Bridal Bouquets are the traditional finishing touch to a bride’s outfit. From classic to alternative, bridal bouquets are a beloved custom that add an extra level of colour, shape, scent and beauty to the overall bridal look. Find out all the latest wedding bouquet ideas and trends with top tips from the experts and then match your wedding flowers to the season.
A (very) Brief History of Bridal Bouquets
Traditionally the bride carried a bouquet of flowers and wore floral garlands to symbolise new beginnings, fertility and the hope of new life. Historically, it is believed they were also carried to disguise the smell of a bride who bathed once a year!
Nowadays bouquets are more a style statement of delicate beauty and colour to complement the rest of the wedding flowers for a co-ordinated overall look. The bride’s bouquet is usually larger than the bridesmaids posies, and with floral bouquets, can contain several different types of flowers and foliage.
Traditionally the bride throws her bouquet behind her to the unamarried ladies and whoever catches the bouquet, it is said, will be the next to marry. Some brides choose to preserve their bouquet after the wedding to display as a keepsake of their day for years to come.
Bridal Bouquet Ideas and Trends
There are several different shapes and styles of wedding bouquets. The teardrop or shower bouquets were the classic style, with flowers moulded into a flowing shape with trailing foliage tapering off at the furthest point. In contrast to this is the hand-tied posy, with its tighter, rounder shape, fashionable with formal city style weddings with black-tie dress codes. An alternative to the posy bouquet, but still with a decidedly rounded shape, is the floral pomander, which can be carried around the wrist on a ribbon loop for a simpler look.
Bridal bouquets come in fresh or artificial flowers, brooches or buttons, and may have added feathers, pearls and charms. Amazing bespoke and outlandish designs are available to anyone looking for something decidedly out of the ordinary! You can even get chocolate bouquets – they’re definitely not for hot and sunny mid-summer weddings…
Florist, Charlotte Harrison from Flowers by Charlotte Elizabeth shares her expert advice for when it comes to choosing your floral bouquet.
Top Tips for Floral Bridal Bouquets from Flowers by Charlotte Elizabeth
1 Use seasonal florals as much as possible, with an abundance of foliage in a variety of tones and textures to create an organic looking bouquet that will showcase the flowers at their best.
2 Let the beauty of the blooms take the lead – allowing them to follow their natural form can help to create an unstructured and wayward charm that is becoming increasingly popular.
3 Working with natural irregularities rather than trying to make the flowers fit the mould of a more traditional rounded, or heavily wired bouquet so often seen in the past, can create the most unique and show-stopping bridal bouquets.
4 Talk in depth with your florist about your ideas for the whole wedding day and particularly your preferred colour palette as this can give an ideal framework to build from. It allows the florist the freedom to curate the best florals available to achieve an overall look rather than being confined to specific types of flowers.
5 If you are knowledgeable about flower varieties, then it’s wonderful to add in any that you may have grown yourself or some you have loved as a child and have a particular connection to.
6 Add a cherished item or family heirloom, like a beloved grandmother’s brooch, as these can then be incorporated into the ribbon handling on the bouquet itself to add a very personal feel to the bride’s bouquet.
Bouquet Stem Locket
Flower stem bouquet accessories, like the locket seen above, can be used to enclose meaningful photos or even a tiny love note inside the secret compartment as you walk down the aisle. This locket could also be used to enclose photos of lost loved ones for a quiet but meaningful way to memorialise those that can only be present in your heart.
Decorative Flower Pins
Artificial Flower Bouquets
Silk or faux flower bouquets may not be as sweetly scented as the real thing but they’ll last for years after as beautiful keepsakes of the day. Artificial bridal bouquets are ideal for anyone who suffers from hayfever, and you can also create a truly bespoke look. Think rainbow…
Rainbow Rose Bouquets
The real beauty of artificial flowers is that they can be as wildly colourful as you wish. Since you’re not limited by nature, you could have a bouquet created to colour-match an unusual shade of wedding dress exactly, or have rainbow coloured petals for a stunning original look.
A relatively new trend, button bouquets can be as unique as you are and make an eye-catching alternative to the traditonal floral bouquet. Lesa Simons of I Heart Buttons told us, “Button bouquets make a wonderful keepsake which can be shown off in your home after your wedding day or even passed down to loved ones. Each button bouquet is individually wired and hand-shaped to ensure it will last a lifetime. Some brides ask their guests to give buttons or brooches to create a truly unique bouquet. ”
Like button bouquets, the brooch bouquet can either be handmade using family heirlooms to give it extra symbolic value, or this clasic white brooch bouquet below, can be bought ready-made. Just like silk flowers, brooch bouquets are ideal for anyone with hayfever and also make lasting keepsakes.
Fabric Bridal Bouquets
This is an unusual look that works particularly well at rustic or country style weddings. Create your own unique bouquet using these pretty fabric ruffle flowers, simply binding the stems together to create a simple bouquet, finally tying the stems with ribbons to match your colour scheme.
Bouquets for Weddings Abroad
For weddings abroad, if you want to have fresh flowers, they will need to be sourced in the country you are travelling to. Your wedding planner abroad will recommend your options and it’s worth taking advice, particularly in hot countries. If you want to have more control over the colours and styles of your wedding flowers then it’s worth considering artifical flowers, button or brooch bouquets, which can be ordered in advance and taken abroad with you. In very hot and humid climates, these will not wilt or dry, and they can be kept as lasting keepsakes of the wedding.
Alternative Bridal Bouquets
Alternative brides often want something different, and the black lillies and Gothic-inspired black and red skull bouquet below, are certainly unlike the customary light, bright floral bouquet, being beautifully dark in both style and colouring.
And finally, anything goes when it comes to modern wedding style. This couple are both vets who held their pet rescue kittens on their wedding day in place of any floral bouquets!