When you get invited to a wedding, you know you’re likely going to see a few things: a white dress, several bottles of champagne for toasting, and of course, flowers. Flowers are seemingly omnipresent in wedding ceremonies and receptions, and they have a long history of being associated with brides. In addition to looking lovely, a bouquet of flowers was thought to ward off bad spirits, signify a new beginning and promote fertility, and communicate secret, sweet messages between the bride and groom through their choice of flowers.
But what if flowers aren’t your thing? Or what if your fiancé is terribly allergic to anything that blooms? And let’s be honest, what if flowers just don’t fit into your already stretched-thin budget? Luckily modern day weddings are all about personalization, and if flowers aren’t a great fit for your wedding, then feel free to forego them.
However, just because you decide to go without flowers for your wedding ceremony and reception doesn’t mean that you have to walk down the aisle empty handed. Let’s check out three alternatives to flowers that will be just as gorgeous—and maybe a little easier on the budget.
Remember brooches? They are those little pins your Great Aunt Millie adorns on her sweater to step up her Thanksgiving outfit. And as it turns out, they’re also a really popular alternative to bridal bouquets. Brooch bouquets are sparkly, pretty, dainty, and best of all, they can last a lifetime.
For your brooch bouquet you’re going to need anywhere from 30 to 60 brooches, depending on how full you want your bouquet to look. One of the best ways to get all of the brooches you need is to request them from friends and family members. It’s likely that your aunts or grandmothers have a few in their collection that they wore when they were girls, which will make your bouquet just that much more special—knowing that you have little family treasures with you as you’re walking down the aisle to start a new life. If you want your friends and family in on the brooch gathering action, the easiest way to let them know is to indicate on your bridal shower invitation that you would like each guest to bring a brooch as a gift to the bride.
Besides reaching out to friends and family, antique and thrift stores can be treasure troves for brooches. Just be sure to give yourself plenty of time to go shopping before the wedding so you can find a wide variety of styles and colors.
Paper Flower Bouquet
Paper is such a versatile crafting tool, and it can be folded into a beautiful bouquet of flowers for your wedding day. Besides the fact that you don’t have to worry about your bouquet wilting after your wedding, you are also unrestricted by what’s in season or what colors you want to use.
The best part is that you’re unlimited on what kind of bouquet you want to create. You can try to create realistic looking flowers, or you could create a bouquet that’s filled with several whimiscal prints and shapes. You could create a bouquet of beautiful origami flowers with multiple sheets of brightly colored paper, or you could buy the sheet music of a song the two of you love to create the wedding bouquet.
There are many different paper wedding bouquet tutorials online to choose from, but be sure that you start your crafting early so that you’re not frustratingly trying to put it together the night before the ceremony. It’s also best to go to the craft store and purchase really high-quality paper so that it won’t look flimsy once it’s been folded.
If you’re not really into flowers for your bouquet but you still want to go a more traditional route, another option is to make a bouquet with other unexpected natural elements. For example, you could create a bouquet using multiple palm leaves for a wedding with a beachy vibe. Or if your wedding has more of a winter wonderland theme, you could use a bunch of pine needles bundled together. Succulents are also another beautiful, on-trend option for a bouquet (which can later be planted in a terrarium in your home).
Opting for a more rustic look? Cotton stems would look great in a bouquet for a rustic, country wedding ceremony. And for a truly sensory experience, you could tie herbs like rosemary and sage together with a ribbon for your wedding bouquet. Not only will the bouquet of herbs look chic, but you would also have a distinct bridal scent.
For a truly unique look, you could choose to walk down the aisle with a wreath instead of a traditional bouquet. A wreath could also be put to special use after the ceremony and adorn the door of your home for the first couple of weeks of your married life.