Friday, August 26, 2011

Size Matters...The Size of Your Bridal Bouquet That Is!

Years ago, when I was the florist for a very popular upscale wedding reception center, I was lucky enough to do the flowers for a high school friends wedding.  My friend and I hadn't seen each other much after high school, so I was out of touch with what was going on in his life.  In fact the only way I knew I was doing his wedding flowers was due to the fact that he was listed as the groom on the floral order I received. 
Unfortunately, between the brides schedule and various other circumstances, (which shall go unnamed!)  I was unable to meet directly with the bride to discuss her wedding.  All I had was an order form filled out and priced by someone other than myself.  I had no idea what the theme of the wedding was, what the look was supposed to be.  I had never even met the bride!  I can remember to this day the bouquet she requested was all white, with snap dragons, white freesia and white roses.  She wanted it hand tied, presentation style, (think Miss America), with the stems wrapped in white and thin gold ribbon over the white.  I remember looking at the amount charged for the bridal bouquet thinking, "Wow!  She must want a big bouquet!". 
The day of the wedding I began to working on the flowers.  I was sure to add extra special touches so that my friend and his bride would be thrilled with their flower - and also, really, to show off a bit.  After hours of working I was very happy with the flowers.  The bouquet was large and for a queen!  I couldn't wait to see the brides reaction!  While waiting for the bride to emerge from her dressing room, I pinned on corsages and bouts and distributed bouquets to all the brides maids.  I was pleased with the responses I received on my work.  Finally the bride was ready for her bouquet!  Feeling very confident in my work, I walked up the stairs to deliver her beautiful bundle of  flowers.  When I saw gorgeous Cicely I wanted to die.  Cicely is all of 5'2"  and maybe 100 pounds soaking wet.  Her dress was form fitting.  She looked stunning!  And I was handing her a bouquet the size of a small flowering shrub!  Even worse...she is moments from walking down the aisle.  There was no time to fix it!  That was one of those times in my life where I was literally sick to my stomach!  I was ready to vomit!  However, not only is Cicely beautiful, but she is also very kind!  She insisted that the bouquet was perfect and graciously lugged it down the aisle to her waiting groom.  It wasn't until after the ceremony and pictures that I was able to take the bouquet and make it the appropriate size.  Every time I see the wedding photos I am soooo embarrassed! 
SO!  What is to be learned from this experience?!  Several things - First, ALWAYS speak directly to your floral designer so you can be sure you are on the same page.  Do NOT trust your mother in law, sister or wedding planner to correctly convey your vision of your wedding .  Second, If at all possible show your designer pictures of the colors, flowers and style of bridal bouquet you want.  Last but not least remember SIZE MATTERS! 
The size of your bridal bouquet should be in proportion to your figure, your height and your gown.  You must also consider the style of your gown when choosing your bouquet.   No bride should look as if she is hiding behind her bouquet.  Nor should it be so small it looks like an after thought.
As a rule of thumb, I don't like to see bouquets that are wider than the brides hips/waist. 
Here are some examples I hope will demonstrate my thoughts.

This bouquet is beautiful, but I think it is too much for this gown and bride.  Her frame and the silhouette do not support such a large bouquet.  This bouquet would work much better for a plus size bride or a ball gown .  The style of this bouquet is called cascade.  Cascade bouquets and formal gowns are stunning together. 

Either of the above dresses are much better suited for a large cascade bouquet.  Because the skirts have such volume a large bouquet would not detract from the bride. 

This cascade is better for a more form fitting dress - but still maybe a bit wide for a thin or average size bride. 

These bouquets are better suited for a form fitting gown and any size bride petite to plus.  In fact, hand tied bouquets are very versatile.  The type of flowers used can make it formal or casual.  They can be made larger for larger gowns or smaller for smaller gowns and./or brides.

I love the look of this presentation/arm bouquet.  This is a great way to have a long bouquet without the bulk and size of a regular cascade. 

For more informal gowns and/or thin petite brides, small and simple is better. 

Ball gowns do not necessitate a large cascade bouquet.  This hand tied bouquet is the perfect size and style for this ball gown.  However, I wouldn't go much smaller.

Just remember, on your wedding day the focus should be on you, the bride as a whole.  Not the dress alone and not the flowers alone, but the complete look.  Oh and please - when walking down the aisle, keep the bouquet near your belly button!  Any higher and you hide your beautiful gown.  The photo above is a perfect example of where to hold your bouquet.