Black Tie Bouquets

Martha Stewart Weddings, Summer 2003

The fresh, crisp purity of white and the powerful drama of black create a combination that is striking, chic, and timeless.

If opposites really do attract, then the marriage of black and white is a perfect union, as much in a bouquet as in a tuxedo or in the pairing of a little black dress and pearls. Flower arrangements incorporating these classic colors are rare and enchanting alternatives to the familiar pastel and jewel-tone bouquets. For a stylish bride who prizes the unexpected, a "black-tie" bouquet makes an excellent accessory.

The color combination isn't just for formal events. The bouquet can be a fancy cascade or a rustic, romantic nosegay, to be carried at a wedding in a candlelit ballroom or a lush summer garden.

For inspiration, a bride can look to the world of high fashion, where the colors have long captivated couturiers. The 19th-century English master Charles Frederick Worth, who dressed socialites and royals in opulent ball gowns, understood the impact of ivory satin against inky black velvet, just as today's designers appreciate the whimsical appeal of a polka-dot ribbon trimming a black sundress.

Since you don't come across pure black flowers in nature, it requires imagination, a flair for design, and a bit of artifice to fashion a black-tie bouquet. Several of the ones here use black or nearly black natural accents. Luxurious ribbons and trimmings can also provide the contrast -- and heighten the couture effect of these brilliant bouquets.

Tuxedo Bouquet
Domed Nosegay Bouquet
Rustic Bouquet
White Carnation Bouquet
Black-Beaded Bouquet
Anemone Bouquet

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