Glossary of Terms for Commonly Used Floral Bouquets

Cascade A waterfall-like spill of blooms, often composed of ivy and long-stemmed flowers, that is wired to cascade gracefully over the bride's hands.

Classic bouquet A dense bunch of blooms that can be anchored in a bouquet holder, wired, or hand-tied.

Composite A handmade creation in which different petals or buds are wired together on a single stem to create the illusion of a giant flower.

Crescent Composed of one full flower and a flowering stem, often orchids, wired together to form a slender handle that can be held in one hand. Designed as either a full crescent -- a half circle with a central flower and blossoms emanating from two sides -- or a semi-crescent, which has only one trailing stem.

Nosegays Small, round bouquets, approximately 16 to 18 inches in diameter, composed of densely packed round flowers, greenery, and occasionally herbs. Nosegays are wired or tied together.

Pomander A bloom-covered ball suspended from a ribbon. Ideal for child attendants.

Posies Smaller than nosegays but similar in design, posies often include extras like ribbons or silk flowers. Perfect for little hands.

Presentation Also known as the pageant bouquet, this is a bunch of long-stemmed flowers cradled in the bride's arms.

Tossing This copy of the bridal bouquet is used solely for the bouquet toss ritual.

Tussy Mussy From the Victorian era, a tussy mussy is a posy carried in a small, metallic, hand-held vase. Today, the term is often used in reference to the holder itself.

Other Flowers & Arrangements


Boutonniere A single bloom or bud (or several small buds) attached to the left lapel of the jacket. Boutonnieres can be worn by grooms, attendants, ushers, and the bride's and groom's fathers.

Candelabra A floral centerpiece created at the base, neck, or top of a multi-armed candelabra. Such a centerpiece is usually touched with flowing greens or ribbons, depending on the wedding's style.

Corsage A single bloom (or small cluster of blooms) arranged against a lace or tulle doily and/or accented with ribbon. Corsages come in pin-on, wrist, and hand-held styles and are typically worn by mothers and grandmothers. Orchids and gardenias are popular choices.

Dais The centerpiece at the head table (where bride and groom are seated), which drapes to the front of the table for visual effect.

Fish bowl Low centerpiece style that consists of flowers clustered in a glass bowl.

Garland Elaborately woven rope or strand arrangement, typically used to adorn pews and doorways. A garland can also be paraded down the aisle by two or three little ones.

Huppah A wedding canopy decorated with flowers that is an integral part of the traditional Jewish ceremony.

Topiary Flowers or foliage trimmed into geometric shapes, often resembling miniature trees or animals.

Trellis A woven wooden frame used as a screen or support for climbing plants and flowers.