An ultimate touch of class
The bouquet may seem on first sight a trivial part of the entire bridal ensemble. But more brides are giving almost as much thought to the styling of the bouquet as they are to the dress.
Reams of post-wedding analysis were devoted to the simple yet dramatic lily-of-the-valley constructed bouquet used by royal Kate Middleton last year, after which there was an uptick in the use of the flower in bouquets everywhere.
Similarly, trends of all sorts do tend to drive what brides - and their florists - are choosing in modern-day wedding bouquets.
'Trends are becoming more diverse as every bride wants a bouquet that truly reflects her own personality,' says Hong Kong-based floral designer Solomon Leung, of Solomon Bloemen, specialists in custom-made floral designs.
Still, Leung is picking up on a few key trends. Among them are vintage-inspired bouquets, in colour and sensibility. He has been using roses and peonies in intriguing shades of dusky pink, duck egg blue and beige to hark back to another era. Changing gears completely, he is also often asked to use brilliant and bright florals - gloriosa lilies, purple vanda orchids - combined for an eye-catching look.
Given the vast range of options available, Leung says he first encourages his clients to eliminate the flowers and shades they don't want, whittling the options down.
'Once they have that resolved, it's a sail,' he says. 'General guidelines are that bouquets should be in a similar style as the gown and not be so big that it hides the bride's waist when she is holding it.'
For some couples, he says, the bouquet is critically important.
'I have done a few lavish ones, with exquisite snowdrops and lilies of the valley, for a couple from France. The bouquet was tiny, but it cost the earth.'
Over at the Mandarin Oriental Flower Shop, manager Peggy Leung says her brides mostly adhere to an elegant, streamlined bouquet, using white flowers with some wild green foliage. 'They seem to prefer to have either one colour throughout, either using one specific flower or an assortment of flowers in that colour,' Leung says.
As what happens typically with women going into hair salons armed with the latest celebrity magazine, she says Hong Kong brides do tend to emulate what movie stars and royal brides carry down the aisle. But she adds that a bride's mother holds a lot of sway, as well.
'To be able to assist the bride with her selection, it is important to understand when they are getting married, so I can establish what flowers are in season, and then know the theme of their nuptials and their favourite colours.'
From there, Leung helps match the flower colours to the wedding gown, looks at the overall aesthetic, and works within the bride's budget.