The 12 Best Types of Wedding Bouquets: A Complete Guide for Brides

Which style of bridal bouquet is right for your big day?

Your dress may be the first thing people will notice about you on your big day, but your wedding bouquet is by far the most important accessory for your nuptials. Not only does it lend a hint of romance to your ceremony, the right bouquet completes your overall look.

Choosing a wedding bouquet is no easy feat, however. From shape and size to bloom and color, there’s a lot to consider.

Whether you’ve spent hours on Pinterest pouring over pictures of bridal bouquets and have a good idea of what you want or you’re desperately in need of inspiration, our guide can help ensure you choose the right bouquet for your wedding day.

Photo by Jackie Fox

The History of the Bridal Bouquet

Before we delve into the 12 most popular styles of wedding bouquets, let’s look briefly at how the tradition of carrying wedding flowers began. 

Wedding bouquets date back to ancient times when a mixture of flowers and pungent-smelling herbs were carried to ward off bad luck and evil spirits. It was also a way of masking the bride’s body odor. Back in the 14th and 15th centuries, for example, bathing was less frequent and wedding flowers helped hide any unpleasant smells.

Types of Wedding Bouquets

While today’s brides simply carry bouquets as a beautiful accessory, the key for every bride is to choose a bouquet that is comfortable to carry that will also enhance her overall look.

Before speaking to your florist, it’s a good idea to know what style of bouquet you favor. That’s where we come in. If you haven’t done much research on wedding bouquets, it may come as a surprise how many different options are available to you. 

Here are the 12 most popular bouquet styles chosen by brides today:

1. The Cascade Bouquet

Cascade bouquets are a great choice for anyone who loves a bit of drama. This elegant and showy style offers a waterfall of flowers for a flowing effect. 

Popular with modern brides, the sky really is the limit with this style of bridal bouquet. From trailing greenery to long-stemmed flowers like calla lilies cascading out of the arrangement, this type of bouquet is quite lavish, making it a perfect compliment for a wedding dress with little embellishment. 

If you do choose a cascade bouquet, make sure you’re prepared for its weight — cascade bouquets tend to be heavier than most other styles. While this type of arrangement is traditionally for the bride due to the size and price, there’s no reason your bridesmaids can’t carry smaller versions if this is the wedding bouquet you favor.

2. The Round Bouquet

Round bouquets are perfect for any woman who wants a simple yet elegant arrangement for her walk down the aisle. These dome shaped wedding bouquets are typically crafted using flowers that are round in shape such as peonies. Roses are another popular choice. 

While many brides opt for only one hue, you can also choose complementary colors or add visual interest with some small filler flowers or greenery. A monochromatic round bouquet is an ideal accessory for a sleek, modern wedding dress while multi-hued round bouquets look amazing with a romantic ball gown or a traditional a-line style dress. 

No matter what blooms you choose, round bouquets are a lovely choice for virtually any bride.

3. The Hand-Tied Bouquet

Perfect for casual, country, bohemian or garden weddings, hand-tied bouquets offer a very natural, simple look. A hand-tied bouquet, essentially, is a bunch of flowers that is tied together using ribbon, twine or another material of your choice. 

Offering a fresh from the garden hand-picked look, hand-tied bouquets can be made with virtually any type of flowers and greenery from lilies to daisies. Hand-tied bouquets are easy to carry both because they are not overly large and because the stems are easy to grasp and are one of the best styles for outdoor nuptials.

4. The Posy Bouquet

Similar to hand-tied bouquets, posy bouquets are bound together by the stems. Unlike hand-tied bouquets, however, posy bouquets use a lot more ribbon, binding all or most of the flowers’ stems. 

They also do not include any greenery and usually boast a rounded shape. Dahlias, garden roses, lilacs and lilies work well for posy bouquets as do peonies, tulips and zinnias. One of the smaller bridal bouquets,  the posy bouquet is a classic choice that is easy to carry.

5. The Pomander Bouquet

Ideal for flower girls, the pomander bouquet is a ball of flowers that includes a ribbon handle at the top for carrying. More unique than the traditional basket of flowers that flower girls traditionally carry, lovely, round pomander bouquets are easy for small hands to hold and can even be carried in one hand. 

While pomander bouquets are not typically used for brides, there’s no reason you can’t carry a larger version of this spherical arrangement. Traditionally made of one type of flower, modern versions of the pomander bouquet incorporate a lot of color and can include a variety of blooms.

6. The Nosegay Bouquet

Nosegay bouquets are round bouquets between 16 and 18 inches in diameter, consisting of tightly arranged round flowers and lots of greenery.  

Nosegays, which are wired or tied together, can be accented with ribbon. They are perfect for a bridesmaid’s bouquet and can even work well for an older flower girl and are a charming choice for everything from garden to rustic weddings. The smallest of all the bridal bouquets, this option tends to be one of the most cost-effective.

7. The Composite Bouquet

If you enjoy a retro look, composite bouquets are worth considering. Made to look like one large bloom, a composite bouquet is actually designed using individual petals. 

Typically made from roses, one whole flower is used at the center and then individual petals are shaped and secured around it to give the appearance of one large, lovely flower. Usually round in shape, composite bouquets are perfect for any bride who wants to combine drama with vintage charm.

8. The Crescent Bouquet

One of the more unique arrangements, the crescent wedding bouquet mimics the lines of a crescent moon, with both sides curving gently downward. 

This style can be primarily a flower bouquet or it can incorporate cascading vines and greenery. This natural looking floral arrangement is similar to a cascade bouquet but it trails gently on both sides instead of from the center or only one side and is one of the best styles for formal weddings.

9. The Asymmetrical Bouquet

Also similar to a cascade bouquet, an asymmetrical arrangement is a growing trend among modern brides. The asymmetrical bouquet doesn’t look the same on both sides. One side is always higher than the other and may boast an accent flower that the other side does not. 

Much like the hand-tied bouquet, an asymmetrical bouquet mixes flowers and greenery allowing for a very creative and colorful bouquet. You can choose virtually any type of flower from orchids to roses to zinnias.

10. The Single Stem Bouquet

The simplest of all wedding bouquets, single stems are a simple yet striking option for bridesmaids and flower girls. Some brides are opting for a single-stem bouquet as well.

Long-stemmed flowers such as dahlias, hydrangeas, magnolias, peonies, proteas, roses and sunflowers are ideal for this simple wedding bouquet. They are especially fitting for simple, outdoor weddings.

11. The Pageant Bouquet

This flower bouquet traditionally used at beauty pageants has since become a popular choice for weddings. Also known as presentation bouquets, pageant bouquets are cradled in the crook of one arm and are a lovely choice for your bridal party. 

These vintage-style arrangements can offer a retro look but can be made more modern depending on the blooms you choose. Calla lilies, for instance, can make this traditional bouquet look very fresh and up-to-date.

12. The Hoop Bouquet

A wonderful option for boho ceremonies, the hoop bouquet is also great for any bride on a tight budget. Composed of a round wooden or metal hoop, flowers and foliage are either hand-tied or wired to it for a casual bouquet for flower girls and bridesmaids alike. 

While cost will vary based on the flowers you choose, it can be a great way to keep your wedding bouquets budget-friendly.

5 Things to Remember When Choosing Your Bridal Bouquet

Now that you know your wedding bouquet options, how do you know which one is right for you? Here are five things to keep in mind when choosing your bridal bouquet.

1. Your Budget

Your budget will likely be the largest deciding factor in the bridal bouquets you choose. While cascade, crescent and asymmetrical bouquets can be pricey due to their size, smaller arrangements can also be costly. 

As a rule of thumb, the average bridal bouquet costs between $100 and $350 while bridesmaid flower arrangements are usually between $65 and $125.

The key to keeping your bouquet budget under control is by choosing less expensive flowers. Some of the cheaper floral options include baby’s breath, carnations, chrysanthemums, daisies, freesia, roses and sunflowers. Choosing larger flowers like hydrangeas can also be a cost-effective option. Due to their size, fewer of them are needed to achieve the same effect.

2. The Season

The season in which you choose to say “I do” will dictate the flowers you can choose for your bouquets. At least it should. Choosing flowers that are in season can really help to keep costs down. 

If you’re getting married in the winter for instance, choosing in-season wedding flowers such as amaryllis will be much cheaper than asking for summer blooms like snapdragons.

Here’s a quick look at which flowers match up with the four wedding seasons:

Winter

The best flowers for winter weddings include: Amaryllis, anemones, camellias, holly, jasmine, narcissus, poinsettias, star of Bethlehem, sweet peas and wax flowers.

Spring

Ideal floral choices for spring nuptials include: Daffodils, forsythia, foxglove, freesia, hyacinth, lilac, lily of the valley, peony, ranunculus, stargazer lily, tulips, viburnum and wisteria.

Summer

There are a lot of options during the summer months, but some of the most popular are: Cosmos, cornflowers, daisies, delphiniums, hydrangeas, irises, lilies, peonies, snapdragons, sunflowers and zinnias.

Fall 

What could be better than autumn colors as the backdrop for your wedding day? Complimentary flower choices for fall are: Aster, chrysanthemums, dianthus, helenium, lobelia, marigolds and sweet alyssum.

Year-Round Blooms

There are a few flowers that are available year-round. They are: baby’s breath, bachelor’s button, calla lilies, carnations, gardenias, gladiolus, lily of the valley, orchids, protea, roses and scabiosa.

3. Your Dress

Your dress should always be the springboard for the design of your bridal bouquet. It’s a good idea to bring a picture of your wedding dress to the first bouquet consultation. This will enable your florist to suggest a style and shape that will work well with your dress.

Even if you know what type of bouquet you want, your florist can offer suggestions on how to tweak the style to best suit your wedding gown.

4. Your Stature

Your height and build should definitely be a factor when choosing a bridal bouquet. As a rule of thumb, your bouquet should compliment your size. Petite brides can be dwarfed by large bouquets, but look stunning with smaller arrangements while tall or statuesque women are often complimented by a more substantial spray. 

To ensure your bouquet is the right size, ask your florist if he or she has samples you can try carrying. Your wedding bouquet should never be awkward to hold. If you’re hunching your shoulders or are standing awkwardly to accommodate the blooms, then you need to consider a different bouquet style or size.

5. Your Wedding Theme

If you’re hosting a black-tie affair, more elaborate floral arrangements like cascade bouquets will suit your wedding day well while a composite bouquet is well-suited to a retro-themed wedding. Be sure to discuss your wedding theme with your florist so he or she can match your bouquet style, flower choices and colors with the theme you’ve chosen.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know the types of wedding bouquets you have to pick from, you can go to your first florist consultation with confidence. Whether you opt for a round bouquet, cascade arrangement, a pomander bouquet or even a single flower, matching your floral choices to your budget, dress and overall wedding theme will ensure you’re looking your best without breaking the bank.

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