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Flower Power

The Bride's Flower How-to Guide

LDS Living Staff - April 07, 2008

If you're planning a wedding this spring, you've probably got flowers on the brain, along with a few other things. So here's a guide to help you choose what kind of flowers you'll have and who'll wear them.

Every bride knows how essential flowers are to her wedding. The trick is knowing how to choose flowers that will create the look and feel you would like your wedding to portray. Here are some helpful tips for choosing the perfect flowers.

Flowers Should Accent the Bride

Your choice of flower color and type depend particularly on your gown and you. The bridal bouquet is an important feature of your wedding, but as important as it is, be careful to select one that does not take the focus away from you. Your frame and size will determine how big your bouquet is and what type of bouquet you select.

Standard bouquet styles are called nosegay, hand-tied, and cascade. *Nosegay bouquets* are round clusters of flowers. These are very popular and can vary in tone of formality depending upon the flowers used. The stems are usually mounted in a small metal or glass cone-shaped holder. *Hand-tied bouquets* are generally round, and are also called clutch bouquets. This is a simple gathering of flowers bound at the stems with a ribbon, with the stems left exposed. *Cascade bouquets* have a main portion of the bouquet with flowers that flow downward. These are popular in formal and traditional wedding settings.

When you select your bouquet, consider its size and how long you will be holding it. Some larger bouquets, like cascade bouquets, require both hands to hold their weight. Smaller bouquets like hand-tied will not be as difficult to hold, and will not be as heavy.


Real or Silk Flowers?

A big debate you may face is whether to use real or silk flowers in your wedding, and honestly, the decision is not any easy one. There are many factors that can effect your decision, so here are some of the pros and cons of each.

Silk flowers are generally cheaper. But because the quality of silk flowers has greatly improved over time, prices have risen as a result. There are other advantages besides price. For example, you are not limited by season in your selection of flowers. Also, they won't wilt, they are sturdy, and they can be stored for use at another reception or as a memento. The advantages seem nice, but you have to realize there are disadvantages as well.

The most realistic silk flowers can be just as expensive, if not more, than real flower arrangements. Silk flowers can look real from far away, but do not look as nice in close- up photographs. This is because the flash from a camera usually causes the light to reflect off of the synthetic flower surface, which is not what real flowers would do. If you are set on using a flower that is out of season and will cost you a fortune to incorporate in your floral arrangements, you can mix your real flowers with some artificial ones.

Who Wears What?

Now that you're beyond the selection of the most important floral features, you need to decide who else in the wedding party will need flowers.

For the Men

Traditionally, boutonnieres are prepared for the groom, groomsmen, fathers, and grandfathers. If you would like to make your reception more formal, consider having boutonnieres for all servers, musicians, ushers, etc. Boutonnieres are usually one flower, worn on the left jacket lapel on the outside of the buttonhole.

For the Women

Corsages are worn by mothers and grandmothers. You can choose corsages that are pinned on, or there is an alternative that is worn on the wrist. For formal weddings, flowers are also given to the maid of honor and bridesmaids, usually in the form of bouquets. The maid of honor's bouquet is the largest with flowers that reflect the bride's. Bridesmaid's bouquets are smaller versions of the maid of honor's and are all identical.

Centerpieces

Flowers help create ambiance during the reception, and usually there are centerpieces on each table. Whether you are providing your own flowers or the reception center is providing them, be sure to choose a centerpiece that matches the style and theme of your wedding and reflects the style of the bridal bouquet. A few considerations--make sure the centerpieces are not so large that people don't have enough room to eat their food. Also, don't choose centerpieces that are so tall that people can't see the person across from them. In addition to dining tables, a larger centerpiece is often placed at the buffet table, as well as the guest book-signing table.

© LDS Living Magazine, Mar/Apr Issue
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