May is a wonderful time of the year when it comes to wedding flowers, so lucky you if you’re a May bride! We asked wedding florist Mandy Alberry of Sonning Flowers for a list of what’s in season, as well as some ideas for how you can use them in your big day.
Top tip: picking wedding flowers when they are in season can save you money as they don’t need to be imported or specially cultivated. Our guide to wedding flowers has all the blooms and when they’re available.
“May is probably my favourite time of year for flowers. There are so many large-headed, blousy and romantic flowers – including my personal favourite, ranunculus. May is the beginning of all the summer flowers in a huge range of colours, including peonies, garden roses, astilbe and stocks, all of which suit a soft and romantic style,” explains Mandy.
Also known as ‘false goat’s beard’, Astilbe is a beautiful fern-like flower with tall, fluffy plumage. It’s the perfect filler in a rustic bouquet and can add texture and interest to arrangements of more classic flowers. It comes in a range of colours and its tall shape makes it a great option for wedding centrepieces too.
The soft-petalled lisianthus comes in lots of different colours, meaning if you want a bouquet that matches your colour scheme and is in season, choosing lisianthus will give you a lot of options. The long, slender stems lend themselves well to bouquets and floral décor and you can choose between a single flowered version or a double flowered type – go for the latter if you really want to make an impact with your bridal bouquet.
Did you know ranunculi are from the same family as the buttercup? These cheerful blooms look beautiful in bouquets and come in a vast selection of colours. We love them in pink but they look gorgeous in white too, and quite often are a cheaper alternative to roses. If you have your heart set on a rose bouquet, you could always go for half the amount of roses and use ranunculus to fill the gap.
These delicate blooms smell gorgeous and will add a delicate, romantic look to your wedding bouquet. The pretty pastel hues make them the idea choice if you’re planning on having a vintage style wedding bouquet – the heady floral scent will have everyone you walk past in the mood for a summery celebration.
Peony bouquets are super popular for a reason. The beautiful flowers are so blousy and romantic and look striking in any floral arrangement. They are in season in May so if you want them at their most affordable this is something to consider.
David Austin Roses
David Austin roses – also known as English roses – were especially developed by rose breeder David Austin in the 60s. He wanted to combine the old fashioned shape and scent of classic roses with the larger colour range of modern blooms. The result is a beautiful flower that almost looks like a cross between a rose and a peony and works beautifully in bouquets with peonies.
Handily, gypsophila is available all year round and works beautifully on its own as well as a filler flower in bigger arrangements or as a bridesmaid bouquet. It’s also known as ‘baby’s breath’ and can often be used in flower crowns too. The delicate, pretty nature make it the perfect choice for a rustic wedding as it adds to the décor in a way that is understated and not overly glamorous.
May Wedding Bouquets
Handily for May brides, the beautiful flowers that are in season work well in a variety of arrangements. We’ve rounded up some gorgeous bouquets from real brides to inspire you if you’re still deciding what to have on your big day.
Editor of hitched, Caroline, was a May bride and had a pretty pastel bouquet of peonies and roses: “I opted for peonies as when I was little my mum grew them and I used to pick them and carry them around with me. I’d get in trouble for doing it, so this was a way to honour a fond childhood memory and finally carry around peonies without getting told off!”
Image credit: Claire Lau Photography
Be inspired by Emma’s cascading bouquet of white hydrangeas, peonies and freesias. We are obsessed with the all-white colour palette for the flowers, mixed in with hints of green.
See Emma and Dave’s real wedding
If you prefer a bit more colour in your arrangements, take a look at May bride Louise’s bridal bouquet, which featured seasonal blooms such as David Austin roses, stocks, ranunculus, freesias and snapdragons, mixed in with daisies for a pretty, whimsical feel.
See Louise and Michael’s real wedding
Stacey opted for just peonies at her mid-May wedding and picked them in a striking colour palette of pink and white, to match her feminine wedding colour scheme.
See Stacey and Tom’s real wedding
Sarah kept it very simple at her May wedding to Mark – she chose a sleek calla lily wedding bouquet. There were matching buttonholes for the groomsmen and smaller arrangements for the bridesmaids too for a coordinated look.
See Sarah and Mark’s real wedding
Geoff and Victoria had a beautifully boho May wedding with a floral theme running throughout it. Sweet peas featured heavily in their décor, but it was the bride’s floral crown, complete with roses, that caught our attention.
See Victoria and Geoff’s real wedding
You tend to see a lot of pretty pastels at May weddings, but we love Kate’s bolder choice for her wedding to Gareth. She opted for striking yellow ranunculus mixed with bold blue delphiniums and white roses.
See Kate and Gareth’s real wedding
For even more ideas, don’t miss our edit of the best seasonal wedding flowers.