How To Carry Your Wedding Bouquet

Do you know how to carry your wedding bouquet?  There is no etiquette that mandates the proper way, but there IS a way to do so that optimizes photos, and your “live” appearance at your wedding.

The bride in the photo above has nailed it!  Not only do I LOVE her choice of NON- flowers, she is holding her bouquet to make the most of her dress, her figure AND the bouquet. Bridal flowers are to be held with arms akimbo, (slightly out from your waist, so we CAN see that you have a waist), and at belly-button level.  This way your do not cover up the bodice of your beautiful dress.

The bride and her attendants in the next picture need a little help with staging their photo.  The flowers are being held too high, hiding the top of their dresses, and obscuring whether they have waists or not.  And what is with the floral paper?  It appears the bouquets need to be unwrapped before their photo session.

While a beautiful floral arrangement, there is just so much wrong with the “bouquet” above.  It overwhelms the bride, and one focuses on it and not HER, or her dress.

The bride above has it just right.  She is no longer in a standing position, but still wants to showcase her bouquet in this photo; so she holds it to the side.  It looks pretty, adds to the photo, but in no way takes away from the shot.

The same is true with the couple above.  You can still see the bride’s beautiful dress, her slim figure, but the flowers are an accent, not a focal point of the photo.

The bridal party above has struck a lovely floral cord.  I love the small, elegant bouquets.  One’s focus is on the pretty ladies, and their dresses – not their flowers .

Outrageous Wedding Bouquets



Most brides have a wedding budget.  She must pick what means the most to her.  Maybe it’s music.  Maybe it’s entertainment.  And maybe…it’s flowers.  Will you choose an outrageous wedding bouquet? Some brides will.  Bouquets cost anywhere from $150.00 (modest), to well over $ 1,000 –  depending on location, (the exact same wedding flowers in Beverly Hills will cost more than those in Bismarck, North Dakota), and types of blooms.   Always, ALWYAS choose flowers in season.  You will spend far less if you do so.


Perhaps flowers are your thing.  If you choose to make your bouquet your focal point instead of say, your dress, then be outrageous!  Spending an additional $ 300 on your bridal flowers is much less than an additional $ 3,000 on a blowout dress!


Photos # 1, 2, 3 belle the magazine

When designing your bouquet, or directing your florist to do so, there are a few things to keep in mind. One, is your dress elaborate?  Will an over the top bouquet over-shadow your dress?


chic vintage brides

Are you a petite bride, or is your figure more statuesque?  While the bouquet like the one above is fabulous, it would overwhelm the tiny bride.  As a side note… I LOVE the red bouquet.  I’ve always been a fan of a dramatic splash of color against the bride’s white gown. As a bride today, that would be my choice.


If you just HAVE to have a dramatic bouquet, then maybe the one above is for you.  While I do favor bright colors against a light background, if your flowers are over-large, then perhaps subtle colors are the way to go.  And the gentle tapering of the bouquet makes is more manageable.


style me pretty

Not sure which I like better, the chair above, or the flowers – a lovely picture.  Don’t forget to ask your photographer to create some artistic photos around your flowers.



A Chart of Wedding Bouquets

A Chart of Wedding Bouquets is invaluable when you make your flower selections.  Will all your bouquets match?  Or will you choose different styles for different ladies? Please find below a helpful chart with descriptions and drawings, to be followed by photos of each style.



00724e51f9ddc7533c1486665f888283 – ROUND BOUQUET 

The round bouquet is very standard webbing fare for the bride.  Once all the rage, it is loosing favor among the 2015-2106 wedding trends.

002_primary – PAGEANT BOUQUET

While lovely, the pageant bouquet is used less often than all other bouquet types.


Wedding | Inspirations Ideas Planning – CASCADE BOUQUET

The cascade bouquet is quite formal, and used in large settings.  Think Lady Diana at her wedding to Prince Charles.


pink-sweet-peas-bouquet – NOSEGAY

The nosegay is one of my favorite bouquets.  It serves all ladies of the wedding party well, from the bride to flower girls.  It doesn’t take away from a bride’s dress with it’s simplicity.  Kate Middleton carried such a bouquet.

ce1ed9b825954fdc5606a09affe31114 – POMANDER BOUQUET

The pomander bouquet, or “kissing bouquet” is perfect for little hands, and is most often used for flower girls.

Photo: Patty Cloherty photos -And one of my favorites, the POSEY – modeled by yours truly.  🙂

And one other bouquet type that we don’t see on the chart above, but I think is gorgeous…the “HAND-TIED”.  This can be presented with or without ribbon tied around the stems.  The ribbon wrapped stems are for a more formal wedding, the natural look for a more casual affair.




Preserve Your Wedding Bouquet



If you want to preserve your wedding bouquet, you need to plan ahead.  Before your wedding, choose the method you would like to use to preserve your flowers. There are several.  According to, (click on the link below is you want to read the entire article), the simplest is the “Press and Frame” method.  This is quite easy to ‘do it yourself.’  You just press a few blooms from your bouquet and display them in a frame.

Another method is the “The Shadow Box or Glass Dome.”  This allows you do display flowers from your bouquet in their original form.  If you choose this style, it is not one to do yourself.  Contact a reputable preservationist.  You will want to have them selected with their contact info so you can have a reliable friend or relative ship your flowers to them asap – probably while you are on your honeymoon!  Remember to have a box available to ship to the preservationist – or they may even request you send it in a type of temperature controlled box.  If so, it may be something they provide, and you will need to have it on hand before the wedding.

You can also check with the florist who provided the flowers for your wedding.  Maybe they offer a preservation serve.  This will save on the cost and hassle of shipping.

I had certain blooms from my bridal bouquet professionally preserved after my wedding thirty-one years ago.  They held up beautifully for about 25 years.  They began to look a little shabby at that point.  Then one day I knocked the glass jar they were housed in off my dresser.  It was a sad day…But in all reality, it save me the gut wrenching decision of whether to keep them or not.  Flowers can last only so long.  Unless they’re bronzed…  🙂 Which is not a bad idea, either…





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