Ideas to Use Cabbage Roses or Garden Roses in Your Wedding

I know that Gertrude Stein was convinced that 'a rose is a rose is a rose' but with the number of bouquets we've seen around here, it's pretty obvious that there are some big differences in them ;)  Admittedly, I'm not actually a huge fan of the classic pitcher shaped red rose but I kept being completely drawn to these "peony-like" tightly wound roses with an outer petal structure that made them look like they were in a teacup. 

I think the obsession first started when they hit my radar in our Pastel Watercolor Wedding Inspiration blog.  If you remember our blog post about how to use ranunculus in your wedding, you'll know that our first move when a flower fascinates us is to run and ask our Style Unveiled member vendors about it. 

We learned that these roses are "Cabbage Roses" or "Garden Roses."  We put out a call for some amazing images and now we've got quite the compilation from across the country to show you!  Read on for great advice, tips, and information on how to best use a cabbage rose in your own wedding!

Bouquet design from Entwined Designs in Orange County, CA:

"Garden Roses are an amazing flower generally utilized by most florists when Peonies are requested from Brides but are unavailable or out of season. Some of the varieties have a shorter life span then most but can easily be solved by placing florals in a water source until necessary. Garden Roses tend to open very quickly and once bloomed can be quite large. A good thing to remember is that while most love the smell of a beautiful Garden Rose…..some can be quite aromatic and possibly even too much for a sensitive nose."

Bouquet design from Kio Kreations in Naperville, IL

  • Availability varies by color but they are a pretty safe bet in the spring, summer and early fall months.
  • Good substitute for peonies (for the look/fullness).
  • They have a very strong, sweet perfumey fragrance so don't use if you have allergies to flowers.
  • Petals are delicate and should not be handled very much. Oils from your hands can cause bruises on the petals. This is especially true with white and ivory flowers.

Photo by Kara Schultz

Photo by Tara Etrheim

Bouquet design by panacea event floral design in San Luis Obispo, CA

"English garden roses are one of our favorites for so many reasons.  Their round cup shape and profusion of petals lend themselves so well for a feminine and romantic look.  The fact that they smell glorious is a wonderful wedding day bonus!  This is also our "go to" bloom when a bride loves peonies, but peony season is over."

Photos by David Pascolla

Photos by Mike Larson Inc.

Bouquet design by Blüm; Design in Flowers from Portland, OR

"We use LOADS of cabbage roses (or garden roses as they're called here) for weddings as there are so many amazing local growers in Portland... this is the Rose City after all!  What I love most about them is the soft, feminine, very classic shape.  The second thing I love most about them is the fragrance!  It's so nice to have roses that smell like roses!  Last but not least, the local growers have come up with some surprisingly hardy varieties that hold up well without a lot of water and can stand direct sun.  Perfect for bridal bouquets on a sunny August day!

Below are "Karmel Antik" roses that we used on a cake, unity candle display and for flower girl bouquets.  I love how the very soft, old fashioned roses play against the clean, simple details.  It makes for a very polished, classic look.  This wedding will never go out of style!"

Photos by Altura Studios

"We also use lots of spray garden roses like the petite pale pink "Maria Theresa" in these bridesmaids' bouquets.  They bare a striking resemblance to ranunculus but are available year round and are much, much hardier so make a great substitution choice when ranunculus are no longer available (or viable.)"

Photo by Honeysuckle Photo

"I also love to mix in the garden roses into modern designs as with the berry colored "Yves Piaget" and "Waltzetrammer" used on this head table.  The ruffled petals of the roses soften all of the hard glass to make the look romantic and warm as opposed to modern and cold.  The "Yves Piaget" roses also have the most wonderful fragrance of any garden rose I've come across... like raspberries and vanilla.  Gorgeous!"

Photo by Nataliya Sostin

If these images and descriptions have left you with a full on Cabbage Rose obsession, then you'll probably enjoy some of our full length wedding and inspiration features that are just filled with the little beauties!

Our recent Parisian wedding - Safieh & Charles - from our Destination Real Weddings used them:

Photos by One and Only Paris Photography and designed by Estelle Preston.

A bouquet from Safieh & Charles Paris wedding. Flower design by Estelle Preston.

Styled shoots have been using gobs of cabbage roses lately and we couldn't be happier!  Here's some cute bouquets from our most recent Inspiration Blog post, New York at The High Line - photos by Maggie Marguerite Studios and floral design by Blush Designs.

A bouquet that was featured in our New York at the High Line article. Flower design by Blush Designs.

And, of course, we wouldn't even have a feature had we not been so utterly blown away and enchanted by the brilliance of Therese Jacinto Designs in our Pastel Watercolor Wedding Inspiration.  The photographs by Rizza Riz Photography started it all!

These arrangements were designed by Therese Jacinto and were showcased in our Watercolor article.These arrangements were designed by Therese Jacinto and were showcased in our Watercolor article.These arrangements were designed by Therese Jacinto and were showcased in our Watercolor article.

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Reader Comments (1)

These are some really wonderful ideas. The images displayed are just absolutely awesome. My jaws dropped as well, as I see these images.

May 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Barker

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