Flowers are an integral part of any wedding, and serve to make it more colorful, vibrant, and memorable. But there is no single arrangement of flowers that is as singularly important on the big day as the bridal bouquet itself. Stemming from an ancient European tradition, the wedding bouquet represents the good fortunes and future prosperity of the bride, and it was customary for unmarried women to tear pieces from the bride’s bouquet in order to capture some of that good fortune for themselves. Today, echoes of that long gone tradition are found whenever a new bride tosses her bouquet to a crowd of her single friends. But what makes a perfect bridal bouquet, and how should you go about choosing the perfect bouquet for your wedding?
Considering the Bridal Bouquet
The bridal bouquet is more than just a simple costume accessory. It is a focal point of the bride’s ensemble, and she will be expected to carry it with her throughout the entirety of the wedding day. Therefore, the bride’s bouquet needs to be something special. However, deciding on the perfect bridal bouquet can be difficult, even for those brides with a green thumb and a natural instinct for style and flower arranging. So we’ve put together some simple tips to help guide new brides in their choice of wedding bouquets.
#1 – Choose the Wedding Dress First
This may seem obvious, but as the bridal bouquet must accent the bride’s wedding gown it is always advisable to choose your wedding dress first. The final design and floral components of your bouquet will depend on the style, color, and cut of your wedding dress. So, when you meet with your florist be sure to bring a photograph of your dress (or a sketch if it is still in the design stage) to help you both design an appropriate bridal bouquet to accompany it.
#2 – Consider the Shape and Size of the Bouquet
The bridal bouquet is meant to accentuate the wedding dress, not obscure it. Many brides like the idea of large, trailing, bouquets. However, if there is fine detail work on the skirt of your wedding dress, a larger bouquet will only obscure it and defeat the purpose of wearing such an intricately designed gown. Consider something smaller, and more colorfully dramatic, to give your bouquet the wow factor you’re looking for. And remember the bridal bouquet rule of thumb – your bouquet should be smaller than your waist, to help accentuate your natural shape.
#3 – Color Coordination
Color coordination is key when it comes to all flower arrangements, and that is particularly true for the wedding bouquet. Creams and whites can be difficult to match, so be sure to bring a photo of your dress, or a swath of material, for your florist to work from when designing the color scheme of your bouquet.
#4 – Choose Seasonal Blooms
Some flowers won’t be available at all times of the year, or at the very least they will be harder to procure and much more expensive. Work with your florist to find the most suitable and attractive seasonal blooms to incorporate into your bridal bouquet. Flowers also have a language all their own, and certain blooms have significant meanings. For example, Heather signifies solitude while an Hibiscus represents delicate beauty. Work with your florist to choose the flower that best represents your wedding day and the emotions you will be feeling.
#5 – Personalize Your Bouquet
The bridal bouquet is a very personal part of your wedding ensemble, and should necessarily reflect your own tastes, style and attitude. If there are specific flowers that you favor, work with your florist to incorporate them into the bouquet’s design. If you have a family heirloom, say your Grandmother’s antique brooch, have the florist work it into the clutch of the bouquet. This is not only a fine way to personalize your bouquet, but it is an opportunity to remember a lost loved one. Of course, you will have to remove the item before it comes time to toss the bouquet.
The perfect bridal bouquet is an important part of every bride’s wedding ensemble. Beyond the traditional history of the bouquet, it focuses attention onto the innate beauty and freshness of a bride on her wedding day. Choosing the perfect bridal bouquet is not necessarily difficult, but it does take time. Consult your florist early in the wedding planning stages, and allow plenty of time to consider different designs and floral choices.