Did you know that the wedding bouquet is a tradition that dates back to ancient Rome? Brides carried small flowers or wore simple garlands, choosing flowers that symbolizes hope and fertility. But it was Queen Victoria who popularized using flowers in wedding bouquets. Her bouquet closely resembles what our modern idea of a wedding bouquet looks like.
Now, bouquets focus on color, shape, and fragrance. Bouquets are a staple for many brides, and there are countless options when creating both artificial bouquets and fresh floral arrangements. As a wedding photographer, I’ve made handmade wedding bouquets for my brides, most often for bridal portraits, or what I like to call bridal sessions.
A bridal portrait is a type of wedding photoshoot, specifically for the bride. This is a popular tradition in the South, having originated in Europe. Bridal portrait photos are typically taken before the wedding, with the bride in her wedding dress. However, I’ve known couples to participate in these sessions together.
In my experience, bridal sessions are a great opportunity for couples who:
The beauty of these sessions is that you can make them whatever you want them to be. Some couples are interested in bridal portraits of the bride only. Others like to take new photos together. Whatever works for you works for me.
The best bridal portrait bouquet is one that you love. It should be a reflection of your personality and the season you’re in. Dried flowers are a fantastic option when creating wedding bouquets. They’re versatile, easy to find (if you know where to go!), and you can keep them forever. Wedding bouquets are just one of many wedding photo props you can use in your photos.
When I design my handmade bouquets, I like to use a mixture of greenery, grass, and flowers. This provides a variety of textures and colors, creating a full and dynamic bouquet. My goal is to keep these bouquets simple but elegant. As a prop, a wedding bouquet should enhance the photo and compliment the bride—never distract and pull attention away. As a little something special, I also like to include fresh flowers if the bride has mentioned an interest in them. Flowers are always picked on the day of the bridal session to ensure their freshness.
Many brides use Pinterest to design and plan their weddings. There are endless photos and how-to guides to provide inspiration. I encourage the brides I photograph to share their inspiration with me to give me a better idea of what they’re looking for when I start designing their bouquets. With that in mind, brides can also find inspiration from:
Handmade bouquets are unique. No flower or stem will sit exactly the same way as in another bouquet. This is what makes these handmade wedding bouquets so special. More than anything, I want these handmade bouquets to be personal to each bride.
Even though bridal portraits are usually of the bride only, who’s to say that the groom can’t join in? I encourage the couples I photograph to participate in these bridal sessions together if they’re interested in taking new wedding photos. It’s another chance for couples to experience this moment together, capturing this specific time in their lives.
If you and your sweetheart are interested in taking new wedding photos or you want those pre-wedding shots, be sure to get in touch so we can begin planning! As your wedding photographer, I can’t wait to meet you and help design your handmade wedding bouquet!
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Kalu Ndukwe Kalu
The things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone, but the things you do for others remain as your legacy.