When planning the floral design for your wedding day, you'll have plenty of choices to make! Besides your ceremony and reception flowers for the big day, one of the most important decisions you'll make will be related to wedding bouquets. Brides, bridesmaids, and sometimes flower girls traditionally carry wedding bouquets, and the flower arrangements can even be repurposed in different parts of the décor.
How do you choose a wedding bouquet for the ceremony?
Two questions brides often ask while wedding planning: How do you choose a wedding bouquet? What are the different types of bouquets? To non-brides who aren't planning a wedding, all bouquets likely appear basically the same. They're simply an arrangement of flowers tied with ribbon, right? In fact, not all flower bouquets are created equal! There are actually a variety of styles that a wedding bouquet can fall under, depending on the shape of the bridal bouquet and the type of flower used. It's up to you to decide which bridal bouquet style complements your wedding gown and the style of your wedding ceremony. For example, a larger bouquet may be a better fit for a formal vow exchange at a church, while a smaller, looser flower arrangement will complement a casual garden celebration. Your wedding florist and floral designer will thank you for being able to tell her exactly which type of bouquet you want – whether or not you have a color palette in mind for the flowers already!
Even if you don't have a color scheme in mind, you may have a particular flower that you want showcased in the bridal bouquet – and this can influence which type you choose. Roses and peonies work well for round bridal bouquets, while brides who want to focus on greenery may choose a cascade style or arm sheath for a more glamorous celebration, or a hand-tied bouquet that fits beautifully with an alfresco garden ceremony or rustic fête.
Others decide on their bouquet style first – perhaps you've always envisioned walking down the aisle at your ceremony with a perfect round arrangement of orchids. For these brides, we recommend letting your florist know so they can recommend the flowers that will work well depending on color choices, season, location, etc. If you have a color scheme in mind, that's even better since your floral designer will be able to narrow down choices for flowers based on the hues available. Usually an event has more than two shades as part of the overall aesthetic, and there’s no reason to limit the bouquet to those. Throw in some blooms to represent your accent color – or keep a more traditional look. Soft, romantic bridal bouquets are lovely, but including more of the rainbow can help to better represent the celebration and joy that your special day brings.
What are the different types of bouquets?
There are many different types of bridal bouquets – from single stem bouquets with just one type of flower, to overflowing arrangements. With different wedding styles growing in popularity over the years comes new trends in bridal bouquets; however, there are a few tried-and-true favorites that we see consistently. From classic round bridal bouquets to stylish cascading arrangements, the choice you make will likely complement the formality of your celebration, as well as your wedding theme and wedding venue. Below, we've outlined seven of the most popular wedding bouquet styles and bouquet shapes. Which type of wedding bouquet speaks to you and your wedding style?
1. Cascade Bouquet
The dramatic cascade bouquets for wedding ceremonies look like a "waterfall" of flowers that drapes down the front of the arrangement. Also known as presentation bouquets or pageant bouquets, these types of wedding flowers are a lovely choice! Groups of fresh greenery and various types of long-stemmed orchids or long-stemmed calla lilies look particularly pretty spilling out of a bouquet on your wedding day! This type of bridal bouquet makes a strong style statement, so make sure to keep your wedding dress and other accessories fairly simple. Photos by Aaron Delesie Photographer (left) and Justine Ungaro (right)
2. Posy Bouquet
A classic and popular choice for brides, posy bouquets are small enough to be held in the hands and feature mostly flowers – as opposed to greenery and other foliage typically used in bridal bouquets for wedding events. These types of bouquets often feature a rounded shape and are wrapped with ribbon to create a timeless style. Consider tulips, roses, peonies, garden roses, or ranunculus flowers! Photos by B&G Photography (left) and Chrisman Studios (right)
3. Hand-Tied Bouquet
Freer than other bouquet styles, hand-tied bouquets can include a wide assortment of flowers and greenery, and as their "hand-tied bouquets" name suggests, are secured simply using ribbon, fabric, or twine (other bouquet styles utilize wire to achieve a precise look). Hand-tied bouquets are a popular choice as they have a "fresh-picked flower" feel and are ideal for bohemian, rustic, or garden weddings. Photos by Elizabeth Messina (left) and Heather Kincaid (right)
4. Round Bouquet
It's all about the shape for this bouquet! Round wedding bouquets are formed into perfect domes, often using a single type of flower bouquet – such as roses or peonies. Round bouquets are also often monochromatic when used as bridal bouquets for weddings, although round bouquets look just as beautiful featuring flowers in a variety of colors for a more unique bouquet option. Photos by Darin Fong (left) and Clane Gessel Photography (right)
5. Nosegay Bouquet
Though similar to posy bouquets, nosegays place more emphasis on greenery rather than flowers – though popular flowers include roses, calla lilies, or orchids. The style works well as a bridesmaid bouquet, due to the small, compact size of the flower arrangement. They may also work well for older flower girls to hold in lieu of a basket – or pomander bouquet, as detailed next! Photos by Katelyn James Photography (left) and lunaphoto (right)
6. Pomander Bouquet
Perfectly round spheres of flowers form the sweet pomander bouquet, a style that includes a ribbon handle at the top for carrying or displaying. We've seen them suspended from shepherd hooks along the aisle, and they are also well-suited for flower girls since these bouquets are easily held by little hands or in one hand! Photos by Kim Fox Photography (left) and Jay Lawrence Goldman Photography (right)
7. Composite Bouquet
This gorgeous bouquet, also known as a glamelia, is actually composed of individual petals, which are arranged and secured to resemble a single large bloom. The highly stylized bouquet complements a bride who desires a bit of drama! Photo by Marianne Lozano Photography
Thankfully, there's no wrong answer for which bouquet style to choose. The decision is completely up to you, and we recommend getting advice from a professional florist or floral designer to help you narrow down the options if you're not quite sure. Oftentimes, the season, location, or style of your celebration can help to determine the right choice of bouquet for your particular ceremony, so like any other element of planning process, reach out to professionals who have the experience and expertise needed to create a special day unlike any other. The most important thing is that you love your bridal bouquet, so like your dress, make it a personal choice and try not to let too many opinions get in the way of holding your dream bouquet as you walk down the aisle towards your beloved!