5 Tips For Picking Perfect Bridesmaid Bouquets

I've already run down how bridesmaids dresses are often the worst thing ever, since the 'maids are beholden to the bride's taste, or lack thereof, and that shit gets pricy, with all the accessories from shoes to the Spanx. But how about we cut the Bridezillas in our life a break and some slack? In addition to picking a serviceable gown for several women who likely are of different sizes, shapes, and styles, said bride also has to worry about other stuff. Like floral arrangements. Did you know there is an art and a science to matching the bridesmaids' bouquets to the dresses?

While most invitees are looking at the bride, not her bouquet nor her bridesmaids and their bouquets, let's not lie to ourselves and pretend that the bride herself isn't concerned with this detail on her big day. Because of course she is.

"Matching flowers to bridesmaids gowns can be overwhelming," Danielle Thompson, head designer of Agoura Hills Floral Design and a florist on BloomNation, which is the Etsy of arrangements, told me. "Brides often find themselves looking at dozens of pictures of bouquets wondering how those bouquets will look in photographs and how they'll complement their own bridal gowns."

I know. I never though of that perspective, either. But then again, I'm not planning a wedding.

If you are a bride who cares about every last detail, which you very likely are, then you are hella concerned about the blooms your bridesmaids will carry, since they will show up prominently in the pictures, which will be around forever and for posterity. So you need to pay close attention to these suggestions and this advice.

Thompson shared five exclusive tips on how to pick bridesmaids bouquets. My eyes have seriously been opened. No wonder brides lose their minds and morph into 'Zillas. So. Much. Detail!

1. To Match Or Not To Match

"Brides can get very excited about their palette and get nervous to deviate from their chosen color," Thompson says about one of the main issues that brides face when making this decision. "If a bride picks a blush gown, she may feel drawn to select only blush flowers. Blush flowers would be beautiful; however, when pictures are taken, the blush flowers against the blush gown can be lost. If a monochromatic palette is what you love, then try to make sure the flowers are one or two shades lighter or darker than the bridesmaids' gowns. They will photograph beautifully."

2. Spin The Color Wheel

Thompson also suggests playing with color because of course you should. "Some brides really crave color and it can be intimidating," she notes. "What grouping of blossoms are going to complement the gown? Donʼt be afraid to play." Thompson recommends taking the swatch of selected bridesmaids' gowns to a local home improvement store and picking eye-catching color swatches from the paint department. (Did we just go from David's Bridal to Ace Hardware? Hey, if OPI can partner with a hardware shop, so can brides!) Thompson suggests bringing them to a floral artist to "let them show you how those colors will translate into some beautiful, colorful pieces. Nothing makes a plum gown pop like fuchsia, tangerine, and chartreuse."

3. Does Size Really Matter?

When it comes to bridesmaids' gowns and bouquets, among, ahem, other things, the answer is "YES." Thompson says, "If you select a bridesmaid gown that has a lovely and colorful print or a gorgeous gown that ties at the waist with a brooch, then a smaller more simple bouquet will be appropriate. If you select a very modern and chic gown, a more intricate bouquet will be more appreciated. One question I like to ask my brides is, 'Are there various shaped girls in your wedding party?' As a curvy girl myself, a medium to larger bouquet always looks more proportionate than the petite posies. Consider these factors when selecting the size of the bouquet."

4. Counting Costs

Weddings are expensive, something Thompson (and any good bridal florist) understands and respects. "I am always very aware of my bride and groomʼs budget," she says. "Let's face it, with all of the aspects that go into creating a floral contract, from the brideʼs bouquet to the ceremony site decor to the centerpieces, it all adds up quickly...The bridesmaids are there to support the bride and do not need expensive or fantastically detailed bouquets if the budget doesn't allow for it. Keep them simple. Ask your floral artist how to do that. They will be happy to suggest flowers that are in season, cost effective, and in keeping with your aesthetic.

"One of my brides used white hydrangea for the bridesmaids bouquets and to save money, yet make them different and stand out. I went to a vintage flea market and selected silk scarves in all shades of peacock blues and purples to tie around the handle of the bouquet. They were lovely, simple, and chic."

5. The Element Of Trust

Brides, remember that you are paying a florist for their expertise, so let go and let them, you know, do the job for which you are shelling out cash. Relinquish a little control; I know it's tough but they're professionals who know what they are doing. "After selecting a floral designer you trust, let go a little," Thompson notes. "It's wonderful to come in to a consultation with pictures and know what you want. Just know you have a professional with many years experience to help you create an amazing and unique design for your bridesmaids.

"If you select a charcoal gown you can go in many directions with color, whether with neutrals or vibrant tones. If your colors are gold, chartreuse, and navy, why not have a pop or citrus colors to be playful? Or if your style is more sophisticated, why not go with all green bouquets with different greens, herbs, and succulents? Let your designer help you and have fun."

Images: Maravilla Gardens, Carly Taylor, Mindy McVey, James Claxton Photography, Erin Hearts Court/Courtesy Bloom Nation