Wedding Flowers – The Stephanotis

This month as part of my ongoing series about wedding flowers I will be featuring the stephanotis.  The stephanotis is one of the most popular flowers used in wedding and is known for its sweet scent and lovely white flowers.  In this post I will briefly discuss the origin and history of the stephanotis.  I will also offer some ideas and suggestions for classic bridal bouquets and boutonnieres as well as other wedding floral arrangements.

The stephanotis floribunda is a flowering plant native to the Madagascar region of Africa, the thrives in areas with a hot and humid climate.  The stephanotis plant is wood stemmed with green leaves and it produces a distinctive looking white flower with five long waxed petals with a pleasant scent.  The origin of the name comes from the Greek stephanos, meaning crown and otis meaning ear which describes the long stamens of the flower.  In the language of flowers the stephanotis means happiness in marriage and also the desire to travel.

In general, stephanotis flowers are available to the floral industry are grown commercially in greenhouses because the fragile plants requires high humid conditions and can be susceptible to extreme changes in temperature.  As a result, the stephanotis can be expensive to produce so it is most often reserved for use in bridal bouquets or boutonnieres.

The stephanotis does need some preparation before being used in bridal bouquets or other wedding arrangements.  One technique is to use a 26 gauge wire cut to the length of 9 inches creating a slight hook at the top which is then inserted into the base of the stephanotis and then finished by wrapping portion of the stem and the remaining exposed wire with floral tape for additional support.  Another alternative is to use a pre-fabricated “stephanotis stems” and are available for purchase on the internet or from a local florist supply store.


Another option when preparing the stephanotis for use is by accenting the flower with either a pearl or crystal center insert to add a bit of elegance or sparkle.

As previously mentioned since the stephanotis can be expensive it is often limited to bridal bouquets or boutonnieres.  But, if a wedding budget can allow for the additional cost, the stephanotis could also be used for ceremony and reception floral arrangements, such as pew decorations or a cake topper.

Shown below are several ideas and suggestions for using the stephanotis:

The classic stephanotis bridal bouquet


Two different traditional round bouquets using stephanotis and roses

A cascade style bridal bouquet using stephanotis and white roses


Three different types of bouquets using stephanotis – blue hydrangeas (left),
pink peonies (center) and white tulips (right)


Two different types of boutonnieres using stephanotis – three stephanotis (left)
and the other with a stephanotis and a white rose (right)


Two different types of bridal hair accessories using stephanotis


Two flower girl accessories using stephanotis –
a hair wreath (top) and pomander (bottom) to carry


Two different types of cake decorations using stephanotis


Two diferent reception floral uses of stephanotis –
stephanotis and manzanita centerpiece (left) and stephanotis hung from chandeliers

Here is a charming idea for a floral arrangement to send to the parents of the bridal couple after the wedding as a lovely thank you (be sure to attach a note)