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
There are many shapes and styles of bouquets from which to choose.
Here are some of the most popular styles:
Simple, elegant, traditional bouquet, which is suitable for both
formal and informal weddings. This style of bouquet can range from
the perfectly round shape to a mostly round shape and can be designed
as a tight cluster for a dense look or loosely arranged for an "airy"
feel. The flowers chosen for a round bouquet significantly influence
the bouquet's formality. For example, roses and calla lilies project
a more formal look while daisies project a more informal and casual
A small, round-shaped, cluster of flowers not as large or as dense
as traditional round bouquets. Oftentimes a nosegay contains a bow,
ribbon streamers, and/or more foliage than a traditional round-shapped
Clutch and Tussy Mussy
A petite, round-shaped, cluster of flowers not as large or as dense
as a nosegay or a traditional round bouquet. Clutch bouquets are
often composed of just a few flower stems and are perfect as a budget
bridesmaid bouquet or an alternate to a corsage for mothers of the
bride and groom. Depending on the wedding style, a clutch may include
ribbon streamers and/or be mounted in a tussy mussy (a small, Victorian
style, metal or glass, cone-shaped holder).
Generally round in shape, this type of bouquet consists of a simple
gathering of flowers, which is bound and tied with ribbon. Some
brides prefer the stems left exposed while others prefer the stems
completely wrapped in ribbon to avoid staining their gown.
A European-influenced, round bouquet with blossoms of different
type and/or different color placed in a defined circular pattern.
This style of bouquet was named for a German style of interior design.
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"
A dramatic bouquet of arching flowers and foliage that extends 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 blooms and foliage of the same
length on both sides. An asymmetrical crescent features arched blooms
and foliage of different lengths so that one side of the bouquet
is longer than the other.
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. Sometimes an oval bouquet is a
round bouquet with a few longer floral stems or sprigs of foliage
protruding from the bottom.
Presentation or Pageant
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,
Freeform or Contemporary
This style of bouquet often has flowers or greenery placed 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.
A bouquet resembling one large flower bloom that is created by assembling
detached petals from numerous flowers. Examples of composite bouquets
include the glamellia (comprised of gladiolus petals) and duchess
rose (comprised of rose petals). Due to the amount of time and labor
required to create a composite, this can be one of the more costly
bouquets and should be created close to the time of the ceremony
to lessen the risk of wilting.
This bouquet resembles a magic wand in that the flowers are generally
densely arranged and the stems are left very long. In place of long
stems, a long bouquet holder, sticks, or other ornamentation can
be used. This style of bouquet is quickly gaining popularity, particularly
in Europe where many styles and trends originate. A scepter resembles
a presentation bouquet except while a presentation bouquet is generally
carried diagonally and in the bend of the arm, a scepter is carried
straight up and down like a hand-tied bouquet.
A romantic, alternative shaped bouquet featuring two, full, arched
shapes at the top while tapering down to a point at the bottom of
the bouquet. The heart shaped bouquet symbolizes love and romance
and is popular for Valentine's Day and Sweetest Day weddings.
A round bouquet composed of masses of tulle, net, or lace and a
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 and romantic
solution for a tight floral budget.
One, Two, and Three Stem
While not technically a bouquet, one, two, and three stem hand-held
arrangements are popular whenever simplicity is the trend. Often
these types of designs feature a unique design element, such as
an intricately wrapped stem (for long-stemmed flowers), elaborate
bow, streamers, or a decorative lace bloom collar (for a shorter
stemmed flower) to give the design more interest and appeal. These
are good floral options for brides on a tight budget.
A flower or foliage covered ball or cone suspended from a loop of
ribbon. Adult attendants can carry larger size pomanders, while
young attendants such as flower girls and junior bridesmaids can
carry petite size pomanders.
Flowers arranged and carried in a shallow basket and often used
in a garden or garden-like wedding setting. Small baskets are most
often carried by young attendants (flower girls and junior bridesmaids)
while larger baskets are carried by bridesmaids.
Wreath or Hoop
Made popular by the wedding of Britain's Duke and Duchess of York
(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. Bridal hoops and wreaths can be made in any size, and petite
floral wreaths are becoming fashionable for flowergirls to carry
as an alternative to baskets.
A small Bible, prayer book, or poetry book 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 waterproof base to
prevent damage to the book.
Candlelight or Hurricane Lamp
Elegant for evening and candlelight weddings, lit, covered candles
or hurricane lamps are surrounded by flowers and carried down the
aisle instead of bouquets. Extremely popular in the USA in the late
1970s, they are making a strong comback with brides looking for
something elegant and unique for their evening weddings. For an
updated look, use colored candles rather than white ones.
Technically a corsage rather than a bouquet. A small floral arrangement
that is designed to be worn on the wrist. Flowers and foliage are
mounted on a small base, which is attached to an 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.
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 vintage, Asian-inspired, or Southern US (1800s antibellum)