Unless you are picking a bunch of daisies on the way to the Hall, you are going to order a bridal bouquet and no matter what flowers you choose, there are certain guidelines you should follow to ensure your flowers get to the chuppah in one piece! While this article is not about selecting the perfect flowers, keep in mind that if either the kallah or the chatan or someone in the bridal party is allergic to flowers or certain types of flowers, this should be taken into consideration when selecting a bouquet.
It should be obvious that the flowers in the bouquet should be at their freshest during the photo sessions for both the pre-chuppah pictures and under the chuppah.The bouquet and timing
First of all when are the flowers needed for photos? There are two options: (1) the kallah will be photographed with the bouquet during the outdoor-pre-wedding shots or (2) if there are no pre-wedding shots or the flowers are not needed for these pre-wedding shots (discuss this in advance with the photographer), then the kallah will need the bouquet only when she is sitting in the kallah chair, through the Bedeken and as she walks down the aisle and under the chuppah (but more on this later).In general, the bouquet is received the morning/day of the wedding, either brought to the kallah's home or to the Bridal Salon.
Examining the bouquetThe kallah should appoint someone to be responsible for receiving and then examining the bouquet, as well as for the safety of said bouquet until after the chuppah.
What to look for:
- Check that the flower petals are not brown, wilted or dry and that flowers, such as roses, are not completely opened (they should open completely before the photo shoot/chuppah). Roses can be blown gently open. A good wedding bouquet resource website is : http://weddings.theknot.com/gallery/gallery_results.aspx?gallery=20 What I like about this site is the fact that the bouquets are photographed as they are held by a 'bride', and so you get a good idea of their size in relation to a wedding gown.
- Check that the stalks are standing straight and look fresh, not wilted, bent or crushed.
- Check that the leaves or other greens in the bouquet look fresh and green, not wilted, bent or crushed.
- If the stalks of the flowers are tied with ribbon, string and/or florist wire, make sure the bouquet is tied securely. If the bouquet has been inserted inside a mesh holder, make sure the flowers are securely fastened to this holder.
- Make sure that the mesh holder or the florist wire has no jagged or sharp edges that can snag the kallah's dress, cuts fingers or in general endanger the health of anyone at the wedding.
- If flowers or leaves are wilting or do not seem fresh or the bouquet is not tied together as it should - call the florist immediately!
- If the bouquet contains strings of pearls, crystals or any other glittery additions not created by Mother Nature, make sure these glued-on shiny bits are securely attached. If too many of them look like they are about to fall off - call the florist immediately!
You can place the bottle and the bouquet into a fridge, but first make sure to (1) make room for the flowers in the fridge, so you do not bend or break any and (2) assign someone to be responsible to remember to take the bouquet out of the fridge before you leave for the Hall.
Think about this: There is no reason for the kallah to hold the bouquet for hours on end. It is enough that she hold it for (1) outdoor, pre-wedding shots and only when necessary, (2) when she is sitting in the kallah chair (if there is one) and (3) while she is walking down to the chuppah. Under the chuppah, the kallah does not and really cannot hold the flowers throughout the ceremony, as she has to have her hands free to accept the ring, accept the ketubah and so on. Assign someone to hold the flowers for all the in-between times.
For a look at the humorous side of bridal bouquets, read my article "A tale of one bride and two bouquets or How could 20 flowers and some ribbon weigh two hundred pounds? " http://yochieisner.blogspot.co.il/2011/03/tale-of-one-bride-and-two-bouquets-or.htmlFor more information on weddings, bridal beauty tips and more check out Hot Topics on this blog and my site.