How to Choose the Best Shape for Your Bridal Bouquet

Unusual square bouquet with trails of beaded wire. This is a european style bouquet holder, all the flower stems have been cut short and the flowers placed in, flush with the foam.
Unusual square bouquet with trails of beaded wire. This is a european style bouquet holder, all the flower stems have been cut short and the flowers placed in, flush with the foam. | Source
Source
The same flowers, accents and colors, but in a very different shape.
The same flowers, accents and colors, but in a very different shape. | Source

I feel strongly about wedding bouquets because I really, really didn't like mine. I didn't let it spoil the day, but it was an effort, and believe me, it's something you don't want to bother with. Over the years, I've often wondered just where my explanation of what I wanted went wrong, and I'm pretty sure the confusion was all over the shape.

The florist was associated with the hotel where our wedding took place, and was famous for taped and wired bouquets, but all were essentially round, a posy style. My vision was of a large cascade, with foliage trailing almost to the hem of my dress. (It was a long time ago, and I wanted a Princess Diana sized bouquet) What I got was long, but essentially a wired posy in a very odd shape. When people look at the pictures, they say 'how unusual.' Not quite what I was aiming for!

My advice, if you want to avoid the problem I had, is to decide on the shape before you decide on the flowers or the type.

Here's what I mean. If you decide to use roses and orchids, you can build such versatile flowers into almost any style of bouquet, but if, for example, you've set your heart on sunflowers, you can rule out designs like a prayer book spray which call for more delicate flowers and vertical lines. Tell your florist you want sunflowers, and the immediate suggestion will be a handtied bouquet or a sceptre style. (Though with a bit of imagination you can easily create a cascade bouquet using these beautiful yellow flowers)

Not long ago, every bride, or so it seemed, carried a hand tied bouquet. These days florists know its fairly easy for a bride to buy flowers and equipment. Making your own bouquet is a reasonable way to save money. To compete, florists need to offer original ideas and interesting shapes, there truly have never been so many ideas for bouquet design as there are today

If you've set your heart on a bouquet made primarily from a tiny flower, such as lily of the valley, you'll find it difficult and enormously expensive to carry a large cascade.

The best advice for brides to be is to remember that your wedding photographs will be with you for a long time to come. Think about the overall effect of the dress and the flowers together. Think about color and think about shape before you decide on the precise style of your bouquet or the flowers to use.

Same flowers, different shapes.

Although in some cases the choice of flower can dictate the shape of the bouquet, classic blooms can be used in almost any design. Above and below are two designs from Smithers Oasis showing how the same flowers can look very different.

Proportion

When deciding on a bouquet, there are many factors to consider. When deciding on shape, remember the same shape and can be made in many sizes.

Brides may look for the slimming effect of vertical lines. A bible spray can be made in many sizes, and can hand down an inch or a great deal more. Likewise a simple posy can also be made into something a little larger. In general, shorter brides are advised to look for vertical lines, perhaps in a bible spray or cascade, while taller brides can benefit from rounder shapes, such as a beidermeir bouquet or traditional posy. There are an extraordinary number of bouquets shapes, you'll find links to hubs and articles discussing the alternatives in the links section.

Compatability with your dress is also a major factor in bouquet choice. If, for example, your dress has an attractive hem, a bouquet with long, vertical lines can lead the eye down the dress. If you have a dress with details at the waist, the choices of bouquet are more limited, however two designs to consider are the fan bouquet and a spherical ball. Floral hoops are a good style for bridesmaids dresses with decorated waists.

Another stunning vertical design from smithers oasis, but using the same flowers as you would find in a traditional posy style bouquet.
Another stunning vertical design from smithers oasis, but using the same flowers as you would find in a traditional posy style bouquet. | Source

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