Roses are a gorgeous staple of any wedding, but did you know those blushing-pink and poppy-orange petals scattered down the aisle are also edible? Infuse your reception with botanical elegance by adding edible flowers to your drinks, salads, and deserts. You’ll give color and vibrancy to your banquet table and whimsy to the cocktail bar, and guests will love the novelty of sipping on violet water or marigold punch. Read on for a a guide to surefire (and nontoxic!) edible flowers that will complement the look and feel of any reception.
Angelica: These licorice-flavored edible flowers have a sweet, ethereal feel but blossom like fireworks. Think of them as a prelude to your sparkler send-off!
Bachelor’s Buttons: Isn’t the name fitting? Hint: these blooms look sweet as clusters, but pulling off the petals and sprinkling them on salads and desserts is an oh-so-elegant upgrade. Plus you’ll avoid eating the bitter calyx in the middle.
Borage: This blue, star-shaped herb is an excellent addition to a garden- or cottage-style wedding. The fuzzy stems and leaves give it a rustic, undone feel.
Calendula: This sunny, daisy-shaped bloom has a classic European and New England aesthetic but also works well in wildflower bouquets. They add a cheery pop of orange to drinks and make sweet pastry toppers. Ancient Romans made crowns and garlands from calendula for many of their ceremonies!
Chive blossoms: These purple bobbles have an earthier vibe, and work well as savory toppers for salads, full-course dinners, and creamy hors d’oeuvres. They’re perfect for summer and fall weddings!
Chrysanthemum: Another ornamental favorite that gets overlooked in the catering department, these edible flowers come in a variety of hues and cultivars. The happy blooms look striking and architectural on top of a cake, and individual petals look sweet and delicate over tapas plates.
Clover: You don’t need an Irish-themed wedding as an excuse to incorporate more lush greenery and gorgeous clusters of emerald into your salad bar.
Fuchsia: These brightly colored pendulum-shaped flowers are almost too perfect to eat. The petals could echo your layered tulle gown from Maggie or Midgley! (See Anastasia and Veda for more inspiration.)
Hibiscus: This is another gorgeous choice for tropical- or southern-themed weddings. They come in nearly any color and add a bold touch of wanderlust to your reception.
Hollyhock: These don’t taste great, but the blooms make a showy addition to a summer wedding. Use them to decorate cakes, line food trays and banquet platters, and add a pop of fuchsia or deep scarlet to drinks.
Lavender: This elegant and rustic herb has a soothing fragrance and tastes incredible in sweet and savory dishes alike. (Lavender lemonade is to die for!) Just be careful of allergies!
Lilac: This is another rustic, woodland style of flower, and the fragrance is unmatched. Just be aware these are short-lived blooms that hit their peak in mid-spring.
Marigolds: The bold and festive blooms that flood nurseries during the spring are a staple in Indian weddings. Add the orange petals to cucumber water or sprinkle them over vegetable platters to amp up the color contrast.
Nasturtium: A little bit English garden, a little bit tropical paradise, these trumpet-shaped blooms look simultaneously fragile and vibrant on top of a salad or cupcake.
Pansies: Dainty springtime blooms are a sweet and button-esque favorite. You’ll feel like Alice walking through Wonderland. Try baking the full flowers into cookies or freezing them in ice cubes to preserve those striking blotches of color!
Rose petals: Fragrant and classic—enough said.
Squash blossoms: These papery trumpet flowers are the perfect shade of goldenrod and give your reception a sunny southwest vibe. Try frying the heads as appetizers or baking them in a delicious quiche.
Violets: The tiny petals on this English-garden favorite are sweet and rustic. You can’t match that shade of purple anywhere else, and the blooms look fantastic in water pitchers or atop mini pastries and hors d’oeuvres.