Make sure your flowers complement your bridal gown.
Photography: Anne-Marie Bouchard Photography1 of 9
Finding the perfect dress and curating the ultimate bouquet aren't mutually exclusive wedding planning experiences. In fact, there's good reason to contemplate both your bridal gown and your personal floral arrangement together. The reason? You want to ensure that your bouquet highlights and accentuates the very best parts of your big-day look—which means that you're going to want to have your wedding dress picked out before you scout those bridal blooms.
It makes sense—why choose a wedding dress that checks all of your boxes and then pair it with flowers that just don't suit its vibe or form? To help ensure that both integral elements work in tandem, we tapped three industry experts—Alicia Rico, the floral designer behind Bows + Arrows, Victoria Ahn of Designs by Ahn, and Amy Osaba—for their inside tips about choosing the best possible bouquet shape for your wedding dress silhouette. Turns out, there really is a correct choice for each. While the bouquet shape you ultimately land on is entirely up to you, heeding their advice will help both details shine.
Though applying these experts' recommendations is in your best interest, the choice isn't black or white—there's plenty of room for personalization. That's why we've included alternative ways to dress up your clutch. The final result? A cohesive bridal look that you'll feel good about (and one that your wedding photographs will reflect), whether you're wearing a classic A-line, voluminous ball gown, figure-hugging sheath, or dynamic trumpet wedding dress. Click through to discover which bouquet type best fits your own bridal gown.
Photography: Rebecca Yale Photography2 of 9
A wedding dress silhouette as traditional as the A-line calls for a "clean and tailored classic bouquet" that's preferably round, says Rico. The reason? "The clean lines and beautiful timeless design of the dress should define the bride, not the bouquet," adds Osaba. To ensure that your blooms don't outshine your gown, consider building your clutch with a single variety—à la this arrangement by BLOOM Floral Design—advises Ahn: "Think Kate Middleton!"
Photography: Birds of a Feather3 of 9
Sheath: Wild and Whimsical
"A bride who chooses a sheath wedding dress is sexy, confident, elegant, and striking—and she's not afraid of her body," says Osaba, who recommends an arrangement (like this Lambert Floral Studio option!) that hits all of those personality traits. "Try a more vibrant, colorful bouquet with a unique shape and add in some trailing passion vine or jasmine to complete it." Both Osaba and Rico second that wild component—the more tumbling vines, the better.
Photography: Jenny McCann Photography4 of 9
Ball Gown: Lush and Oversized
According to all three floral designers, the most important piece to consider when pairing a bouquet with a ball gown is scale: "A beautiful way to complement the larger scale of the ball gown is to use a slightly larger bouquet with a slight cascade," advises Osaba. Ahn recommends applying this go-big approach to your actual bloom choice. This bouquet (it was actually created by Rico!) demonstrates each criterion through its elongated shape, subtle vine-centric cascade, and oversized roses.
Photography: Elizabeth Austin Photography
"Since the bottom of a fit-and-flare wedding dress tends to have the most exquisite details, accentuating that—and offsetting the flare—is always a good idea," says Osaba. To do so, you'll want to consider a large, asymmetrical, and cascading clutch that draws the eye downward, towards the dynamic lines of the dress (this Ambience Décor arrangement illustrates this perfectly!). Is a cascading bouquet not your thing? Consider a long-stemmed option, instead, suggests Ahn—it'll have a similar effect, sans the drama.
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Photography: Blush Wedding Photography6 of 9
Ahn says that just about any floral option goes for this particular silhouette—its elongated bodice gives you a lot of room to work with. We love the classic-meets-modern orchid arrangement Anna Le Pley Taylor put together for this bride's contemporary drop-waist blue gown. Osaba, on the other hand, believes that showcasing the drop waist ("The waistline of this dress is its focal point!" she says) is imperative. "It may be fun to do something a bit different that isn't held directly in front of her," she says, adding that a hoop bouquet is a solid alternative.
Photography: Ashley Ludaescher Photography7 of 9
"Consider a petite and delicate poesy that doesn't overpower a shorter hemline," advises Rico, if you plan on donning a mini dress on the big day. While Ahn agrees (she recommends a "small, fun, and playful" option, like this sweet Flora Garden Positano clutch), Osaba thinks there's room for embellishment. "Long, flowing ribbons are great for this silhouette," she says.
Photography: Caroline Yoon Photography8 of 9
Tea-Length: Small and Fresh
Rico recommends pairing tea-length wedding dresses (known for their sweet hemline, which falls just above the ankle) with a small "hand-tied shape" bouquet, defined here by this Michael George arrangement. Note how the bride can hold her flowers in one hand—an important qualification for this silhouette's bouquet type, adds Osaba.
Photography: Mandee Johnson Photography
An "edgy, structural, and tropical" bouquet is the ultimate match for a contemporary pantsuit or jumpsuit, says Ahn. If those island-inspired elements, like palm and monstera leaves and protea seen in this Jesi Hacck Design display, aren't relevant to your wedding theme, that's fine—just don't deviate from a modern shape or aesthetic, advises Rico: "Whether its composed of unexpected elements or has an unique and defined shape (like a crescent bouquet!), this silhouette's bouquet should be modern and unique."