The bridal bouquet is something that has become a staple at all weddings for many years. Bouquets come in so many shapes and forms that it can almost feel overwhelming trying to figure out what style will suit you or what they all mean. For todays blog, we wanted to take you through the history of bouquets, all the different types of bouquets and everything in between.
What is a bridal bouquet?
The bridal bouquet is the selection of flowers a bride holds as she makes her way down the aisle at her wedding. The bridal bouquet is traditionally created to match the chosen theme of the brides wedding and compliment her wedding gown and is considered one of the most important accessories on a brides wedding day along with the gown and ring.
Why do brides carry a bouquet?
The bouquet is often considered the key accessory at the wedding ceremony that ties in all aspects of the overall wedding, from the theme to the dress, it’s a great way to top off the brides attire on the day. It’s also often the first thing guests will notice when you start your journey down the aisle on your wedding day, and as such, it’s an important part of your overall wedding much like your gown.
Traditionally speaking, bridal bouquets go deep into history in many different forms. One example of this would be Ancient Rome, where brides would carry flowers to signal the hope of fertility and new beginnings. In the Victorian era, bouquets really found their place in the overall wedding ceremony when brides would carry a proper bouquet on the day. Originally, the bouquets were generally made up of flowers that had meanings the brides resonated with and qualities they felt represented them. As time has gone by, bouquets tend to be more about the focal point of the wedding theme itself rather than the specific meanings of flowers for many brides, although some do still choose bouquets that include specific flowers for their own reasons.
Another reason, dating all the way back to the 15th century, that brides carried bouquets was a reason none of us have today (we hope) with our weddings: they would carry flowers to cover their own body smell. This was mostly due to the fact that a) people rarely bathed and b) when they did, women went after all the males in their household. Bouquets of flowers and also herbs or spices were a great way for 15th century brides to mask the smell of not having bathed for a while.
There’s also a reason we’ve covered before, but essentially it stems from the tossing of the bouquet. In ancient times, it was considered ‘luck’ for a wedding guest to be able to tear a piece of the brides gown off or take some of her accessories after the couple had said ‘i do!’ - to help the bride and her groom escape this madness, brides would carry bouquets down the aisle to then toss into the crowd as a distraction to make their escape, which is where the tradition of tossing the bouquet at weddings spawned from.
What flowers should I have in my bouquet?
This will be impossible to answer without factoring in the theme of your wedding and your own personal preference in flowers, however, there are many flowers that always remain popular in bridal bouquets such as dahlias, roses, lilacs, peonies, hydrangeas, tulips and more. When it comes to choosing the flowers for your bouquet, it's important to look at what will be in season, what your budget will be and what will match your theme!
Who else carries a bouquet at my wedding?
Traditionally speaking, the bridesmaids will carry their own bouquets, however, there will be other types of florals included usually too. The other florals you’ll find worn at a wedding are corsages on women that are family of the bride or groom, boutonnieres for the groom, groomsmen, male family members from both sides, ushers and ring bearers. Traditionally, a wedding might also have a flower girl carrying a basket of flower petals down the aisle too.
Do I need to do the bouquet toss?
This is merely a tradition, as we mentioned earlier, for brides to escape the frenzy of the crowd tearing at her dress, something that doesn’t happen anymore. While some brides opt to toss the bouquet, others may choose to preserve their bouquet or just keep it for their own personal pleasure & happiness, it’s totally up to you on your big day.
(pictured: Euphorie Real Bride Sandie)
The bouquet is one of the most important accessories on your wedding day. While most brides opt to have a florist bring their bouquet to life, some choose to create their own instead. While creating your own bouquet will take up some of your time, money and a lot of attention to detail, you might find it far more satisfying walking down the aisle with your own creation in your hands on your special day.
Creating Your Own Bouquet: Things You Need To Know
A lot goes into creating a bridal bouquet, the first thing to consider is how you’ll shape your bouquet. There are many different shapes that can make up your bouquet. Figuring out the shape that best suits your needs is a good place to start when considering the types of flowers you’ll want to include.
Wedding Bouquet Shapes
Biedermeier Bouquet: This style of bouquet is round with several layers of flowers that create layered circles of flowers. Biedermeier bouquets are generally used in artistically styled weddings and use flowers such as dahlias and roses to add texture to the bouquet. This bouquet is generally harder to pull together than some of the others and will require a lot of practice and patience to keep all of your chosen flowers layered around each other in circular rotations.
Nosegay Bouquet: This is a simple yet elegant type of bouquet that follows tradition and is a popular choice for many brides. For a Nosegay bouquet, the overall look is generally created by having one flower be the focus while smaller ones are packed tightly around it and tied together with a small piece of fabric wrap, string or wire in a domed shape. These are often the type of bouquet a lot of bridesmaids also choose to use, as well as brides.
Single Stem Bouquet: For a simple yet delicate bouquet, some brides opt to create a ‘Single Stem’ bouquet. Very much true to it’s name, this type of bouquet is simply a single larger sized flower with a ribbon on it. To achieve this bouquet, you would simple find a flower that matches your aesthetic & theme of your wedding and buy the largest possible sizing of it. You’ll then find a piece of ribbon, twine or string to wrap around the stem of the flower that matches your colour palette to add the finishing touches. This type of bouquet is a great budget-friendly option while also suiting simplistically-styled wedding ceremonies.
Hand-Tied Bouquet: This one is very literal - a bunch of flowers that are hand tied together with string, ribbon or fabric to give the bouquet a loose, casual look. This is generally the easiest option if you’re creating your own bouquet because of how simple it is to pull together. You’ll simply start with a main focal flower, then add more flowers around it in a spiralling way to create a bouquet that is then tied together with ribbon at the stems of the flowers. This is a great choice for a more relaxed ceremony to give that effortless vibe to your bouquet.
Round Bouquet: This is likely one of the most popular bouquet types, traditionally speaking. The round bouquet is sometimes considered a combination of several other bouquets in one and is created by creating a rounded selection of flower blooms with little to no greenery that is then tied together at the stems with ribbon. The Round Bouquet is similar to the hand-tied bouquet we just covered combined with the posy bouquet we’ll cover further down in this blog.
Composite Bouquet: For this type of bouquet, multiple flowers (or petals) are arranged together in a way that reflects one single and much larger flower. This option is definitely on the harder end of bouquets to pull off and requires quite a lot of skill to piece together perfectly.
Contemporary Bouquet: The contemporary bouquet is the ‘anything goes’ of bridal bouquets, flowers and greenery that are pulled together at random and in unconventional ways. This is an arrangement that we’d suggest diving deeper into photos of to get an idea of all the ways brides have used this type of bouquet, it is so wide-ranging in terms of style!
Posy Bouquet: A lighter, less costly type of bridal bouquet, the Posy is a great minimalistic option for brides with a theme that matches that idea. The posy is also quite the classic option for many brides. To create a posy bouquet, you’ll tie flowers together at the stem with ribbon to create a rounded bouquet. Posy bouquets traditionally use flowers like peonies and roses, among others.
Presentation Bouquet: This type of bouquet it often known as a ‘pageant bouquet’ due to it’s staple in beauty pageants. However, this bouquet has been more and more common at weddings, especially in recent years, and are often chosen for one of two totally opposite reasons: this bouquet can either be a simplistic sort of chic or it can be an extremely elaborate, royal looking bouquet.
Cascading Bouquet: This one is another bouquet with a name that hits the nail on the head - a cascading bouquet combines flowers in a full bunch at the top that then cascade downwards getting increasingly smaller towards the bottom. These are often considered the perfect option for brides wearing a minimalist or simple style wedding dress because it’s quite an attention grabbing arrangement to carry down the aisle with you. Creating this bouquet will require a lot of time and patience (and flowers!) to pull it off and give it that naturally cascading vibe. Using Pinterest or Google Images to check out cascading bouquets by other brides will give you a much better idea of ways you can achieve a great final look.
Once you've decided on the specific style of bridal bouquet that you'll want to use, there will still be more work you'll have to do - finding the right place to source flowers in a way that is cost-effective and sits inside your budget can be difficult, but not impossible. Take your time, look around and speak to different florists, flower markets and flower shops. Ask for quotes to get ideas on what can (or can't) fit within your budget, this will help you find the right bouquet by process of elimination.
When it comes time to actually bring your bouquet together, we would always suggest utilising some of the incredible creatives on YouTube so you can physically see how people pull bouquets together!
Ultimately, bouquets are definitely something that will revolve heavily around your own personal aesthetic and style but having some information to help guide you is always a great thing & we hope we were able to help with this blog!