How to Carry a Bridal Bouquet


There's more to carrying a bridal bouquet down the aisle than walking while holding flowers. The proper way to carry the bridal bouquet is determined by the bouquet style. Bridal bouquets are available in a variety of styles, sizes and flowers. Usually you will choose your bouquet to complement your gown style, so when you properly carry the bouquet it completes your wedding-day look. You should feel comfortable with the size of the bouquet so you are not fumbling with the flowers as you walk down the aisle.

Large Bouquets

  • Link your right arm with your father's left arm. By linking arms you can use both of your hands to hold the bouquet. Your arms should be linked at your elbows. Your father might choose to lay his right hand on your right arm as well.

  • Place your right hand near the top of the stem and loosely grip. Place your left hand loosely directly underneath your right hand so your hands are touching. You should use both of your hands to properly carry large bouquets including round, heart and cascading bouquets.

  • Hold your arms by your side. Your elbows should be bent slightly at your hips with your hands in front of you. The top of the bouquet should sit approximately at your bellybutton. Carry the bouquet low enough so the details of your bodice can be seen. Keep your arms and hands low, being careful not to raise the bouquet any higher than your bellybutton.

  • Tilt the bouquet slightly outward. Tilting the bouquet allows you to keep your hands and the stem of the bouquet concealed. You also show off the flowers and allow your bouquet to complement your wedding attire. Hold the bouquet at approximately a 20-degree angle, enough of an angle to conceal your hands and the stems and show the flowers, but not so much of an angle that the bouquet looks like a weapon or no one can see the flowers.

Small Bouquets

  • Link arms with your father at your elbows or hold his left hand with your right hand. Holding a small bouquet like a nosegay, pomander, fan or cone only requires one hand, unlike larger bouquets which require you to use both.

  • Hold the bouquet in your left hand. Grip the top of the stems directly under the blooms. The entire stem of the bouquet should fit within your grasp so that barely any stem can be seen sticking out of the bottom of your hand. In some bouquets, the stems will be cut flush with your hand so no excess sticks out.

  • Bend your left elbow at your hip, bringing your hand in front of you. The bouquet should sit to your left side, in front of your hip just below your waist line. This allows both your bouquet and your dress to be seen. A nosegay bouquet should be tilted outward slightly, approximately at a 20-degree angle, like you would with a larger two-hand bouquet.

Long-stem Bouquets

  • Link your right arm with your father's left arm at the elbow. You also can hold hands if you prefer to carry the long-stem bouquet with only one hand. If you are carrying a long-stem bouquet with a lot of blooms, use two hands for the proper support. A single bloom or only a couple of blooms can be carried gracefully with one hand.

  • Hold the bouquet along your left arm. Hold the base of the stems by cupping your hands around the ends. Lay the flowers against the inside of your arm so the blooms lie against your shoulder. Lightly press your left hand holding the bottom stem of the flowers against your hip.

  • Tilt the bouquet slightly over your shoulder. By doing this you are creating a line for your guests' eyes to follow from your hip, up your arm and over your shoulder. This slightly resembles how pageant queens hold arm bouquets.

Tips & Warnings

  • Hold the bouquet where it feels comfortable, remembering to show as many of your dress details as possible. If you feel nervous, hug your arms closer to your hips or squeeze your father's arm as you walk down the aisle, but do not bring the bouquet up to your face.

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  • Photo Credit Bridal bouquet image by Alexey Klementiev from
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