Magnolia Wedding Flowers

Updated January 17, 2019
Magnolia bouquet by ValleyofPetals on Etsy

As any southern bride can tell you, magnolia wedding flowers are the epitome of grace and elegance. Whether you live south of the Mason-Dixon Line or not, you can still carry off a wedding day filled with southern charm by incorporating magnolias into the theme.

Ideas for Magnolia Wedding Flowers

Use magnolias as wedding decorations or in wedding bouquets. These lovely flowers can bring fragrant elegance to your wedding in a variety of ways.

Bridal and Bridesmaid Bouquets

To use magnolias in your bridal or bridesmaid wedding flower bouquet, choose a smaller variety, such as Magnolia virginiana. Its shape is reminiscent of gardenia or Merrill magnolia, which features a starburst of petals that fold outward. If your heart is set on the Grandiflora variety, your best option is to use a single bloom. Cut it from a sturdy stem and leave at least three inches of the branch intact. If possible, keep several leaves intact as well, which will help support the bloom. Wrap the stem with florist tape then cover with thick satin ribbon.

Hair Adornment

The magnolia blossom makes an amazing hair adornment for the bride wanting an exotic hair accessory. A magnolia bloom is a perfect addition for a tropical or exotic wedding plan. If you're the type of bride who tucks a flower behind the ear, then this may be the look you've been seeking. You can hot glue a real or silk magnolia flower onto a hair comb or other type of hair accessory.

Magnolia blossom in bride's hair

Magnolia Swags

You can use a magnolia swag on the front of the church altar, wedding party head table, doorways or mantels. These can be live plants and blooms or silk creations. A swag decoration offers you the opportunity to continue the magnolia theme throughout your wedding venue.

Pink magnolia flower garland

Altars, Arches and Arbors

Altars, arches and arbors can also be festooned with magnolias. Use both the blooms and greenery to create a garden effect. Attach the blooms still attached to their stems to the arbor with florist wire. Once firmly attached, add clusters of greenery to fill in the bare spaces with thick gauge florist wire. For best results, assemble no earlier than the night before the ceremony to ensure the blooms stay fresh.

Wedding arch with magnolias and greenery

Fireplace Mantel Magnolia Garland

If your wedding venue features a fireplace mantel, you can take advantage of it with a season themed magnolia garland. You can create a summer-themed mantel garland or a fall one. Combine more than one garland to create a special magnolia mantel design. Add pillar candle holders and cream-colored pillar candles and strings of white mini-lights for a truly festive fall wedding mantel design.

Wedding Table Decorations With Magnolia Flowers

Wedding table seating arrangements include magnolia blossoms, strands of pearls, crystal goblets supporting fresh magnolia flowers, lace, votive candles, and other decorative objects. The guest tables can also feature individual centerpieces that repeat the magnolia theme and are smaller versions of the head table centerpiece where the bridal party is seated.

candle, magnolia, pearl decorations


A common use for magnolia flowers is as centerpieces at wedding reception tables. A low glass bowl with a wide mouth works best. Simply add approximately three to four inches of water then place the blossom in the bowl. The bloom should float freely on top of the water. For smaller blooms or other magnolia varieties, you may be able to float more than one in each bowl. Another easy magnolia centerpiece for smaller tables can be made using a small glass candle holder, some florists glass beads, stones or gems, a few silk magnolia blossoms, glue, a lace doily and a cream colored votive candle.

Magnolia Candelabrum Silk Flower Arrangement
Magnolia Candelabrum Silk Flower Arrangement

Magnolia Place Settings

Incorporate magnolias into your place settings. For a luxurious wedding, consider adding magnoia blooms to the napkin ring. They can also be tucked into origami napkin shapes. At a casual wedding, simply place a snipped branch on top of the plate and napkin.

magnolia place setting

Fall Themed Wedding Centerpiece

If your wedding is in the fall, you can take advantage of an elegant fall centerpiece shown in the video below. Golden pumpkins and foliage add to the elegance of your wedding centerpiece. Dusted pinecone and tall pillar candles surrounded by moss make this a luscious fall table setting for any wedding party table.

Magnolia Decorated Wedding Cake

The magnolia motif can be continued with the wedding cake decorations. This beautiful three-tiered cake features hand-made sugar magnolias and other flowers. Some brides prefer to decorate their wedding cake with real flowers. Either way, the magnolia blossom is a stunning way to decorate a wedding cake.

Wedding cake decorated with magnolias

Where to Buy

Depending on the season, fresh magnolias are available locally in growing zones three through seven. If you do not have a magnolia tree growing in your yard, take a drive through your town. Since magnolia trees grow up to 30 feet tall, each tree carries hundreds of blooms. Your neighbors may be willing to let you cut several blossoms for free or for a nominal fee. Many nurseries have magnolias for sale as well so check there first before heading to your florist.

About Magnolias

The traditional magnolia blooms used in weddings are from the Magnolia grandiflora tree and sport a large white bloom with a distinct fragrance. The petals are pointed on the tips and the inner stem is a bright yellow. The blooms range from four to six inches in diameter and often have as many as 10 petals. The leaves of this magnolia are approximately eight inches long and feature a shiny green top with a brown underside.

Silk Magnolia Flowers

Silk assortments are sold at many arts and craft stores nationwide such as Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores, Hobby Lobby and Michaels. Suitable silk versions of magnolia flowers may be available in the floral department of your local Wal-Mart or Garden Ridge. Make sure to buy all that you may need, however, because inventory at these stores rotates frequently and you may not be able to get the same design later if you run out.

Magnolia Arrangement With Vase
Magnolia Arrangement With Vase

Beauty of Magnolia Wedding Flowers

Regardless of which magnolia wedding flowers you end up choosing, make sure your fresh flowers are soaked in water the night before the wedding. This will prevent the petals from forming unsightly brown spots and keep the blooms fresh. The fragrant bouquets and centerpieces of magnolias will provide a wonderful backdrop to the wedding dresses and other decorations.

Magnolia Wedding Flowers