Your bridal bouquet is a once-in-a-lifetime accessory and the photos of your nuptials will decorate your home for years to come.
These are the first tips to keep in mind.
1. Consider how important the flowers are in the scheme of your entire day. When you started planning and budgeted, were flowers one of your key-spends, or a small accessory? Wedding flowers can be simple or elaborate, but either way they should be personal and uniquely designed for the bride’s needs. As a guide, you might spend only $300-$500 on flowers if they’re just for the bridal party. You might then allocate a larger percentage of the budget to create a beautiful floral ceremonial/reception space.
2. Choose a florist who can work with the budget. Whether flowers are to be a small, but beautiful, accessory to your and your bridesmaids’ attire, or if you’re turning the venue into the Botanical gardens, discuss your budget with your florist early on and ensure to keep your expectations realistic. Time is money, so a simply-designed bouquet will be less expensive too. Take photos along to your meeting to give your florist an idea of what you’d like to achieve.
3. Buy local and seasonal. Your florist will know what’s going to be in-season for your wedding, and what can be sourced locally, which will save on travel costs (and time, which can prolong the flowers’ life too). Some flowers aren’t available year-round (or are very expensive), but if your favourite flower is one of those, consider having it in your bridal bouquet only. Less expensive ones can be used for the bridesmaids and overall decor.
4. Make your flowers work harder. An experienced florist like Naomi will be able to advise on where you can save money, designing your flowers to do double-duty as both accessories and decor. If you’re having the ceremony in a church or outside, have aisle-runners and have other entrance displays moved to the reception venue later. Altar pieces can be moved to the bridal table, and bride’s and bridesmaids’ bouquets can be centrepieces.
5. Get creative
- You can save on your bridesmaids’ flowers by instead having a single bloom or small posy, rather than a large bouquet.
- Beautiful flowers don’t need to sit in expensive vases – let the flowers do the work, and use cheaper glasses, jars or ceramic containers on the tables (hiring vases might be cheaper).
- Spend wisely: Entrance flowers may be only seen once and briefly, so save the larger expensive arrangements for things like table-settings, where guests spend long periods of the evening.
- Good positioning and inexpensive foliage can create the look of more flowers than you actually have.
6. Floral Style. It’s easier to choose the bridal bouquet once the dress has been selected, as the colour and style of the wedding gown will need to be balanced against the bouquet. Your florist will design a bouquet that will complement the shape, shade and detail of the dress, so as to ensure a consistent style.
- If the features of the dress are on the skirt, the look should be balanced by a rounder rather than a trailing bouquet, that doesn’t compete for attention.
- If the detail is on the back, such as a dramatic train or low-backed dress, you could have a larger, trailing or bright bouquet without overwhelming the gown.[/right]
- Especially when choosing a white or ivory flower to go against a white or ivory dress, you either want a perfect match or a contrasting shade – there are many different types of ‘white’. Take a fabric swatch to your florist when you can.
- Think about your own shape, and where you want to the eye to go. If your waist is your best asset, don’t block it with a huge bouquet.
7. Finishing touches. You’ll be holding your bouquet for much of the day, so do consider what’s going to be comfortable to hold (if you have small hands you won’t want a large stem to hold) and if you’re petite, something large and uncomfortable will look awkward. You might also want to incorporate a personal touch into the bouquet, such as a family brooch, a locket or a picture of a loved-one who can’t be there. You could also bring your own ribbon, or use a piece of fabric with a special significance to you (part of your Mother’s wedding dress, for instance).
8. Before you walk down the aisle, practice holding your bouquet. If you’re walking nervously down the aisle, you might be inclined to hold the flowers high and lift your shoulders, which won’t make for nice photos. Try to keep your shoulders relaxed and your bouquet low.