By Tracey Coveart
Nothing says beauty, elegance and enduring love like flowers - and floral arrangements are one of the most important considerations (up to 10 per cent of the overall budget) when planning a wedding. From the bride's bouquet to the decoration of church and reception hall, anything goes these days: colourful blooms, mix-and-matching - even monochromatic designs that feature a single flower.
There are four popular bouquet styles that brides can choose from and each one can be personalized to set the mood and create the colour palette for the wedding:
Nosegay This round cluster of flowers, also called a tussie mussie, dates back to the 14th century when it was used to overpower unpleasant odours. (Hence the name.) It can be created with a simple or sophisticated look.
Cascade The hallmark of this dramatic bouquet is its elegant waterfall effect, which makes it perfect for more formal and traditional weddings.
Hand-tied With their unstructured and natural 'gathered' appearance - long stems wrapped in ribbon or French braided together - these bouquets are lovely for garden weddings and casual nuptials.
Contemporary Inspired by unconventional ideas and following patterns and styles with no specific geometric form, these simple and asymmetrical bouquets represent the individuality of the bride and work very well for sophisticated, cosmopolitan weddings.
Beyond the Bouquet
There are many creative ways to use flowers beyond the traditional bouquets, corsages and table decorations. Flowers can say 'welcome' to out-of-town guests and 'thank you' to people who have made the day extra-special.
And don't forget to recycle. Send a reveller home with the table decoration, or have the florist fashion centrepieces with four or five separate flower clusters that can be divided among tablemates. Use the bridesmaids' bouquets to decorate a buffet table or surround the wedding cake, or have the throw-away bouquet double as the cake top.
Dare to be Different
Because wedding flowers tend to follow fashion trends - and individuality, rather than conformity, is in - modern brides are not afraid to use striking colours and contrasting designs to express themselves. Bridesmaids carry unmatched bouquets; bold and powerful arrangements replace the romantic. And don't forget your veggies! Arrangements with fruit, herb, vegetable and decorative grass accents are all the rage.
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