Wedding Terms

Flowers have a starring role at weddings. A bride traditionally carries a bouquet, and other members of the wedding party may also carry or wear flowers. Before you place your flower order, review your options and understand the differences in floral varieties. Here are some key terms you should know from A to W:

Arm or Crescent: Flowers are nestled over the arm.

Assembled in Foam: Flowers are held in florist’s foam that is placed in a plastic holder. This form of construction is less labor intensive than wiring.

Ballerina: A round bouquet made up of a few flowers arranged with tulle or netting. This bouquet was popular in the early 1940s when the war made flowers scarce.

Biedermeier: A tight, rounded bouquet made up of concentric circles of blossoms. Using different flowers for each circle can give a striped effect.

Boutonniere: Flowers worn on the lapel by the groom and the male members of the family. These are currently also popular for women of honor.

Cascade: A bouquet anchored in a hand-held base. Flowers and greenery hang or “cascade” down the front. These are charging back into style again and I say Whoopee!!

Colonial: Large bouquet of the same shape as a nosegay.

Composite: Individual petals and leaves are wired and put together to create the appearance of a single giant blossom. Given the labor involved, this method results in a rather expensive bouquet, but stunning for the bride daring enough to truly be different.

Corsages: Flowers usually worn by the mothers of the bride, as well as grandmothers, Godmothers, married sisters as well as favored relatives. They can either be pinned to the dress or worn on the wrist. They should not be so large so as to actually cover a great part of the outfit or of a color that would clash with it. Although I would say get ready for the future because today’s teenager likes to purchase huge corsages for proms, so I see this bigger version of a corsage moving to wedding of the future, and again I say Whoopee!! I just love to stir things up.

Hand-Tied: The stems of the flowers are tied together with ribbon or tulle. This style was the focus at the wedding of Caroline Kennedy daughter of Jacqueline and John Kennedy.
Mono-botanical: all one type of flower.

Nosegay: A round, densely packed cluster of blooms, all cut to the same length and then tightly wrapped with ribbon or in a hand-held base.

Pomander: The flowers form a small ball, often carried by a loop of ribbon. Flower girls often carry this bouquet. A word of caution, this looks like it could be a lot of fun to throw to most young children. With a feisty youngster these can look quite mangled in pictures.

Posy: Small-scale nosegay made up of buds.

Presentation or Pageant: a bunch of long-stemmed flowers cradled in the bride’s arms. Think Miss America Style.

Single Stem: one long-stemmed flower, which may have ribbons around the stem is carried, a good complement to a minimalist style gown, or a very tight budget.

Spray: flowers gathered in a triangular-shaped cluster.

Teardrop: a variation on the cascade bouquet; it is rounded on top and comes to a point at the bottom.

Tussy-mussy: a Victorian style of nosegay carried in a silver cone holder.

Wired: The top part of the flower is removed from most of its stem. Wire is threaded through the top of its stem, allowing the flower to be twisted and turned to form the bouquet’s shape

Wristlet: This small flower bouquet worn on the wrist. The bracelet part of this item is now a very stylized item. Again the younger crowd is really changing the look of these going forward.

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