Wedding flowers are an integral, or - dare we say it - an essential part of a wedding. And whilst guests are largely unaware of the obscene amount of flowers and greens used to shape the ambience and the behind-the-scenes effort put into creating such a magnificent but humble effect, all in all, the use of flowers are absolutely prime.
Having said that, one bouquet that does take centrestage and all guests do in fact take note of is the all-important bridal bouquet – the one she takes down the aisle.
When all eyes are on the bride, we’re sure any bride would want her bouquet – alongside the gown, the shoes and the veil – to be perfect. To assist our readers in choosing an ideal bouquet, we give you tips on how to create the perfect bridal bouquet with the help of the city’s top florists.
Trends in Bridal Bouquets
Bouquets above by Gary Kwok
Simplicity is Key
Ten years ago, a bridal bouquet was commonly a full bouquet of flowers. However, recently we have detected a change of heart from the brides and we’re seeing simplicity make a comeback.
Gary Kwok, the woman behind some of the greatest floral arrangements seen in Hong Kong, reveals, “In the past, wedding bouquets were quite large in size, and was mixed with a variety of flowers and greenery”. But the trend now, she continues “is to have one easy-to-carry with only a few flowers and with less or even no greenery”.
We advice our readers to take away all the wrapping including the plastic, tissue paper, ribbons and lining paper, go minimalistic with a simple yet elegant hand-tied French knot.
We share the top wedding dress trends here.
View of the Bouquet
To the bride, the bouquet is often viewed as a reflection of herself in the public eye. Take for example Kate Middleton who was keen on an understated wedding. Her bouquet, like her McQueen dress, was simple and unpretentious; her bouquet made by florist Shane Connolly consisted of lily-of-the-valley, hyacinth, ivy, myrtle and sweet william.
Flamboyant Hong Kong florist Solomon Bloemen explains, “Brides are now very sophisticated and they see flowers as a reflection of their character and taste, rather than a disposable part of their wedding”.
How to choose a bouquet that suits you
Brides should consider their height and figure when picking out a bouquet that best suits them. Janice Chan from agnès b. Fleuriste recommends, “For those who are tall, they can consider a bridal bouquet that is long and cascading in shape, whereas brides who aren’t as tall are best suited with bouquets that are simple and round-shaped”.
Also, another factor to consider is the style of your dress, after all the bouquet is meant to complement the dress and you don’t want the bouquet to overwhelm the dress. A good general rule of hand is to decide on your bridal bouquet based upon the tailoring of your dress. So if your dress is cropped, short and body-hugging, the bouquet should also be tight, clean and concise. Bloemen reiterates this sentiment, “Usually a more structured dress will look good with bouquets with a more defined shape”.
Flowers to Consider
According to Kwok, the most sought after flowers for a wedding bouquet are peony, calla lily and rannunculus. Peonies blossom to the size of your hand span and is defined by its soft delicate round petals; calla lilies on the other hand are typically clean white or green flowers with a thick petal twisted in a cone shape; and rannunculus’ come in over 600 varieties but the ones used in bridal bouquets look like a cross between poppies and roses, to make for a very sweet and elegant bouquet.
Again, depending on the theme of the wedding and of course, the taste of the bride, Bloemen has noticed a general trend: “vintage-themed bouquets use a lot of ‘old world’ flowers such as garden roses and sweet peas, whereas orchids and calla lilies are widely used by modern brides. For those who want to be different, new breeds of hydrangea, poppies and flower seedheads are becoming very popular”.
Read our guide on how to be a good wedding etiquette here.
However, when considering which flowers would best suit a bouquet, it is also important to consider the weather and season to when the wedding is taking place. “Not all flowers are available throughout the year”, explains Chan. Peonies for one, are only available in May, June, October and November.
It is also important to take note of the characteristics of specific flowers, take for example lilies, which take a long time to grow but once they open (at its prime), only stay open for a few hours.
Colour of the Bouquet
Generally, Gary Kwok reveals that the colour combinations of white and green, pastel pink and pastel purple are the three most popular bridal bouquet tones in Hong Kong. To choose which tone best suits the bride, the wedding gown, theme of the wedding and the season should be considered.
To play it safe or if lost for choice, white and green is a good pick as it is versatile, and whilst the neutral colours will match with just about any gown and theme, this colour palette always finds a way to stand out with subdued modesty.