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Your Complete Guide to Choosing the Right Bridesmaid Bouquets

Bridesmaids with bouquets

Photo: b.flint photography

With your planning well underway, it’s time to focus on the details of your wedding. 

You’ve probably already chosen your wedding flowers and your own bridal bouquet. Now, you need to outfit your bridal party with the perfect arrangements to match.

The perfect bridesmaids bouquets are out there, you just have to find them. In this article, we’ll discuss how to choose the best bridesmaid bouquets for your wedding.

Break out your wedding binder and let’s get planning!

Size and Style

Bridesmaids standing in the dessert and holding bouquetsPhoto: Bella Seattle | Rich Faiva

Before you do anything regarding flowers, you must have your bridesmaid dresses picked out and ready to go. In a lot of ways, the dresses will determine what your bridesmaids’ flowers will look like.

For instance, short dresses, sleek dresses, and simple dresses pair amazingly with smaller bouquets. Long dresses, elaborate dresses, and highly decorated dresses call for bigger bouquets.

Styling your bridesmaid bouquets also depends somewhat on the style of dresses your bridesmaids will be wearing. 

If they’re wearing long, sheath dresses, you should lean toward slender bouquets made of flowers with long stems and small blooms. 

Calla lilies, sweet peas, and lilies of the valley would all make a great match!

For fuller dresses with plenty of poof, you’ll want to stick to rounder bouquets with bigger flowers that stand out just as much as the dress itself. 

Peonies, hydrangeas, and the ever-popular rose are great for these.

Looking for the perfect bridesmaids? Head to a Bella Bridesmaids location near you!

How Big Should Your Bridesmaids Bouquets Be?

Whether your bridesmaid bouquets are the same size as your wedding bouquet or smaller is up to you. It’s a matter of personal preference.

If you like the look of photos where all the bouquets are the same size, that’s what you should do.

But if you want your bouquet to stand out on your big day, go ahead and scale down the bridesmaid bouquets to suit your taste.

Color Palette

Bride and twelve bridesmaids carrying flower bouquetsPhoto: Mallory & Justin

When it comes to choosing the color of your bouquets, there are endless options.

That doesn’t make it easy, but we can help you narrow things down!

Your bouquets shouldn't be the exact same color as you bridesmaid dresses. You’ll lose all definition between the two and they’ll simply blend together.

Here’s a pro tip:

If you’re having trouble visualizing colors, take a swatch of your bridesmaid dresses to a hardware store. Compare it to paint swatch cards until you land on a combination you love, and take those cards with you to your florist.

Now let’s discuss a few ways you can mix up the color of your bouquets:

Monochrome

This is as straightforward as you can possibly get.

Make all of your bridesmaid bouquets the exact same color. They can even be the same color as your bouquet.

Although it can come off as a bit bland, this does create a perfectly cohesive look.

Gradients

Play off of your color theme, but bring in different shades of the same color.

If you want blue flowers in your bouquets, try making each one a shade darker than the last. This will give you a smooth shift of color when your bridal party is standing side by side.

High Contrast

Make your bridesmaid bouquets really stand out against the dresses by using a little color theory.

Locate the color of your bridesmaid dresses on a color wheel, then find the color directly across the wheel from it. Use that color for the bouquet flowers.

Colors that sit across from each other on the color wheel are known as contrasting colors or complementary colors. They’ll pop against each other without clashing.

Type of Flowers

Bride and four bridesmaids carrying rose bouquetsPhoto: Bella Kansas City | Ashley Ice Photography

Choosing the type of flowers in your bouquets is another topic entirely. But once you know what kind of flowers you’re having at your wedding, there are different ways you can incorporate them into your bridesmaid bouquets.

The obvious choice is to use the same flowers you have in your bouquet to make similar or identical arrangements for all the rest.

But if you’re looking to make each bouquet unique while still tying them back to your own, try using a different flower from your bouquet for each bridesmaid's bouquet.

They will share the same flowers as you’re carrying, but each bouquet will only be made up of one kind of flower from your own.

For example, let’s say you’re carrying a rose bouquet that contains anemones, tulips, and carnations. You could have one bridesmaid carry anemones, one carry tulips, and one carry carnations.

It gives your bridal party a cohesive look without you all having to carry the same bouquet.

Popular Wedding Flowers and Their Meanings

White bouquet with orange flowersPhoto: Jenn Sanchez Design

While you’re deciding on which flowers to use for your bridesmaid bouquets, keep in mind that some flowers carry certain associations.

So if you want to add a special touch to your bouquets, you could choose flowers based on their meaning.

Here are a few of the most popular flower choices and the meanings they’re associated with.

Rose

As a whole, roses are considered to symbolize love. However, each color carries its own meaning.

Red roses usually stand for passion and courage, in addition to love. Pink roses often symbolize happiness, romance, and admiration. White roses are associated with purity and innocence, and yellow ones are associated with friendship, joy, and delight.

Peony

Peonies are a wonderful flower to include in any wedding flower arrangement.

They symbolize romance and a happy marriage, as well as good fortune and prosperity.

Dahlia

Dahlias are a beautiful statement flower that symbolizes elegance, inner strength, creativity, change, and dignity.

Calla Lily

These unique flowers are associated with holiness, purity, and faith, and are thus often found in religious wedding ceremonies.

Ranunculus

With each flower containing a complex array of colors, these are known to symbolize radiance, joy, and charm.

Carnations

The carnation is a beautiful flower that has been used as decoration for centuries. Its common meanings are love, fascination, and distinction.

Some legends say that carnations grew from the tears of the Virgin Mary, so they are strongly associated with motherly love. That makes them pretty perfect for any moms in your bridal party.

Is one of your bridesmaids expecting a child?

Check out our collection of maternity bridesmaid dresses!

Freesia

As a delicate flower with a lovely fragrance, it’s no wonder so many brides want to include freesias in their bouquets. These flowers are associated with friendship and trust. 

What better message could you send to the girls you chose to stand alongside you on your wedding day?

Lisianthus

An incredibly proper flower, lisianthus blooms have come to represent traditional values and morals, as well as the joining of two people in a lifelong bond.

If you give these flowers to your bridesmaids, it means you are grateful to them for being by your side.

Daisy 

Daisies are the calling card of true love, innocence, purity, and new beginnings. They are a bright reminder that your future with your spouse begins now.

Different species of daisies also represent different things. Gerbera daisies, for example, are associated with cheerfulness.

Protea

This wholly unique flower, with its wide center and pointed petals, is a symbol of transformation and courage. 

The king protea, which is a large, striking bloom that resembles a crown, would make a statement in any bouquet.

Dusty Miller

Perfect for a winter wedding, dusty millers are silvery and look like lace. They pair well with delicate flowers to round out any bouquet.

Because they represent joy, some dusty millers would be right at home in your bridesmaid’s bouquets.

Succulents

Succulents are known for being able to survive in harsh conditions. Therefore, in the context of a wedding ceremony, they symbolize everlasting love.

They look great in wedding bouquets, too!

Baby’s Breath

It’s not unusual to find these small flowers in wedding bouquets, and for good reason. They are associated with sincerity, compassion, trust, and everlasting love.

Bouquet Accessories

Bride with eight bridesmaids carrying red bouquets and wearing pink dressesPhoto: Bella Kansas City | Logan Clement Weddings

No matter how crazy you get with your bridesmaid bouquets, there’s always a surefire way to unify them after the arrangements are finalized:

Accessories!

Use classic satin ribbons to secure the stems together and leave the tails long for an elegant look. 

Fabric wrapped around the stems can tie them back to your theme. Lace works well for a vintage, Gatsby-style wedding, and burlap is perfect for a rustic wedding with a boho theme.

You can even use smaller flowers, like the universal baby’s breath, in every bouquet to give them a common element. Or add in greenery that brings them all together, even if the flowers are totally different.

However you accessorize, they’re sure to look absolutely stunning!

Don’t forget to coordinate with the mothers! See more in 15 Mothers of the Bride and Groom Corsage Ideas!

In Conclusion

Choosing the right bridesmaid bouquets has just as much to do with your gut as it does the trending flowers and colors of the season.

Do you want every bouquet to be the same? Are you comfortable letting each bridesmaid arrange their own bouquet? Have you decided to forgo flowers altogether for something different?

Whatever you choose, it has to be right for you. After all, it’s your wedding day, and now you’re that much closer to knowing exactly what “right” means for your bridesmaid bouquets.

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