It’s been a busy wedding season, and I have seen my share of beautiful bouquets this year. But I have also seen far too many bouquets that were too heavy and too hard to hold. From a photography perspective, it ends up being a waste because the bride doesn’t want to have to lift a 10-pound floral dumbbell in every photo. This has got to change. So in today’s blog post I share my list of wedding bouquet photo tips to help you get the most beautiful – and manageable – bouquet for your wedding.
Wedding Bouquet Photo Tips – First Things to Consider
Match your bouquet to the size of your dress…and you. When you meet with your florist, make sure to bring with you a full-length photo of you wearing your wedding dress. This is because the size of your bouquet should be directly proportional to both your frame size and the size of your dress. So a petite bride should have a smaller bouquet, and vice versa. You want people to notice you, not your bouquet, when you first walk into a room.
Similarly, your bouquet should be proportional to your dress. Thus a big ballgown requires a bouquet with impact, while a modern sheath dress might require a more subtle, narrow bouquet with trailing vines.
Make sure the color of your bouquet doesn’t clash with your dress. Your bouquet should coordinate with the color and tone of your wedding dress. This is especially a concern if you are choosing white flowers and wearing a white dress. Case in point, a bride wearing an ivory dress should not carry a winter white flower bouquet because the warmth of the dress doesn’t match the cool tones of the bouquet.
Similarly, certain colors – pale gold, champagne, or rose – will need certain complementary colors. So when you meet with your florist, make sure you bring a swatch of your dress to help plan your exact bouquet color combination.
Seasonal flowers will save you money and risk. In addition to being a more economically savvy choice, selecting flowers in season will also save you risk. Flowers that are in season are more easily attainable, and thus cheaper to procure. On the other hand, if you choose flowers only available in June (and your wedding is in November) then you risk a floral emergency. No one needs the hassle of hearing that the flowers you requested to be flown in from Holland somehow didn’t make it on the plane. Save yourself – and your budget – some heartache by selecting what is in bloom at the time of your wedding.
Closure details matter. If you are making your own bouquet, then make sure your bouquet is fully bound. The easiest way to see if a bouquet is professionally made is if the flowers are artfully, and securely, bound together. There is only one flower girl per wedding, and you don’t want to be dropping petals down the aisle.
Wedding Bouquet Photo Tips – Add Photo Interest to Your Bouquet
Consider trailing florals. A cute, little compact bouquet is nice, but if your dress will allow, consider a bouquet with trailing florals. Especially with tall brides or anyone with a particularly long dress, trailing florals will work to visually lengthen your photo.
Add a personal touch to the handle. I have seen several brides add something special to the handle of their bouquets in honor of family members. Be it a rosary, brooch, or some other sort of pin, it’s a nice personal touch. Just make sure you check the handle ahead of time and that the bouquet is easy to hold.
Add something fun to the middle of your bouquet. One of my brides added a cute little stuffed bird to the middle of her bouquet. It was the perfect whimsical touch and looked great with her flowers. Sadly, the bird was not secured well enough and never flew down the aisle. Learn from this and make sure that whatever you add to your bouquet is secured tightly to the center.
Don’t be afraid to say ‘no’ to live flowers. Maybe you are allergic or simply feel ill over the cost of life flowers, but fear not, you still have lots of bouquet options. Non-floral bouquet options include paper flowers, brooches, stuffed animals, or anything else you can hold in your hand. Check out this article for bouquet alternatives.
Wedding Bouquet Photo Tips – Bouquet Posing Tips
Watch how you hold your bouquet. You want to hold your bouquet down a bit around your waist, not up so that it is anywhere near your face. There is a rather off-color phrase for holding the bouquet that goes, ‘pubes not boobs.’ If that doesn’t stick with you, then nothing will.
Go for natural movements. No one needs to hold their bouquet at a perfect right angle. With documentary-style photography you want to look like the girl who just came in from the meadow with a fresh bouquet, not a robot holding flowers.
Wedding Bouquet Photo Tips – Bouquets to Avoid
Bouquets that are too heavy. Seriously, ask your florist beforehand how much that sucker is going to weigh. It is better for you (and your budget) that you pare down your flower choices now rather than end up throwing away the bouquet because it was too hard to hold. You will be holding your bouquet upright for longer than you think, so if the bouquet feels like a 10-pound weight, then it is time to downsize.
Bouquets that are too thick at the handle. ‘Thicc’ is great, except when it comes to flower bouquets. An overly stuffed bouquet is difficult to manage and you will look for any opportunity to put it down.
Size matters for the boutonnières. As with the bouquet, don’t overstuff the boutonnières. More is more, but it’s not always best for photos. I have photographed two weddings this year at which the groomsmen were ‘grooming’ the boutonnières because they had too many flowers, feathers, and whatnot. An overstuffed boutonniere won’t stay upright for photos and will never make it through the entire wedding.
Mother’s corsages that require pins. I’ve had this happen a few times with DIY flowers. Basically, if you are making flowers for the mother of the bride or any other female family members, then you want to make the flowers into a wrist corsage or a small bouquet. This is because you don’t want to damage any outfits with pins sticking through them. Most men’s suits can take a pin or two, but a ladies delicate silk dress many suffer irreparable damage. I’ve seen very cool wrist corsages that use a gold bracelet. You might also consider magnetic backings if you still want a boutonniere format.
Wedding Bouquet Photo Tips – Bouquet Management
Pack a towel. Your florist will no doubt keep your bouquet in a vase of water. Too many people whip out the flowers and then you have water dripping everywhere. If you are wearing silk, you risk staining the dress. So pat the bouquet dry first.
Temperature matters more than water. Nothing will melt your bouquet faster than heat and humidity. If possible, keep your bouquet in a cool, air-conditioned room until you have to leave for the ceremony.
Have a place to display your bouquet at the reception. You paid a lot for that bouquet. Put it on display at the reception. It makes for a great photo background with the menu card.
So that’s it for my list of tips. Anything else I have forgotten? Then by all means let me know. Enjoy the images, and I’ll have more photo adventures for you next week!
Will you be walking down the aisle soon with a beautiful bouquet? Drop me a line and let’s talk about your photography needs.
If you would like to view more images from my wedding photojournalism portfolio, then please visit my website – KellyWilliamsPhotographer.com