Brides have been carrying bouquets since the middle ages. Of course back then the gathered bunches of herbs and spices were intended to ward off evil spirits and protect the fragile, innocent bride from bad luck and misfortune.
Happily by Victorian times bouquets had moved on from garlic and dill to include fresh flowers – often made up using the “language of flowers”. Bouquets were gathered from ivy (fidelity), myrtle (passion) and roses (love).
Bouquets remain a special tradition today, with plenty of styles and variations for brides to choose from. You can have anything from cascading waterfall bouquets to sweet, simple hand tied posies. It all depends on the style and theme you envision for your wedding – and ultimately your own sense of style and personality.
When designing your bouquet, keep the following in mind:
The tone and theme of your wedding
A formal wedding in a large church or cathedral might require the drama of a cascading bouquet, while a loose (hand-tied) bouquet would be more appropriate for a casual, perhaps outdoor event.
Colours and textures
Chat to your florist about the colours you love – and how to use different tones and hues in your bouquet to maximum effect. Some of the more popular flowers by colour choice include:
rose, lisianthus, gerbera, carnation, lily, chinks, stocks, tulip, snap dragon, orchid.
rose, lisianthus, carnation, tulip (seasonal), protea, hydrangea (seasonal) and lily.
rose, carnation, lavender, lisianthus, snap dragon, stocks, hydrangea (seasonal).
rose, gerbera, tulip, sunflower, carnation, lily and freesia.
gerbera, rose, carnation &lily.
Be open to using seasonal flowers in your bouquet (and throughout) as they are plentiful and therefore much, much cheaper. Also bear in mind flowers such as snap dragons, proteas, tulips, irises and delphiniums have a limited growing season. It is best to find out what is in season before you set your heart on a particular flower for your bouquets. Out of season and imported flowers are very expensive and beyond the reach of a great many brides.
Holidays and special events
Flowers like roses, gerberas and lilies are available all year round – but often more expensive in winter or on special days like Valentine’s Day and Mothers’ Day. If possible, try to avoid these dates for your wedding because your flowers could literally double in cost over
Your wedding dress
Ultimately everything starts and ends with the dress. If possible give your florist a photograph or sketch of your dress so she can guide you on the best choice of bouquet.
Large trailing bouquets are dramatic and romantic but tend to work better with princess-style ball gowns as they over-power anything simple or understated.
A more modern bride might consider exotic flowers or an interesting use of foliage such as succulents in her bouquet or perhaps a wrist bouquet, pomander or dramatic head piece while a stylish bride may want to add crystal or pearl embellishments for a glamorous finish.
Your bouquet will be the most special and intimate arrangement of the day, so brief your florist well (don’t be scared to take pictures, mementoes, fabric swatches and sketches along to your meeting) to ensure that you end up with a bouquet you love.
Compiled by Lols – Lols Flowers www.lolsfunction.co.za Photographs supplied by Lols Flowers