Must-know Wedding Flower Terms

Think all bouquets are created equal – just a bunch of flowers tied together with a pretty ribbon? Wrong. There are a variety of styles, and some work better for formal weddings, while others are more suited to casual affairs. The same goes for what flowers are in season and the different types of centrepieces and vessels. Read on to ensure you have a realistic idea of what is feasible within your budget.


Cascade: Resembling a floral waterfall, this type of bouquet is a spill of blooms and greenery anchored in a handheld base.

Hand-tied: An unstructured but packed in group of “just-picked” flowers and greenery secured with wire or floral tape and finished with ribbon, fabric or twine. A great choice for a rustic or boho-style wedding.

Posy: A popular and classic bridal option, posy bouquets are fashioned mostly from blooms in a typically rounded shape and wrapped with ribbon.

Round: As the name suggests, this type of bouquet is all about the shape and are fashioned into perfect domes, usually using one variety of flower like peonies or roses.

Nosegay: Similar to posy bouquets in that they are compact and easy to hold, nosegays place more emphasis on greenery and are often used for bridesmaids' bouquets.

Pomander: Perfectly round spheres of flowers to form a ball-shaped bouquet, which includes a ribbon handle. They are great for flower girls, but also work well suspended from something to dress the aisle or ceremony space.

Pageant: A bouquet of long-stemmed flowers which is usually cradled in the bride’s arms

Composite: A very dramatic style of bouquet, also known as a glamelia. Quite a bit of work is involved to arrange and secure individual petals so that they resemble one giant flower.


Breakaway: A group of a few arrangements, usually low in height and containing different floral varieties, to make one centrepiece. 

Pedestal: The shape of the vessel sets the scene for this centrepiece, which usually involves flowers that cascade over the sides of a trophy or pedestal-shaped vessel for a dramatic look.

Tiered: This floral structure is a slightly triangular shape and made up of a series arrangements stacked in tiers, small to big.

Globe:  An arrangement of flowers in a rounded vessel or mounded circular shape. 

Trumpet:  Just like the instrument it’s named after, this type of floral arrangement is wider at the top and narrower at the base, usually working with the shape of the vase they are arranged in.

Candelabra: This centrepiece is created at the base, neck or top of a multi-armed candelabra. Often, greenery or ribbons are used to add interest to the base of the vessel.

Garden: A great option if you’re using long, banquet-style tables at your reception, these garden-inspired centrepiece typically feature an assorted collection of wildflowers in an unstructured, loose arrangement. Lisianthus, hollyhock, rambling roses, digitalis and smilax are well suited to this arrangement style. 

Fish bowl: Low centrepiece style with flowers assembled in a glass bowl.



Bubble:  A great choice for casual receptions, this spherical vase has great impact when arranged in a line along a rectangular banquet table.

Cube: Usually placed in the centre of the table, this modern-shaped vessel is often striking enough to be used alone, however, you may want to style a few small ones around tall, slim vase.

Pilsner:  A narrow-bottomed vessel with a wide-mouth, this vessel looks just like the beer glass it is named after. It’s usually used to hold flowers which have been loosely packed in a round shape. 

Pedestal: A  medium-height vase that’s similar in shape to a trophy and looks fantastic with flowers and greenery spilling down its sides. 

Cylinder: T hinking of going for a tropical-inspired theme? These tube-like shaped vessels are perfect for displaying submerged blooms, such as tropical orchids or calla lilies. 



Boutonnieres: Usually worn by grooms, groomsmen, ushers, and the bride and groom's fathers, boutonnieres are usually a single bloom (or a few small buds) attached to the left lapel of a jacket.

Corsages: Created from a single bloom (or sometimes a small cluster of blooms) and decorated with ribbon or tulle. Typically worn by mothers and grandmothers, corsages can be made as pin-on, wrist and hand-held styles. Some popular flower choices include orchids, roses and gardenias. 

Garlands: A great way to decorate pews in a church, doorways and the back of chairs, this strand-like arrangement is composed of greenery and flowers.

Huppahs: An integral feature of the traditional Jewish ceremony, a huppah is a wedding canopy decorated with branches, greenery or flowers.

Ikebana: Inspired by Japanese culture, this style of flower arrangements is said to be in unison with space, size, earth and air. 

Topiaries: Flowers or foliage trimmed into shapes that look miniature trees or animals.

Trellises: Often used as ceremony backdrops at outdoor weddings, these are woven wooden frames that work as a support for climbing plants and flowers.

Wreaths: Wedding wreaths are rings of flowers or other decorative materials that are used as a centrepiece, headpiece or door hanger.


See all the florists and floral stylists on The Directory.