Think of the gorgeous flowers draped along the forearm of Miss World and you’ll know this style! The pageant bouquet, or ‘arm sheaf’ is very different to the classic round posy, it is an elegant longer line bouquet where the flower stems are kept at a long length and tied loosely around the blooms. Designed to rest along the bride’s arm with the flower heads resting just above her elbows, the pageant bouquet can be made formal or informal depending on your style.
Above, wedding flowers by Todich Floral Design Ltd
The Wedding Dress for the Pageant Bridal Bouquet
This striking and very elegant bouquet works well with vintage style gowns, particularly long, flowing 1930s bias-cut wedding dresses. It can look equally good with a short wedding dress or an A-line gown too.
Styling a Pageant Bridal Bouquet
The beauty of the pageant bouquet is that it can be as simple, as intricate or as striking as you care to make it. Choose long-stemmed flowers such as roses, orchids or lilies but be careful if you decide on gladiola as you don’t want to look like Dame Edna Everidge!
For a simple look go for a striking single stem such as a calla lily with leafy foliage and a ribbon bow, or to create a larger bouquet group several long stemmed flowers together and tie a bow at the stems so the blooms fan out slightly.
The pageant bouquet can be made to look very formal or very informal depending on the presentation of the flowers so it can fit with a high budget wedding or a more rustic country style wedding. Adding long lengthy leaves, trailing foliage, grasses or twigs will make more of your pageant bouquet.
Bride and Bridesmaid bouquets
As the bride, you may want to have a slightly larger bouquet to your bridesmaids to ensure yours stands out. You could have different flowers with the same bouquet shape or hold a striking pageant bouquet while your bridesmaids carry a small round posy bouquet.
Working with your Florist
Your florist is the wedding flower expert so discuss your options with them and don’t be afraid to ask for what you want even if they haven’t yet suggested it. Look through their portfolios for inspiration and discuss all the different flower, colour and style options open to you and the finishing touches such as ribbons, bows and tiny gem stones on petals for added sparkle.
Please see the Wedding Directory for a wide selection of wedding florists in your region.
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Kate Thompson is Confetti's features editor and wedding expert, and has worked in the wedding industry for 15 years. A widely published lifestyle writer, she has made BBC television and radio appearances discussing wedding trends in the UK.