Remember that decades-old commercial that declared A day without orange juice is like a day without sunshine? It could just as easily be said that a wedding without flowers is, well, not like a wedding at all. In fact, next to the bridal gown, it seems that more time is spent discussing and dissecting the pros and cons of floral arrangements than just about any other aspect of a wedding. Experts say the pretty peony is the most popular wedding flower, but lush 'country garden' arrangements, including hydrangeas, ranunculus and garden roses are coming into vogue.

Autumnal annuals.

Ken Miesner, owner of Ken Miesner’s Flowers, strives to use blooms native to the season. “There’s a particular variety of magnolia that blossoms through the fall that is so lush and perfect for a romantic wedding,” he says. Gardenias remain a long-time favorite of brides, but Ladue Florist owner Marianne Przetak reports that mini calla lilies, with their trumpet-shaped petals and vibrant hues, are gaining in popularity. “This time of year, many brides are choosing them in mango or rust.” She adds that peach and butterscotch are pleasing pastel alternatives to fall’s deeper shades.

The floral form.

If it's good enough for the royal couple...well, you get the idea. “When William and Kate got married, she carried a small bouquet,” says Przetak. “An understated arrangement allows flowers to show their shape rather than being overwhelmed.” Ball-shaped bouquets, she adds, are still favored by many, but are giving way to “cascading styles that are looser and more natural, and suggest the windswept feeling of the season.”

Alternative accents.

Another way to incorporate seasonal ambiance is with some unexpected accents to your flowers. Miesner says he often will enhance arrangements with fall foliage, while Przetak loves to add berried branches like hypericum. Even colorful fruit, stalks of wheat and cotton bolls are unique ways to evoke the beauty of harvest time.

More Weddings & Engagements articles.