Every bride-to-be dreams of her wedding day, from walking gracefully down the aisle, a first dance with her new husband, and of course, tossing the bouquet over her shoulder to the contingent of single women hoping to be the next in line. Though sometimes taken for granted, the bridal bouquet is an essential factor in your bridal look and can take the whole package from average to amazing.
These days, brides have a plethora of options for their flowers and are no longer shackled to the basic cluster of white roses (though still a fine choice). While mixing it up with different colors is a pretty easy option, there are also a number of various shapes and styles for the bouquet itself. Here are five styles to help you choose:
Originating in Switzerland, these are a bold and unique choice and work best when all of the flowers are of a similar style. This is a tightly-packed and structured bouquet, with the flowers arranged in alternating rings of different colors (imagine a ‘bulls-eye’). This is a great choice for brides who want to add a bit of drama to their look and aren’t afraid to think outside of the box.
These bouquets get their name because they are meant to be carried draped over the arm like those presented to actresses or beauty queens. This style is a very fashion-forward look and is one of my personal favorites. This style works best with longer flowers such as calla lilies, orchids, long-stemmed roses and the like. This bouquet is also quite versatile in that you can opt for a double-ended bouquet with flowers on both ends. Presentation bouquets are just as beautiful with an elaborate number of flowers as they are with one or two statement blooms in a single color, so the possibilities are truly endless.
Prayerbook or Bible Spray
For devout brides, this traditional choice is an elegant and understated touch. A small spray of flowers is arranged in a corsage-like setting and wrapped around the family Bible or other heirloom religious book for the bride to carry as she walks down the aisle. This is a wonderful choice for those couples who have such family heirlooms or who would like to start a tradition themselves. Alternately, some brides who still wish to carry a different bouquet can still opt for an attendant to carry the decorated book for presentation at the ceremony.
These fun, whimsical arrangements are a beautiful option for more casual events or carried by younger attendants such as junior bridesmaids or flower girls. These bouquets are a ball of flowers, usually in one or two colors (often bold and bright colors), and carried over the wrist with a loop of ribbon. While an unusual choice, with the right theme these can be a really great splash of color for your wedding.
Cascade or ‘Princess’ Bouquet
The most formal of bouquets, this style gained in popularity in the early 1920s up through WWII. It continues to remain popular and is a lovely choice for formal weddings. The shape is similar to a teardrop, with the larger rounder portion carried in the hands, with the narrowing trails of flowers cascading down. These can work with either monochromatic palettes or a mix of colors, but are best set against a gown without a lot of overwhelming detail as the bouquet is rather commanding in itself. These are also known as ‘princess’ bouquets in honor of the late Princess Diana who carried a beautiful ivory cascade at her own wedding.