How to Use Greenery in Lieu of Flowers at Your Wedding

A bride holding a bouquet of succulents and greenery, without flowers.

Everybody loves flowers. They’re colorful, they smell nice, they’re romantic, and a treat to receive. But when it comes to wedding decor, flowers have become somewhat…expected. Overdone. Maybe even a touch cliché.

Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t use flowers on your big day. If you’ve been dreaming of a wedding filled with roses or peonies, go for it (there’s no doubt it will be beautiful). But, if you’re feeling tired of classic flowery decor, there’s another way you can incorporate nature into your wedding: greenery! Here are a few tips for ditching the flowers and “going green” on your big day.

Shade Variety Is Key

Greenery as a centerpiece at a wedding reception table.

One reason people love floral arrangements on their wedding day is the wide variety of color a bouquet or floral centerpiece can bring to the space. While most greenery belongs to only one shade of the color spectrum (I’ll let you guess which one), there are many different hues and textures—and to decorate properly, you ought to use them all!

Look for greenery that has a wide range of shape, textures, and colors. Eucalyptus is a stunning shade of green, and it comes in two shapes (a round silver dollar shape and a thin, pointed one—double the fun!). Jasmine vine can bring some movement and flow to your arrangements, while big, vibrant monstera leaves can add a fun pop of emerald. You can even toss in some less-green greenery like silver brunia for a little shift in color!

As you can see, there is a lot of greenery to choose from, so feel free to get creative and combine these plants to make some truly unique wedding bouquets and decor.

Go for Garlands

An arch for a wedding ceremony decorated with green garlands.

Flowers tend to pop up in every aspect of the wedding decorating process. You need them on the aisle runners, you need them in the centerpieces, and you even need them on the cake! For a couple that’s not feeling the flower vibe, finding substitutes for all these blossoms might feel overwhelming. But in reality, there is one type of greenery that can solve all those problems: garland.

You can use garland to accentuate your aisle. You can lay it across your tables for a nature-inspired runner. You can tie it to the ceiling for an elegant, hanging gardens effect. You can dress up the cake with it (just wrap a little around each layer and you’re good to go). While I don’t encourage using only garland in your decor, it’s a great piece of greenery to use as a base.

Use a Twist on the Flower Crown

A bride and her bridesmaids wearing flower crowns made of greenery.

Flower crowns have been a popular choice in bridal fashion for many, many years. These little headpieces are romantic, feminine, and perfectly sweet—but they certainly aren’t your only hair option. These days, foliage is the new flower, and many brides are swapping out their flower crowns for something a bit greener, dressing up their ‘dos with leaves and other touches of greenery.

This style is essentially the minimalist cousin to the flower crown, and it has a wide range of style options brides can choose from. Wear a romantic, loose braid with some garland incorporated into your tresses. Hide the pins from an updo or half-up style with a few sprigs of green. You can even swap out the classic flower crown for a leafy alternative! The look is always classy, earthy, and totally gorgeous.

Decorate with Shrub Centerpieces

A reception table with plants and greenery as centerpieces.

So far, we’ve talked about ways you can swap out your bouquet, your reception decor, your cake-topper blossoms, and even the flowers in your hair. But how can you replace the floral centerpieces so ubiquitous to weddings? After all, those aren’t just used to decorate your table; some of your guests may take them home to decorate their own homes after the big day!

If you’re looking for a greenery-inspired solution to this problem, why not decorate your table with miniature shrubbery? These cute little guys are the perfect centerpiece for your table. You can get them in a variety of shapes, from the wild and natural-looking to the carefully shaped and manicured (you could even go for some topiary if you’re feeling really extra), you can dress up the bases in your wedding colors, and your guests can display them proudly on their own windowsills and kitchen counters!

Consider Your Color Palette

A boutonniere of greenery on a blue suit.

As I mentioned earlier, one of the benefits of using flowers on your wedding day is the wealth of color options blossoms bring to the overall look. When you use greenery instead, you only have green to work with—different shades of it, yes, but green nonetheless. However, this isn’t a bad thing! Green is a lovely color, and it can easily become the primary hue in your wedding color scheme.

But if you want to make all that green pop, what colors in the rest of your decor and in your attire should you pair with it? Well, that really depends on what style you’re going for. If you want to create a relaxed, calming ambiance, consider neutral tones like tan or navy blue. If you want to up the romantic feel, opt for blush or gold. If you want to bring a vibrant, tropical feeling to your big day, burnt orange or even bright pink will infuse your space with an electric energy. Whatever colors you choose, make sure they suit the vibe you and your partner are looking for—and make sure they go well with green!

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