Sarah Loughrey-Jennings, founder of Hiding in the City Flowers, argues that the bouquet should be seen as an extension of the bride’s personality – so forget old rules about perfectly matching flowers to dress and trust your instincts to find the flowers that suit your style
At Hiding in the City Flowers, we’re often asked about the importance of factoring in the colour and style of dress when you are choosing your bouquet. This is obviously a consideration and, while your wedding dress is the main driver in achieving the confident look you want, all of your accessories – including florals – define your personal style too.
Traditionally, there were so many ‘rules’ about the shape of bouquet following the shape of wedding dress – you can still find them online today. But I personally don’t pay much heed to them. Instead, I see the bouquet as an extension of the bride’s taste and personality. Essentially, here is a single accessory that contributes to whole bridal look, in exactly the same way as headdress or designer heels. Why should the shape be dictated by historic rules? Shouldn’t all the accessories work together to ultimately make the bride feel like the most beautiful creature in the room?
At Hiding in the City Flowers, that’s the view we take. So we encourage brides to make the most of this glorious opportunity to carry the flowers they love in an arrangement that is uniquely theirs.
Bending the rules
As a classic example of when it is a good idea to ignore the old rigid rules about bouquet matching dress, we had a bride recently who threw out convention in favour of her style. The bride was of Hungarian heritage and was wearing a traditional beaded headdress that had belonged to her grandmother, alongside a Carolina Herrera dress she’d fallen in love with.
Both gown and headdress were stunning and very statement. But had we followed those old conventions on bouquet shapes, our bride would have ended up being upsold a massive teardrop bouquet – a third statement piece that shoehorned her into a look that didn’t feel right for her.
Instead, we created a romantic hand-tied rose bouquet mimicking the feminine lines of both the dress and the headdress, but then we injected those whites and creams with a flash of hot pink to draw out the vibrant beading in her heirloom headpiece. It was this bold move – adding flashes of colour to a simple arrangement – that tied everything together. The final photographs were stunning and our bride loved the originality of her bouquet design.
We work with each bride’s individual style and personality and create floral designs based on that. If you’re an understated bride wearing a gown with clean modern lines and saying your vows in a garden marquee, you may want flowers to look pared-back too. That’s when we’d perhaps suggest creating a smaller bouquet that’s in tune with the relaxed venue – for instance, it could be made from a blend of amazing grasses and cow parsley in muted tones, rather than big flower heads that feel out of place in this setting.
It’s always important to think about your wedding day ensemble as a ‘package’, but if you feel comfortable with your dress, accessory and floral choices, the ‘matchy matchy’ aspects should not become a stress point. This means that your dress should never totally dictate your flower choices. Rather, it should be a gentle guide – a theme – to work with.
It’s worth remembering that if you’ve found your dream dress, the chances are that you’ll naturally gravitate to floral designs and colour palettes that work well with this and complement your look.
So forget sticking to rules and remember instead that flowers should be one of the fun and whimsical parts of planning a wedding. We love to help brides navigate their way through the myriad choices, so enjoy the creativity of selecting a floral style that fits your personality, enhances the rest of your outfit and – most of all – that you love enough to want to carry with you and see immortalised in your wedding photographs.
About Hiding in the City Flowers
Hiding in the City Flowers was launched in London in 2013 by Sarah Loughrey-Jennings and creates floral designs for weddings, and events. Sarah sums up her style signature as: “relaxed and unstructured florals that are perfect for ultra-cool brides”. hidinginthecity.com