Bridal Bouquets and Flower Arrangements Bridal Bouquets and Flower Arrangements

Every woman loves flowers.  The flowers for your wedding will be very important to you, and you will want a beautiful bouquet that you can preserve forever.  Since there are so many different types of beautiful flowers to choose from, this article will provide you with several steps to help you make a decision.  Your flowers will be chosen based on the formality of your wedding, the dresses for the bride and bridesmaids, your personal style, and the cost of the arrangements.

Plan on spending 8-10% of your overall budget on flowers.  Before meeting with a florist, you should look online, in books, and at flower shops.  Take note of the colors, textures, and shapes that you like best.   When you meet with the florist, you should ask to see portfolios of the florist’s work.  If you don’t like what you see, go somewhere else.  You need to ask your florist:

If you have to purchase the vases for the flower arrangements

  • If she will be able to handle last-minute orders
  • If she will work with the building coordinator when setting up the arrangements
  • To provide a mock-up of your bouquet so you will know exactly what it looks like.

You should also prepare pictures and/or swatches of your and your attendants’ dresses to help the florist choose flowers that will look best with your dresses.  The texture of your gown may impact the type of flowers you should have in your bouquet.  Consider whether you want to use white flowers or colored flowers.  You also need to make sure that the size of the bouquet doesn’t overpower you.  Larger flowers are best for tall brides and smaller flowers look best for petite brides.  Bouquets can be larger if they are cascading, but round bouquets should be no larger than your face.  You may choose to choose flowers that harmonize with the theme of the wedding and reception.

The formality of your wedding will also effect the types of flowers that you have.  For formal weddings, many brides choose:

  • White flowers
  • Orchids
  • Stephanotis (also called Hawaiian Wedding Flower)
  • Calla Lilies

Semiformal weddings often call for flowers such as:

  • Calla Lilies
  • Tulips
  • Roses
  • Peonies
  • Dahlias

Informal weddings often have small bouquets and less decorative flowers, but some choices are:

  • Sunflowers
  • Tulips
  • Freesia
  • Irises
  • Astors
  • Small Daisies
  • Miniature Roses

While your bridal bouquet may be the most important flower arrangement you will have at your wedding, there are many other flower arrangements that must be made.  Your attendants will need bouquets that follow the style and mood of the bridal bouquet.  You may want to give them floral headpieces, which should be ordered with the bouquets.  If you are using floral hair dressings, choose long-lasting flowers that will still look fresh at the end of the reception. 

The flower girl should have a miniature bouquet similar to the bridesmaids' bouquet, or you may have her carry a small basket of flowers.  The bride and groom’s mothers should both have coordinating corsages.  The best idea for these is to allow the women to choose some of their favorite flowers and then agree on one, and make the corsages from these.  Corsages for grandmothers should be neutral, creamy colors.  When choosing these flowers you need to know where the women will choose to put their corsages – either pinned at the shoulder, waist, handbag, or tied around the wrist. 

The groom’s boutonnière should be made from a flower that is in the bride’s bouquet.  The boutonnière is often made from stephanotis, lily of the valley, or a smaller flower.  The groomsmen's and usher’s boutonnières should be made from a different flower than the groom’s.  You might want to choose a flower from the bridesmaids' bouquets that is not in the bride’s bouquet to make these boutonnières.

You also need flowers for altar arrangements, candle holders, pews, garlands, centerpieces, etc.  It is a good idea to bring your florist pictures of the ceremony and reception venues so that she can help you decide what sizes of arrangements to use, and how to best accent the altar and tables.  You definitely don’t want centerpieces on reception tables that make it impossible for your guests to see each other.  Make sure that you and your florist include greenery in your flower arrangements.  Greenery is festive, and it makes a great low-cost filler.  Another cost saver is to have the most noticeable arrangements be the most expensive, and have less noticeable one filled with greenery and less expensive flowers.

Don’t be afraid to choose bold colors, elaborate arrangements, or non-traditional flowers.  This is your wedding -- enjoy it.  If you want to and can afford it, put flowers everywhere.  They will serve as your main decoration and will truly make a statement about who you are. 

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