** Caveats: (1) These suggestions really only apply to the standard bouquet. If you’re carrying something less traditional (like, say, this or this), I’m afraid I’m not going to be terribly helpful. (2) Always follow instructions given by the photographer. Their vision trumps these basic guidelines.

For many bridesmaids, yours truly included, marching down the aisle is an intimidating experience. Everyone’s looking at you. Your photo is being snapped from every angle. You may be wearing a dress or shoes that aren’t especially comfortable. And you’re often carrying a hyper-feminine accessory, a floral bouquet, with which you haven’t the slightest idea what to do.

Here is a compilation of tips I’ve received from the pros over the years. (Blue Orchid Designs also has a great reference post on this topic.)

In my experience, the most common mistake bridesmaids make is carrying the bouquet too high. As beautiful as Jessica and Kate are (and they are knock-outs), it would be nice if they lowered their bouquets just a bit so we could see their dresses better.


Here is how it’s been explained to me:

1. With your dominant arm, wrap your hand around the bouquet, with your thumb and forefinger just below the blooms at the top of the stems. (Dominant arm because these suckers can get heavy after holding them for awhile, and this will be the arm that holds the bulk of the weight.)

2. Take your other hand and wrap it around the stems just below your first hand.

3. Lower the bouquet so that your thumb on hand (1) is roughly at your belly button.

4. Although it feels a little awkward, move your elbows slightly away from your body. Your arms will look more slender and toned (even if gym time has been scarce).

A few pics of the pros: perfect height, perfect hold, and perfect space between body and elbows. Oh, to be a princess.