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Luna gown, $5,260, and ostrich feather Santorini shrug, $1075, both by Jenny Packham at Kelly’s Closet.

High Cotton

A perfect mix of sweet Southern sentiment and wild beauty, Amy Osaba’s cotton blossom bouquet elevates the common crop to a haute new level.

Here in the heart of Dixie it comes as no surprise that wisps of natural cotton have been cropping up in bridal bouquets. A longstanding Southern symbol, cotton blossoms add a sense of regional charm nestled among colorful petals and buds, sparkling antique brooches or natural succulents.

For this whimsical bouquet, floral and event designer Amy Osaba was looking to achieve a rustic, woodsy effect that still felt luxurious and elegant. “A lot of images I saw using cotton had a cloudlike quality,” remarks Osaba of her inspiration. The bride comes from “a good line of strong, earthy women,” she explains, and this unconventional look was right up her alley, as she favors vintage, handpicked styles over more traditional ones.

Flecks of silver brunia with ranunculus and a sprig of delicate pussy willow add texture and movement, while tufts of airy cotton, ranging from bright white to overcast gray, evoke a soft, sumptuous feel. Unexpected textural touches include the empty star-shaped pods that normally hold the billowy cotton. Mixing fresh green stems and baby sweet tulips with raw elements like a twining branch give this bunch the perfect balance of femininity without being overly saccharine, resulting in what Osaba proudly declares “a bohemian sophistication.”

“I definitely don’t think it’s for the traditional bride,” she declares. But that doesn’t mean cotton should be reserved for just farm or outdoor ceremonies. “I see it in a cozy mountain wedding, candlelit with long tables and plenty of white flowers.”

Amy Osaba, 678.570.3816