While there are almost 70 species of sunflower genus, the rich golden helianthus annuus that blooms every summer has become the quintessential sunflower. Fields full of these tiny-suns-with-black-centers attract tourists from near and far. So far, in fact, that a 20-acre sunflower field in Tennessee drew visitors all the way from Canada.
While it’s worth traveling to see acres of ten-foot-tall sunflowers, these gentle giants pop up in many other areas of life. They’re a popular choice for tattoos, a backyard flower for enthusiastic gardeners, and used in many summer and fall weddings. Because they typically bloom from mid-summer through early fall, the window for a sunflower wedding is small—and it may feel challenging to use them in a fresh way. Here are seven unique ways to include these golden flowers in your big day, without creating your own sunflower field indoors.
In Your Hair
No matter what your wedding plans are, there’s a sunflower style that’s perfect for your hair. For an up-do, use a single sunflower as a breathtaking centerpiece. Or cascade smaller flowers along your braid. If you’re not sure what hairstyle you want, a sunflower crown is a perfect compromise! Whatever you choose, be sure to tell your hairdresser ahead of time, even before the trial run for your hair. Scattering a few pearls into your ‘do isn’t difficult, but larger hairpieces will require a little more forethought.
On Your Table Numbers
Decorate your numbered table signs with bright yellow sunflowers and they’ll be impossible to miss! To help guests locate their table easily, place the flowers in a different spot on each sign. For example, Table 4 might have a lower-right-corner flower peeking up, while Table 5’s flower is at the top right in the middle. If your wedding is large and you run out of spots on the table signs, just make sure the duplicates are close to each other.
In the Bouquets
Create simple bouquets for your bridesmaids with one sunflower each and a little surrounding greenery. Then put together a bridal bouquet with one flower per bridesmaid to represent your friendship. Wrap the bouquets in brown paper for a rustic wedding, or tie with some lace for a formal celebration. You can add extra greenery to the maid of honor’s bouquet, and consider sunflower corsages for the mothers of the couple.
In Your Wedding Arch
Wedding arches are popular for outdoor weddings—which, of course, are popular during the summer and fall! They usually “cover” the happy couple to represent a traditional stage or altar that might exist in an indoor venue. Whether it’s an open barn door for your rustic wedding, or a wire arch with a curtain at the beach, weave some sunflowers throughout to complete the ensemble. The yellow in the arch will pick up the bouquets perfectly, emphasized by any flowers in your hair as well!
On Your Cake
Decorate the cake with ascending sunflowers that get smaller the higher they go. Depending on the style you want, your caterer may make edible sugar flowers to decorate your cake. If you want a natural look, you can request real or silk flowers—but you will have to provide the flowers to the caterer before the wedding. There’s no wrong option, just be sure to discuss them all ahead of time.
Bonus Tip: Keep a flower on the top tier so you can enjoy the memory on your one-year anniversary.
On Your Guestbook
If you’re planning on a traditional guest book, match the color to your wedding theme, with one or two sunflowers on the cover. Online shops like Etsy have hundreds of options, so your guestbook is as unique as your love story. For a less traditional guestbook, guests could sign a wooden sunflower to mount in your home. Or write notes on picture frames that will encase photos from your wedding—with sunflowers, of course! Remember that a guestbook is your own special keepsake, so get as creative as you want.
Send guests home with their own sunflower—as seeds, that is. As a thank you for helping your love grow, they can plant their own symbol of happiness and love. The annual flowers are very easy to care for, making them a perfect gift for the green thumbs (and not-so-green thumbs!) of your family tree. Just don’t forget to include planting and growing instructions with the seeds!
Sunflowers are a bright, cheery complement to any wedding. They can be dressed down for a casual barn wedding, or elevated for a chic minimalist celebration. Whatever fits your style, be sure to plan your wedding while they’re in season, so you have big blooming sunflowers to walk down the aisle with.
Have you ever been to a sunflower wedding? Are there other flowers that also make good wedding decorations?