History of Bridal Bouquets and Styles

16 May

The History: The custom of bouquets has its origin in ancient times. Women carried aromatic bunches of garlic, herbs and spices to ward off evil spirits. 

In ancient Greece and Rome, the bride and groom wore a garland around their necks, symbolizing new life, hope and fertility. Traditional Celtic bouquets included ivy, thistle and heather. The garland was not made of flowers but of strong-smelling herbs and spices. The strong-smells were thought to have mystical powers and meant to keep away evil spirits. 

When Queen Victoria married Prince Albert, the herbs and spices had been replaced by fresh flowers, especially marigolds. Edible flowers were still included in the bouquet. The bride would carry her arrangement as she walked down the aisle. The dill from the bride’s bouquet (also known as the herb of lust), was consumed by the bride, the groom, and their wedding guests during the reception, as the herb was meant to increase sexual desire. 

In Victorian times, flowers became the secret messengers of lovers; each flower having its own meaning. It is believed that ‘the flower language’ began in Turkey during the seventeenth century. Lovers began using floral exchanges to convey messages. Thus bridal flowers were chosen with regard to their traditional significance. 

Unfortunately many lovely flowers were assigned rather undeserved meanings. For many brides, these meanings continue to influence the types of flowers they included in their bouquets. These meanings were based on a science known as Florigraphy, ‘the flower language’. Many flower lovers followed this language as it revealed underlying messages to sending and receiving flowers. 

However in our modern times, brides pick their flowers on their lovely colours and shapes. Lovely blooms that suit their personality, bridal gown and their own unique style and taste. Here are a Few examples of the different Styles, the important thing to remember with your Bridal bouquet is that you do not have to pick one style. For example you can have a “Hand Tied” “Free Form” “Cascade”…. each one is considered a different type of bouquet but when you put them all together you have a bouquet that is as unique as you are! 



A nosegay bouquet is round in shape. But, compared to the round, the nosegay has less flowers and more greenery. The flowers for this bridal bouquet type is usually round in shape and equal in size. 


A posy is also a round bouquet. The stems may be removed and wired or left as it is. Posy bouquets with stems kept are called the ‘natural stem posy bouquet’.  





 The shape of the beidermeier is also round. The beidermerier is quite unique because flowers of the same type is arranged in a circular pattern. Each ring will represent one type of flower.  It can have as many rings as you would like and can even include  non traditional elements like Nuts, Acorns, Berries, or Jewels.

Crescent/ Cascade

A crescent bouquet can be symmetrical or assymmetrical. As the name suggests, the left and right side of the bouquet is seen to be flowing down. A symmetrical crescent bouquet has flowers and greenery arched at same lengths on both sides. Whereas the assymmetrical, has one side longer. Wedding gowns with a big and wide skirt are suitable with this type of bouquet. And if you carry it just below the waist, the beauty of the bouquet will stand out better.

Freeform / Contemporary

A freeform bouquet does not have a specific or defined shape. In fact, most freeform bouquets have foliage coming out of the bouquet. Tropical flowers are usually used for this type of wedding bouquet. This is a Style that can easily be combined with others to make a more unique look for your bridal bouquet. Often the more unconventional items are used in this style such as Curly Willow Branches, or Tropical Grasses and Foilage, Nuts, Fruits, Berries even things like Moss, and Natural Birds Nest or Mushrooms.  


A composite bouquet is made of petals wired or glued together to form a single large bloom with a ribbon tied to it. This bouquet is very simple but not so popular these days.  The best types of Flowers to use for this style of bouquet are Lillies, Roses, Orchids and some Tropical Flowers. 







Instead of carrying a bridal bouquet, you can also carry a pomander. A pomander is a ball of flowers carried by a ribbon attach to it.  Often these Bouquets are made up of  Mums, Orchids, Spray Roses, Roses or Gerbera Daisies.  


The teardrop bouquet is the sister of the cascade bouquet. While the cascade bouquet has a natural flow, the teardrop bouquet is more stiff. This bouquet is roundish at the top but pointy at the bottom.   Often this type of bouquet is created in a foam form in order to get the rigid and exact placement more defined. This is more of a traditional and dated style, the more modern version of this bouquet is the cascade or cresent bouquet.



 The hand tied bouquet is extremely popular with modern brides and has a natural feel and is unique because it has the ability to use almost any flower that will stay pretty out of water.  Some flowers to stay away from are Pansies, Daffodils, and Stephanotis.

This style has unlimited possibilities. Some of the charm in this bouquet is that it is alway created with the natural stems showing using Ribbons to hold the flowers together. This also allows for an area to personalize the bouquet by adding antique brooches or family heirlooms to the bouquet.


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