Kristen Says “I Do” with Dahlias (and Andy Does Too)

Dahlias in bouquets add to the romantic setting at Wingfoot
Lake State Park. All photos courtesy of Julina Sabo.

Whenever someone tells us they want to use our flowers in their wedding, we get nervous. Sure, our flowers are gorgeous, and — since they’re also traditional and enduring — they’re perfect for the “something old” that every wedding needs. But garden conditions vary widely, the weather is always unpredictable, and plants aren’t very good at sticking to schedules, so to have everything in bloom for that one special day — wouldn’t that make you nervous?

Quite a few of our customers have made it work, though, including Kristen Fotta of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, who emailed us saying, “I have always loved dahlias, so I decided to grow them and arrange our own flowers for our wedding last fall. We used ‘Nonette’ in the main arrangements. I can‘t tell you how much everyone loved them, and I couldn‘t have asked for more beautiful flowers.”

Kristen was smart to choose dahlias. They hold up well in bouquets, one plant produces lots of flowers, and they continue blooming for weeks and weeks in late summer and fall, making it more likely that you’ll have something to pick on that appointed day. Kristen says hers “grew and flowered like crazy,” but since she’d never actually grown dahlias before, she “bulk-

Kristen arranged her dahlia-rich bouquets in Mason jars.

ordered roses, alstroemeria, and other flowers to include in the arrangements, so that even if the dahlias didn’t grow well, we’d still have flowers.” Happily, she says, “it all worked out and we had more flowers than we knew what to do with.”

Another fan of dahlias for weddings is our friend Andy Sell of Ann Arbor — and he’s a pro. “I caught the dahlia bug from my last order of ‘Nonette’ and ‘Prinzessin Irene’,” he emailed us last fall. “I freelance floral design and those two dahlias produced like mad!” See Andy’s “wedding centerpiece draft,” below, and more at

Even Kristen and Tom’s wedding cake
was decorated with dahlias.
In this “wedding centerpiece draft,” Andy Sell combined ‘Nonette’
dahlias with late-summer annuals and dark-leaved perilla.