It’s tradition (and good luck, some of us believe) for a bride to have something blue at her wedding. Each of these items – old, new, borrowed, blue – acts as a good luck charm, according to belief. Each helps the married couple to have a long and happy partnership together, warding off the evil eye, or ensuring fertility.
Blue is also very fashionable for 2015, with almost every catwalk around the world showing a lot of couture and ready-to-wear designs in all shades of blue from the very palest to almost black-navy, often mixed in the same outfit. Perhaps all-blue wedding dresses will become popular?
Blue flowers are an easy and beautiful way to incorporate the good luck element of blue into a wedding. There are a number of blue wedding flowers available throughout the year, for brides and grooms to incorporate into buttonholes, bouquets, flower crowns, attendants’ posies, pedestal displays, venue arrangements, reception tablecentres, napkin posies, and thank you bunches.
There are many naturally-blue flowers, from the palest baby blue to deep almost-navy. You might also find dyed blue flowers – turquoise chrysanthemums and navy dendrobium orchids are the most commonly seen – but there are so many naturally-blue flowers there is no need to resort to dyed ones unless you need to match a particularly vibrant shade of turquoise or teal.
Photos above : agapanthus, campanula, cornflower, delphinium ‘blue bee’, delphinium, hydrangea
Here are our suggestions and recommendations for blue wedding flowers.
aconitum – ‘monkshood’. Deep mid-blue or navy hooded flowers like a large snapdragon, on tall straight leafy stems. Lovely for display work. Poisonous if eaten, so wear gloves, ribbon-wrap the stems of bouquets, and avoid using in children’s posies just in case. Summer, Winter.
agapanthus – tall smooth leafless stems topped with large globe shaped sprays of flowers, each shaped like a small lily. Ideal for bouquets and posies because of their smooth easy-to-hold stems. Great for dramatic arrangements because of their height, which can reach well over a metre, and their large flowerheads. All shades from pale sky blue, bright blue, cobalt blue, to dark blue. Available Spring-Summer.
bluebell – the commercially available kind will be Scilla, the Spanish bluebell. Dainty pale to deep blue bells cluster in an open spire, along a short smooth stem. Pretty for posies and buttonholes in cooler weather. Spring.
campanula – ‘Canterbury bells’. Fat bell-shaped flowers in varying sizes. Campanula medium has large flowers along its tall stems, usually in paler shades of blue, plus pale pink, white and almost-navy. Campanula glomerata has more open flowers of vivid cobalt, clustered in a tight flowerhead on medium length stems. Winter, Summer.
cornflower – a cultivated form of the charming meadow flower, with a daisy-shaped ruffled bloom of fringed petals in pure sky blue, bright blue or dark blue. Medium length stems, pretty massed with other natural-looking flowers or used to add dots of blue to a posy. Winter-Spring-Summer.
delphinium – tall, dramatic spires of flowers clothing stems of well over a metre high. Wonderful for pedestals, tablecentres and displays needing height and impact. Individual flowers can be snipped off and used for buttonholes, wired work or hair ornaments. Shade of blue run the full range from almost white through to inky navy. Available all year round.
Delphinium blues can sometimes have a tint of lilac in them; for absolutely vivid pure almost-turquoise blue, ask for the ‘butterfly’ and ‘blue bee’ forms which have a more open, airy flowerspike and slightly shorter stems.
echinops – ‘globe thistle’. a golfball-sized globe of soft spines, each a tightly rolled flowerbud. Tight in bud the flowers are metallic pale silver; slightly open in flower, they turn deep navy; full open, a soft lilac-blue. Long stems, so good for displays and tablecentres, especially if silvery grey shades are needed. Spring-Summer.
eryngium – ‘sea holly’. Sprays of flowers on long stems, each flower shaped like a raspberry wearing a ruff. The flowers’ side stems are often quite long, making them versatile for posies, flower crowns and buttonholes. Shades of blue from pale silver, bright cobalt, gunmetal and dark blue.
Eryngiums vary widely in size of flower, depth of blueness, and in spininess – they are not called sea holly for nothing! Look for softer-spined or spineless forms, and be sure to remove all spines from the stems of any used in bouquets and posies.
forget-me-not – tiny sky-blue petals around a bright yellow centre, like a child’s drawing of a flower, each clustered on short, soft stems. Charming in posies, flower crowns, and massed with other natural-looking flowers.
gentian – each stem looks a little like a miniature bunch of vibrant blue tulips on a long, bright green stalk. The flowers, whilst not very showy, are possibly the most vivid shade of cobalt available in cut flowers, which makes them very useful.
hyacinth – bell-shaped florets clustered into chunky flower spikes on smooth short fat stems. Many blue shades including pale powder blue, sky blue, bright blue, cobalt and dark blue. The florets can be used individually in wired work, for hair ornaments and flower jewellery, and buttonholes. Hyacinths have a sweet powerful fragrance which is lovely for weddings. Autumn-Winter-Spring.
hydrangea – perfect for lush, opulent, exuberant displays where volume is required; and ideal for brides on a budget as one hydrangea bloom can look as large as a posy. Use the hydrangea flower as a frame to thread other flowers through, instead of foliage or fillers.
Shades of pale blue, sky blue, bright blue, cobalt, deep purple-blue, and “antique” hydrangea which have bronze-silver tones, perfect for vintage weddings or where a tricky colourmatch is needed. Spring-Summer-Autumn.
iris – the classic Dutch iris is perhaps the best known blue flower, with shades from pale powder blue through cobalt to deep navy-purple. The streaks of yellow inside each petal add an extra pop of bright colour. Available all year round.
The bearded iris is the garden form, occasionally available as a cut flower; this has longer stems than the Dutch iris, and a much larger flowerhead with wide frilled petals. The bearded iris blues are a soft pastel shade or an inky dark blue, sometimes two different shades on one flower. Spring.
lupin – tall pointed spires of tightly packed florets, usually in bright lolly shades but they can be found in sky blue and cobalt too. The foliage is particularly beautiful, and a vase solely of long stemmed lupins and their foliage can look very dramatic and impressive.
muscari – ‘grape hyacinth’. Tiny, dainty flowerspikes of clustered bells on short smooth leafless stems. Perfect for posies, flower crowns, buttonholes. Pale blue through mid to deep blue, sometimes shaded on the same stem.
nigella – ‘love in a mist’. A bright or sky blue daisy-shaped flower of fringed petals, similar to cornflower in flower shape, colour range and use . Autumn-Winter-Spring.
salvia – Dainty spire-shaped flowerspikes of mid to dark blue on shortish stems. Some flowerspikes are slender and densely packed; others are more spriggy and open. Some salvias are the most vibrant cobalt, so shop around if you need to find a good colour match.
scabious – a charming daisy-shaped flower about the size of a 50c coin, with wide slightly crinkled petals on medium length soft stems. The bluest shade is a pale sky blue; the most readily-available shade is more lilac in tone, so check if colour matching is important. Summer-Autumn.
tweedia – a rare shade of bright turquoise-blue in these starry little flowers. Short stems, soft pink buds, lovely to mix up with other flowers to add dots of colour.
triteleia – like a mini agapanthus, with a more loose open flower head. Ideal for bouquets and posies where an agapanthus bloom might be too large and dominating; for shorter posies and bouquets; and to add tiny pops of cobalt blue into a design. Summer.
veronica – long slender flower spikes like cats’ tails, which add movement, height and interest to bouquets and posies; and are dainty for buttonholes and flower crowns. Shades of sky blue, cobalt, and navy. Spring-Summer
water lily – a closed bud of petals will open up into a large starry cup shaped bloom on a very short stem. The flowers do not last long in usual floristry work; but a wedding is only one day and the flowers can be timed to open perfectly, and once opened, be held open. Some waterlilies will only open in the evenings so do a test run beforehand to see which kind you have. Pale soft blue with a tint of lilac.
Photos below: gentian, iris, muscari, scabious, tweedia, waterlily