The definitive guide to choosing your wedding bouquet

It's more important that you think

Kate wedding
Kate wedding
(Image credit: Rex Features (Shutterstock))

It's more important that you think

When it comes to your big day, choosing your bouquet might not be all that high on your agenda.

The bouquet has long been sidelined for the more 'important' details, like the wedding dress, location, and the seating plan (MUST keep Uncle Roger as far from Aunt Kate as possible, and all that).

But if you think about it, your flower arrangement is one of the most prominent features of the entire ceremony, *right* there in the brides hands for the duration.

The in-the-know guys over at Fairmont have created a really useful guide about the seven main types of bouquets for weddings, from what it looks like, why it's great, what type of bride it's best for and what famous face rocked it for their own wedding.

Here's what we learnt...

The Posy Bouquet

What does it look like? They consist of a bunch of flowers arranged in a circular fashion so that the bouquet is slightly domed. It works best with peonies, tulips, dahlias, roses or a mixture of the aforementioned.

What's great about it? It won't out-shine your dress, it's versatile (can be scaled up and down for complimentary bridesmaids bouquets) and they're less fragile than many other bouquets (you can lay them on the table etc). Who's it best for? Brides with extravagant dresses (because it's simplistic), petite brides and perfect for little hands (The Posy is a good choice for flower girls). Celebrity inspiration? Queen Victoria wore a posy way back in 1840 when she married Prince Albert. Hers was made mostly of snowdrops. Gorgeous!

The Cascade Bouquet

What does it look like? Flowers that look like they're overflowing you hands, cascading down.

What's great about it? It's a statement accessory and it works well with exotic flowers like orchids and amaranths.

Who's it best for? Brides who are wearing a long, formal-style dress and outdoor weddings (looks great mixed in with seasonal foliage). Celebrity inspiration? Princess Diana of Wales carried a spectacular cascade said to weigh almost 3 kilos. Jeez.

The Arm Sheath Bouquet

What does it look like? A bouquet designed to rest in the bride's forearm... sort of like in a pageant.

What's great about it? Its versatile (as in it doesn't have to be carried on the forearm), they can be kept afterwards in a vase, and they are budget-friendly (it doesn't require a large amount of flowers).

Who's it best for? Brides wear a streamlined or simple dress, tall brides, and women who like the natural look of the exposed stems. Celebrity inspiration? Farrah Fawcett carried one consisting of white lillies for her wedding to Lee Majors in 1973.

The Biedermeier Bouquet

What does it look like? A dense cluster of blooms, tightly arranged in circular patterns.

What's great about it? They're unlikely to lose shape and look amazing from every angle.

Who's it best for? They make a good choice for formal ceremonies and for brides looking for something a bit different. Celebrity inspiration? Paula Abdul wore one with white and orange roses for her wedding to Brad Beckerman in 1996.

The Book Bouquet

What does it look like? A book of significance - be it a bible, novel, photobook - with a single flower adorned on the cover.

What's great about it? It can be kept forever as a memento, couples can read parts from the book if they wish in the ceremony, it can be handed down through generations. Kinda lovely, really.

Who's it best for? Traditional brides and those wanting something a bit more personal and unique. Celebrity inspiration? Grace Kelly carried a Catholic wedding missal for her wedding to Prince Rainier of Monaco. It was adorned with a small bouquet of lillies of the valley and was decorated with silk and pearls to match her dress.

The Shield-Shaped Bouquet

What does it look like? A more structured and dramatic version of the cascade bouquet.

What's great about it? It works well with veils, it's more lightweight and mobile that other cascade bouquets, it can be carried with one hand and looks lovely from all angles.

Who's it best for? Trendy and elegant brides and brides who want to keep the focus on the dress. Celebrity inspiration? The Duchess of Cambridge wore one at the Royal Wedding in 2011. In her bouquet she included sweet William flowers as a tribute to her groom.

The Composite Bouquet

What does it look like? It consists of hundred of real petals wired together to look like one enormous flower. Stunning!

What's great about it? It's firmly held together, it's really distinctive (you won't see one of these at every wedding you go to) and it works well with silk petals (great for brides that suffer from hayfever).

Who's it best for? Brides wearing a simple dress and vintage-style weddings. Celebrity inspiration? Katherine Heigl carried one for her wedding to Josh Kelley in 2007.

The leading destination for fashion, beauty, shopping and finger-on-the-pulse views on the latest issues. Marie Claire's travel content helps you delight in discovering new destinations around the globe, offering a unique – and sometimes unchartered – travel experience. From new hotel openings to the destinations tipped to take over our travel calendars, this iconic name has it covered.