History + Modern Bride + Bouquets iii

The custom of enhancing the wedding ceremony with flowers dates from ancient times, but the wide selection of bridal bouquets now available has only been a relatively recent development. The popularity of each has waxed and waned through the past few decades, each evolving special variations over time.  

(Captured Soul Photography)

Prayerbook or Bible Spray The prayerbook or Bible spray is a sign of faith and spirit. A long-time favourite of devout brides, especially Catholics, a small spray of flowers is attached to her prayerbook’s cover. While a traditional choice, it can be designed in a contemporary way.

Shower bouquets Shower bouquets replaced posies as the bridal bouquet of choice around 1910. By 1920 this style became quite exaggerated, with larger and larger bouquets almost concealing the bride! 'Lovers’ knots' were incorporated into the design; yards of ribbons streaming out of the bouquet featured knots along their length into which buds and foliage were inserted. Interestingly, the custom of tossing the bridal bouquet to unmarried girls is only half of the original tradition – the catcher of the bouquet was entitled to untie a lovers’ knot and the wish she made was said to come true. Lovers’ knots are the evolutionary forerunner of ‘swing flowers’ – tiny blossoms ‘swinging’ on narrow ribbons attached to a posy bouquet.

After reaching their peak in the 20’s and 30’, shower bouquets all but disappeared by WWII: their generously elaborate style at odds with the austerely simple suits worn by war-time brides. Corsages, now the sole premise of mothers and grandmothers of the bride and groom, were often worn instead of a hand-held bouquet during the war years.


What used to be termed the shower became known as the large, multi-trail bouquet and was subsequently renamed the Princess in honor of the late Princess Diana and her impressive bridal bouquet. The new, smaller shower bouquet regained top position in the 1980’s.

The shower then gave rise to the popularity of the similar teardrop, trail and cascade. These are all variations in proportions, with the most contemporary being the cascade. It features waterfall-shaped dimensions, the width across the top not much more than the width below. This gives a more natural, flowing look than the stiff point of the teardrop and a neater look than the trail, which peaked in the 90’s. Their long, elegant line can often be more flattering than the plump, round shape of the posy and complement elaborate and vintage gowns beautifully.


So there you have it! The most popular bouquets and their history. The rise and fall of bouquets! :) Hope you enjoyed.


Happy Planning!

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