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Choosing the right bouquets and centrepieces

Published:Monday | December 1, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Cathy Risden, Lifestyle Writer

Gorgeous flowers are a must at a wedding. Besides the couple, flowers will be one of the most photographed details at the wedding, so it's important to choose centrepieces and bouquets that truly fit your style.

After you have established your wedding setting - formal, casual, classic or modern - and your venue - indoors or out - allow these factors to inspire your floral arrangements. It is advised that couples make their decisions based on what they love and not what's trending.

Types of Bouquets

The bouquet should complement, not compete with, the bride's dress. According to CEO and events planner of Helen G. Event Planning and Design, Helen Hutchinson Graham, size does matter with bouquets. "If you are a voluptuous or tall bride, you should select a bigger style of bouquet, because a small nosegay might seem out of proportion. Petite brides should pass on the grandiose bouquets and opt for something smaller so they are not lost behind a sea of flowers. And the average-size bride should select a medium-sized bouquet that presents a nice proportion when held in front of her body. And no matter your fashion choice, be sure your bouquet isn't too heavy or too fragrant - you don't want to sneeze your way up the aisle." Here are a few options for the perfect bloom on your special day.

Nosegay - for a petite bride

This is a small tightly packed mound of flowers, greenery and herbs, about 16-18 inches in diameter.

Posy - for a more petite bride or mini bride

This is a much smaller bouquet to the nosegay bouquet.


This is a combination of petal and buds - thick, waxy petals - that are wired together on a single stem to create a big flower. However, these bouquets take a lot more time and are usually more expensive.

Cascade - for a voluptuous bride

This is a larger bridal bouquet that allows a full-figured bride to project grace.

Choosing the right centrepiece:

Make sure the flowers in your centrepiece complement the other flowers in the reception space.

Make sure it is low enough so guests can easily converse with each other. If you want drama, a tall centrepiece, or a raised floral arrangement that begins above eye level is a better option. If budget is a factor, alternating high and low centrepieces is a cost-efficient way to add impact to your event.

For outdoor weddings, try to stay away from blooms like hydrangeas that are used to cool climates unless you have somewhere to keep it very cool until you are ready to use them.

Caring for the Flowers

Graham suggests the type flower or blooms used determines how long the flowers can survive. "All floral pieces need to be stored in a cool room - preferably below 60 degrees. Also, if the bouquet or centrepiece is going to be prepared a day or two before the wedding it's best to use blooms that are not fully opened so that by the time it's wedding day, they will just be opening and will be fresh and not withering or dying," she concluded.

Inside versus Outdoors

If you are having your wedding reception in a large, elaborate space, a small bouquet might seem too insignificant. Avoid bitsy bunches of flowers and try an elegant round bouquet. Orp if you really have a flair for the dramatic, go all out with a grand cascading bouquet.

Competing with Mother Nature is a definite no-no. Big or small, you will want something that works with your surroundings. An intimate backyard gathering calls for a hand-tied bouquet for that just-picked natural look, while a reception near the beach - with the ocean as your backdrop - justifies something grander.

Helen G. Event Planning & Design, Helen G Decor. Telephone: (876) 541-7772, (876) 488-0093, (718) 880-4067.