The bridal bouquet is often the basis for the design of every floral arrangement and adornment included within a wedding day setup, and it should be the largest and most elaborate bouquet in the bridal party. Brides have been carrying bouquets down the aisle for generations and a fantastically dynamic and innovative industry has grown up around wedding flowers. The best way to think about the bouquet is as the bride’s most important accessory! The bouquet needs to match her dress perfectly, to compliment her body size and shape, to invoke her personality and to continue the wedding concept. Once you have approved your florist’s design for your bouquet, the rest of your wedding flowers will flow from, and be inspired by it.
There are many shapes of bridal bouquet to choose from including posy, nosegay, cascading and arm sheaf, and your florist will use images or sketches of your dress, your body shape and your own preferences in the design of your bouquet. As a general rule a dramatic wedding dress such as a ball gown or empire line dress will stand up well to a large bouquet, whereas a more close-fitting dress such as a mermaid or sheaf dress, or a bride with a petite frame, will probably warrant a smaller bouquet to avoid the dress being overpowered. As a general rule your bouquet should be narrower than your waist if you do not want it to hide your beautiful curves.
Many brides worry about how to correctly hold their bouquet as most will not have had any experience with this in the past. It is very important to resist the temptation to clutch your bouquet tightly with both hands at your waist as this will lift your shoulders and cause your collarbone to protrude. Instead, try to hold your bouquet in a relaxed but secure grip in one hand and to position the bouquet across your hips. You may also find that the hand holding your bouquet will start to rise, apparently with a mind of its own, until your bouquet is held much higher than your hip. Try to concentrate on relaxing your arm if this begins to happen, and try not to worry about dropping your bouquet.
As the bridal bouquet is such an exquisite and utterly unique creation, it is so important to show it off as much as possible. If you’re having a civil ceremony you should consider placing your bouquet on the registrar’s table during the ceremony so that your guests can admire it before and after the ceremony. Another lovely idea is to place your bouquet at the front of your top table as another piece of floral decoration, and you could even place your maid of honour’s and bridesmaids’ posies next to it for a dramatic look.
You probably won’t have given the idea of drying your bouquet much thought up until now, but if you do intend to preserve your bouquet in this way then you may like to request that your florist creates a ‘dummy’ or ‘tossing’ bouquet. A tossing bouquet can be used in place of the bridal bouquet, and will generally be a much simpler version of the bridal bouquet. By paying a bit extra for a tossing bouquet you can ensure that your bridal bouquet will survive your wedding day intact and ready for drying.