I will be the first to admit that I am no flower expert! But flowers are something I've come to appreciate and love at weddings! Flowers often get overlooked by guests because the venue, food, and bride's dress kind of take center stage for them. However, I've found that flowers often take center stage in photos. The flowers help set the tone for the photos. The bride's bouquet is used when documenting the bridal details. The bouquet is present during all the family formals, bridal party portraits, and even most of the couples photos! They are everywhere and can really set the tone for how the image comes across to the viewer! Are they more traditional? Whimsical? A cross between the two? It's amazing how much they "say" in a photo!
Because of the crucial role florals (especially the bride's bouquet) play in wedding photography, I wanted to briefly talk about a few of the most common and my favorite bouquets! There are so many options, please be sure to do your research and talk to your florist! Here and here are two resources I used for this post.
The Posy Bouquet
This bouquet is very traditional. It is usually a round bouquet of one or two types of flowers. It is generally small enough to carry with one hand and is tightly wrapped at the bottom with a ribbon and pinned together.
Just like with all bouquet types as you'll see throughout this post, there is lots of variety. These two bouquets above carry many traditional aspects of a posy bouquet, but bring more variety adding several different types of flowers as well as adding a small amount of greenery.
This bouquet from Christian & Kim's wedding was one of my favorites! It was a beautiful cross between flowers and succulents in the traditional round, posy shape.
The Nosegay Bouquet
The Nosegay is similar to the posy, but places more emphasis on greenery. This type of bouquet is often used for bridesmaids as a way to reduce the cost of overall flowers.
These nosegay bouquets have white flowers and lots of greenery, but also add the additional element of cotton making them fun and different! Perfect for an outdoor, fall wedding.
Now, I kind of inferred this on my own (again I am no expert!) but I've seen lots of crosses between the posy (round with lots of flowers) and the nosegay (more emphasis on greenery). I, personally, love this trend because I think adding greenery and other elements like berries and succulents make for such unique bouquets!
The Cascading Bouquet
A cascading bouquet is generally similar to the posy except it is larger and the flowers "cascade" off to the side. This style can make the bouquet look quite large and lushious and can look different depending on the types of flowers and greenery you add. As shown above one bouquet is more colorful containing a variety of flowers in different shapes while the other consists of two types of flower and lots of greenery.
The hand-tied bouquet
Now, I will admit that the hand-tied bouquet is my favorite. I LOVE their look because they appear more natural and "fresh-picked." Hand-tied bouquets are looser and include a variety of flowers, greenery, and additional elements. These bouquets look a little more whimsical and organic.
Hand-tied bouquets give the bride lots of choices. There are so many different "looks" to choose from. You could go with a more whimsical look like above with Rachel's locally grown wildflower bouquet. Or you could go with the bouquet on the right which uses more traditional flowers loosely tied together with a simple cream ribbon. I love how both of these bouquets look a little less polished than the posy.
Now, I understand that when talking about wedding florals, a major factor is cost. Flowers can be very expensive and I completely understand wedding budgeting! But remember that flowers are an art form from the growth to the arrangement and are hard work for florists. So when deciding where to budget your money for your wedding, choose to spend it on the things you LOVE. If having a beautiful bouquet is high on your priority list, then work it in your budget! I'll try to help with a few tips on how to have the bouquet you've always dreamed of while still cutting some costs.
Typically when you think of hand-tied bouquets, you think of one large bridal bouquet. That is absolutely an option! But if you'd like to spread the budget out a little more, you can create a smaller bouquet for yourself and then some even smaller ones for your maids carry one as well! This way everyone has a nice, natural looking bouquet if that is a priority!
However, it is not true that the bridesmaids need to have the same (but smaller) bouquet as the bride! Bridesmaids bouquets are photographed less frequently than the bride's so if budgeting is a concern, cut the cost there! These bridesmaids sported simple white hydrangeas while the bride has a fuller, more colorful bouquet.
Another budget saving tip is to think outside the normal bouquet box. Don't dismiss wildflowers! I love these simple, but colorful wildflower bouquets. They have a different shape and add a rustic feel to the wedding photos without breaking the bank!
As I stated earlier in this post, choosing nosegay bouquets for the bridesmaids is one way to reduce cost as well as reducing the number and variety of flowers. But there is one more sneaky way to cut costs of bridesmaids bouquets... go with faux ones! I'm serious! Can you tell that the bridesmaids bouquets above are fake?!?!! Not at all! It's such a smart way to really reduce your cost while still allowing the bride to have a beautiful bouquet that is full and lush like Abbi's peonie bouquet!
As a photographer, it's been so interesting to see the variety of florals and how much of an impact they have in photos! Because of budgeting, I was a bride who chose not to have real flowers at my wedding. And while the images are still beautiful, you can definitely see the impact that having a faux bridal bouquet had on my portraits. If I could do it over, I would spend the extra $30-40 on fresh flowers to diy a bouquet for me and kept the bridesmaids bouquets simple and faux. But you live and learn! So I wanted to offer my advice and share one of the very few things I would change about my own wedding!
Again, I want to emphasis that this is NOT a complete list. There are many other types of bouquets and unique ways to use flowers at your wedding! I encourage all my clients to talk with their florist and to spend money on what you love! So if having a beautiful bouquet is one of your "must-have's", it is possible! You won't regret having the bouquet of your dreams. :)