Bow Bouquets: The Sweet Tradition You've Never Heard Of

Whether you’re a superstitious bride or a member of her tribe looking to mix up the hen’s do, look no further for all there is to know about ‘bowquets’.

  • Story by Julia Steel
  • Photography by,, Pinterest, Shutterstock

You may have seen the occasional bow bouquet as you scroll through your Pinterest feed and wondered why brides take part in this sweet tradition and if you should as well.

Using the ribbons and bows from bridal shower gifts, the creations mimic a floral posy. They serve as a place filler for the actual bouquet in ceremony rehearsals to help decide on logistics and positioning.

A physical manifestation of love and best wishes from family and friends, ‘bow-quets’ are said to bring luck and good fortune to the bride in the lead up to her big day.


The tradition has something of a mysterious past but seems to have originated in the United States and evolved over the last few decades. The first iteration continues in some parts of the southern US with the ribbons used to create bow bonnets - a fun opportunity to make the wearer look silly!

The required materials for the base of either arrangement tend to be a paper plate with [hot] glue or tape, though more modern takes on the bouquet require a Styrofoam ball and a sturdier, usually homemade, handle – various how-tos on both methods can be found all over the internet.

The collecting and arranging of ribbons often falls on the maid or matron of honour to do either during or after the shower, though of course other bridesmaids, or the bride, can also do it.

Traditionally a bow bouquet is saved as a keepsake or discarded, but as more and more brides are inclined to save their flowers (they are costly after all!), this option might also be worth considering for the toss over the extra cost of a specific throw bouquet.

Have you created a bow bouquet? Would you? Tag us on Instagram @newzealandweddings

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