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Archive for Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Flower power

Ten tips for asking all the right questions and keeping your boquet beautiful

February 21, 2006

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Picking your wedding flowers can be overwhelming, but before you toss your hands (or your bouquet, for that matter) in the air, take a peek at our experts' Top 10 tips about choosing wedding blooms:

1. Don't go too delicate. Choose a flower for your bouquet that is gorgeous but tough enough to withstand the many pictures you plan to take prior to, during and after the ceremony. We love orchids; they look delicate but are surprisingly hardy. That means no wilting! Plus they come in a variety of styles and colors. If you're looking for an equally resilient but less expensive option, carnations or gerbera daisies are good choices.

2. Listen to your florist when choosing your flowers. He or she will tell you what's in season and what will last the longest. (Hint: Picking flowers that are in season means saving money.)

Some seasonal favorites:

Fall: dahlia, gardenia, gerbera daisy, orchid, hydrangea, rose, stephanotis.

Winter: calla lily, gardenia, gerbera daisy, hyacinth, orchid, daffodil, ranunculus, rose, stephanotis, sweet pea, tulip.

Spring: anemone, calla lily, gardenia, hyacinth, orchid, peony, rose, stephanotis, sunflower, sweet pea, tulip.

Summer: dahlia, gardenia, gerbera daisy,orchids, hydrangea, rose.

3. Think beyond. Think about incorporating the bouquets into the head table (where the bride and groom are seated) or including them in your sweetheart arrangements. These arrangements aren't your standard centerpieces. A sweetheart table is a head table for only the bride and groom, making this centerpiece the center of attention.

4. Think about your style. Choose a bouquet that best suits you; don't be afraid of choosing something different. A single bright orange rose is fun, and so are you.

5. Mix it up. Create a bouquet from an assortment of textures and flower types fora chic and updated feel. Get creative and add interesting elements that highlight your personality or wedding location, such as branches, seashells, brooches, crystals, monograms, or even a photo of a loved one.

6. Think about your dress. Provide your florist with a picture of the dress so he or she can see the area where you will hold the bouquet and be aware of bows and other details The waist area dictates what the bouquet will look like, and the dress style will influence what shape the bouquet will take. Let your wrists fall above your hip bones and use both hands to hold the stems of the bouquet in front of your belly button. If you have a presentation bouquet, which is held Miss America-style, simply rest it on the lower part of your arm.

7. Size matters. If a bouquet is too big, it will hide the bride's shape and weigh her down. Too small, and it will get lost in a sea of fabric. For a larger woman, a smaller bouquet allows her to project grace, whereas an oversized bouquet may have the opposite effect. A tiny bride will also benefit from a scaled-down bouquet because it accents her stature. The last thing a smaller woman wants is a large cascade or sheaf that catches everyone's attention, but not in a good way.

8. Take a cue from color. You can't go wrong with an all-white bouquet; it can be casual or formal, classic or contemporary. But if color is what you're after, try using smaller hints of color instead of hue-heavy blooms. For instance a dress might get lost behind a bouquet of big red roses.

9. Plan ahead. Have your florist deliver the bouquets in water so that after the ceremony your girls can put them aside, and then at the end of the evening take them home looking fresh. Remember to have a towel on hand to blot stems so the dresses don't get wet.

10. Keep him looking good. Get more than one boutonniere; you'll need a fresh one after all those congratulatory hugs and kisses during the receiving line.

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