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Wedding Flower Fashion And Fundamentals
Author and Floral Expert Rebecca Cole
Discusses Floral I-Do's

Hand-tied bouquets showcase the natural stems and are often wrapped in ribbon.

Brides need not worry about matchmaking when it comes to wedding flowers. From the bridal bouquets to the boutonnieres, wedding flower trends include diversity of choice, boldness of color and distinctiveness of design, according to a leading expert.

Floral and interior designer Rebecca Cole is author of Flower Power, co-host of Discovery Channel's Surprise by Design and a regular contributor to the Today show. She describes leading trends.
Floral and interior designer Rebecca Cole describes top trends in wedding flowers.

“Wedding flowers follow fashion trends,” Cole said, “and today, individuality, rather than convention is in style. No longer do the bridesmaids' bouquets need to match the bridal bouquet, the boutonnieres and centerpieces.” In some cases, each bridesmaid may have a different bouquet, according to Cole.

Colorful blooms, in contrast to traditional white, also are en vogue, with lavenders and plums beautifying bridal parties. Bold and powerful arrangements dominate over the traditionally romantic. "Modern, Zen and even monochromatic designs featuring only one flower or color will in many cases replace traditional delicate mixes of flowers headed down the aisle," Cole said.

When it comes to dramatic and distinctive design, hand-tied French twist bouquets incorporating bold ribbons and pearls will make a striking statement. Cascading bouquets, a current popular selection for brides, will continue to add drama. And, table décor will become even more of a central focus.

"The containers that hold the flowers and what surrounds them, the candles, are attracting significant attention from brides,” Cole said. “Even for smaller, more intimate weddings, flowers can make a big design statement, on any budget."

Think Outside the Bunch

Beyond the most established uses for wedding flowers – room and table décor and corsages – flowers of all varieties are being used to enhance the special day in many non-traditional ways. For example:

  • Welcome gifts for out-of-town guests and members of the bridal parties,
  • Thank you gifts for those people who make the bride and groom's day special,
  • Rehearsal dinner and wedding brunch décor,
  • Decorations for the wedding transportation,
  • Floating arrangements for ponds or pools, and
  • Accessories for the bride's hair, in some cases replacing the more traditional veil.

Wedding Bouquet Trends

Today's wedding bouquets are more personal than ever, running the gamut from classic all-white formal arrangements to unique designs featuring brightly colored flowers. The following are four popular bouquet styles:

Nosegays - round clusters of flowers - are a very trendy style of bridal bouquet. Also called a tussie mussie, this style of bouquet dates back to the 14th century, when it was used to mask unpleasant odors - thus the term "nosegay." Nosegays can vary in sophistication and are therefore a good choice for any wedding.

Cascade bouquets feature flowers that descend below the main portion of the bouquet design. The voluptuousness of the bouquet is often the main feature of the wedding costume. Cascade bouquets are most often used in formal and traditional weddings.

Florists create hand-tied bouquets by placing the stems of the flowers, foliage and accessories in their hand and wrapping them around the center of the design until they are securely fastened. These arrangements are designed to show the natural growth of the stems, which are often wrapped in ribbon or french braided together. Hand-tied bouquets have a more casual air and are particularly nice for garden weddings and brides who like the feeling of an unarranged gathering of flowers.

Contemporary bouquets are inspired by unconventional ideas, styles and patterns and are designed with no specific geometric form. They are usually created with flowers that have definite form and add character to a bouquet (such as calla lilies, orchids and anthuriums). Contemporary bouquets represent the individuality of the bride and are perfect for a sophisticated, cosmopolitan style wedding. They're simplistic but have the added grace of asymmetrical design.

Cortesy of Saf and aboutflowers.com

Creative Ideas for Wedding Flowers

  • Welcome gifts for out-of-town guests and members of the bridal parties.
  • Thank you gifts for those people who make the bride and groom's day special.
  • Rehearsal dinner and wedding brunch décor.
  • Decorations for the wedding transportation.
  • Floating arrangements for ponds or pools.
  • Accessories for the bride's hair, in some cases replacing the more traditional veil.

At the Ceremony

  • Adorn the ceremony entrance with flower-filled urns that can later be moved to the reception.
  • Use flowers and candlelight at different levels to give dimension to design.
  • Use a single rose to mark the seats of both the groom's and the bride's mothers.
  • Attach flower petals to a large ribbon for an elegant decoration piece.

At the Reception

  • Garland the center of the head table with flowers, foliage and votive candles.
  • Use the bridesmaids' bouquets to create lavish buffet table decorations or to surround the cake.
  • Have your florist create guest table centerpieces with 4-5 separate clusters of flowers so that each couple can take a part of the centerpiece home.
  • Float large fragrant flowers, such as open roses or gardenias, in crystal containers with votive candles.
  • Sprinkle rose petals on the cake table and walkways.
  • Have the "throw-away" bouquet double as a cake top.
  • Decorate goblets and cake knives with flowers.
  • Use a cake plate with a mound of flowers on it as a centerpiece.
  • Use roses to make a dome at the top of a glass bowl filled with pretty rocks, and place a wreath around the bowl to highlight it.
  • Toss rose petals instead of rice as the bride and groom leave.

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