Choose flowers that express your individuality
Go ahead - throw out the rulebook. The tried and true for bridal bouquets and other wedding floral arrangements no longer applies. This season, the bride doesn't necessarily carry white flowers, a lot of greenery isn't required and it doesn't matter if the size of her bouquet isn't in proportion to her dress.
"The look of bridal bouquets is changing quite dramatically," says Marie Ackerman, vice-president of education and education publishing for American Floral Services. "It's exciting, and it makes for a new look."
According to Ackerman, the design of the bouquet, its size and the types of flowers used are based not on tradition, but on the individual taste of the bride. "Whatever your style is, you just have to do it - express your personality," she urges. "Go with a color or a certain flower that has always been your favorite."
Indicating that today's bridal bouquets take "a '60s kind of approach with a Y2K flair," Ackerman observes that more women are choosing bouquets on natural stems, as opposed to flowers fastened to a bouquet holder or wired with tape. "There's been a return to naturalism," she says.
Likewise, bridal bouquets have been downsized. "We've reverted from the Princess Di style, which was so gigantic it was almost as big as her dress," observes Ackerman. Instead, she says, bouquets are smaller and more tailored, with more opulent and glamorous flowers.
Rich Salvaggio AIFD, vice-president of floral publications for Teleflora, concurs, saying, "We're still seeing round clutches and nosegays. They're very full and very round, with the flowers touching each other and minimal amounts of filler flowers or greenery." To soften the look of a structured bouquet, the trend is to tie stems together using an exaggerated length of ribbon. "A two-loop shoelace bow may be used," says Salvaggio, "but the streamers will hang down to the ground."
Both experts agree that fall and winter brides will be choosing mono-floras - one flower in one color - for their bouquets, although Salvaggio indicates that there is also a trend toward bouquets with "three different roses with three different shades - cream to white - being combined."
For the bride who wants to have her flowers noticed, Salvaggio says that the hot trend is to add a chartreuse or "Granny Smith green" accent to the bouquet. "We're seeing a lot of greens that florists traditionally have not used in bouquets. The main thing they do is to make the other colors in the bouquet 'pop.'"
Ackerman, of American Floral Services, says that seasonal flowers "are a misnomer. Almost any flower is available any time of year - it's just a question of what you want to pay for it." She does say that, in the fall, many beautiful shades of orange and yellow roses will be available, as will trendy bicolor roses - flowers with two colors in the bloom. Ackerman suggests that the bride work with her florist. "Show them the types of things you like and ask, 'What can you do for me in this color range?'"
While the traditional rule that the size of the bouquet was in proportion to the bride's gown no longer applies, Ackerman, a plus-size woman herself, does have a word of caution for plus-size brides. "No matter what size the bride is, the bouquet should always be in proportion to her." Laughing, she adds, "I've seen teeny-weeny girls try to carry 48 roses."
So whether you choose a nosegay, a clutch or a cascade, feel free to toss the rulebook to the wind and select flowers and a design that express your personality.
'Tis the Season
"The floral industry has an amazing market of flower availability," says Rich Salvaggio AIFD, vice-president of floral publications for Teleflora. "Not everything is available year-round," he continues, "but between the California growers, the South American and European growers, and the ease of shipping overnight" fall and winter brides have virtually limitless choices when selecting bouquets and other wedding flowers.
But while hydrangeas may be available eleven months out of the year, you're likely to pay dearly for them if they need to be imported for your special day. If you need to stay within a budget, bridesofcolor.com suggests sticking with flowers in season.
Fall (September to November): Amaryllis, Chrysanthemum, Fuchsia, Ornamental Berries, Statice, Sweet William, Yarrow, Zinnia
Winter (December to February): Amaryllis, Camellia, Hyacinth, Mimosa, Narcissus, Ornamental Berries, Paper-Whites, Poinsettia, Star of Bethlehem, Tulip
By any other name...
If you want your wedding flowers to have meaning, consider the romantic significance of certain blooms:
- Alstromeria Lily - devotion
- Calla Lily - magnificent beauty
- White Camellia - perfected loveliness
- White Chrysanthemum - truth
- Fuchsia - good taste
- Mimosa - sensitivity
- White Rose - worthiness
- Stephanotis - happiness in marriage
- Sweet William - gallantry
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