Blooming Lovely

One of my enduring memories from when I was a wee one was catching one of the most beautiful bouquets I had EVER seen from the hands of a stunning bride who I believed was a princess.

Granted I was stood about 3 feet away from her and she more or less handed it to me rather than tossing it over her shoulder. I should mention here that there was also an absence of overexcited females jostling for prime catching position in case you’re picturing me as a miniature Vinnie Jones having elbowed my way to the front.

Nonetheless for the rest of that day I felt special, like I’d been given access to an exclusive club because I’d caught the bouquet. Not even going home in my M&S vest and pants, having been divested of my bridesmaid dress because it was rented could tarnish my little glow of glory.

That was the best day.

I’ve always believed that my triumphant catch was the catalyst for my life-long obsession with beautiful blooms and especially with wedding day bouquets.

So allow me to indulge this weakness of mine and let me show you lovelies some of the best arrangements out there in wedding land (in my humble opinion).

I want to hear about which ones are your favourites.

Which style pulls at your heartstrings?

What colour scheme have you selected for your big W-Day?

I’m all ears…

Carte Blanche

There’s something beautifully exquisite about white blooms. Elegant in their simplicity, they possess a sophistication that is hard to surpass. Milky-white flowers are usually heavily fragranced too providing you with a double whammy sensory experience.

White bouquets are wonderfully versatile in several ways. Not only can you guarantee that they will perfectly complement your gorgeous gown – chalky-white flowers are also more or less available any time of the year which means that you should nearly always be able to find a blossom to suit your purposes.

Choosing alabaster-toned garlands also gives you the freedom to play with texture and composition safe in the knowledge that no two flowers will clash nor will it appear like you’ve gone overboard in the floral department.

If you do want to inject a bit of colour into your neutral palette, green is perfect accent tone because it allows the blooms to shine without overpowering them.

That Mother Nature… she knows a thing or two.

Berry Fest

Berry Fest is a contemporary interpretation of the more classic Rose bouquet. It is utterly romantic without being saccharine sweet therefore perfect for those brides who want something edgier without losing sight of more traditional wedding themes and flavours.

This type of bouquet is perfect for weddings between June to September because of the availability of local materials. Queen Anne’s Lace, Dahlias, Clematis, Black Basil, Stocks, Snapdragons, Amaranth, Peonies and Delphiniums are fantastically versatile blooms and can be paired together in all number of combinations.

There’s nothing quite as sublime as an Autumn berry rich bouquet bespeckled with seedheads and the last hurrrah of summer. If you’re going for this type of feel with your own posies then I’d recommend pairing lighter shades with darker ones as the contrast makes each colour pop.

Lastly try echoing the trailing tendrils of the bouquet with some velvet ribbon around the stems in a similar colour scheme for extra drama.


I ADORE this trend with a great big dollop of LOVE on top because it’s just one of the many signs of how modern brides are becoming more and more creative with their big day.

‘Handpicked’ bouquets have an ethereal, just picked from the hedgerows quality about them. Wild and overgrown, these posies feel wholesome and organic and are especially beautiful when paired with a soft simple gown and bare feet.

Not that I’m saying you should all go barefoot or anything.

Any decent florist can recreate this concept easily for you; equally choosing this more relaxed style is perfect for the artistic bride as well as for those on a budget who want to take up those horticultural reins and produce their own floral arrangements.

My personal preference is to keep the hues in an handpicked bouquet within the same colour spectrum but using as many as six or seven different colours is just as effective. Secondly remember to include a little bit of everything so that you capture that unruly essence and prevent your posy from appearing too ‘done’.

It’s A Wrap

When we think about bouquets, we tend to think about the profusion of blooms and the colours of the delicate tendrils rather than the twiggy base. But, whilst I was writing this post, I found it hard to pass up the opportunity to show you lovelies how beautifully your floral accessory can be finished.

Hessian, lace, wool, twine and even brown paper and string can be artfully wrapped around your bouquets for the pièce de résistance. I especially love the idea of a bride wrapping a piece of material that her gown is made from around her posy. Talk about matching your outfit to your accessories!

But ribbons are my vice – yes girls I actually have a ribbon box and have also been known to filch ribbons from other people’s presents (once opened of course!) to keep it fully stocked up.

So for me a beribboned garland steals the day and frankly the more the better.

Why have one glitzy strand when you can look like a haberdashery shop and have three or even five.

Big And Blousey

If these blooms were a woman, they’d be a medieval buxom wench winking saucily at any hot-blooded male from the other side of the bar. These sultry beauties vie for your attention flaunting their silky soft petals and their heavy aroma unrelentingly at you.

I just want to bury my head into them.

Peonies and large garden roses are most commonly used in these types of bouquets and are frequently supplemented by soft green foliage and succulents of late. Because of the sheer size of the flowers there really is no need for anything extra.

Trust me, adding too much to a ‘big and blowsy’ bouquet would result in a serious case of ‘over-egging the pudding’ and ladies I say that as a self-confessed flower addict.

For the modern bride, who wants both drama and simplicity, a single huge bloom is your answer; it is unbeatably chic. And that bloom that the bride and groom are hiding behind is made of…wait for it…paper.

How wonderful is that?!

One last thing worth mentioning is that these types of arrangements are often really heavy – it’s just something to be conscious of when posing for your photographs in case you get arm ache (is that even a condition?).

So what do you think?

Are fresh flowers the order of the day or have you set your heart on something with a little more longevity like those bouquets made from antique brooches for example.

And I NEED to hear your thoughts on tossing the bouquet. Is this a tradition that you can’t pass up or can you not bear to throw your blooms into a gaggle of hopeful ladies in case it gets damaged?

More and more florists claim that they are creating additional ‘tossing’ bouquets for precisely this purpose. Is this something that interests you girls or does it defeat the whole point?

Let us know below…

Love Lolly xxx

Author: Lauren Gautier-Ollerenshaw
Lolly is a self-professed frustrated florist and styling maven with an endless passion for all things pretty.

27 thoughts on “Blooming Lovely

  1. I have to admit, i didn’t read this. I just looked at the very pretty pictures!!

    and now Im borrowing a fair few of them for my ‘Flowers’ board on Pinterest,

    Which reminds me, i past a florist on Friday (near the pret at the side of Selfridges if anyone knows it?!) and she has the most beautiful posies, buckets of roses, and an old tin bath full of heads of peonies which was to DIE FOR.

    thanking you kindly,

    h x

  2. Hello!
    This is my fave bit of wedding planning so far (haven’t tried on a dress 5 months into our engagement but have made about 4 flower mood boards!).
    I love love love then handpicked look and that’s probably what I’ll be going for. Hoping to DIY it….hmmm! Also really like the “big and blousey” look, so opulent and ooo peonies!
    Ahhh, flowers, perfect fresh post on a stuffy afternoon in the office! Good timing Lolly! xxx

  3. So pretty…flowers have been a firm favourite of planning with me I’m sure I’m driving my florist crazy, I love the hand picked style Im going to send her the link to this piece in case she misses it. They’re all so beautiful but my personal choice is a big and blousey hand picked bouquet featuring David Austin roses all tied up with pretty ribbon 🙂 xx

  4. Love it @Lolly!

    We recently had the ‘tossing’ debate over on our facebook group (you must join us, we spend HOURS obsessing over things like this)

    Personally, I fully appreciate that if I keep my bouquet and then go swanning off on honeymoon then it’s just going to sit at home being unloved and unappreciated for the next few weeks.

    But saying that, i’m in the non-tossing camp. My bouquet is going to my lovely Nan. She’s not going to be there for my day which breaks my heart, she’s really poorly with dementia and it’ll be too much for her to leave the nursing home. So, I’ll go to her and I’ll take her my flowers, she probably wont have a clue whats going on like, but at least I know she’ll be able to enjoy them 🙂

    I have NO idea yet so far what my bouquet will look like, at the minute, it’s going to be a hot mess but i’m sure a decent florist will take my vague ramblings and turn into something lovely. I know that I want:
    – Peonies (June wedding, favourite flower, end of)
    – Yellow Roses (homage to my Mum’s 70’s wedding)
    – Willow (Lee’s nickname and also a nod to my sisters wedding)

    Other than that… NO IDEA.

    Thanks for another massively gorgeous and inspiring display of fabulousity! Bravo lady xxx

  5. Good work, Lolly! These are beautiful. My bouquet is a bit of a blend of a few of these ideas. I’ve gone for a palette of white and cream, with green foliage, hand-tied with lace, not too structured, a la the hand-picked variety! The bridesmaids’ are smaller versions of mine, with a touch of peach added. I would have LOVED to have big blousey peonies but sadly they’re out of season for my August do. Sad face.
    ALSO I love the tradition of throwing the bouquet so I’m definitely going to be doing that. I’m going to throw my sister’s bouquet though, as it’ll be smaller. Don’t want to throw mine, I want to keep it! xx

  6. I got completely bowled over by flowery loveliness when we were planning our wedding and settled for vintage pinks and soft ivories in a just picked from a meadow kind of fashion, all put together and executed to beyond perfection (and surpassing my wildest dreams!) by the extraordinarily talented Kate Avery… Take a peek at her facebook page if you fancy an extra dose of pretty!

    Thanks for a lovely post Lolly!

  7. I’m in the big and blousey camp!

    I love love love peonies, like Karen they’re my favourite flower and our wedding is in the season! We actually picked our florist this week and her words were “well if you love them and they’re in season for you it’d be rude not to!”

  8. Ooh, flowers. It’s sunflowers for me, and also bright pink gerberas, and I don’t care if people (I’m looking at you, snooty florist who did a face and went “are you SURE?”) think they clash because I love them and they make me smile. And after a pic I saw a couple of days ago I am very much considering having the stems wrapped in leopard print ribbon of some sort… Too much??

  9. Give me peonies every day of the week, I sodding well love them…just a shame I’m getting married in November then 🙁 love the big blousey numbers and the handpicked ones are just beautiful, love that the colours just pop with eachother!
    Thoughts on my bouquet – a big bunch of creamy pink avalanche roses – they are stunning and as close to a peonie as I can get!
    Great post 🙂 thanking you muchly!

  10. I’m a ‘handpicked’ girl all the way! I can’t remember which bride it was on here but she described how she wanted her flowers as if she’d swept her hand through a meadow of flowers and just popped out with a beautiful bouquet, that’s how I would like mine to look please!

    I especially love the third photo in that category, it’s lush 🙂 xxx

  11. I’m a big fan of the white bouquets! So fresh and will work with any colour or theme. I’m having a hand tied posy of white mini narcissus but with the yellow centres for a bit of warmth. My venue flowers are other types of white blooms with different coloured centres (this became an accidental flower theme which I’m now so excited about)

    As for tossing my bouquet – it’s a tradition I’ve not really considered continuing, my bouquet is probably going to be placed next to my cake and the bridesmaids bouquets are going to be added to the display on the top table. 🙂

  12. Love these flowers im in the middle of a flower mare!
    if only florists near me could deliver anything like these bouquets i would be happy Bournemouth is still in the 80s when it comes to flowers!!!!
    Rubbish choice roses, orchids or gerberas and no awful crystals or butterflys thanks 🙁 where can i find a decent bouquet in Dorset?? or is it worth going to one of these florists to deliver

  13. I love the white look – exactly what I’m going for! We basically picked our florist because she shares a shop with the wedding dress designer who is making my dress. And she has amazing cowboy boots and cool tattoos. Anyway, We’re having nearly all white flowers everywhere. Our venue is very colourful, every room is a different colour and as we’re going to be moving flowers about throughout the day I thought that would make the whole thing easier. It also turns out that most of my favorite flowers are actually weeds, so its turning out fairly cheap!
    As for tossing the bouquet, like @karen I was planning on keeping mine, sending it home with my mum for my gran who probably won’t be able to come. I would also be sad about it getting ruined by being chucked about when it will look so beautiful. I’d rather my gran enjoys it.

  14. Ahhhh bless you lovelies, thanks for all your lovely compliments – it’s easy when you’ve got such gorgeous material to work with.

    @Helen – borrow away – that’s what we’re here for after all. Glad I’ve inspired you.

    @Daphne – good on you for going the DIY way! I would recommend experimenting a little bit first. I’ve heard many a story about a bride being stressed hours before her big day because she’s done the flowers herself and there just isn’t enough time. Do send pics of the final bouquets – we like a bit of eye candy at RMW HQ.

    @Karen – you actually bought a tear to my eye. That’s so lovely that your nan will have your bouquet and although she might not be completely aware of what’s going on I’m sure that she’ll appreciate it all the same.

    @Jenny – finished with lace? And white and cream? And lots of foliage? Sounds absolutely divine!!

  15. @Inbal it’s such a shame that they cant be there isn’t it? So I guess if we can share such a beautiful part of our days with them then that’s the least we can do. Part of me fancies rocking up in my dress the next morning just to see that flash of a smile on her face before she drifts off again.

    Your venue sounds amazing by the way! Good shout too on moving the flowers round, we’re definitely doing that. Also love the sound of your florist!! xxx

  16. @Lolly – that’s just it, she’ll be able to smell them and look at them, even if she cant place where they’ve come from they’ll give her some joy. xx

  17. @Olivia Pleasure darling, and I’m definitely in agreement with you about Kate Avery!

    @Carys I love a colourful centre especially in a white bloom and narcissus smell heavenly too!

    @Inbal a cowboy boot rocking florist?! She sounds like she’ll come up with some fantastic creations and I love that you’ve gone for an all-white theme. Be sure to send us some pics!

  18. Oh Lolly!!! You are naughty….making me want a flower bouquet!
    I’m actually planning on making my bouquet from fabric flowers (a least a handful of which I will have hopefully made myself), brooches and a few feathers.
    Well I think an Art Deco affair demands feathers!!! 😉

    However I am in agreement about the handpicked look – I just love it. And am definitely a converted Peony lover

    As for tossing the bouquet – I had not really thought about it until recently I realised that actually it played a little part in me becoming a fiancee……..after seeing me catch the bouquet at a friend’s wedding Dave decided to set about planning on proposing to me. So it seems a little rude not to pass on the joy.
    Having said that – I will not be tossing my bouquet as I don’t really want to injure any of my guests………… get my thinking cap on……….


  19. Funnily enough I’m coming to this post after sending a mammoth email to my florist confirming loads of things.

    When we started planning, I saw all sorts of ideas for quirky flower alternatives but ultimately came back to fresh flowers. I thought I wanted bright blooms (purple, red, orange, yellow). I thought I wasn’t into soft pinks and pastels… until I chose my vintage-looking lace and tulle dress, that is! Turns out I wanted pale pink and ivory.

    I’ve been surprised by how little I’ve changed my mind about flowers and what to have (am so excited about the centrepieces which are on glass cakestands). Not as surprised as my florist who can’t believe I’ve changed my mind about nothing other than the buttonholes!

    I definitely want to throw *a* bouquet but I don’t know if I’ll throw my own. Not going to pay for a throwing bouquet, though – one of my ‘maids has said she doesn’t mind if I throw hers instead. I may yet throw mine, but I’d want to pull some of the flowers out to press first.

  20. A.mazing!!! Every one of these bouquets is absolutely gorgeous, but funnily enough not one of them looks how I think my bouquet is going to look! Although actually, I have no idea exactly how mine will look – I’ve said “I’d like these sort of colours, I quite like these flowers, I don’t like these ones”.

    Re the throwing of the bouquet. I don’t want to throw mine!! I have this overwhelming feeling of having spent so much money on it, I want to treasure it forever! We’re going to stay in a cottage for our minimoon, so I figure I can pop the bouquet in a vase for the week.

    I went to a wedding a few years ago, and I caught the bouquet, much to the horror of my fiancé (then boyfriend) and amusement of my friends. There may or may not be video evidence of me elbowing another girl out of the way. Anyway, I caught the bouquet, and was then asked to give it back! Which I guess makes sense, but I was a bit peeved!

  21. What a fabulous collection of amazing work! If you’re struggling with the dilemma of to toss or not why not ask your florist to make up a smaller less ornate bouquet specifically for the purpose? It shouldn’t cost much and may even be made from ‘left overs’ if there are any. x

  22. Hello you lovely brides to be…please let me show you some gorgeous roses which smell divine, last beautifully and come in some delicious colours…I know they’re not peonies, but they’re available all year round and are a great alternative if you’re desperate!

    Happy planning to you all from a Kentish freelance florist!


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