Woman With AllergiesThe floral arrangements decking the altar and lining the aisles might look stunning, but what if they trigger a sneeze-fest in some of your guests? The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America estimates that nasal allergies impact around 50 million people in the United States, so there’s a good chance that someone in your crowd suffers because of flower, grass or tree pollen. Choosing your wedding day arrangements carefully and taking steps to eliminate other allergens can keep your invitees comfortable. 

What Causes Nasal Allergies?

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America further explains some types of grasses, trees and flowers produce small, lightweight pollen particles that travel easily and quickly via wind currents. WebMD documents that some individuals’ immune systems mistake these particles that enter their nasal cavities for dangerous substances, prompting the release of antibodies in response. At the same time, histamines also enter the bloodstream, resulting in the familiar symptoms of sneezing, runny noses, itchy eyes and nasal congestion. These conditions are usually treated with both over-the-counter and prescription allergy medications such as antihistamines, decongestants and eye drops. Other treatments might include routine nasal irrigation and immunotherapy options such as allergy shots and dissolvable tablets.

Floral Fatigue and Pollen Problems

While trees, weeds and grasses tend to serve as the usual allergens, some varieties of flowers can also precipitate reactions in some individuals. While most of these belong to varieties usually found in open fields, a few species are frequently selected for wedding day bouquets, boutonnieres, altar arrangements, centerpieces and even chair decorations. The Spruce revealed that several kinds can lead to literal headaches for your susceptible guests:

  • Baby’s breath
  • Sunflowers
  • Goldenrods
  • Chamomile blooms
  • Common daisies
  • Asters
  • Gerber daisies

Out of these types of flowers, baby’s breath is the most common addition to ceremonial and reception floral arrangements. Their tiny white sprays of blooms are loaded with potentially irritating pollen, but the double-flowered hybrids contain less of it and can serve as a better bouquet alternative. With the popularity of rustic, natural or “green” wedding themes, flowering plants in the aster family are in greater demand. Thankfully, some species of sunflowers and dahlias have pollen-free or low-pollen cultivars that you can include in your decorations instead of the regular versions. Nevertheless, it’s foolhardy to assume that a bloom will be allergen-free just because it’s not a member of the daisy family. For example, the most beautiful culprits you’ll find as typical choices for nuptial arrangements include hyacinth, freesia and lilies.

Ideal Alternatives in Wedding Blooms

Fortunately, many traditional choices for wedding flowers are not quite so allergy-provoking. Martha Stewart Weddings has also provided a list of these, including low-pollen or no-pollen varieties such as hydrangeas, calla lilies, Asiatic lilies, daffodils and orchids. Ranunculus, a rose-like bloom that is far less fragrant than its more popular counterpart, is a smart alternative that also comes in a huge range of hues.

Other Allergy-Smart Tips

In addition to making wise decisions for your nuptial floral decorations, the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology offers some additional suggestions to cut down possible allergic reactions on your special day. If you know you’ve got some sufferers in your guest list, consider these recommendations:

  • Reduce the amounts of scented products you wear
  • Don’t include animals in your ceremony
  • Schedule outdoor celebrations for when pollen levels are lowest
  • Consider holding your affair indoors

Your wedding is an opportunity to publicly proclaim your shared love, commitment and intent to build a home together. Since you’re sharing your joy with your friends and family, it’s vital to include steps in your planning to ensure that they remain comfortable. Allergy-prone attendees will benefit from a wise choice in wedding flowers, along with implementing other steps to reduce potential irritants.

Category: Wedding Materials, Wedding Planning

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