What Are You Going to Carry?

This is another part of the wedding that has so many different facets. Almost every bride has a bouquet of some sort. Usually it’s flowers, but today, it can be a myriad of different styles and textures; some brides carry silk flowers as opposed to fresh, since they’re easier to preserve.

Most brides today however, still prefer fresh flowers in colors that complement their bridesmaids’ dresses, or a striking bouquet that is the perfect accent for their wedding gown.

My mother’s bouquet consisted of an array of roses, her favorite flower, with a sprinkling of lilies of the valley. It suited her perfectly.

Bouquet styles range from the traditional round bouquets to the pageant styles which feature long stemmed flowers that are carried on the side, cradled in the bride’s arms, and allow her dress to be better shown off.

Cascade bouquets are also very popular, with flowers that flow down towards the floor, making an elegant statement as she walks down the aisle. These bouquets are carefully designed to coordinate with the dress, so as not to hide the beautiful details behind the flowers, or to dwarf the bride.

Nosegay bouquets are smaller and usually round, perfect for bridesmaids as well as the bride.

There’s also a pomander style, also sometimes called a kissing ball, which is a ball of tightly arranged flowers tied with decorative ribbon. Although carried by a flower girl, brides can carry these as well, and they can also be hung throughout the ceremony and reception for floral decor.

Some brides carry one or two large flowers with the appropriate ribbons, which makes a huge dramatic statement. Or they may elect to carry a few long stemmed flowers, often roses, and which some brides elect to give a flower to the mothers/grandmothers as they walk down the aisle.

Our daughter has decided on a combination style bouquet with one large tropical statement flower surrounded by other smaller tropicals. It’s going to be beautiful!

Brides have also been known to wear their flowers on their arm, similar to corsages, only bigger. That way, they can easily carry their flowers with them as the greet their guests at the reception 

Some carry bouquets made with colorful feathers as well as flowers. Perhaps even with strings of beads woven through it and cascading down.

Other brides elect to use brooch bouquets, made entirely from jewelry pieces, many of which are pieces handed down from family members. Such bouquets are spectacularly beautiful, but a bit heavier than the traditional flowers. (Maybe they’re actually designed to keep the groom in line during the wedding day festivities, since they’d hurt quite a bit if the bride had to use that bouquet to keep her new husband in line!)

Some years ago brides carried family Bibles with a few flowers on top, and some still do. Today’s brides may also choose to carry a special book that has a special meaning to the two as a couple. It could be a diary of their dating history that was compiled by them both; perhaps even a fancy scrapbook of their lives. 

Bouquets are usually designed by the florist based on the bride’s height, as well as the style of dress, so that it doesn’t overpower her or her gown on the wedding day. Usually when visiting the florist our brides are given a number of sample bouquets to hold to determine which style and size they prefer before actually selecting their actual flowers.

And after the wedding, what do you use for the traditional bouquet toss? Today’s brides are more reluctant to toss an expensive bouquet, preferring to preserve it rather than leave it behind, since so much thought was put into selecting it. And the brooch bouquet was definitely not meant to be tossed!

Most of our brides have elected to use a toss bouquet which is smaller and made from flowers similar to their bouquets. I’ve also made several of their toss bouquets myself using silk flowers which provide yet another memento of their special day.

Bouquets are as individual as the bride herself. They’re another fun and creative part of the wedding planning. And remember, you can have what you want within your budget, because it’s your wedding!

And as an update to this post, here’s what our daughter carried! It was amazing and just perfect for her! And note the charm on the bottom which is a picture of her with her grandmother.

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