Along with the dress and veil, the bouquet is one of the most symbolic and treasured elements of the wedding day, and it’s one that many women fantasize about from the time they’re young girls. While your bouquet will be gorgeous and layered with meaning, it also has to meet practical criteria. Personal taste is one consideration, but for optimum effect you should also factor in the formality of your wedding, your wedding colors, any colors in the wedding gown and the bridesmaids’ dresses, and the style of the wedding dress. If you’re unsure what style will best fit your needs, take a look through this bouquet glossary that might help you make that tough decision.
A longer, looser bouquet that trails. The flowers are wired into place to create the shape, and the stems are wired and wrapped in ribbon to form a handle. The style cycles in and our of fashion but was very popular in the 1980s, thanks to Princess Diana’s copious cascade. A shorter, more tamed cascade is often what style icon Jacqueline Bouvier carried when she married John F. Kennedy.
A rarely seen bouquet made up if concentric circles of flowers, with each circle composed of a single flower type and color. It’s a tight, extremely tailored arrangement.
A tricky bouquet to construct, the breakaway comes apart to form several individual bouquets. In an earlier era, the bride’s going-away party corsage formed the center of the bouquet, but today, the technique is more likely employed for the bride to give part of her bouquet to an honored relative or to break into individual bouquets for tossing.
The outermost ring around the bouquet. It can be made of a particular flower, leaves, feathers, or fabric
Individual petals are glued or wired to create the look of one giant bloom, such as a rose. It’s a labor-intensive bouquet that doesn’t really work with the natural beauty of the flower, making it pricey, even if inexpensive petals are used.
The ribbon, fabric, or leaves that circle the stems of a bouquet. The cuff can be personalized with jewelry, charms, or embroidery.
Dome or Nosegay
This is the first image most people hold of a bridal bouquet, round, dome shaped, possibly trailing ribbons. “Nosegay” technically denotes a smaller bouquet, but the term is often used by florist to describe the bridal bouquet. The bouquet can be tightly hand-tied. It can be composed of one type of flower or several, but rarely more than three types. A very small nosegay is called a posy and may be carried by bridesmaids, flower girls, or mothers.
Most bouquets today are hand-tied, meaning that the stems are arranged in the palm of the florist’s hand and ties together with ribbon, fabric, a handkerchief, or leaves for serendipitous, natural look. The more stem left exposed, the more casual the bouquet.
Long-stemmed flowers carried in the crook of the arm, Miss America’s style. For brides, the bouquet is usually made of calla lilies.
A handful of the same type of flowers tied together with a ribbon, leaving much of the stem exposed. It’s usually done with clean flowers like tulips or miniature calla lilies. A natural look, its linear shape goes well with a simple dress.
A smaller, simpler version of the bride’s bouquet made expressly for the bouquet toss. Bedecking it with streaming ribbons makes for pretty photos when the bouquet us captured in midair.
A tiny nosegay of flower arranged to fit into a conical silver holder on a chain. It dates back the Victorian era. It’s too small for brides but can be charming when carried by bridesmaids or the bride’s mother.