Wedding bouquets are almost as problematic as wedding dresses. On the one hand I consider flowers to be absolutely essential to a wedding. Nothing says "two people are about to try to spend the rest of their lives together" like a peony. Well, maybe not. But flowers are beautiful and natural and romantic and (often) colorful, all qualities we want to emphasize at a wedding. And yet I rarely see a wedding bouquet I really like. Usually they are too fussy or too unoriginal, but here are some that fall in the golden category between:
I often find myself favoring all-white bouquets for a wedding and monochromatic flower arrangements more generally. This bouquet has a casual sweetness to it, and feels more like a simple gathering of flowers than a bouquet. The white flowers are interspersed with hints of yellow and green, and the bouquet is dressed with a yellow and white ribbon (a favorite Martha Stewart Weddings trick). The cheerfulness of yellow and white makes it one of my favorite color schemes for a wedding.
Another color scheme I'm often drawn to for weddings is light green with pale pink, although I'm not sure any wedding needs to become more feminine by decking itself out in pink. More generally these bouquets are agreeable because their simple forms are enlivened by subtle variations in color and texture. This shot also shows how flowers for the bride, bridesmaids, mothers, and groomsmen can relate without being too matchy-matchy (notice that the boutonniere for the groomsmen is not pink!).
I'm not sure if hot pink is better or worse for a wedding, but I can't help loving the lush exuberance of this bouquet. A general agreement of color and texture creates an overwhelming impression. This shot reminds me that often my favorite wedding "bouquets" are just a few well-chosen extra-large flowers such as magnolias or peonies
My sister Jessica was married on the winter solstice near Anchorage, Alaska. Our mother brought armloads of herbs from her backyard and made beautiful bouquets that were heavy on the rosemary (often a symbol of remembrance--think Shakespeare's rue). But I also like this idea for a winter bouquet, a few flowers interspersed with glittery pine cones. I wound like it even more if they had cut out the mauve roses and stuck with the delicate paper whites. How ethereal!
Flowers can almost always benefit from being paired with non-flowers in a bouquet. This one combines various succulents with orchids, rannuculus, and deep purple tulips. It calls to mind a desert at dusk or the sophisticated drama of Georgia O'Keeffe.
Here the non-floral elements take over in a bouquet that celebrates the beauty of foliage. I often feel that so called "fillers" really make the best arrangements, and I love all-green bouquets. This one combines green with our old color favorites yellow and white.
But my favorite bouquet of all time is this one of roses and Chinese paper lanterns. The entire bouquet echoes the form of the ornamental seed pod, which further anchor the arrangement by providing its darkest accent color of burnt orange. Lighter orange and white roses make it a truly bridal cascade. This bouquet would coincidentally look fantastic with my fantasy wedding dress from the Sound of Music, and of course both would be perfect for a fall wedding. Who says bridesmaids can't wear orange?