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Bridal Bouquet Shapes and Styles

Cascading Bridal Bouquet
Once you've set the date, selected a location, chosen the formality, and selected the perfect bridal gown and bridesmaid gowns you have set the tone for the floral bouguets. Since a walk down the aisle would not be complete without beautiful flowers, your bridal bouquet is probably the first floral arrangement you will begin to consider.

Generally, the wedding style and formality you choose will influence the style of bouquet that you select. A good rule of thumb is that your train length and wedding formality should determine the formality of your bouquet. Bouquets vary in size from small to large, but they should always be proportional in size to the person carrying it.

For example, if you are planning an ultra formal wedding, it's likely that your wedding gown will have a royal or cathedral length train and you'll wear a long veil. Your bouquets and other floral arrangements should also reflect this formal style. In contrast, for an informal wedding where you'll be wearing a suit or a simple dress with a sweep train or perhaps no train at all, you'll likely select a smaller bouquet, nosegay, or single-bloom style.

There are many shapes and styles of bouquets from which to choose. Here are a few of the most popular styles:

Brides Wedding BouguetRound Simple -Elegant, traditional bouquet that is suitable for both formal and informal weddings. This type of bouquet does not have to be perfectly round in shape and can be designed as a tight cluster for a denser look or loosely arranged for an "airy" feel. The flowers chosen for a round bouquet will influence the bouquet's formality. For example, roses create a more formal look while daisies offer a more informal and casual look.

Nosegay - A small, round-shaped, cluster of flowers often not as dense as a traditional round bouquets. Nosegays often include more greenery, ribbon streamers, and are mounted in a tussy mussy.

Biedermeier - A European-influenced bouquet with blossoms of different type and/or different color placed in a defined circular pattern. A bouquet similar to the nosegay and named for a German style of interior design.

Hand Tied - Generally round in shape, hand tied styles are also referred to as clutch bouquets. This type of bouquet consists of a simple gathering of flowers, which is bound and tied with ribbon with stems left exposed.

Cascade - Sometimes called a teardrop, fountain, or waterfall bouquet, this sophisticated and elongated style features fullness and an abundance of blossoms at the top of the bouquet then tapers downwards with flowing foliage, floral streamers, or ribbons at the bottom. This bouquet can be designed very dense with flowers and foliage or can be more loosely arranged for an "airy" or "wispy" look.

Crescent - A dramatic bouquet of arching flowers and foliage that extend from the center of the bouquet and can be designed to project a traditional or contemporary look. Flowers can arch from either left to right or right to left depending on preference. There are two types of crescent bouquets, symmetrical and asymmetrical. A symmetrical crescent features a balanced look with arched blossoms and foliage of the same length on both sides. An asymmetrical crescent features arched blossoms and foliage of different lengths so that one side of the bouquet is longer than the other.

Heart - A romantic, alternative shape bouquet featuring two, full, arched shapes at the top while tapering down to a point at the bottom of the bouquet. Typically the traditional shape, often seen at Valentine's Day, symbolizing love and romance.

Arm - Also known as a presentation or pageant bouquet, arm bouquets feature a gathering of long-stemmed flowers that rest naturally across the inner bend of the elbow. A ribbon or bow is generally used to keep the bouquet together. Popular floral choices for arm bouquets are calla lilies, gladiolus, orchids, long-stemmed roses, delphiniums, and larkspur.

Freeform / Contemporary - As the name implies, this style bouquet often has flowers or greenery coming out at various angles with no specific, recognizable shape. Freeform and contemporary bouquets are most often designed with tropical flowers and foliage that have unique shapes.

Oval - This bouquet is a combination of both a cascade and a round. It is elongated in shape, but features rounded shapes on both the top and bottom. Generally the bottom is narrower than the top, but the overall shape resembles an oval.

Single Stem - While not technically a bouquet, single stem arrangements have gained in popularity over recent years, as simplicity has become the trend. Single stem designs generally feature a unique design element, such as an intricately wrapped stem (for a long-stemmed flower), elaborate bow, streamers, or a decorative lace bloom collar (for a shorter stemmed flower) to give the design more interest and appeal.

Composite - A bouquet where the focal area is a large flower that has been created by assembling together detached petals from numerous flowers. Examples of composite flowers are glamellia, duchess rose, and galax rose.

Fan - A small bouquet or cluster of flowers attached to an elaborate fan. This style of bouquet is reminiscent of the Victorian Era, and is popular for old-fashioned or vintage style, Southern USA style, and Asian-inspired weddings.

Pomander - A flower or foliage covered ball or cone suspended from a loop of ribbon. Adult attendants can carry pomanders, but young attendants such as flower girls and junior bridesmaids most often carry them.

Ballerina - A round bouquet composed of masses of tulle or net and few flowers. This type of bouquet was popular in the early 1940s when flowers were scarce due to World War II. For modern brides, a ballerina bouquet offers a cost-effective, yet beautiful solution for a tight floral budget.

Basket Flowers -An arrangment of flowers carried in a shallow basket and often used in a garden or garden-like wedding setting. Most often carried by the flower girls and junior bridesmaids.

Wreath or Hoop - Made popular by the wedding of Britain's Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, this "bouquet" is a large ring decorated or intertwined with foliage and flowers. Generally thought of as a symbol of eternity with no beginning or end.

Book - A small prayer book or bible used as the platform upon which a small bouquet is placed. The design may be composed of a small cluster of flowers or may be featured as a small cascade. Generally flowers are attached with ribbon or a small armature to prevent damage to the book.

Wrist - More of a corsage than a bouquet, this style is comprised of a small floral arrangement worn on the wrist. Flowers and foliage are mounted on a small base that is attached to a strong elastic bracelet that fits around the wrist. Worn by brides and bridesmaids who want something near their hands for the look of a bouquet, but want the freedom of having both hands free from carrying anything.

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