How to choose your Bridal Bouquet?

Same-Sex Wedding: George and Harold
19 October 2019

The bridal bouquet may come in different shapes, colors, sizes and styles. What’s right for you depends on the design of your dress, the style of your celebration, your body type.

Choosing a bridal bouquet is not just about picking your favorite flowers. It’s about matching it to your wedding dress, your style and even about complementing your figure!

The bridal bouquet is your most important accessory from the moment you walk down the aisle till the very end of the reception and in your wedding album as well. So how do you choose your bouquet?

When dealing with my brides-to-be I suggest the following approach:

Consider the type of wedding celebration (religious or civil), select your venue, and choose your dress first.

The type of wedding you’ll be having, and the dress you’ll be wearing are essential to helping you pick the right bouquet.

Picking the dress first makes it possible for you to bring a picture of it with you to the florist when choosing the bouquet.

There are two characteristics of your dress that will dictate which floral bouquet is best.

First, the wedding dress style. An elaborate dress will call for a more simple and subdued wedding bouquet. On the other hand, a simple dress can be complemented with a traditional bridal bouquet or with a single flower to emphasize the bride’s minimalistic style.

Second, the shape of the skirt can help. For puffed up skirts like ballgown or princess-cut dresses, elongated bouquets will look best. If your skirt is straight, choose a bouquet that is more rounded in shape.

Get the colour right!

Coordinating colors can help ensure that your wedding flowers won’t clash with the other colors in the background.

Bridal bouquets are traditionally all white, but this should not stop you from incorporating hues that reflect your individual style.

If you’re keen on an all-white bouquet, make sure it comes in a similar shade to your wedding dress for a perfect match. Although it may look beautiful in person, white-on-white won’t read as well in photographs. Mix soft shades of cream and delicate greens into your bridal bouquet for added texture and dimension.

If you like pastels hues, vivid shades or soft green paired with white instead, keep in mind that you should consider the color of the other flowers and the wedding colors in general.

Coordinate Size and Shape

Your body type should guide you in your choice.

A petite bride will look much better with a small and round flower bouquet like a posy o nosegay, so it doesn’t overwhelm her.

On the other hand, a tall bride can go for a more voluminous or longer bouquet that will still show off her figure without minimizing its own importance. Either a full round bouquet or a cascading arrangement that complements her height.

Bigger-built brides, just like their taller counterpart, can flaunt sizable flower arrangements while leaner brides should go for a narrower and lengthier bouquet.

Coordinating the size and shape of your bouquet with the size and shape of your dress is important.

Picking a large bouquet against a tiny dress can make your dress seem disproportionate and strange.

A dramatic cascade would match a ball gown with lots of tulle, whereas a small bunch of lilies might better suite an understated bride wearing a slinky sheath. A one-strap mermaid gown calls for a bouquet with a contemporary edge, whereas a round mix of tulip and peonies would work with a simple A-line gown.

If bling is more your thing, a bridal bouquet with brooches, “jewel style” is very becoming.

These beautiful arrangements made with pins, pearls and even rhinestones, do not need refrigeration or to be delivered the day of.

Pick seasonal blooms

Factoring in the season may help determine which flowers to consider. Flowers blooming locally at the time of the wedding are also a greener option since they do not need to be shipped from far away. 

Roses, peonies, lilies and hydrangeas are examples of popular wedding flowers.

Roses and different types of lilies are available year-round, peonies are typical spring blooms, hydrangeas are spring and summer blooms, amaryllis, gerbera daisies are available in winter .

On a practical note, bear in mind the amount of time the flowers will be on show.

From the moment you are taking photographs to the time that you are at the reception, the flowers will have to endure at least half the time in the open air, which can be very dehydrating. Select flowers that suit the local environment and, if necessary, use bouquet holder whereby flowers will be held constantly in a small amount of water.

There is a reason why most bouquets are fashioned from roses, peonies and lilies. Hydrangeas need to be kept in water as long as possible; lilies of the valley and gardenias bruise easily and need to be kept upright and not resting on their side, viburnum need to have the ends of their stems smashed so they can soak water and hydrate well before being fashioned into a bouquet.

Ideally, the bouquet should be made the day of the event and for optimun freshness and kept refrigerated until the very last moment before the ceremony.

Don’t forget symbolism

If you’re big on symbolism, you may want to take note of the meanings of certain flowers.

In Victorian times flowers were used to convey messages between people. When a person was unable to outright express their feelings of love for another, it was and still is a  common practice to say it with flowers.

For instance, a lily-of-the-valley represents sweetness and purity, while a pink rose stands for happiness, gratitude and joy. Peonies represent prosperity along with happy life and marriage. Gardenia means secret love, purity and joy; hydrangea gratidude for being understood.

Align your bouquet to your wedding style

Bouquets help complement not only your dress but also the style of your ceremony

Hand-tied / loose bouquet: This type of bouquet is one of the most simple styles available for a bridal bouquet. It is a bunch of flowers that have stems which are grouped together in a way that is not structured and is usually tied with a ribbon.This bouquet can offer a rustic look as well as many other styles based on the choice of flowers. It is ideal for outdoor venues or beach weddings.

Cascade / teardrop bouquet: This stylish yet traditional bouquet is arranged in a way that it looks like waterfalls of blooms and greenery spilling over the bride’s hands and down the front of her dress. This style of bouquet is a little extravagant but definitely offers a glamorous look. It is best for formal settings.

Round bouquet:Being round in shape, of course, these bouquets offer a single flower or color and are more flower than greenery. It offers plenty of freedom in designing the flowers and colors that will match the event. The round bouquet is the oldest and most traditional of all bouquet shapes.

White Roses-round bouquet

Nosegay bouquet:This is a small round cluster of flowers with plenty of greenery. The stems of this bouquet are tightly wrapped with lace or ribbon. This works for a bride or bridesmaid, the bride’s would be bigger than the bridesmaids’, and could differ in colour too.

Biedermeier bouquet:A Biedermeier bouquet is a round shaped bouquet with circular floral designs in colors that vary. This lavish look is often used for weddings that are high in style and looking for a dramatic look to show.

Pageant / presentation bouquet: The pageant bouquet is characterized by long stems. They are usually arranged in such a way that the stems lay against the bride’s arm, with the cluster of flower heads near her elbow. This style is great for formal occasions and, if tied loosely, can be ideal for informal occasions as well. There is never an occasion that does not fit a pageant or presentation bouquet.


Pomander bouquet: This sweet and popular style for flower girls and junior bridesmaids are perfect for any style of wedding. Held by a ribbon and arranged in a ball, this cute bouquet can be a fun and unique addition to a wedding.

The tone of your ceremony could help guide your bouquet style.

Traditional weddings often call for sophisticated compositions: structured forms, classic blooms (such as lily-of-the-valley), and subdued color palettes.

Casual events are more conducive to generous armloads of flowers in an array of colors — or rustic bouquets with nontraditional elements, such as berries or fresh herbs.

Tips for the bride-to-be

Weight:if you are not used to carring a lot of weight, choose a light and easy to carry bouquet

Scent:although not all flowers smell, be sure you know exactly what you are getting to avoid undesired fragrances

Lenght of handle: it shouldn’t be too long or it’ll look like another limb

Allergy:you may not be allergic to your flowers but make sure that your boyfriend isn’t either

Bouquet toss: if you are planning on tossing your bouquet, ask your florist for two arrangements, one for you to carry and another one smaller, more lightweight less expensive for you to toss to your single girlfriends

Practice:many brides get nervous right before they walk down the aisle and tend to pull their bouquets into their bellies, as if it is growing out of their stomach, or up to their chests, way too high! I urge them to practice the days before the wedding to keep their elbows straight, lett heir wrists fall above their hip bones and use both hands to gently hold the bouquet.

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