PA Images and Westminster Abbey
Following royal tradition, Meghan’s bouquet was placed on the grave of the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey.
A dainty contrast to the severe Givenchy elegance of her wedding gown, the seemingly artless bouquet of fresh-from-the-garden flowers will set floral wedding trends for years to come.
Wedding bouquet images on Instagram and Pinterest have carried American influences to the United Kingdom in recent years, with peonies and dahlias as star players in loose, naturalistic arrangements. These “gardeny” bouquets are inspired by the Slow Flowers movement in the U.S., which relies on local sources for seasonal blooms.
Meghan Markle was widely tipped to follow this floral fashion with a sprawling bridal bouquet featuring many of her favorite peonies. Instead, the royal bride went in a new design direction.
American floral designer Mackenzie Nichols was surprised by the lack of any large, focal point flowers in the royal bouquet, describing it as “a combination of secondary flowers which typically add texture and movement to arrangements.”
Meghan Markle’s Bouquet
Using only small, delicate flowers sourced from the gardens of The Queen, celebrity floral designer Philippa Craddock of London composed a bouquet containing two favorites of the late Diana, Princess of Wales -- lily of the valley, which was also used in the wedding bouquets of both Diana, and Meghan’s new sister-in-law, the Duchess of Cambridge, and white forget-me-nots. Scented sweet peas, fragrant jasmine, feathery astilbe, and astrantia with their pincushion centers made up the bulk of the bouquet. Sprigs of myrtle, which royal Windsor brides have carried since the Victorian era, rounded out the cluster of flowers, all wrapped with a custom-dyed ribbon of raw silk.
Calling it a “subdued, petite design” that expresses the “straight from the garden” feeling, Nichols predicts that the widespread publicity for the bouquet will have both retail and wholesale implications for the floral industry.
Royal Wedding Bouquet Setting Trends
Nichols, who is also a writer on floral business directions, expects to see “much more of this garden-to-bouquet trend moving forward.” As brides demand the look of Meghan’s informal, restrained bouquet they will also follow her emphasis on the source of the flowers, resulting in a boost for the Slow Flowers movement and reduced demand for flowers grown in South America.
The addition of homegrown flowers will be another floral trend, sparked by Prince Harry picking several flowers for Meghan’s bouquet. As Nichols says, “Who doesn't love receiving hand-picked flowers? It’s a meaningful, almost deeply respectful and thoughtful gesture.”
So next time you see a bride walking down the aisle, don’t be surprised if her bouquet is a small, hand-tied cluster of understated, seasonal flowers from a nearby flower farm, with a few special blooms contributed by the groom.