel blooms, what they represent & how you can incorporate them into your wedding day for The Pastel Issue

During the Victorian era, flowers held specific symbolic meaning, which was used as a type of language, otherwise known as The Victorian Language of Flowers or floriography. Bouquets, arrangements, and even single stems were sent from one person to another as a form of conveying secret messages. Doesn’t the thought of that excite you? It’s such a romantic idea.

But it was important for the Victorians to be aware that the Language was not universal, that it did alter from region to region and remembering this was key to ensuring a secret message was interpreted correctly and that whispers from the next-door neighbour over Devonshire tea and scones didn’t fuel the next big scandal in town.

While not all flowers translate to meanings of love and adoration, there are many that do, and they can be perfect for including in your pastel wedding floral styling. Let’s take a look at some well-loved pastel flowers commonly grown today.

Pink Roses

While it’s commonly known that red roses convey love and passion, when it comes to considering roses in pastel hues we can opt for a pink rose which holds the meaning of appreciation, gratitude and happiness, three wonderful ingredients to share with the guests at your wedding.

Considering seasonal availability is paramount for many flowers, however, we are very fortunate that roses are available much more readily than many other blooms. Availability is however affected by the variety and of course environmental factors. We are very lucky to have some excellent rose growers here in Australia which allows us to get our hot little hands on some of the most exquisite roses all year round.

Remember though, if sustainability is important to you, ask your florist to source local or Australian-grown roses and avoid any international imports. This supports our farmers here and reduces the negative environmental impact.

Image: Pink & White Roses

Mauve or Pink Scabiosa

Love, affection, and steadfastness – who doesn’t want that? The Victorians often included the scabiosa in celebrations of admiration and love. The perfect bloom to include in your bouquet and scattered throughout your table centres.

The scabiosa is by far one of my personal favourite stems. She is tall, she is delicate and flowy, and she is stunning. Although the bloom has delicate petals it holds up the task of a wedding bouquet with enthusiasm.

Scabiosa are more seasonal than the well-known rose. Here in Australia our local growers treat us to bundles of beautiful scabiosa during the warmer months, absolutely during the summer period, and possibly beyond as long as the weather remains warm.

Another name for this stunning bloom is the Pincushion flower.

Image: Mauve & Pink Scabiosa

Apricot Carnation

A very popular choice when it came to romantic gestures was the humble, yet fluffy and gorgeous carnation, also known as dianthus.

Now I know what you’re thinking, but the darling carnation has made a comeback and is no longer the daggy companion of baby’s breath stuck in the poodle perms of the 80s.  She has a new sass, and she isn’t afraid to show it.

The carnation is also a very cost-effective bloom, and en-masse the fluffy petals create an absolute cloud of marshmallowy dreams. I love to include carnations in my arrangements to provide volume and the appearance of abundance. The perfect option for incorporating more flowers into your wedding if your allowance just won’t stretch to a million roses. I may not always suggest including them in the wedding bouquet but they would definitely have a sassy role in the reception and party arrangements.

Seasonally available in spring through summer.

Image: Apricot Carnation

Pink Poppies

My goodness, the fully open poppy is a sight to behold and there are several beautiful pastel hues to find. But good things are not always easy to come by and poppies are a little potluck. You don’t actually know what colour the petals will reveal until the pod starts to open, and when it opens you only have a few days to marvel and enjoy.

I love including poppies in my designs due to their colours, unique texture, and enchanting shapely stems. They can quite literally dance throughout an arrangement.

When we look back to the Victorian era to understand exactly what they might have symbolised the most common meaning was peacefulness and sleep or rest. Remember that scene from Wizard of Oz?  And that doesn’t really equate to much of a party vibe. But, if we take into consideration the symbolic meaning of a specific coloured poppy, in this instance pink, the Victorians attached the meaning of pleasure, success and hope, and that certainly works with the wedding vibe. So pink poppies are a stunning addition to a pastel wedding theme.

Seasonally, poppies grace us with their presence in spring and early summer, however, in warmer climates you start to see them appear in late winter. They are also very affordable.

Image: Pink Poppies

Lemony Ranunculus

Ranunculus, also known as buttercups are perfect for wedding florals. They symbolise radiance, charm, attraction, happiness and joy!

Their delicate, papery petals are said to represent beauty and charm, and the Victorians often sent them to others as a gesture of romance and a show of attraction (ooh la la).

Ranunculus are available in many, many, colours and hues which include an array of soft pastels, and are a florist favourite for sure.

The flowers are small to medium in size and perfect for bouquets, table centres and large vase arrangements. They flower mostly in winter, but in warmer climates, they can begin to show their faces from late autumn, through spring, and into early summer.

Image: Lemon Ranunc

Hydrangea Paniculata

The meaning of the hydrangea is a little less straightforward and largely relies on the specific colour of the blooms. When it comes to a wedding, I like to use white and pink. The Victorians associated white hydrangea with grace, and pink with heartfelt emotions. So why not opt for a pink-speckled white hydrangea? Perfect I hear you say. Indeed!

This variety, hydrangea paniculata, has a unique cone shape that reminds me very much of an ice cream cone. I also find this variety holds up to hot weather a lot better than other varieties. As a rule, hydrangea LOVE a lot of water and will wilt quickly in the heat and therefore can be a tricky wedding flower. But the paniculata tend to be more reliable. But be aware that all hydrangea varieties tend to be on the more expensive side, so if you must have them but the allowance won’t stretch to abundance, then ask your florist to incorporate them into a bouquet or a key design in the ceremony or reception, make a feature of them.

Hydrangea bloom in summer, they are around for a good time, not a particularly long time, so keep this in mind.

Image: Speckled Hydrangea

Whatever blooms you wish to incorporate into your big celebration, my advice is always to check their flowering season and ask about the cost to avoid any big disappointments. It’s also really important to remember that mother nature tends to play by her own rules so nothing is ever 100% guaranteed. I always advise my couples to choose a style or theme, a colour palette they love, and then we can select the best flowers in season that work with that idea at the time.

Happy planning love birds!

About Kris McKee Floral DesignKris McKee Floral Design is an independent florist based in the inner west of Sydney on the border of Enmore and Marrickville. With a strong focus on creating products that are both beautiful and original, we aim to design and produce floral arrangements that bring joy. Using only quality floral materials, hand chosen from the markets, we aim to use locally grown produce whenever possible. We have a strong focus on sustainable practices and make every effort possible to reduce any negative impact on our environment. We create everything from one-off bouquets to abundant and magnificent weddings and events.