Love Tokens

Brides are making a personal statement by adding special mementos to their floral bouquets.

When Elizabeth Hanley married Ricky Bouchard in Orlando last September, her bouquet of roses and orchids also held a sentimental extra: a sapphire-and-pearl brooch that her father had given her mother. She pinned it to the ribbons binding the stems of her bouquet as her “something blue,” but more importantly, the brooch represented the bond she shares with her parents. “Having the brooch with me on my wedding day made my bouquet even more meaningful,” she says.


Like Bouchard, many brides are personalizing their bouquets with treasured baubles, heirlooms, photographs and other mementos. These special extras pay homage to the past, celebrate the couple’s future or simply reflect the bride’s personality and sense of style. Photographer Kelly Canova has seen a variety of unique items pinned to bouquets, including antique wedding rings belonging to a beloved family member, initial charms and religious icons, and small framed photos of loved ones who aren’t present for the ceremony.

It’s a trend that is taking off in Central Florida, and wedding vendors are taking note. Last year, photographer Heather Rice started surprising her clients with a photo charm of their engagement portrait to add to their bridal bouquet. “It’s my gift to them,” she says. “I love the idea of giving them a ‘something new’ that also has sentimental meaning.”


Bride Jackie Pascale complemented her new photo charm from Rice with “something old”: a family rosary. “I wanted to incorporate some of my faith; this was something I’d had as a child,” she says. Since she and husband Gregg chose a secular setting—Highland Manor in Apopka—for exchanging their vows, Pascale wanted to carry an item that represented her religious upbringing. Both the photo charm and rosary were a part of her bouquet, and she plans on turning the photo charm into a Christmas ornament for the holidays.

Elizabeth Bouchard pinned her mother’s antique brooch to her bouquet herself, but these tiny treasures can also be secured to a bouquet by the actual florist. There typically isn’t an extra charge to add a small item to a bouquet, so cost usually isn’t a factor when a bride wishes to personalize the flowers she’ll carry down the aisle.

Some factors brides should consider, however, are scale and visibility. Like a lacy garter beneath a bridal gown, these keepsakes aren’t for show, but for the bride to know that there’s something special beneath the petals of her bouquet. These tokens aren’t meant to compete with the blooms; instead, they’re a tiny bit of personal expression with significance far larger than their small proportions. 

Adding something personally meaningful to your bouquet can take a collection of blooms from simply beautiful to deeply symbolic. And while you can preserve those flowers or press them into a memory book, whatever keepsakes you choose to add can serve as enduring mementos of your special day.

Categories: Floral