A lot of thought goes into choosing bridesmaid dresses, but just as much consideration needs to go into finding the perfect bridesmaid bouquets for your best friends to walk down the aisle with.
Bridesmaid bouquets complete their outfit in the same way that shoes and accessories do, adding that little extra special touch that sets them apart from the rest of your wedding guests.
While you’ve probably thought a lot about the flowers you’ll be carrying down the aisle, what your bridesmaids will be holding might not have crossed your mind. Not to worry though, we’re here to help you find bridesmaid bouquets that not only suit your wedding theme, but also complement your own flowers, and delight your bridal party.
Do Bridesmaids Carry Bouquets?
There’s no rule that says bridesmaids must carry bouquets, but traditionally the bridal party does walk down the aisle with a bunch of flowers. Having a bouquet to hold stops bridesmaids from looking awkward or not knowing what to do with their hands – imperative when all eyes are on them.
If your budget doesn’t stretch to bridesmaid bouquets, they could all wear a wrist corsage instead, to tie their outfits into the theme of the day.
Who Pays for Bridesmaid Bouquets?
Paying for the bridesmaids’ flowers normally falls to the bride and groom; they will most likely be included in the package price for the wedding flowers as a whole.
How Much do Bridesmaid Flowers Cost?
Bridesmaid bouquets are likely to be smaller and less dramatic than your own bouquet, so will cost considerably less; flower prices are hard to give a definite cost on, but as mentioned, the price of bridesmaid flowers will be included in the overall budget for your wedding flowers.
Ask your florist for a breakdown of how much bridesmaid flowers cost to help you decide if they’re a must-have for you.
“The budget for the bridesmaid completely depends on what design you end up going for,” advises florist Hiding in the City.
“If you’re set on having a foliage-based wedding, then a seasonal foliage only bridesmaid bouquet can start from £45 a bouquet. If your heart is set on flowers, then a floral bridesmaid bouquet starts from £70.”
Do the Bridesmaid Flowers have to Match the Bridal Bouquet?
Bridesmaid bouquets tend to be a scaled down, simpler version of the bridal bouquet -it’s rare they will be a direct copy of your flowers but they usually share elements, or are a smaller version of the bridal bouquet.
For example, if you have a bouquet full of white roses, the bridesmaid bouquet might feature a few roses, interspersed among other, less dramatic flowers. Alternatively, bridesmaid bouquets might feature the same flowers as the bridal bouquet but in a different colour.
“At Hiding in the City, we don’t believe a bridesmaid bouquet has to match the bridal bouquet fully, in fact we usually advise that there are some differences between them,” says Amy from Hiding in the City.
“The bride and her maids usually have photos all together and we’ve found that some slight differences create a contrast and make for better photos. The most usual difference is the size, if the bride is set on everyone matching, we usually always make the bridesmaid’s bouquets smaller in size. This can be due to budget reasons especially if you’re lucky enough to have a lot of ladies (and gents). Also, it’s quite nice to have a larger bouquet for the bride as it is, after all, her special day. We normally do the same for the buttonholes. We always make the groom’s slightly more elaborate and floral, so he also feels special on his big day!”
The main thing is that bridesmaid bouquets tie in with the overall look and feel of your wedding. If you’re carrying a bouquet of peach coloured blooms, the bridesmaids could have the same in order for everything to look coordinated.
How to Choose Your Bridesmaid Flowers
The first thing to think about is how many bridesmaids you’re having. If you’re walking down the aisle accompanied by 10 of your closest friends, you’ll need to go for smaller bridesmaid bouquets, unless you’re working with an unlimited budget.
The fewer bridesmaids you have, the more extravagant you can go with their bouquets.
If you’re stuck on how to decide on bridesmaid flowers, take a look at the bridesmaid dresses you’ve chosen. Not only will this help you decide on a colour for their bouquets, the type of dress they’re wearing will also influence the style of bouquet you go for.
If your bridal party are wearing slinky, fitted dresses, it makes sense to go pared back with the bouquets too – an unruly bunch of flowers would overwhelm a simple bridesmaid dress, so you might be better off going with a petite globe shaped bouquet to tie in with the low-key bridesmaid dresses.
Dramatic, full-skirted bridesmaid dresses or floaty boho gowns work well with more untamed blooms with lots of foliage and greenery, giving them a more substantial look.
Consider the bigger picture when it comes to bridesmaid bouquets; your bridesmaids will be posing with them in all of your formal shots, so you’ll want something you’re happy to look at for years to come, and that work well with your style of wedding dress and the venue you’re getting married in.
In the past it was traditional to match the colours of your bridal party’s flowers to their dresses, but this can sometimes mean they flowers blend into the dress and don’t make the impact you’d like them to. If you’ve got your heart set on pink bridesmaid dresses and bouquets, try to choose flowers in a slightly different hue to the dress to make the shade pop.
“Steer away from foliage only bouquets paired with green bridesmaid dresses as they simply don’t stand out in photos,” advises Amy.
“If opting for a bright coloured bouquet, a nude bridesmaid dress always compliments and acts as a neutral backdrop.”
Flowers should complement and contrast bridesmaid dresses rather than perfectly match.
If you’re having mismatched bridesmaid dresses, (ie. your girls all wearing the same dress but in a variety of colours) choose a flower colour that suits them all, rather than designing everyone a bouquet each, which could work out as rather expensive! Cream flowers are a classic wedding choice for a reason and will suit every bridesmaid dress whether you go for baby blue or an autumn hue.
If your bridesmaids are all wearing the same colour, but you love the aesthetic of mismatches bouquets, you could have them carrying different gradients of the same hue. One could carry the palest baby pink flowers, with one holding a punchy magenta bouquet and the last rocking a bright pink bunch. Unify the look by making sure all of the bouquets are the same shape, or tie them together with a ribbon.
Bridesmaid Bouquet Alternatives
Aside from the corsages we mentioned earlier, there’s a whole host of alternative ideas for bridesmaid flowers, including having them hold lanterns at outdoor woodland weddings, balloons at quirky modern weddings, pampas grass for a boho vibe or origami paper flowers if your bridesmaids have allergies!
Personalised Bridesmaid Bouquets
Make your bridesmaid bouquets extra special by personalising them. If your florist is willing, you could make each bouquet different, to include each bridesmaid’s favourite flowers (so long as they work with the colour scheme!).
If you don’t fancy creating extra work for your florist, you could personalise your bridesmaids’ bouquets by adding a bouquet charm to them.
An idea normally used for your something old, why not add a locket with a photo of the two of you to the bridesmaid bouquets for a sentimental touch they’ll always treasure?
After putting so much thought into the bridesmaid bouquets, your girls are sure to want to treasure them forever – read our guide on how to preserve wedding flowers to keep their bouquets living on long after the wedding hangovers have faded!