1/ Choose your dress first
Image by Larissa Cleveland Photography
Differences in the colour and style of your dress will transform the impact of the bouquet. For a minimal slip dress, for instance, a simple and petit bouquet tends to work better than an overpowering, cascading style. You’ll also want to ensure that the bouquet won’t hide anything you’ll want on display, so if there’s beautiful detailing on the bodice or skirt of your dress, factor this in when considering bouquet options!
2/ Check what’s in season
Image by Alecia Scott - Fotografica
Though there are some year-round blooms, many flowers are only available seasonally. As soon as you know your wedding date, do some research to ensure your preferred flowers will be available or chat with your florist to see if there are any similar flowers they can recommend.
3/ Get inspired
Image by Avodah Photography
The style and flower choices for your bouquet should reflect what’s important to you. That may mean choosing flowers with special meanings (traditional flower meanings, a personal meaning or your all-time favourite blooms!) or simply creating something beautiful and stylish.
If you’re prioritising meaning, consider asking older family members what they used in their bouquet and include a bloom or two in your own as a thoughtful nod to your loved ones. Or take notes from Kate Middleton and look into the ‘language of flowers’ to tell a story with your bouquet! (Myrtle symbolises marriage and love, ivy symbolises fidelity etc.)
For visual inspiration, there’s no better source than Pinterest! If you’re not conversant with flower names, consult a wedding flower guide first to enable you to focus your Pinterest searches (e.g. this one, which is organised by colour or this one, which is organised alphabetically).
4/ Consider colour, size and shape
Image by Anna Munro Photography
Consider a range of factors when browsing for inspiration. Of course, you’ll want to note which flowers are used, but also your preferences for colour, size and type of bouquet. These should primarily complement your own look and dress, but you may also want to consider your wider wedding palette (including the shade of your bridesmaids’ dresses) as well as wedding theme and style. Looser, cascading flowers exude a romantic, bohemian style, for instance, while small, structured posy or round bouquets suggest classic elegance.
5/ Choose your florist
Search online or on social media to find a florist that suits your style and requirements. Bring some inspiration images to meetings as a visual reference and begin to discuss what you’re looking for and your budget. Make the most of your florist’s expertise by asking for their advice and recommendations as you take your rough ideas through to a finalised design!
6/ Factor in comfort
Image provided by Woodstock
Comfort should be a significant factor when making decisions about your bouquet. You will have to hold and carry it for much of the day, after all, so the effect of its weight and the balance of that weight, even its fragrance, will be more powerfully felt!
7/ Think about bouquet accessories
Image by Fineline Photography
A bouquet wrap (or added brooch, locket or another accessory) is an easily overlooked detail that has great potential to enhance the significance of the bouquet as you carry it down the aisle and into your married life. Consider an heirloom from a family member, a token from your relationship or simply something precious of your own to add the finishing touches to your stems.
8/ Look after it!
Image by Winsome and Wright
After putting all that thought and love into your ideal bouquet, be sure to consult with your florist about how best to look after the blooms once they’ve been delivered, throughout the wedding day and (if possible) beyond. If the stems are exposed, consider having a vase with water standing by at the reception. This will both keep the bouquet refreshed and avoid any bruising caused by laying them down. (You may want to have additional vases waiting for your bridesmaids’ bouquets, too!)