A guide to wedding flowers - terminology

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Communicating your ideas to your floral designer can be difficult especially if you are not familiar with the industry lingo.  The list below covers the most commonly used terms in wedding floral design.  If you have any questions I haven't covered do feel free to message me, I will be happy to answer any questions if I can.

Bouquet ~ The term used to refer to flowers held by the bride or bridesmaids.


Arm Bouquet

(Also called a sheaf, presentation or pageant bouquet)

Usually held in the bend of the arm, it is a long stemmed bouquet often roses or lilies.

Buttonhole or boutonniere

The lapel flower worn by the men in the wedding party i.e. the groom, groomsmen, ushers, pageboys and father of the bride.  Normally a matching blossom & trims to the flowers chosen for the bouquets.

Cake flowers

(also called cake toppers)

Matching designs for placing on the cake, whether just a single design for the top or small flowers to go around the cake, discuss your needs with your floral designer.


The flowers or designs used on the tables.


(Also called a halo or a hair garland)

Circlets are worn on the head they can be designed to sit either on the crown, mid or lower on the forehead and may be all round flowers or only partial with the front floral and the rear in ribbon, depending upon your wishes.


(also called a spray or pin flowers)

A small design of flowers to be pinned on to the shoulder area, usually for the mothers or female guests.

Destination wedding

It is very popular to have wedding overseas or on an island and take all the items you need with you.  A destination wedding bouquet set is usually a smaller size or especially designed to fit into a box for packing.

Flower girl ball

(Also known as a pomander or kissing ball) 

Generally a small ball design with a ribbon handle for use by younger bridesmaids or flower girls.  Can be all round flowers or fabric with floral top design etc.

Flower girl wand

A wand often has a star or heart top & a long handle with a floral design and flowing ribbons.  It can also be designed just in all flowers similar to a posy but with an extra long handle great for little hands to keep a grip.

Hair flowers

Most florists will design to suit your hairstyle, talk to your hair stylist to see what attachment method suits your style.  Most flowers can be mounted on either a straight wire (to weave into hair), loops of wire (to bobby pin in), or on a range of combs & clips for more formal styles.

Hand bouquet

A small free form bouquet held in the hand, often designed like a small arm bouquet being one sided not a posy. Used mainly as a flower girl or throwing bouquet.

Hand tied posy bouquet

A less formal looking posy design of flowers gathered in to a rough posy shape and held together by ribbons with the base of the stems often being left exposed.

Pew flowers

Usually a single or small floral design with a larger bow to be tied or clipped onto a church pew.

Posy bouquet

The traditional bride, bridesmaid or flower girl posy is an all round domed design with a handle.  Many designs are available within the posy classification from the very formal, high domed, full or airy etc.

Teardrop bouquet

An inverted teardrop shaped bouquet with a full rounded top tapering gently to a tip, shorter than a trailing bouquet.

Throwing posy or toss bouquet

The flowers thrown to the single female guests after the wedding to save throwing your bridal bouquet.  Generally a mini matching version of the bouquet.

Trailing bouquet

(Often called a traditional bouquet or a cascade bouquet)

Similar to a teardrop but it has a longer trail and often a less formalized look.  Generally reserved for the bride with matching posies for the bridesmaids.

Wristage or Wrist corsage

A small floral design to be worn on the wrist as an alternative to the traditional corsage.  Often worn for school formal events and by bridesmaids for the reception instead of carrying their bouquets.  The wrist corsage base has many options from elasticated, pearl, diamante or tied ribbon.

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                                    Best wishes for a wonderful wedding

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