Your bridal bouquet is a once in a lifetime accessory.

When else do you get to carry a beautiful bunch of flowers designed especially for you, all day long?!

Whole weddings can be planned around that very special ‘bunch of flowers'.

Take Blair Waldorf, for example ~ the inspiration for the Gossip Girl wedding was the simple bouquet of pale pink peonies which she always dreamed she'd hold on her big day. Sigh.

However, if you're a bride like I was, with little to no experience of bouquets, or flowers in general (I did't know a carnation from a chrysanthemum and thought that crapsedia was a rude word), then there are lots of questions to consider:

What flowers should you include in your bouquet? What colours/shapes work best with your dress? How big should your bouquet be? And how on Earth are you supposed to hold your bouquet?!

To help answer those questions, I'm thrilled to welcome Emma of Emma Lappin Flowers to share her top tips on choosing and making the most of your bridal bouquet.

Emma Lappin is a UK based floral designer specializing in chic, elegant and stylish flower arrangements for weddings and special events. I had the pleasure of meeting Emma at a photography workshop we attended last year, where I got the chance to see (and smell) her stunning designs first hand.

Fragrant and fluffy peony bouquet by Emma Lappin Flowers, photo by me with guidance from fab photographer Emily Quinton.

Onto Emma's expert floral musings…

10 Tips For Choosing & Making The Most Of Your Bridal Bouquet

1) Try to choose your wedding dress before your flowers

When you meet your florist for a consultation, remember to bring a picture of your dress. The design of your bouquet is completely dependent on the style, shape and detail of your dress. I think the key to bouquet design is that it doesn’t drown you, hide the silhouette of the dress or unbalance the line.

pink bouquet by Emma Lappin Flowers

2) Consider the shape and size of your bouquet carefully

Do not opt for a trailing bouquet if the feature detail of your dress is on the skirt, but if you have a long train or bustle at the back of your dress you might want to balance the look with a more dramatic bouquet. Do not hide your waist as this is likely to be your narrowest part, so make sure the bouquet is much narrower than your waist.

Whilst bouquet fashions change overtime, the most important thing is that it works with your dress but doesn’t drown you or hide the beautiful details.

Bouquet of Anemones and Tulips by Emma Lappin Flowers

3) Find out what flowers are in season on your wedding day
Some flowers just aren't available at certain times of the year (or are very expensive) so make sure you take this into consideration when choosing which flowers to incorporate into your bouquet.

4) Consider the exact colour of your wedding dress

Colour is key, particularly with whites, ivories and creams. There are so many different shades, your florists can recommend the right type of bloom to work well with the exact colour of your dress, and to compliment your bridesmaid's dresses. Remember to take swatches if you have them.

If you are having your dress made or altered, ask the dressmaker if you can have any spare material that your florist can use to wrap around the stems of your bouquet, you then have the perfect match.

Bouquet of Coral Charm Peonies, Crespedia, Silver Brunia, Stachys & Roses by Emma Lappin Flowers for Wedding Flowers Magazine

5) Make it personal

Try to incorporate flowers that might have a personal meaning to either you or another family member. If you have a family heirloom such as an antique brooch, a lace hanky or something else to work into your something old, new, borrowed and blue, ask your florist to add it into the top of the stems.

Rose bouquet by Emma Lappin Flowers for Wedding Flowers Magazine

Brooches in particular look fantastic and are a lovely way to finish off the handle. There are also some lovely cultural traditions that can be incorporated, such as the tassle traditions in Chinese culture.

covered-stem-and-brooch bouquet

Bouquet with covered stem and brooch detail by Emma Lappin Flowers

6) How to hold your bouquet

When you are nervous before your wedding and hold your bouquet for the first time, most brides tend to hold their bouquet with two hands and carry it quite high which immediately lifts the shoulders up. This tends not to make a great picture, particularly if you are wearing a strapless dress.

If you can remember, (get your bridesmaid to remind you) hold your bouquet in one hand and below your hip, slightly away from your dress, so that you can see the silhouette of your dress. This will relax and open your shoulders, improving your posture and creating the best pose for your photographer!

7) Choose a comfortable bouquet (you will be holding it all day, after all!)

Also remember that your bouquet needs to be really comfortable to hold so don’t opt for anything that is going to be awkward to carry and make you hunch your shoulders or stand lop sided.

Delicate, pale pink bouquet by Emma Lappin Flowers | Photo by Zoe Collyer

 8) Make it picture perfect

Pictures of your bouquet are lovely to have so make sure you ask your photographer to do some close ups. Bouquets photograph particularly well in baths, propped up in pretty chairs or if you can bear to put your bouquet down when you are ready to go into your wedding breakfast, placing it to the side of your wedding cake makes a beautiful picture.

9) Keep your bouquet looking fresh into the evening

If you have a hand tied bouquet, you are likely to be able to refresh it at the end of the day by cutting an inch of the stems and popping it into water. Perhaps a job for your mum or friend.

10) Enjoy your beautiful bouquet and remember you don't have to toss it, you could always preserve it!

Bouquet of White Rose, Lisi and Bouvardia by Emma Lappin Flowers

As you can see from these exquisite bouquets, Emma is one very talented lady. Check out her blog, Postcards From The Potting Shed, where she shares more of her work and offers floral hints and tips to her readers.  Many thanks to Emma for these fabulous tips. Find out more about Emma Lappin Flowers here.

I hope you've found these tips useful. Let me know if you'd like to see more floral musings on these pink pages.

Have you chosen your bouquet yet? What flowers are you having? Are you incorporating any personal touches into your bouquet?

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