Planning for wedding flowers and floral arrangements should begin several months in advance and you should have initial contact with your florist at least one month prior to your wedding.

If you require a large number of arrangements or elaborate designs, your florist may need to start preparation a full week before the wedding. Color-matched ribbons and unique flowers as well as other floral accessories can take time for the florist to special order – often a week (sometimes longer).

If you feel overwhelmed at your first visit, remember, flowers, weddding bouquets and arrangements are the florist’s specialty.

As you arrive at your wedding, the first impression your guests have will be of you behind whatever you decide to carry, and therefore the scale and choice of bouquet needs to be chosen to fit the style of your dress. Remember that the best bouquets are not always the most expensive.

There is a huge choice when it comes to wedding flower bouquets. But how do you choose one to suit you? Here is a quick run-down of four popular styles of bridal bouquets. If you consider these before visiting your florist for a consultation, you are much more likely to have a constructive meeting and come away with flowers that will be perfect for you.

Posy Bouquet

Traditional shape, giving a simple elegant look. Suits flowers such as roses, tulips, rununculus and peonies. Hand-tied posy bouquets becoming more and more popular.

Shower Bouquet (Cascade Bouquet)

Traditional teardrop shape, consisting of a posy with a trail of flowers and foliage.

Suitable for use with a wide variety of flowers.

Sheath Bouquet (Arm Bouquet)

Long slender bouquet that is designed to be carried over one arm.

This is best suited to long stemmed flowers such as calla lilies (arum lilies)

Creative Bouquet

These wedding flower bouquets are especially for the bride who wants to make a statement. They don’t follow any set design and can be artistic, flamboyant as well as unique.

So let your imagination run wild, or really put your florist’s creative skills to the test.

Larger bouquets like the teardrop style used to be the most popular styles, but today more brides are opting for small posies and naturally tied bunches of flowers on their own stems, to create a simple yet dramatic effect.

Wired bouquets use individually attached flowers, are quite heavy and are more expensive than hand-tied ones. Hand-tied bouquets use flowers on their natural stems, making the bouquet more natural and less formal. Remember to choose your bouquet in proportion to your size. Long trailing bouquets make you look slimmer because they draw the eye downwards, while wide bouquets draw attention to the hips.

You may decide that you do not want to carry a bouquet at all. There are some interesting alternatives that are worth considering before choosing a bouquet. Why not carry a single flower that will give a simple yet dramatic feel to your wedding day. You may like to carry a prayer book with a single flower tucked under a piece of ribbon tied around the book. Some brides choose to carry a bible, parasol, fan, pomander or a dolly bag with a drawstring. For winter weddings, some brides choose to wear a muff decorated with flowers.

These options also serve as an alternative for bridesmaids or register office weddings where simpler bouquets are usually chosen, such as a hand-tied bunch of flowers, a posy or a single flower such as an arum lily. A handbag filled with flowers can make an interesting alternative. Small satin bags filled with flowers carried by the bridesmaids will complement the bride’s outfit and bouquet.

Before deciding upon the type of flowers that will make up the bridesmaids bouquet, consider what style of arrangement you would like them to carry, and whether you would like them to be in the same style or colours as your own.

The bouquets for the bridesmaids are usually smaller versions of the bride’s one, complementing the colour of the bride’s dress and their own dresses. Smaller trailing bouquets are a suitable choice for bridesmaids, although younger ones can be prone to becoming easily bored when holding a bouquet. Adult bridesmaids could carry smaller versions of the bride’s bouquet.

In addition to bridesmaids, some brides choose to have a flower girl. Traditionally, flower girls are usually very young children who carry a small basket of flowers or petals. The flower girl accompanies the bridal couple during the signing of the register, and then walks down the aisle in front of the bride and groom, strewing flowers in their path (do not forget to check with the minister that it is allowed inside the church).

Source by Simone Icough