Your Personalized Wedding: The Official Flowers of Your Families’ Countries of Origin

Wedding at the Westminster Hotel

Photo by Dean Michaels Studio


One of the easiest and prettiest ways to combine your and your groom’s cultures, or pay homage to one or the other in ways that work with your wedding vision, is to use the Official Flowers of your families’ countries of origin. You might blend them into your centerpieces, or build your bouquet style around the perfect pairing of your roses and his plum blossoms – with each so meaningful to you and to your families.

You might wish to use these ‘emblem flowers’ in your site décor, such as vases filled with peonies to honor your Chinese roots at your cocktail party, or pedestals displaying dahlias as a floral tribute to your Mexican background. Floral emblems may also be used in the graphics used on your invitations or wedding programs – such as a pretty lily of the valley for your Finnish wedding, or an hibiscus for your Korean wedding.

The options are endless, so here is a starter list of different countries and their national official flowers. (Be aware that many countries’ regions claim their own individual flowers, and that some countries haven’t yet decided on specific flowers to call their own. And while legislation was put into place in 1986 naming the rose as the official flower of the United State, each individual state claims its own official flower.)


Antigua and Barbuda:            Dagger Log

Argentina:                               Seibo

Australia:                                 Golden Wattle [Australia has several different state flowers to consider]

The Bahamas:                         Yellow Elder

Barbados:                                Pride of Barbados

Belize:                                     Black Orchid

Bhutan:                                   Blue poppy

Bolivia:                                    Kantuta and Patuju

Brazil:                                      Tabebuia Alba

Canada:                                   Maple leaf [And many provinces claim their own emblem f  lowers, such as the mayflower, the emblem of Nova Scotia]

People’s Republic of China:   Peony, plum blossom and chrysanthemum

Colombia:                                Cattleya Orchid

Denmark:                                Red Clover

Dominican Republic:              Mahogany Tree Flower

Egypt:                                     Lady Slipper

Estonia:                                   Cornflower

Ethiopia:                                  Calla lily

Finland:                                   Lily of the Valley

France:                                    Fleur De Lis (Iris)

Germany:                                Cornflower

Greece:                                    Violet and Laurel Branch

Republic of India:                   Lotus

Iran:                                         Tulip

Iraq:                                         Rose

Ireland:                                    Shamrock

Israel:                                      Cyclamen

Italy:                                        Cyclamen

Jamaica:                                   Lignum Vitae

Japan:                                      Cherry blossom [Not actually official, but the bloom of choice]

Jordan:                                    Black Iris

Laos:                                       Plumeria

Malaysia:                                 Chinese Hibiscus

Maldives:                                Pink Rose

Mexico:                                   Dahlia

Nepal:                                      Rhododendron

Netherlands:                            Tulip

New Zealand:                         Silver Fern

North Korea:                           Magnolia

Norway:                                  Heather

Peru:                                        Cantuta

Poland:                                    Corn Poppy

Portugal:                                  Lavender, Sunflower, Red Oak and Carnation

Russia:                                     Chamomile

St. Kitts and St. Nevis:           Red Royal Poinciana

South Africa:                          King Protea

South Korea:                           Hibiscus Syriacus (Rose of Sharon)

Spain:                                      Carnation

Taiwan:                                   Plum Blossom

Trinidad and Tobago:             Chaconia

Ukraine:                                  Sunflower

United Kingdom:                    Tudor Rose or Red Rose [Each region has its own emblem flower, including the Welsh daffodil and the Scottish bluebell, among others.]

Uruguay:                                 Ceibo

Venezuela:                              Cattleya Orchid

Vietnam:                                 Red Lotus

[Flower IDs were correct at the time of this writing; at any time, regions or countries may choose a different flower.]


Anil and Elsa’s Westminster Wedding Video

We’re so pleased to share with you Anil and Elsa’s wedding highlight video from their big day here at the Westminster Hotel. The entire Westminster Weddings staff looks back on this beautiful celebration with such joy for this wonderful couple, and we wish them every happiness in their future together!

Anil and Elsa at The Westminster Hotel :: NJ Wedding Videographer :: Creative Unlimited from Creative Unlimited on Vimeo.

Winter Wedding Inspiration

We’re so inspired by winter celebration style, we created our Winter Wedding Inspiration Pinterest board, and we’d love for you to see it!

Weddings at The Westminster Hotel have been designed with dazzling design details, lots of sparkle and glitter, and gorgeous lighting, and we know you’ll love the images of our own weddings and parties here, as well as some additional winter wedding ideas we’ve found to help you plan your own winter wedding or party with us!

Winter wedding and party inspiration from Westminster Hotel Weddings and Events - photo by Andy Foster Photo

Top Fall Wedding Trends for NJ Weddings 2016

Fall drinks at Westminster Hotel weddings

Fall weddings have grown in popularity for NJ wedding couples, since the weather is so comfortable in our region, the fall foliage so beautiful (especially at outdoor wedding spaces) and fall wedding trends including gorgeous décor and food inspirations.

According to the wedding industry survey site The Wedding Report, the most popular months for weddings in New Jersey include September at 14.0%, October at 13% and November at 8%. If that doesn’t sound overly impressive, keep in mind that April weddings in New Jersey are at 7%, May weddings are at 12% and June weddings are at 13% — which makes October weddings equal in popularity to June weddings, and September beats them all as the top month for weddings in New Jersey.

To help inspire your fall wedding plans, here are some of the top new trends for fall weddings in 2016:

  • Outdoor ceremonies and cocktail parties. With such gorgeous autumn color in the trees and landscaping all throughout your wedding venue and outdoor wedding gardens, you get gorgeous scenery, color and textures courtesy of Mother Nature (without adding a penny to your wedding budget for décor!) There’s something so special about gathering your loved ones in a scenic outdoor space for your ceremony and cocktail party, especially during peak fall foliage times in NJ.
  • Fall wedding colors. Color trend-setting specialists PANTONE® announce the top wedding colors for each season, and their fall wedding colors include the loveliest shades of cranberry, brick, dark green, gray-blue, and other shades that add depth and richness to wedding plans. You’ll see a number of PANTONE® wedding inspiration boards on Pinterest, sharing gorgeous fall wedding design inspirations by color, including which top wedding colors to combine for fall. One of the top neutrals for fall wedding colors is charcoal gray, which adds an elegance to wedding design, and lest you think fall wedding colors are only in the darker shades, pops of bright colors are a top trend for fall wedding color combinations. We’re seeing more and more bright colors reminiscent of summer (such as ice-pop style reds) mixed in with classic fall colors for a fresh and happy look.
  • Jewel- toned crystals. Clear crystals have long been wedding décor staples, and now a top trend for fall weddings that add sparkle and rich hues is jewel-toned crystals such as sapphire and burgundy shades, in addition to oranges and yellows.
  • Intimate lighting. Fall weddings get all the more intimate and magical with lots of pretty lighting, including table-set candles in varying heights and styles (candelabras, pillar candles, votives, etc.) lantern lights, suspended lights, chandeliers, and specialty lighting companies’ color washes, uplighting and custom lighting effects projected onto the dance floor, walls and even onto the driveway outside your wedding venue for an exciting welcome to your wedding celebration.
  • Fall flowers. And not the usual ones you’d expect for wedding flowers in the fall. New favorite fall wedding flowers includie Iris, Hyacinths, zinnia, snapdragon, freesia, and lily of the valley – all surprising choices, since these are commonly known as spring wedding flowers and summer wedding flowers. But in the world of flower creation, new hybrids are sprouting up spring and summer colors and delicate flowers in the fall season. New Jersey-grown flowers are also on the fall wedding décor trends list, such as popular blooms like sunflowers and roses.
  • Fabulous fabrics. Fall weddings call for heavier fabrics for your table linens, in rich, touchable textures that add elegance to your wedding décor.

Fall wedding menus at Westminster Weddings

  • Fall wedding menus include lots of meats with paired sauces, and stations offering both heavier and lighter, fresh, garden-inspired fare. In a top fall wedding trend, pair foods with NJ microbrew beers and ales, and bourbon-glazed meats. And side dishes include chef-elevated fall veggies with a gourmet twist, making side dishes as enticing as the main course. Soups, particularly creamy soups and bisques make the list for top wedding menu stations and courses.
  • For fall wedding drinks, include hot toddies like hot rum drinks and hot spiked ciders for that elevated autumn drinks menu, and include an array of flavored coffees for after dinner.
  • In desserts, add pies to your dessert hour list, since pies are a top trend for wedding desserts, in full-sized pies for slicing, and as mini pie tarts. Fall flavor macarons are also on the In list, and everyone’s favorite NJ pastries and mini pastries are always popular, no matter the season.

NJ wedding favorite mini pastries at Westminster Weddings

If you’re in our Westminster Weddings family of couples marrying here this fall, we hope our collection of fall wedding trends 2016 helps with your last-minute planning. We also remind you that the upcoming fall wedding season is also time for your rehearsal dinner and other wedding weekend events at which you can use these inspirations as well. Strip House at the Westminster Hotel has been named by New Jersey Bride magazine as one of the best rehearsal dinner spots in New Jersey, and we look forward to helping you plan a fabulous rehearsal dinner or special event to your specifications.

Hot Gemstone Jewelry Colors for 2016 Weddings: Guest Post by Braunschweiger Jewelers

 Braunschweiger Jewelers blue topaz wedding jewelry

We loved seeing the gorgeous wedding gowns during Bridal Fashion Week, and we spotted some beautiful gemstone jewelry among the top wedding trends for 2016 and 2017. So we asked our friends at Braunschweiger Jewelers: Is there a ‘hot’ color of gemstone this season?

 Robin Braunschweiger Silva, Marketing Manager for Braunschweiger Jewelers, shared the top gemstone colors for weddings this year:

 Braunschweiger Jewelers rose quartz wedding jewelry

“Rose Quartz has been rising in popularity in recent years and with the color just being named the Pantone Color of the Year 2016 we are seeing many requests for jewelry featuring that gemstone.  

Rose Quartz does not only look beautiful but it is also known as the “Love Stone” and wearing it or holding it close is said to not only attract love but enhance love in virtually any situation, from self love, family love, romantic love and everywhere in between.  

The Love Stone is a romantic pale pink color, the perfect accent to that blush colored wedding dress or a vintage inspired wedding theme. Often held close to one’s heart, Rose Quartz in a necklace is a great accessory for not only the bride, but bridesmaids or the flower girl.

 Braunschweiger Jewelers blue topaz wedding jewelry

Blue hues are also very popular right now, Blue Topaz comes in three different shades: sky blue, Swiss blue and London blue, it is one of the most requested gemstones by our clients.   This stone adds a great pop of color to a simple black dress or can be worn causally with a pair of blue jeans and a t-shirt.  We are seeing it everywhere, from every designer, and set with or without diamonds.

Blue Topaz is the quintessential gemstone to choose for a “something blue” on your wedding day.  Although not often used as an engagement ring, brides often wear Blue Topaz on their wedding day in a bracelet or necklace.  For the brides who still want their “something blue” but it just doesn’t match with their wedding colors: try finding a blue topaz pin and hiding it in your bouquet – but remember to take it out before you toss the bouquet!”

See some dazzling gemstone jewelry for your wedding day jewelry inspiration:

Blue Topaz

Rose Quartz



April Cocktail of the Month at Strip House at the Westminster Hotel: The Aviator

A wedding’s signature drink is always a hit, and we’re excited to share one of the April Drinks of the Month: The Aviator, now available at Strip House at the Westminster Hotel.

Stop in to try it, and see if it’s the perfect drink for your Westminster Wedding, or mix it up at home using our mixologist’s cocktail recipe:

The Aviator, an April Cocktail of the Month at Strip House at the Westminster Hotel


Gin, Pimms, Fresh Lemon Juice

3 oz Gin, ½ oz Pimms Cup  ½ oz Fresh Lemon Juice

Mix and shake with ice and serve in Cocktail Glass

Newly-Engaged? Here is the NEW List of the Top 10 Wedding Planning To-Dos to Tackle First

BNCushion Cut Halo Diamond Engagement Ring in Platinum

Congratulations on your Engagement!

We know you can’t stop looking at that gorgeous engagement ring on your finger, and you’re immersed in a happy swirl of congratulations messages from all of your friends and family on your Instagram and Facebook; someone might even be planning your engagement party already! Enjoy all of this excitement right now as much as you can, because this is the ‘good stuff’ at the center of all weddings – celebrating with your loved ones.

And soon, maybe tomorrow, maybe next week, you’ll start on your first wedding planning To-Dos, as you both take your first steps into wedding world, discovering an overwhelming amount of beautiful wedding Pinterest pins and wedding design inspirations, wedding gowns by the top wedding designers, top designer shoes for your big day, wedding cakes decorated to perfection and more. But before that swirl turns into wedding stress, we encourage you to make a step-by-step wedding to-do plan that tackles the essentials first, and then you can more confidently dive into all of those ultra-pretty personalized wedding details.

west white2

Here are the top 10 First Wedding Tasks to work on:

1. Decide on Your Wedding Season and Date Range


When everyone hears you’re engaged, the first question they’ll ask is ‘When is your wedding date,’ and you can’t plan anything else for your wedding until you know approximately when your wedding date will be. Will you be engaged and planning for six months? A year? More? Will you marry in springtime, summer, fall or winter? Right now, you’re just deciding on your wedding season and narrowing down your potential wedding dates until you can book your dream wedding venue

2. Decide on your Wedding’s Style

Will you have a classic, timeless ballroom wedding? Or an outdoor wedding ceremony with your reception in an elegantly-decorated ballroom? Is your wedding style modern, vintage, classic, romantic, rustic, blinged-out glam, Great Gatsby­-inspired, etc.

westminster purple5

3. Set your Budget

Decide on how much you and your families plan to contribute to your wedding budget, which will affect every other wedding planning task coming up. To help keep you on track, use one of the top online wedding budgeting tools available through the top wedding magazine websites, or through your wedding gift registry site.

4. Choose Your Bridal Party Members

To avoid any wedding stress and drama with your friends, who will be eager to know if you’ve chosen them, make your selections earlier. This cuts down on any friends’ speculation or putting you in an awkward position when they ask if they’ll be a bridesmaid. And asking friends and relatives to be in your bridal party now gives them lots of time to start saving money for their roles, your bridal shower, and perhaps their travel and wedding hotel lodging.

njbblogbatch15 SuperstarBridesmaidMon Cheri

5. Begin Registering For Wedding Gifts

Some friends and family are going to look for your wedding gift registry the moment they hear you’re engaged. Loved ones will want to send engagement gifts, so they seek your gift wishlists. Begin setting up your 2 – 3 wedding gift registries now, and adding gifts in a range of prices for your guests’ budgets. You can always add more choices later.

6. Create Your Wedding Guest List

In order to choose your dream wedding venue, you’ll need to know the size of your guest list. Know your dream wedding venue’s capacity to safely and comfortably fit your wedding guests into the wedding ballroom or in the gardens, and also to configure your wedding budget.

7. Choose and Book Your Wedding Venue


To book the best wedding venue in your area, and get the best prices, tackle this task as soon as possible, always after you have your wedding guest list and budget set to help you fine-tune your wedding vision. Sit down with your wedding venue’s in-house wedding coordinator, or with your own independent wedding coordinator, to discuss your plans for your wedding venue décor, as well as other details of your wedding celebration here at this spectacular wedding location!

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8. Start Researching Top-Quality Wedding Vendors

You want the best wedding experts on your team, so start researching the top NJ wedding vendors now, check out the New Jersey Bride Love It list (that we are proud to be included on for the third year in a row!), ask your recently married friends if they would recommend the wedding professionals they hired for their weddings or special celebrations, and ask your already-hired wedding pros if they have any thoughts about experts you’re considering (the NJ wedding expert community is well-known to one another – many are good friends!) Start booking your wedding experts now.

9. Plan Your Wellness and De-Stress Regimen

You know that all of the details and decisions involved in wedding planning will cause you some stress, and if you have any drama with friends or family, you might expect your wedding stress to double or triple, so plan now to begin a de-stress routine that works for you. You might sign up for a massage membership for monthly massages, budget for relaxing facials, book a wedding bootcamp or personal trainer for brides, or just start a gratitude journal to help keep your mindset in a positive place.

Breeze, a free app on iTunes, to motivate your exercise goals

Breeze, a free app on iTunes, to motivate your exercise goals

10. Insure Your Engagement Ring

Talk to your insurance representative about adding your valuable engagement ring to your homeowner’s, renter’s or other insurance policies to help protect you in case your ring is stolen, or research independent insurance companies that handle jewelry insurance to carefully select a policy for your rings and other valuables.


With these essentials tackled, and without rushing through them, you’re now ready to explore so many beautiful images of wedding details, and sit down with your chef, wedding planner and pastry chef to design the most impressive parts of your wedding celebration.