Getting Married? Bouquet Basics

These are some things you will want to be aware of and consider when selecting your bridal bouquet style as well as the flowers that go into the design.

 1. Play off your gown

In order for your blooms to complement your dress and not compete with it, the bouquet that your floral designer recommends will depend a lot on the design of your dress, the style of your celebration, even your body type. An ornate gown might shine better with clean-looking flowers, while a simple dress might be perfectly matched with a more extravagant arrangement studded with crystals and silk ribbon streamers. So be sure bring swatches of your dress fabric or a photo to your first meeting with a florist, as well as photos of your ceremony site and any other details you can provide.

 2. It can be more than just flowers!

Whatever flowers you choose, bouquets can also incorporate beading, ribbons, sparkling crystals and countless other decorative accessories.

Fabric from the bride’s dress can even be fashioned into buds and interspersed with real blooms (especially impactful during a winter wedding using jewel-toned hues) The options are limitless.

3. Stem appeal

The stems of your bouquet can be used to add another element to express style and details? Wrap them tightly in a carefully braided ribbon or swathed in a gorgeous piece of fabric that corresponds to the color scheme of your entire affair.

Just make sure the handle doesn’t look too long (it may look like another limb in photos!) or too puny either. (But if you do prefer an elongated shape, long-stemmed flowers such as delphiniums, roses, calla lilies and French tulips work best in hand-tied bouquets.)

4. Where to hold it?

Remember to hold your flowers as low as possible. It’s natural to be nervous when you’re the center of attention. Many brides inadvertently pull their bouquet into their bellies or up to their chests—it’s almost a protective mechanism.

This stance cuts your body in half and making you look shorter. Hold the bouquet below your waist so it sits low on your gown and you’ve just shaved a couple of more inches off your waistline. Who doesn’t want to look taller and thinner?

5. Thwart wilting

Flowers are fragile and can perish easily. That’s why many bouquets are fashioned from hardier stock like roses, peonies, and lilies. But if you select more delicate varieties, like gardenias, viburnum, lily of the valley, or hydrangeas, take precautions.

Hydrangeas must to be kept in water as long as possible for an indoor wedding. The (Hydra)  in hydrangea = water. They do not do well in an outdoor wedding in the heat of the summer without water.   Lily of the valley and gardenias bruise easily and need to be kept upright and not resting on its side.

6. Timing is everything

The bouquet should be made at the latest point possible and kept refrigerated for optimum freshness. If you’ll be taking photographs before the ceremony outdoors and the weather is warm, especially if the weather is hot, you may want to seriously consider asking your florist to make two bouquets – one to use pre-wedding for photos and the other to be kept cool and pulled out just before time to walk down the aisle. Oftentimes, pre-wedding photo sessions can take 1-2 hours. Flowers are delicate and to have your bridal bouquet in the heat, out of water for that length of time can take a toll on it. That is something you need to be aware of. If you choose to go with 2, the bouquet used for photos before the wedding can always be used as your toss bouquet.

7. Preserve the memory

Your bridal bouquet can be professionally preserved by your florist or dried by yourself. For DIY: Simply remove the foliage; retie the bouquet with cotton string and hang it upside down in a dry area where it will not be disturbed. The process usually takes several weeks. Or, you may use a desiccant, such as silica gel or borax. Get instructions from your florist in advance of your wedding.

If you intend to preserve your bouquet, plan ahead so that it can be done as soon as possible after your wedding. During the reception, have your mother or a friend mist the bouquet lightly and refrigerate it in order to keep it fresh.