Wedding bouquets have played a vital part in marriage ceremonies since ancient times when women carried aromatic bunches of herbs to ward off evil; now, wedding bouquets have now moved to the heart of most modern weddings and take centre stage in wedding photos. Here are our top tips for choosing your wedding bouquet.
[Words by Tabitha Syrett]
Wedding bouquet trends are changing rapidly; where once more exotic flowers such as zinnias, anemones, and orchids – organised in more structured, formal arrangements – dominated wedding bouquets, they are increasingly being ousted by wilder, more native blooms, arranged as though “they’ve been freshly picked from the meadow or garden that morning”, according to the floral experts as Ash Barton.
In a study conducted by Hitched.co.uk in June 2022, for example, it was revealed that the popularity of cornflowers (small blue wildflowers that grow in arable fields and once considered to be weeds), has risen 174.07%, while interest in zinnias has declined by 75.93%.
These trends are similarly reflected in the rise of “bright, colourful and fun” bouquets made up of meadow flowers, according to florist Elaine Graham of Pesh.
9 Tips for Choosing Your Wedding Bouquet
Whatever the case, the flowers of a wedding bouquet are a fabulous way to introduce colour and scent into the proceedings, so here are some top tips for choosing the perfect wedding bouquet, according to the experts at Ash Barton.
Choose Your Bouquet With Your Dress in Mind
Make sure you have chosen your wedding dress before you even think about ordering your bouquet. The style and shape of the bouquet needs to complement the style and shape of your dress and should not hide the silhouette or make you look unbalanced.
It’s a bad idea to hide your waistline, for instance, as this is your narrowest part, and it will leave you looking frumpy. If your dress has a long train, you can balance it out with a dramatic trailing bouquet, whereas these aren’t such a good idea for dresses with detailing on the skirt.
So, when you meet or talk to your florist for the first time, make sure you have a picture of your dress to hand. They will tailor the design of your bouquet to flatter the dress, and make sure the arrangement doesn’t drown you.
Consider the Shape and Size of Your Bouquet
Wedding bouquets come in all shapes and styles, from small, Queen Victoria-style posies to big, overflowing bouquets that trail to the ground. Here are some of the most popular styles to go for:
These bouquets are tied into a compact shape with little to no foliage, and complement more classic, traditional weddings. They look best if formed from one type of bloom, such as roses or peonies, tightly bunched together, but can also be made up of a selection of flowers all in the same colour.
Cascading bouquets have a waterfall of vibrant flowers and greenery cascading towards the floor, which add a gloriously romantic note to any bride’s aesthetic. These days more and more greenery is being used such as vines or eucalyptus. These bouquets look particularly pretty with whimsical or boho wedding dresses.
Hand-tied Informal Bouquets
These more relaxed bouquets have become enormously popular in recent years, in keeping with the rising demand for outdoor, boho and rustic style weddings. These are formed of loose clusters of bright flowers and greenery, which have a ‘freshly picked’ or pastoral feel to them. Popular flowers for this arrangement include wildflowers or vibrant blooms such as poppies or sunflowers, which have their stems left exposed and tied with a ribbon or lace.
Asymmetrical bouquets are perfect for brides who want something a little quirky or unusual for their big day. They can be made up of any type of flower, (though big flowers and architectural foliage are particularly effective), arranged in an uneven or unstructured shape. One side would usually be higher or larger than the other, for example.
Colour is Everything
Its not only special meanings that should influence the colour palette of your bouquet, but also the colour of your dress and even your venue. If, like Queen Victoria, you opt for white flowers, make sure they complement the shade of your dress (especially if it’s ivory or cream).
Equally, dresses in a pale gold, rose or a champagne are best paired with warm, deep-tone neutrals, so think Lily of the Valley or rich olive-green Ivy. With this in mind, make sure you take a swathe of your wedding dress fabric to the florist with you, plus a swatch of your bridesmaid’s dresses too. That way, your florist can recommend flowers that complement the colour of your dress perfectly.
Seasonal Flowers are Best
Choose the flowers you want in your bouquet once you’ve chosen its shape and size. Though lots of flowers are imported from overseas, so available all year round, from a cost and environmental point of view it’s definitely worth opting for flowers that are in season in the UK.
Wedding florist Dotty and Bramble states by doing so you not only “get the most from your budget”, but also “get the best quality of flower possible.” In spring you have your pick of gorgeous blooms such as hyacinth, anemones and marigolds, while big, bold flowers like hydrangeas, chrysanthemums, cosmos, lilies, and sunflowers are all in bloom in the summer.
Choose a Bouquet That Can be Easily Held
Make sure you go for a bouquet that can be easily held for the duration of the day and doesn’t make you feel awkward or lopsided. Our experts suggest that when holding your bouquet your wrist should be by your hip, as many brides hold it too high and end up scrunching their shoulders.
Think About Avoiding Fresh Flowers
With something as special to a bride as her wedding bouquet, it needs to last far more than a week, and certainly shouldn’t be wilting on the day itself. Instead get creative with green foliage, feathers, dried flowers, felt flowers, berries, lace, paper, brooches and even pom-poms, which are all becoming increasingly popular.
These exciting new additions can turn bouquets into something more personal and make for great talking points. You could also try mixing them in with flowers.
Work Closely With Your Florist
Before meeting with you florist take some time to figure out what you like, and it also helps to learn what flowers and certain arrangements are called. Pinterest boards are a great way of discovering exactly what styles, shapes and colour are your favourites.
This will give you a great foundation to work from with your florist, who can advise you on which flowers will be available at that time of year and what blooms will suit your preferred bouquet shape. Its also worth noting that florists get booked up very quickly, (especially in peak season between May and September), so experts recommend that you contact them 6-12 months before the wedding.
Get Florist Advice From Other Couples
One of the best ways of finding and vetting your future florist is by asking for recommendations from newly married couples who have recently gone through the process. Browsing wedding magazines and reading reviews will also help.
Your Venue Should Influence Your Bouquet
It may seem like the last thing to consider when choosing your bouquet, but in fact your wedding venue will have a major influence on your floral decisions. This is because the bouquet usually reflects the overall flower choices and vibe of the wedding.
At a classic wedding held in a formal ballroom, for instance, a gently lolling bouquet of wildflowers will look out of place, just as a structured, architectural bouquet of orchids wouldn’t complement a rustic countryside celebration.