How to Hold Your Wedding Bouquet

by Jennifer Cram - Brisbane Marriage Celebrant © (29/10/2021)
Categories: | Wedding Ceremony | Wedding Dresses|
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Bride holding wedding bouquetWhen the nerves kick in, the flowers go north! That's a fact. And that means that your guests (and your best beloved) will miss out seeing the detail of you dress, and maybe part of your face.

Turns out that there is a right way to hold a bouquet, and an infinite number of other ways you can do that. Just give a bunch of anything to a small child and sit back and watch the (sometimes) hilarious variations they come up with.

Carry your bouquet the right way, and your photos will be fantastic.0

Types of bouquet

The most popular style of bouquet is the round(is), posy. It can be big or small, but the common feature is that the stems are bound together to make one big stem for you to hold. The instructions below are for this style of bouquet.

Other styles of bouquet are the teardrop and the sheath. A tear drop bouquet usually has a handle concealed behind the flowers. Apart from holding the handle, rather than the stems, the advice below holds good. A sheath bouquet, aka as a long-stemmed bouquet, is a whole other deal, but in many ways simpler to deal with. It is long, so you hold it in the crook of your arm in much the same way you would cradle a baby. Flowers hanging over on the outside of your elbow, stems lying down the length of your inner forearm, with your hand controlling, steadying, and hanging onto the stems.

The trick is knowing where your belly button is

The main thing you want to avoid is having your flowers hide the detail on the bodice of your dress, or part of you face. Keep your hand in the vicinity of your belly button and the problem is solved. Making sure that everyone in your wedding party who is carrying a bouquet follows the same instruction will go a long way to ensuring that there is uniformity in your photos. Everyone carrying their flowers on the same level makes for a polished image.

How to hold a posy bouquet

  1. Pick up your bouquet with your hand somewhere between the middle of the stems and just under the flowers. You will feel when it is balanced in your hand. If someone is going to be walking you down the aisle, you'll have one hand free to put in the crook of their arm. If you are walking down the aisle on your own put the other hand over the top of the hand that's holding the bouquet. If your flowers have thick woody stems, the stem of your bouquet might be quite thick and it may be more comfortable to hold it with both hands side by side, fingertip to fingertip.
  2. Check that the greens are falling naturally, and, if you have floating ribbons attached, make sure they are cascading over your hand
  3. Bring your hand to near your belly button, either hovering over it, or between your hip and your belly button.
  4. Angle the stems slightly to one side (this keeps the ends away from your dress) and tilt the bouquet slightly forward, so that everyone sees the flowers and your your hand and the stems are covered by the flowers, an
  5. Relax your arms slightly, so that there is a bit of light showing between your body and your arms - but not too much. It isn't the chicken dance!
  6. Relax your shoulders!

Walking up or down stairs or steps

No one wants to do a prat-fall entrance to their own wedding. If your entrance involves stairs or steps. you will need a hand free to hold your skirt or hang onto a banister  In that case, put your hand through the crook of the arm of your escort, and hold your bouquet in the same hand, leaving your other hand free to deal with your dress or the banister.

Or, to create a sweet moment, when you get to the top of the steps, hand your bouquet to your escort to carry down the steps, and, in another sweet moment, ceremoniously hand it back to you when you are on level ground again.

Handing off and handing back

At some point in the ceremony, you will need to hand off your bouquet to someone who will later need to hand it back to you. Have a little rehearsal with that person to make sure that they hand it to you the right way up.

When does this happen? While it is not unusual for a bride to hand over her bouquet straight away, I always you suggest that you keep it until I ask you to pass it to you MOH or another person. Having something to hold helps settle the nerves, your bouquet is very much part of your overall look, you've spent time and money on it, and it is not until you are up the front that your guests have an opportunity to really appreciate it's beauty.

Passing your bouquet also gives you the opportunity to use it to pay tribute to someone special. To pause during the ceremony to walk across and give your flowers to your mother, your grandmother, or someone else special to you, and whisper a few words of love and appreciation. Don't worry, I will ask them to lend it back to you to put on the signing table and for photos.

The signing table

When you get to the signing table lay your bouquet down so that it is in the photos of you signing the register and certificates. It is all the decoration the table needs, so it is important that it is positioned for best effect. Put it on the corner of the table (not directly in front of you). Stems facing you, flowers facing the guests and/or photographer. On a bit of an angle, of course.

Formal photos before and after the ceremony

For formal group photos, and couple portraits, follow the formula. For fun couple photos your photographer will have some suggestions. Go for it. A bouquet held triumphantly high says so much!

At the reception

Have a vase with some water in it to put your bouquet in. It can be part of the styling of the bridal table or the cake table. And water will keep the flowers fresh even on the hottest day. Don't forget to have a facecloth handy to dry the stems, so that when you pick it up again you won't wet your dress.

Related information

Thanks for reading!
Click to contact Jennifer
                        Cram Brisbane Marriage Celebrant
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