There are several key steps to planning out a bridal look: the dress, the shoes, the veil, the accessories and of course, the bouquet. But while the floral arrangement might seem like something that can be picked out in any flower shop on the day of the wedding, it is actually a much more intricate story than that, and brides usually take their time to find the perfect one. But how do you judge a bouquet, and what are the ways they differ between each other?

Step one: the shape

The first and most obvious thing is to see what kind of shape you want your bouquet to be. Posy is the name for a small, round, symmetrical bouquet, considered the classic bridal accessory. It looks good from any angle and will fit most dress styles, especially if you don’t want to conceal the waist. The glamelia is an extremely interesting one, made with hundreds of individual petals secured together to create one very large flower that you cannot find anywhere in nature. The cascade is an elegant arrangement that, as the name says, falls down like a waterfall from the bride’s hands. It is quite a statement piece, and depending on the size, might cover your mid-section, so don’t go too flashy with a belt. One of the most popular choices for brides in recent years, a group of flowers seemingly randomly picked out and tied with some ribbon to create a freshly picked look that is perfect for a nature theme, or any boho bride.

Step two: the flower

Choosing a flower comes down to three main components: sentimental value, look and season. Firstly, if you want to have the same flowers as your mother did when she walked down the aisle, or if you want to pay homage to your childhood home that had a garden full of hydrangeas, then you should go for those choices. Otherwise, pick one of beautiful nature’s gifts: roses are very classy, and you can easily make the bouquet feel fresh by playing with different colors. Wild flowers are ideal for hand-tied, wild bouquets, because you shouldn’t try to tame nature’s beauty. Tulips are a popular choice, and their stems elongate the body, but you should be careful, since their slightly awkward shape might not look great from all angles. The Ranunculus is a beautiful flower family with huge blooms, allowing you to make an elegant bouquet out of just a single flower. But nothing in nature blooms all year around, so if you are set on a flower, then make sure the season is right. Alternatively, you can incorporate some gorgeous artificial flowers to create a dream bouquet or change the type of flower to something more seasonal.

Step three: the overall look

When you have your bouquet in mind – or in hand – it’s time to see how well it goes with the rest of your outfit. If you have a statement piece already – be it a dress or an accessory – you don’t want the bouquet competing for attention. In that case, opt for a smaller, classic and more modest arrangement to let the statement piece shine. But if your dress is simple and elegant and you don’t have too much jewelry, then you need the right bouquet to make the entire outfit pop. Go for bold colors, shapes and something that will really make you the center of attention. Just be careful not to overdo it, because you don’t want your bouquet to outshine your face.

Step four: the alternative

The best part about this being your wedding – besides getting married to your favorite person – is that you make the rules. And a bouquet doesn’t have to be a bouquet. You can carry a small woven basket of flowers or wear a floral necklace so your hands are free. You can switch the flowers for cupcakes, or origami flowers with your favorite quotes and poems printed out on them, hand fans, balloons, or even a little purse with memorabilia. Alternative bouquets have been around for a while, and have absolutely blown up in the past few years, so there is plenty of inspiration to look at.

Being a bride is hard work, and it can be very stressful. But if you learn to enjoy the process, have fun along the way and not take yourself too seriously, you will get to the essence of what wedding planning is all about: having fun imagining a very special day with your partner.

Many thanks to Georgia Selih for this article.

lifestyle blogger @highstylife.com

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