As any southern bride can tell you, magnolia wedding flowers are the epitome of grace and elegance. Whether you live south of the Mason-Dixon Line or not, you can still carry off a wedding day filled with southern charm by incorporating magnolias into the theme.
The traditional magnolia blooms used in weddings are from the Magnolia grandiflora tree and sport a large white bloom with a distinct fragrance. The petals are pointed on the tips and the inner stem is a bright yellow. The blooms range from four to six inches in diameter and often have as many as 10 petals. The leaves of this magnolia are approximately eight inches long and feature a shiny green top with a brown underside.
Ideas for Magnolia Wedding Flowers
Use magnolias as wedding decorations or in bouquets. These lovely flowers can bring fragrant elegance to your wedding in a variety of ways.
A common use for magnolia flowers is as centerpieces at wedding reception tables. A low glass bowl with a wide mouth works best. Simply add approximately three to four inches of water then place the blossom in the bowl. The bloom should float freely on top of the water. For smaller blooms or other magnolia varieties, you may be able to float more than one in each bowl.
Altars and Arbors
Altars and arbors can also be festooned with magnolias. Use both the blooms and greenery to create a garden effect. Attach the blooms still attached to their stems to the arbor with florist wire. Once firmly attached, add clusters of greenery to fill in the bare spaces with thick gauge florist wire. For best results, assemble no earlier than the night before the ceremony to ensure the blooms stay fresh.
Bridal and Bridesmaid Bouquets
To use magnolias in your bridal or bridesmaid wedding flower bouquet, choose a smaller variety, such as Magnolia viriginiana. Its shape is reminiscent of a gardenia or Merrill magnolia, which features a starburst of petals that fold outward. If your heart is set on the grandiflora variety, your best option is to use a single bloom. Cut it from a sturdy stem and leave at least three inches of the branch intact. If possible, keep several leaves intact as well, which will help support the bloom. Wrap the stem with florist tape then cover with thick satin ribbon.
Where to Buy
Depending on the season, fresh magnolias are available locally in growing zones three through seven. If you do not have a magnolia tree growing in your yard, take a drive through your town. Since magnolia trees grow up to 30 feet tall, each tree carries hundreds of blooms. Your neighbors may be willing to let you cut several blossoms for free or a nominal fee. Many nurseries have magnolias for sale as well so check there first before heading to your florist.
Silk assortments are sold at many arts and craft stores nationwide such as Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores, Hobby Lobby and Michaels. Suitable silk versions of magnolia flowers may be available in the floral department of your local Wal-Mart or Garden Ridge. Make sure to buy all that you may need, however, because inventory at these stores rotates frequently and you may not be able to get the same design later if you run out.
Regardless of which magnolia wedding flowers you end up choosing, make sure your fresh flowers are soaked in water the night before the wedding. This will prevent the petals from forming unsightly brown spots and keep the blooms fresh. The fragrant bouquets and centerpieces of magnolias will provide a wonderful backdrop to the wedding dresses and other decorations.