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Published: Sunday, 5/18/2008

The bride's bouquet: Look for vivid colors, bead or crystal accents, and new ways to wrap them

BY ANN WEBER
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Flowers ready for use in wedding bouquets at Glendale Flowers & Gifts. Flowers ready for use in wedding bouquets at Glendale Flowers & Gifts.
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If one believed in the old-fashioned language of flowers, the perfect wedding bouquet might be a mix of ivy (fidelity), lily of the valley (happiness), tulips (passion), and lavender (luck).

But for many contemporary brides, color says it all. Sentiment aside, they re talking rich reds, deep pinks, eye-smarting orange, chocolate brown, pistachio green, sunny yellow, and pool blue, plus purples, peaches, corals, even black.

The elegant and demure blooms of cream, white, and pastels still get invited to their share of wedding bouquets, but some local florists say color rules in spring/summer, 2008.

I find they re asking for a lot more color in the bridal bouquet. ... The brides are getting a lot bolder and liking to go with more color, especially for the summer weddings, said Catharine Janick, owner of Urban Flowers in Rossford. Everything

tends to be a lot more vivid, she added, noting that one currently popular color

combination is hot pink and orange.

A streamlined cascade pf white lilies, cymbidium orchids, white sweet pea, and crystal gems. A streamlined cascade pf white lilies, cymbidium orchids, white sweet pea, and crystal gems.
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Some brides may use just a touch of color in their bouquet to pick up the hue of the bridesmaids dresses where color is also coming on strong. Other brides may carry a full-color bouquet a loose mound of red roses and stargazer lilies, for example, that calls to the apple-red dresses of her attendants.

I do a lot of all-red or all-pink bouquets for brides, said Beth Hafner. She and her husband, Dan, own the Hafner Florist shops in Sylvania and Holland.

Many bouquets have jewelry-like accents such as beads and crystals, and fancy ribbon wraps with pearl-headed pins on the stems. Both trends are in step with the larger world of fashion, Mrs. Hafner pointed out: Everything in fashion is getting glitzedup, and the use of color is more acceptable.

Hand-tied bouquets are another trend, said Cheryl Howald, floral designer at Myrtle Flowers on Dorr Street. In a hand-tied bouquet, the stems peek through wrappings of ribbon, fabric, or raffia. The bouquet can be held in the hands (forearms resting

on the hip bones, by the way) or laid across an arm.

I think it s more natural-looking, she added.

The fabric used to wrap flower and foliage stems is sometimes the same as the bridesmaids dresses. Denise Lambes, owner of Glendale Flowers & Gifts in South Toledo, said many brides want a bouquet with a natural, just-gathered look that shows more stem and includes foliage or grasses.

Striking fillers that add shape, texture, and color include hypericum berries.

Many of today s bridesmaids, Mrs. Lambes said, are carrying bouquets that contrast rather than match the color of their dresses. A bouquet of orange or green would pop off a brown dress, for example, with the brown color picked up in ribbon, berries, or gems.

Colorful bouquets for both bride and bridesmaids show up well in the wedding photos, she pointed out.

Florists say popular bouquet flowers include calla lilies, roses, gerber daisies, cymbidium orchids, stargazer lilies, peonies, ranunculus, hydrangeas, sweet pea, tulips, and stephanotis.

Most are gathered in soft, round shapes. The cascade flowers that seem to spill down from the bundle aren t as popular now, Mrs. Lambes said. Brides who do choose a cascade want it to have a more structured, streamlined shape, she added.

Several factors affect bouquet decisions, florists say. Aside from the obvious influences of the wedding s color theme and personal preferences, there s the time of the ceremony (evening being more formal), the size of the bride (a big cascade might overwhelm a petite woman), and the style of the wedding gown (beaded and lacy, or tailored and simple).

You have to be careful about any special details on the dress, said Ms. Janick of Urban Flowers. If the gown has an exquisite waist, for example, an arm-held bouquet would be a better choice than one that s carried in front, covering the waist detail.

I feel flowers are really just a beautiful accent or accessory to the gown, Mrs. Hafner agreed. I don t think the flowers should overtake the bride or the gown. ... You don t want [the bouquet] to fight with the details.

Depending on the type of flowers used and the size of the arrangement, bouquets can range in price from about $45 to $225 apiece in the Toledo market. Budget-conscious brides may choose to carry just a stem or two although not many are doing that these days, according to Mrs. Hafner. If they do, the best choice is something that gives you a lot of bang ... a flower that has a big presence, she said.

Gerber daisies or calla lilies are favorite choices among brides who are carrying just a flower or two instead of a full bouquet, Mrs. Lambes said.

Some brides who don t want to part with their lavish wedding bouquet order a smaller bouquet to toss at the reception.

And some want to keep their bouquet around till death do them part or a long time, anyway.

Bouquets can be preserved, Mrs. Hafner noted. We probably do 25 to 50 a year. I usually tell them to put it in the fridge and bring it to us the next business day and we ll start drying it.

Contact Ann Weber at: aweber@theblade.com or 419-724-6126.


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