Flowers: Made in the Shade

From the power red of a politician’s tie to the relaxing cool of the pale blue walls in your favorite spa, color is often called upon to set the tone. Whether you choose quiet ivory, vibrant marigold, or playful pink as the focus of your wedding flowers, the shade you select will establish a mood for the entire affair. To help you cruise Mother Nature’s color wheel and navigate the emotions evoked by her hues, we asked some of Seattle’s top floral designers to compose bouquets showing off a variety of blooms in each shade. Your florist can help you combine colors as well as seasonal, exotic, and locally grown favorites to strike just the right note on your big day.   





white symbolizes purity and innocence. It’s dignified and classic, just like the florist rose ‘Polo’, accompanied by ranunculus and white-fringed tulips in this arrangement by COLLEEN MONETTE. Sprays of lily of the valley and clusters of the tiny white bells of the andromeda add delicate detail, while gardenias lend their enticing fragrance.

For him Stephanotis is a shapely wedding classic for the groom or father of the bride; the tiny black centers of ornithogalum arabicums make them a dignified and stately option.


green evokes new beginnings. Succulents and anthuriums provide weight in this bouquet by COLLEEN MONETTE; delicate hellebores, a late-winter flower, create airy texture. Spotted leaves from the evergreen shrub aucuba echo the tiny spots in the center of the pincushion flower, or scabiosa.

For him Monette says that despite its girlish name, a green-and-white variegated lady slipper orchid with berzillia berry and a chartreuse green ribbon makes a very handsome boutonniere.


yellow is the color of hope. ‘Coup Soleil’ roses and ranunculus bring warmth and an element of surprise in an arrangement by Anne Bradfield of FLORESSENCE DESIGN. Fragrant freesias, red-stained cymbidium orchids, and callas with deep, dark centers provide vibrant detail.

For him Bradfield suggests the gold cymbidium orchid for a striking, contemporary look. For a smaller option, kalanchoe packs a bright burst of yellow.


purple says royalty, and taking from two extremes—cool blue and hot red—it also conveys spirituality and balance. In this arrangement by FIORI FLORAL DESIGN’s Miles Johnson, soft sprays of lilac invoke the playful mood of spring, while purple-black mini calla lilies add drama. ‘Cool Water’ roses play off the purplish leaves of the Tradescantia zebrina, and the curlicues of fern heads make a lovely formal accent.

For him Johnson says the boutonniere “should always feel as if it has been plucked from the bride’s bouquet.” He recommends a dark purple calla lily with fern curls and galax. Or, for a pale purple palette, blue curiosa roses.