No matter how stunning your gown may be, your wedding day look won't be complete without the perfect bouquet to complement it. To assist you in selecting the right set of blooms for your journey to the altar, we asked the experts in floral design to dish on the latest trends. What did we discover? There are two distinct styles for wedding bouquets, and each are heading down a completely different path. While many brides want their blooms to have a spare, elegant look, others are choosing to carry lush, romantic arrangements down the aisle. What's more, while round, clustered bouquets are still immensely popular, the long and cascading look is on the rise. For this must-have wedding day accessory, check out our roundup of the most chic bouquet styles and ideas.
1. Sought-After Blossoms
Today's hot bouquets fall into two categories. Many brides are going for the simplicity of a "monofloral" (all one flower) look. Monofloral bouquets coordinate quite well with contemporary or architectural gowns, so they're often composed of sleek, structured flowers like mini calla lilies or cattleya orchids. However, the most prominent trend is romantic bouquets filled with an assortment of fluttery flowers with lots of petals -- think peonies, ranunculuses, French tulips, and hydrangeas. Although it's not yet widely used, one contender for the next in-demand bloom is the Yves Piaget rose. It's a sumptuous flower that's a profusion of petals, tying in perfectly with the lush bouquet trend.
2. All Tied Up
Although the most au naturel brides (and, in particular, those seeking a single-flower style) likely prefer the look of exposed stems, the majority of today's bouquets come elegantly wrapped. To help modernize the look of classic ribbon-wrapped stems, florists layer ribbons in different colors or textures. Another popular approach is to personalize the bouquet. Wrap the stems with an heirloom handkerchief (perhaps one the bride's grandmother carried on her wedding day), adorn the bouquet with a locket bearing a photo of a deceased relative, or wrap the stems in a ribbon embroidered with your monogram or signature motif.
3. Hot Hues
White bouquets transcend wedding trends, but brides are using an increasingly popular version of this classic. It features multiple shades of white to create a gradational, textured look that's more soft and antique than modern and stark. Brides craving color are also opting to use many shades of a single hue, such as mixing pale pink peonies and hot pink ranunculuses with other flowers that reflect the pinks for a richer look. For those who like this look but want something more striking than white, today's stylish all-red bouquets mix shades of burgundy and near-black with slightly brighter crimson blooms.
4. A Modernized Cascade
Round bouquets still rule. The clean shape keeps the focus on the dress, and brides are wary of the dated '80s look of a larger bouquet. That said, some creative brides are choosing bouquets that cascade slightly down the front with an "upside-down teardrop" shape. The bit of movement created by this detail adds a touch of drama that feels thoroughly up-to-date.
5. Mixed Media
Today's bouquets often contain much more than flowers. For instance, florists add texture with greenery (such as fuzzy lamb's ear) and create contrast with striped leaves (such as aspidistra and hosta). Innovative brides are asking for nonfloral elements like feathers, berries, Swarovski crystals, and even mini branches or pieces of wood. Succulents are also becoming more prevalent. One prized type is echivera, which is shaped like a flower and comes in gray, green, and aubergine. The purple-toned variety looks striking with purple-tipped calla lilies, and those with a red or orange tinge work well with orange ranunculuses and reddish-orange freesias.
6. Special Effects
Weddings are made memorable through elements like exotic locations and designer stationery, so why skimp on the bouquet? If you want a cutting-edge effect that makes a striking floral style statement, explore this growing trend: entire bouquets expertly designed to give the appearance of being a single flower. By wiring individual flower petals together, florists create what appears to be one super-sized bloom (think white rose petals arranged in the shape of a huge white rose). Guests will remember it long after the ceremony is over.