Flowers are undoubtedly the focal point of any wedding. Regardless of the type of flowers you decide on or how many you have in your bouquet, this detail is one of the highlights of wedding planning. In addition to narrowing down your flower options to a few varieties, there are also different styles of bridal bouquets to consider as well. From full, cascading blooms that nearly graze the ground to the simplicity of a delicate nosegay bouquet style, there is one for every wedding style and bridal preference.
Here are a few of the most popular ones that grace wedding aisles every year. Compare your favorites and work with your florist to decide which flowers will work best in the wedding bouquet. Or, mix it up and take a little bit of inspiration from a few to make a customized style especially for you.
The drama of a cascade flower bouquet is one that highlights the overflow of beautiful blooms to offset an equally beautiful dress. The shape of the flower arrangement is fuller near the top and then narrows near the bottom, like a teardrop shape. Roses, lilies, and gorgeous greenery help to fill out this style of wedding flower bouquet.
Typically this type of arrangement is held together at the stems or attached to a holder, depending on the heaviness of the flowers. Either way, the grandeur of flowers cascading down is a perfect reflection of an elegant, formal wedding celebration.
A Biedermeier floral design typically focuses on one or two types of flowers and cinches them together in a tight, round bunch. Roses not yet in full bloom are one of the most popular flowers to use in this traditional type of bridal bouquet, but calla lilies and dahlias also create a stunning effect.
All stems are cut to the same length and are wrapped in wire to hold the bouquet together. For the finishing touch that adds a bit of style, this bouquet is typically wrapped in a piece of fabric.
With this type of bouquet, an assortment of stems that are usually all shaped to create a circular pattern similar to the Biedermeier. Most bridal bouquet styles start with this general structure and then are built out depending on the final look the bride wants to achieve.
These types of bridal bouquets often contain a variety of flowers and greenery in different shades and are held together by a thick satin ribbon on the stems. Typically, blooms are more abundant than fillers to keep everything well-balanced.
One of the easiest styles of bridal bouquets is the posy style. It’s a smaller bouquet of flowers tied loosely with a pretty ribbon. These arrangements don’t have a lot of extra greenery or fillers—the focus is on the loveliness of the flowers themselves. The posy arrangement is ideal for wildflowers to complement a rustic-style wedding.
A striking, yet simplistic bridal bouquet option is to carry a single stem. This is a chic selection for a budget-friendly bouquet, especially when you choose a full flower bloom like a peony or hydrangea to make the most of the one flower.
This works well with the style of a garden wedding or another similar outdoor ceremony where the wedding celebration has a relaxed, natural vibe.
When going the route of a single stem, it’s all about the quality of the flower. Pick a petal that will hold up during the ceremony and last through the celebration afterward. See our guide on How to Keep Flowers Fresh for a Wedding for more information.
Brides are getting creative with how they design their own bridal bouquets. There are many who bypass the traditional route and include exotic flowers and unique designs into their wedding planning details.
Succulents, eucalyptus, and other similar greenery are making their way into contemporary styles of bouquets. Plus, the design itself is changing shape. Whether the bouquet is a wreath or functions as a corsage rather than a bouquet that’s carried, there are no rules when it comes to creating an arrangement that speaks to your personality and preference.
The main differentiating characteristic of the pomander bouquet is its ribbon handle. It’s a ball of all the same type of flower (roses are the most popular option) in the same color or similar hues.
In addition to being a bridal bouquet, this type of arrangement is popular for flower girls to carry or to use as decoration for the wedding ceremony and reception. Pomander bouquets hang easily from chairs or trees to dot the venue with pops of brightness and freshness to permeate the ceremony.
One of the most popular types of bridal bouquets is the nosegay style, which is similar to the Biedermeier in that all stems are cut uniformly and the blooms are held tightly together. However, in a nosegay arrangement, there are far fewer stems and the focus is usually on one single flower and color to define the design.
Delicate shades of pastels or a vibrant burst of color are go-to options depending on the overall aesthetic of the wedding. This is a classic choice that’s easier on the budget, because it doesn’t require as many flowers as other options.
After reviewing the main styles of bridal bouquets, consider how each fits into your ideas for wedding decor. You’ll likely be drawn to a few favorites right off the bat, but it’s important to take into account your wedding destination, dress style, and other details before making your final choice.
When choosing flowers, one of the best ways to get the freshest flowers and stick with your budget is to go local. If you’re having a destination wedding, pair up with a local florist who can come up with unique wedding bouquet ideas based on what’s native to the place where you’re getting married. Birds of paradise may not fit into the formal setting of a church wedding in the winter, but is a natural fit for a laid-back ceremony on the beach. If you need help finding a local florist, explore Zola's vendor directory to connect with wedding florists from New York to Denver, CO and everything in between.
On the other hand, if you’re planning a low-key outdoor wedding, the simplicity of a single stem or a posy bridal bouquet style fits the bill much better than a full-fledged cascade of flowers. Depending on what’s available, you may be able to gather what you need directly from nature with sprigs of lilac from a neighborhood bush or a bunch of field poppies loosely gathered with a simple tie.
The bride’s wedding dress is quite possibly the single most important design detail of the ceremony. It’s the centerpiece in which everything else is structured around. As such, you don’t want to hide its specialness with the wrong bridal bouquet match. A cascade bouquet will overwhelm a simple sheath dress and a contemporary design won’t be a good match for a classically designed dress. Consider the size and amount of flowers each type of bouquet calls for and how it will work to complement your dress.
Finally, when making your bridal bouquet selection, think about how it fits in with the other details of the wedding. What types of flowers mean the most and what colors will make the other decorations stand out? Will the bridal bouquet be used as part of the reception or will it be swapped out for a stand-in that will be tossed at the end of the night? How will it photograph in pictures and will they maintain their shape during the day?
It’s a lot to think about, but consider it a fun puzzle that makes the planning more interesting. Once it all comes together seamlessly, you’ll be glad you considered every last detail to fulfill the vision you have for your wedding day.
For more advice on wedding planning and selecting the perfect flowers for your special day, see our resources below: