For thousands of years, bridal bouquets have been a central part of weddings. The Ancient Greek and Romans carried bouquets of herbs to ward off evil and bad luck and, in the Middle Ages, bridal flowers were carried for their perfume scents. Victorian times are when we see bridal bouquets transform into what they are today; flowers were both chosen for their meaning, to communicate messages about love, passion, and fidelity and, for the first time, simply for aesthetic purposes.
Throughout history, flowers have also been used to represent and communicate different messages in the LGBTQIA+ community. For example, violets have always been associated with Sappho—legend has it that her lovers wore crowns of violets. Édouard Bourdet’s Broadway play The Captive, which debuted in New York in 1926, was the first Broadway play to center queer themes. The play ends with one of the main characters giving her lover a bouquet of violets, cementing violets as a symbol of queer love.
Today, while couples don’t necessarily play on the secret messages that flowers once communicated in planning their wedding aesthetic, they still put an incredible amount of thought and care into selecting the stems and arrangements for wedding bouquets and other arrangements. In weddings with a bride and a groom, we almost always see couples coordinate bouquet and boutonniere colors, but the scale and shape of the arrangements are so inherently different that the pieces are unique from one another. In weddings where both people carry a bouquet or wear a boutonniere, planning the arrangements is a bit more nuanced.
At Poppy, we get questions all the time from couples about whether two bouquets should match or be different, whether they should use the exact same color palette or simply coordinate in different tones, and whether exact stems should be repeated in each arrangement. While there’s no clear “right” answer to these, we have some expert suggestions! Here are some of our favorite examples from real Poppy couples.
Expert Approach #1: Perfectly Matching Bouquets
Catie and Tara got married in November 2022 at the Mint Museum in Charlotte, NC. They opted for a classic Bordeaux palette complete with burgundy, blush, cream and textured greenery. Both wanted matching bouquets in both shape and style, more of a tailored romantic garden vibe. Their bridesmaids wore varying shades of burgundy, purple, mauve, and pink and carried smaller, simpler versions of the bridal bouquets. This, along with matching altar arch and aisle floral arrangements, provided a beautifully cohesive look throughout Catie and Tara’s wedding.
Photos by Party of Two Photography.
Expert Approach #2: Same Shape, Different Colors
Alex and Blair got married in March 2022 at District Winery in Washington, D.C. Both brides went for a lush, garden look for their bouquets and used colors from different ends of their event’s bright pink palette. Alex’s bouquet had more white and subtle pops of coral and blush, with garden roses as focal flowers supported by minimal textural blooms like astrantia and parvifolia eucalyptus foliage. Blair opted for a more bright and punchy palette, complete with coral, blush pink, and cream, with minimal greenery. Soft, feathery blooms like ranunculus, lisianthus, and spray roses were the highlight of her bouquet, and helped create a lush and full look. Alex and Blair’s bouquets were unique yet coordinated perfectly, both matching with their light and hot pink bridesmaids’ dresses, and the florals used to decorate the altar arch and aisle decor.
Photos by Baker Ture Photography.
Expert Approach #3: Different Stems, Matching Vibes
Rockelle and Shakila were married in June 2022 at Iron Gate Restaurant in Washington, D.C with a reception at the same venue following. The overall color scheme they chose included lots of white and greenery, with a mix of muted pastels and some pops of bright colors. These lush wildflower-esque florals complemented the industrial garden feel of their reception venue perfectly. Both brides opted for a romantic and full bouquet, but went with different featured stems and colors. Rockelle loves sunflowers, so she chose to go with a bolder, more multi-color wildflower approach. Besides sunflowers, she incorporated chamomile, lavender stock, and cinerea eucalyptus. Orange roses, coral ranunculus, and blue delphiniums added beautiful bright pops of color.
Shakila’s bouquet had more muted pastels and a floatier, more overgrown vibe which was achieved by using butterfly ranunculus, scabiosas, and lepidium greenery. Rockelle and Shakila’s bouquets were simultaneously very similar and very different in the best ways possible. They both chose flowers they loved in somewhat different color palettes, but maintained a cohesive look by making sure the vibes of both bouquets played into that lush, wildflower feel. Their ceremony decor included white roses with various greenery, while their reception decor was brighter and more energetic. Their cocktail tables, chair decor, and sweetheart table all had eucalyptus, and that greenery provided a more neutral backdrop to help bring everything together.
Photos by Evergreen Photo.
At the end of the day, this is your special day, and you should do whatever feels right–including choosing what flowers feel authentic to you and your partner! At Poppy, we’re here to help you bring that vision to life, and we’re proud to get to work with all couples across the country.
Ready to chat about flowers for your wedding? Get started now.