As one of the most photographed (and expensive!) details of your wedding, your bridal bouquet is one of the most iconic symbols of your big day. With ten years of experience designing and concepting bridal florals, Ashley Mueller and Katie Reisman from Ash + Oak are keenly aware that a carefully crafted bouquet is crucial to enhancing the overall vibe of your wedding. Below, see for their top insights to discuss with your florist.
Trendy or Timeless?
Once upon a time, identifying the era of a wedding was as simple as glancing at a photograph of the bride's bouquet. Even those without a florists’ expertise could swiftly spot an early 2000s affair with its perfectly round bouquets (often studded with crystals!) while the late 1990s bride favored a bouquet of monochromatic calla lilies. And who could overlook the frenzy of incorporating succulents from 2007 to 2010? The undeniable truth remains: no matter how much you want your bridal bouquet to read “timeless”, all wedding bouquets are of their time, and will reflect the trends of their year (at least in some way). However, the distinction is that your bouquet shouldn’t look exactly like everyone else’s of that era.
Amid the desire for timeless allure, the question that brides should be asking themselves is – “How can I make my bouquet unique to me (and my setting), without feeling overly trendy”? This is where a skilled florist is your best asset to help you navigate this daunting question. Don’t just take their word for it - invest your time perusing their Instagram and Pinterest pages. We florists know that the bridal bouquet is an important style match between designer and client, so we feature photos of our bouquet work heavily. The distinction between a good floral designer and an exceptional one lies in the consistency of their bouquet portfolio. While not all their bouquets should look exactly the same (as they are customized to each client), there should be a uniform essence that links their creations, for it signifies that the florist has defined their perspective and has their own unique point of view on bridal bouquet design and mechanics. The fact is, we don’t want to (and shouldn’t) change our style to fit yours, because we have spent years honing and developing that style. You're enlisting our services for our unique floral interpretation, and it should result in a harmonious blend of our respective styles.
There exists a florist for every type of bride – from the contemporary to the timeless, the cutting-edge to the understated. There is no better way to understand a florist's style than by looking at how they design their bridal bouquets - so spend your time doing your research! On the subject of research, please keep in mind that the farther out you are from your wedding - the more your tastes will change. The more time you spend on Pinterest and Instagram, the more sophisticated the algorithm will become. To prevent completely abandoning your initial vision, allow yourself the opportunity to thoroughly explore what truly resonates with you. We are more than willing to accommodate design adjustments, as we understand how easy it is to get inspired by something new you’ve discovered online. Therefore, refrain from making impulsive decisions solely based on what you've witnessed at other weddings or after a cursory online review. Dedicate the time needed to discern what genuinely encapsulates your personal style, complements your venue, and reflects the distinct personalities of both you and your partner.
Infusing Your Personality
Now that you’ve found a design match, let the customizations begin. Are there specific flowers that hold significance for you as a couple or for your family? Make sure to communicate this to your florist. If these blooms are available during the season and align with your chosen color palette, we love to incorporate them. This way, the bouquet you hold as you step down the aisle carries a deeply personal touch. Equally important, inform your florist about the blooms you'd prefer to avoid, so we can carefully steer clear of those choices.
That being said, we also advise our clients against becoming overly fixated on a particular flower. While we strive to incorporate your preferred varietals, we must also consider the general well-being of the blooms (which can fluctuate week by week at the flower market) and the prevailing weather conditions on your wedding day. Above all, your bouquet should exude the same vibrancy, health, and radiance that you carry on your special day, and our floral choices must reflect that. A responsible florist will refrain from guaranteeing the presence of a specific flower, as we cannot ensure its peak condition during the week of your wedding. When you grant your florist the creative liberty to source blooms that capture the shape, style, and essence of the flowers you're drawn to, you're assured to adore the final design we craft for you.
Ribbons - An Important choice
Seeking a boho hippie chic vibe? Long ribbons can beautifully capture this aesthetic. Alternatively, for a classic and traditional event, opting for shorter ribbons enhances that timeless appeal. It's crucial to communicate all your design elements and the overall atmosphere with your florist, as these factors will guide our choice of ribbon length and colors. Your input will help us curate a bouquet that perfectly aligns with your desired vibe. While may it seem frivolous, we are obsessed with each detail that we present in relation to your flowers, particularly the bridal bouquet. Avoid shiny ribbons (we certainly do!) as they tend to look cheap, and opt for a florist that uses hand-dyed silk ribbon in matte fabrics.
Size Does Matter
When we book a client, we always ask their height. This detail is important, as the size of your bouquet should correlate with your physique and complement the dress you've chosen. If your dress boasts intricate embellishments, we will exercise a touch more restraint with the bouquet, ensuring it doesn't overpower the visual composition. It's imperative to furnish your florist with images of your bridal gown. These visuals enable us to create a bouquet that not only complements but enhances the allure of your dress.
To Hold Your Bouquet Correctly
A lot of brides hold their bouquet straight up and down, which doesn’t let all of its beautiful angles shine in photos. The way to maximize impact? Tilt it slightly downward, pointing out laterally from your navel. Not only does this make your arms look extra toned, but has the added benefit of making sure that your photographer captures all of the careful movement we’ve sculpted. Make sure your bouquet stays in water as much as possible, and keep the ribbons out of the water. We’ve carefully flat ironed them so that they ripple gracefully in the breeze while you walk down the aisle. We also love shots of your groom holding your bouquet - so make sure to have your photographer capture a few of those as well. Enjoy your walk down the aisle, knowing you’re holding something beautiful!