One of the most gorgeous wedding flowers is the peony. Feminine, gracious, and charming, peonies are one of the favorite flowers for spring brides. These are some ideas on how to incorporate lush peonies into your wedding bouquets and centerpieces.

The ideal time to use peonies in a wedding is the late spring to early summer. They can also be special ordered for autumn weddings, though there is always some risk involved in relying on out-of-season flowers (what if they don't look great?). Peonies are not one of the less expensive blossoms, sorry to say, but they are certainly one of the most breathtaking. Fragrant, full, and ultra-girly, the graciousness of peonies is unparalleled.

Peonies work beautifully for round bridal bouquets. Their full and ruffly blooms are ideal when a lush bouquet is the goal. A mass of peonies makes a fabulous wedding bouquet all on its own, or it can be combined with other flowers with a similar shape for a bouquet which looks like it was handpicked from an English garden. Some of the prettiest blooms to combine with peonies are garden roses, sweetpeas, and French tulips.

Whether you opt for a mixed flower bouquet or one with only peonies, similar types of bouquet wraps will be pretty. The simplicity of a hand-tied bouquet with exposed stems is lovely for a garden wedding. Tie it all together with a wide satin ribbon with long trailing streamers for a bit of elegance. To make the bouquet a bit more formal, more intricate bouquet wraps are gorgeous. Get sentimental and use your grandmother's lace hankie as a handle wrap, or opt for a formal woven ribbon design to accent your peony bouquet.

Peonies are usually seen in pale pink, hot pink, a pinky-red, and white. Pale yellow peonies are also available, as are double peonies, which are two toned. The pinks tend to be the most popular for weddings. They are great for both the bride and her bridesmaids. A pink peony bridesmaid bouquet is perfect for a preppy style bridesmaid dress with the attendants in simple strapless dresses and pearl bridesmaid jewelry. Hot pink peonies are a great contrast to more richly colored bridesmaid dresses such as charcoal, navy, or brown. Just for fun, you could have sets of pearl bridesmaid jewelry created which have a scattering of crystals in the same hot pink as the flowers.

There are many fantastic centerpiece designs which are based on peonies. The flowers themselves are so beautiful that they look incredible in even the simplest arrangements. For DIY wedding centerpieces, a lush bunch of peonies in shades of pink can be stuffed into short tin pails or white pitchers. If you prefer a more formal effect, the same flowers would be stunning in a tall footed urn. Just remember that peonies look best when they are packed together to be very full and rich looking.

From garden to ballroom, preppy to romantic, the peony is the perfect flower for so many styles of weddings. Always gorgeous, this luscious spring flower is sure to become one of the favorite things about your wedding decorations.

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