An ode to violets – creative ideas for using dainty violets at your spring wedding


Violets in glasses

Ever since Rachel from Catkin Flowers planted a seed in my head about violets being in season in April I have wanted to do a blog post on them.  It seems more appropriate than ever because they are poking out their pretty faces all over my garden at the moment.

I’m not sure that violets are big enough to make a bridal bouquet, but there are other lovely ideas I came across, and I’ve included a couple of viola/heartsease images because I couldn’t find a tremendous amount of violet ideas (I’m also quite picky with what I choose to share with you).

Violets were the traditional flower of love, symoblising secret love, with hand-tied bouquets of sweet violets the most popular Valentine’s gift in the early 20th Century.  I think it is rather sad that this tradition has been replaced by the red rose.  You can see how violets featured in this selection of vintage cards…

Vintage cards with violets

So if you’re planning at April wedding, how could you incorporate violets into your day?

Bouquets and posies

Well, the most obvious would be to create a little posy from them, perfect for tiny flowergirls to clutch as they walk down the aisle.  I particularly liked this one with the addition of the white and green ‘snowflake’ and sky blue grape hyacinth.

Posy of violets, grape hyacinth and snowdrops

This is another example of a pretty posy of dainty violets or violas this time with lily of the valley – I can just imagine a little gathering of flowergirls grasping these, and perhaps some of them arranged in their hair.

Spring wedding bouquet of violets and snowdrops


How about a living wreath on the entrance doors to your wedding ceremony or reception venue, made up from violet plants or like this one, tiny viola or pansy plants.  You could have a go at creating one yourself, or speak to one of the knowledge florists on the directory and I’m sure they might be able to help.

Living viola wreath

Table Decorations

One of the most simplest ideas would be to display them in pretty containers on your reception tables – here’s my favourite ideas that I came across.

I love this simple glass jar filled with pink and purple violets – these dotted along tables, perhaps mixed in with some other arrangements would be so lovely at a spring wedding.

Vintage glass bottles with violets

If you are incorporating some vintage elements to your wedding, why not ditch the teacups for drinking and instead fill them with violets?  You could use cut violets and foliage, or even pot up violet plants into teacups and use them to decorate your dinner tables.  I’m pretty sure these aren’t violets, but they are similar in style.

Teacup with violets

I love this idea of woven baskets with viola plants bedded in with lush green moss – how spectacular would they look running down the middle of long trestle tables?  Ideal if you’re looking for ideas to make your wedding more eco-friendly, as these will go on living after your wedding and could be given out to family and friends as gifts.

Baskets of violas and moss

My final, and perhaps favourite idea for incorporating violets into your wedding decorations, is the first image I used for this blog post.  Potting up violet plants into an assortment of drinking glasses and arranging them on your tables using different heights of glasses to create a beautiful display.  If you love this idea there’s a tutorial on how to make these wild violet centrepieces.

Wild violet centrepieces

Edible Violets

And last but not least, violets are edible flowers so you can use them to decorate all manner of items, such as your wedding cake or cupcakes.  Do check where your violets are coming from to make sure they haven’t been sprayed with pesticides or other nasties that you’d rather not eat. Eat My Flowers supplies crystallised violas that are grown without pesticides and perfect for decorating.

Edible violets

So that’s my round-up of violets and how I think you could bring these beautiful little flowers into your spring wedding.  I would love to see us champion English grown flowers much more, and to encourage you all to look around you for inspiration – maybe even in your own garden – to see what could be something a bit different and unique for your wedding.

I’d love to know what you think about violets and which are your favourite ideas for incorporating them into a spring wedding.

I try hard to come up with fresh ideas that aren’t the sort of thing you find all the time when you search for weddings, but would love to know if you think I’m getting it right or not, so please give me a steer by leaving me a message below.

Images: (1) DesignSponge; (2) Vintage cards image clockwise from top left – via Google, The Graphics Fairy, The Graphics Fairy, Eye Deal Postcards, Felt Sew Good, The Graphics Fairy; (3) Trouvais; (4) via Pinterest; (5) Erica Bader via Hostess With The Mostess; (6) via Pinterest; (7) via Pinterest; (8) Frolic Blog; (9) DesignSponge; (10) DesignSponge


Caroline on 13. April, 2012

Ooh Charlie this is just gorgeous I could sit and admire these arrangements all day!! So beautifully written. I need to get me some violets in my new garden xx


CharlieB on 13. April, 2012

I shall have to dig you up some of mine…or collect seed for you if you can do that? They are so lovely, I am so useless at actually doing any of these arrangements myself, I would feel so guilty digging them up out of my garden to put in little glasses even though they look so lovely! xXx

Ann-Marie on 14. April, 2012

Absolutely lovely! Such a pretty flower and so many gorgeous ideas. x

Chloe on 14. April, 2012

I adore Violas such simple beauty. Gorgeous images. You can collect seeds easily and they are easy to grow from seed as they self seed themselves everywhere. I couldn’t help adding some of these images in my Pinterest ! x

Peony and Thistle on 27. April, 2012

Lovely ideas here!

Carly on 31. May, 2012

Absolutely beautiful arrangements! Very inspired!
I would just say though – the pic referred to as being with snowdrops is in fact lily of the valley which is a beautiful native plant found in ancient woodland and I wouldn’t want to encourage people to go and pick it from the woodland but to source it from an ethical grower. (Sorry to be pinickity!) x


CharlieB on 31. May, 2012

Thanks for pointing that out Carly, I’m usually quite good on my flowers so must have had my mind elsewhere when I typed that up! Have amended it so that the lily of the valley are correctly labelled, and would of course discourage anyone from picking them wild – as you mentioned, it is available from florists and flower growers :)

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