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Everything you need to know about wedding flowers in Hawaii

Floral is a huge part of every wedding. If you're getting married in Hawaii, you are probably the type of person who loves the beaches, the tropical atmosphere, and the colorful flowers. In fact, tropical flowers are usually the main focal point at the island weddings. When planning your special day, there are some things you should know to make an educated choice about your wedding flowers in Hawaii.

wedding flowers in Hawaii

Things are always a bit different on the island than on the mainland. I am a wedding planner, not a florist. I wanted to make sure my readers get the expert's advice on wedding flowers in Hawaii. "Spreading Aloha one flower at a time," is the Grace of Flowers Hawaii's slogan which I find so awesome. Grace Flowers Hawaii is a full-service flower shop located in the heart of Honoka'a, on the Big Island of Hawai'i. With over 25 years of experience in floral design, they work extensively with their clients to materialize visions into tangible reality. For those caring about the environment, Grace Flowers Hawaii should be your floral vendor of choice. They take recycling and composting very seriously. One member of their team even has a small herd of pigs that get to roll around daily in their island-grown green waste!

Alison Higgins, the Owner of Grace Flowers Hawaii kindly agreed to answer a few questions about wedding flowers in Hawaii.

R: What should every bride know when choosing her floral for a wedding in Hawaii?

A: There are a few things that brides should be aware of when planning their Hawaii wedding. One of them being that Hawaii is a tropical location and can be very warm and humid which sometimes can affect the flowers adversely. We recommend that the flowers are not delivered to much farther in advance than 3 hours before the ceremony to limit the amount of exposure to the often warm temperatures felt at many Hawaii locations. Another thing that brides should keep in mind is how many different varieties of flowers are grown in our state. In addition to the common tropical flowers, there is a bounty of flowers and foliage available such as snapdragons, dahlias, sunflowers and so many more. There is also a softer side to tropical flowers that can be achieved by mixing in roses or dahlias with the sometimes sharper textures of tropical flowers. This has been recently called Tropical Nouveau. If the bride does want flowers that are not grown in the Islands, most florists bring many flowers into the State, just keep in mind they will need advance notice for these items.

wedding flowers in Hawaii
Floral: Grace Flowers Hawaii, Photography: Couple Cups

R: Are there any seasonal restrictions for certain flowers?

A: Hawaii does have a year-round growing season, but many flowers still do have seasons. Like many places in the world, our flowers are most abundant in the spring and summer months when the days are longer. That being said, there are still lots of flowers available at any time of the year. Certain varieties of orchids such as the popular cymbidium prefer a little cooler climate and do best during autumn and into the winter months. Other seasonal restrictions are ones that affect everyone such as peonies and lilacs which often have very limited growing seasons worldwide.

wedding flowers in Hawaii
Source: Grace Flowers Hawaii,

R: What is the symbolical meaning of leis during the wedding ceremony?

A: The Hawaiian lei (a garland of flowers and foliage) symbolizes love, respect, honor, and aloha being bestowed upon the recipient. They are often used in the wedding ceremony similarly to the ring exchange to show an unbroken circle of love represented by the individual flowers and foliage that make up the lei and are often tied to form a circle. It is traditional for the men to wear an all foliage lei such as a maile lei, or maile styled ti leaf lei. Sometimes they are wrapped with the same flowers as the ones used to make the bridal lei. The Brides lei is usually made of all white flowers such as white orchids, white crown flowers (Queen Liliuokalani's favorite lei) tuberose, plumeria and the ever popular pikake (jasmine). It is also a beautiful gesture to provide lei for family and guests who attend the wedding.

wedding flowers in Hawaii
Photography by Joa Photography,

R: Are there any specific care instructions to take care of the bridal floral?

A: Since it is warm in Hawaii we recommend keeping the bridal bouquet in a cool (preferably air-conditioned) area as long as possible before the ceremony start. If taking pictures before the wedding, keep in mind that prolonged exposure to the direct sun will sometimes cause wilting on certain blossoms.

R: What is the best way to recycle the floral in Hawaii after the wedding is over?

A: If the flowers are still in good shape once the wedding is over there are many ways to enjoy them. Our shop (and many shops by request) can design the arrangements in plastic disposable trays that fit inside our wedding centerpiece containers such as glass compotes or other rental items, this way once the wedding is over the guests may take them back to the room and enjoy them. There are also many hospitals and elderly housing facilities that love to receive floral donations and if they are in low trays it makes it easy to deliver them to one of these locations for the residents' enjoyment.

wedding flowers in Hawaii
Floral: Grace Flowers Hawaii, Photography: Fletch Photography

R: What are some floral trends that will become popular in 2019?

A: We have been seeing a huge trend in using locally grown and sourced flowers and we expect to continue to see this through 2019 and beyond. We also have been seeing a trend in the Tropical Nouveau designs we mentioned earlier mixing tropical flowers with softer ones. The color yellow seems to be up and coming and lilies seem to be making a comeback.

Take this expert's advice and use it when creating your vision for wedding flowers in Hawaii. Reach out to Alison Higgins if you plan your wedding on the Big Island. Hawaii is a beautiful place for your wedding day and beautiful floral arrangements prepared by a professional will make your wedding day even more special.

Allison Higgins

Grace Flowers Hawaii


45-502 Rickard Place Honoka'a HI 96727


P.S. Check out our recent post Fall Wedding Colors for a Stylish Wedding.

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