Wedding Bouquet Styles

Learn the different types of fresh bouquets available for your wedding and be better prepared for meeting with your wedding day florist.

Wedding decorations should not only reflect the formality, tone, and style of the event; they should represent the taste of the couple being wed. Flowers, often a part of a wedding from the bridal bouquet to the reception centerpieces, add romance and beauty to any atmosphere.

Many brides and grooms aren’t sure where to begin when it comes to choosing their floral design. Understanding the different types of flower arrangements helps the couple decide the style of flowers best suits their taste. Additionally, it can go a long way in helping the florist create wedding flowers that are sure to please.

Contemporary Wedding Flowers and Bridal Bouquets

Brides who prefer minimalism and a sleek, chic look may be interested in a contemporary wedding flower look. Sometimes referred to as an “architectural” flower style, this look is often comprised of flowers with a strong structure, such as calla lilies, tulips, and orchids.

In a wedding bouquet, a contemporary flower arrangement is usually paired with simple greens, such as bear grass or snake-grass, with the stem of the bouquet hand-tied. For decoration, architectural wedding arrangements should be kept simple, with no more than a few blooms of one type of flower in each vase.

When incorporating contemporary wedding flowers into the wedding budget, it is important to know that the cost for this wedding bouquet style is often higher than a traditional bouquet. Tall vases, square vases, and unusual shapes will cost more to buy or rent than standard vases, while sturdy-stemmed flowers, like calla lilies and orchids, can cost more than $5 per bloom.

Garden Wedding Bouquet Styles and Arrangements

Using flowers that are readily in season and prolific is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to create a fresh bouquet of wedding flowers. In garden-style wedding flowers, florists use a variety of flowers to create a look that appears as though the flowers were just plucked from the soil earlier that morning.

Roses, poppies, hydrangeas, and daisies are popular in garden wedding bouquets. They come in a variety of sizes and colors, making a visually interesting and appealing arrangement. Wrapped in ribbon or hand-tied with twine, garden-style wedding bouquets can be used in both formal and casual wedding events.

Romantic Wedding Flower Styles

While all flowers have a sense of romantic appeal, flowers that fit into the romantic wedding style category are generally more traditional flowers, such as roses. Pink, cream, white, and blush-colored flowers are the most often used color schemes in a romantic wedding bouquet.

When used in the wedding reception, romantic styles look best when placed in more dramatic vessels. Tall, silver urns or low glass bowls both make ideal containers for displaying romantic wedding flowers.

Beyond understanding which type of wedding flowers appeals to the bride and groom, it is also important to consider the overall look and feel of the wedding. Contemporary wedding arrangements, for example, will look out of sync at a casual backyard wedding. An experienced florist will help the couple find flowers that are not only beautiful but representative of their union.

Wedding Flower Bouquet Ideas

Today’s bride has a large array of wedding flowers to choose from for her bridal bouquet; however, the style of a wedding bouquet has changed over time, and each type of wedding bouquet has enjoyed the popularity of its time. Bridal bouquets used to be composed of traditional flowers, such as Rose, but today’s wedding bouquets may include more exotic species of flowers such as Lily and Orchid.

The Victorian Wedding Posy

The wedding posy was a popular choice with Victorian brides. The Victorians used the language of flowers to choose the flowers in a bridal bouquet, with reference to the meaning of each individual flower; for example, some flower meanings for roses included:

 Pink rose – romantic love
 White rose – innocent love
 Red rose – passion.

However, the language of flowers was a complex language, and there were many variations and different meanings interpreted for the same flowers, depending on the literature referred to at the time. Today, the flowers chosen for wedding posies are usually composed of flowers with reference to color and preference, rather than flower meaning.

The Fashion for Wedding Posies

Wedding posies fell out of fashion at the end of the Victorian era but have recently enjoyed a comeback. Wedding posies are made in a couple of ways by florists; they can be hand-tied, a natural and informal posy of flowers, or fully wired, a more formal affair where the stems of the flowers are cut, and the flowers are wired together. Both types of wedding posies can be finished with co-ordinating ribbon, lace or beading.

Wedding Shower Bouquets

When the Victorian wedding posy lost popularity in the early 20th century, the shower bouquet replaced it. Wedding bouquets became larger and more elaborate; a configuration known as a lover’s knot was incorporated into the wedding bouquet. These were featured on the numerous strands of ribbon on the bouquet, into which foliage and flower buds were inserted.

Shower bouquets lost their popularity in the event of World War II when war-time brides were unable to afford such elaborate bouquets, and such extravagance was not suited to the dictations of war. However, various forms of the shower bouquets are now used by today’s brides in trailing cascades of flowers, popularized in the 1980s by Diana, the late Princess of Wales.

The Wedding Biedermeir

The Biedermeier originated in Switzerland in the 1800s and is a variation of the wedding posy; the Biedermeier is very symmetrical in its composure, being made up of concentric rings of colored flowers. Each ring contains a different type of flower. Historically, Lemon and Orange peels were added to the Biedermeier to give fragrance.

Wedding Arm Sheafs

Arm sheaves were originally known as Bernhardt bouquets, a reference to the actress, Sarah Bernhardt, who received several presentation bouquets of this form; brides of the early 20th century popularized this particular type of wedding bouquet. Arm sheaves are cradled in the arms and held together by a ribbon; they make a dramatic statement but are a lot heavier than the traditional wedding posy.

Other Styles of Wedding Bouquets

Other styles of wedding bouquets that have enjoyed popularity over time include:

 Wedding nosegays – the original bunch of small flowers and herbs carried by brides throughout history.
 Wedding fans – popular in the 1980s were lacy fans of carnations and gypsophylia with lots of ribbons.
 Wedding muff – popular for centuries in Europe at winter weddings, the wedding muff was both practical and pretty when covered in flowers.
 Composite-flower bouquets – a popular choice of early 20th-century brides; florists created large 'roses' from Gladioli petals when they were unable to source the now year-round availability of hybrid roses.