Get a load of you! You’ve found the perfect dress, veil and shoes. But there is one more accessory you need to choose: a magnificent bridal bouquet.

Your bouquet will depend on your wedding gown choice. So bring a swatch of fabric and a picture of you in the dress to your florist. Why? Because your bouquet should complement your gown, not compete with it. An elaborate gown might look best with a simple bouquet; and a simple dress may need a more elaborate bouquet, with lots of bling and ribbons.

Bouquets can be made in numerous ways. The two basic types are a hand-tied bouquet and a wired bouquet. The wired bouquet is where all the flowers are cut from the stems, and wires are inserted into the flower and covered with stem tape. This type of bouquet can give you more shapes, and allow you to carry it easily. But it requires a lot of labor, so it will be more costly. I usually recommend wired bouquets for brides and hand tied for attendants. Some various styles are: loose nosegays; long, cascading bouquets; tight, rounded bouquets; arm sprays; and even pomanders. Each of these styles serves a purpose, and can work wonders, depending on your dress and the formality of the wedding.

Remember to hold your bouquet low. So many nervous brides pull their bouquet to their chests, making them look heavy. If you hold your bouquet slightly below your waistline so it sits low on the gown, it makes your waist look smaller. Who doesn’t want to look thinner and taller?

Best types of flowers to use depend on quite a few factors. Some flowers are very delicate and are absolute no-nos for pre-wedding pictures. Viburnum, lily of the valley, gardenias and hydrangea fall in this category. Roses, callas and very fresh peonies are somewhat sturdier; but no flower is going to endure more than an hour of pre-wedding pictures (even with cool weather). As a florist, I want to hand you the freshest, most exquisite bouquet right before you walk down the aisle, while photographers want your bouquet in your pictures, as it enhances them. I understand their stance; they know you’ll have your pictures for a lifetime. But I believe the actual ceremony is the most important aspect, and that’s why I don’t want you or your attendants walking down the aisle with less-than-perfect blooms.

I will also try to talk you out of flowers like freesia and tulips for your bouquet, as they are delicate and very unpredictable. If you’re set on early pictures and still want that perfect bouquet for the ceremony, you will have to ask your florist to make you two bouquets. The one good thing about this is that you can use the one bouquet for the bouquet toss and are able to save (at least for a while) your bridal bouquet.

The peony is probably the most requested wedding flower right now. That means that because of their somewhat short season and demand, they definitely will be pricey. The good news is, a high petal count on this lavish bloom means you will not need as many. There are some cabbage roses now available that mimic peonies. And I think combining them would be tremendous, and give you that lush, full look that is so fresh right now.

So, just like spring, wedding season is right around the corner. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for both!

Here comes the bride!

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