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Bouquets for Brides and Bridesmaids

Martha Stewart Weddings, Winter 2003

The difference between a bride's flowers and those carried by her attendants can be quite subtle; it might be nothing more than a shift in size, shape, or color. But within these basic divergences exists a multitude of lovely and creative possibilities.

We asked New York City florist Michael George to come up with six coordinating arrangements for brides and their bridesmaids. The unique bouquets he created are dazzling in their simplicity and sheer beauty -- and each one of them is a part of a larger ensemble that can bring flair, elegance, and unity to any wedding day.

This bouquet has a variety of textures and colors, thanks to the mix of muscari (grape hyacinth), lamb's ear, lily-of-the-valley, andromeda, helleborus, thyme, rosemary, sage, and scented-geranium foliage. Opposite: The bridesmaids get tiny posies of only two elements, muscari and lamb's ear.



Yellow Roses Reinvented
This bridesmaid's bouquet is truly a small-scale version of the bride's, in which full-size cymbidium orchids are arranged in a symmetrical pattern and trimmed with pointed dracaena leaves. The bridesmaid's arrangement uses the same flowers in miniature form; gathered into a smaller bouquet, they are framed by dracaena leaves folded into loops. Woven hemp ribbon encloses the stems.

Florist Michael George creates his signature bridal bouquet, the couture rose, by removing the petals from many roses -- here he used 'Message' (the light yellow) and 'Ilios' (darker yellow) -- then carefully wiring them into a single, exquisite blossom six to seven inches across. The simpler bridesmaids' bouquets each consist of one type of rose. The stems are tied with matching satin ribbons.



Berry-Laden Branches
Pristine snowberries make natural, understated arrangements; variations in color and size distinguish the attendants' bouquets from that of the bride. The bridesmaids carry bunches of snowberries in pink, their woody stems adorned with wide, mauve taffeta ribbon secured with pearl-headed pins. A much larger bundle of bridal-white snowberries is wrapped in a white satin ribbon, with white beaded trim pinned to the top and bottom edges.



A Profusion of Pinks
A festive bridal bouquet features white hybrid nerine lilies interspersed with variegated pittosporum, scented-geranium leaves, and a few sprigs of rosemary; it's tied with a velvet ribbon. The variegate pittosporum is repeated in the attendants' bouquets, which also include red roses Rouge Bassier,' 'Black Beauty,' and 'Black Magic.'

Each bridesmaid gets a pink bouquet made from just one kind of flower (clockwise from left): calla lilies, nerine lilies, and 'Valerie' roses. The composition for the bride includes all of these, plus 'Candy Bianca' roses and lisianthus, wrapped in a cuff of eyelet-bordered fabric.

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