Continuing our series on wedding flowers, today let's focus on the bride's bouquet. Though fresh flowers are traditional when designing your wedding bouquet, you do have other choices. Some brides look for alternatives to flowers due to allergies, while others just want something unique and non-perishable. Whatever your reason for selecting something other than a fresh floral bouquet, you have an array of beautiful options.
The most common alternative to fresh blooms are silk flowers. Silk flowers are usually less expensive than the real deal, depending on what types of flowers you choose. Perfect for those brides with allergies, they are also unscented. However, if you love the fragrance of fresh flowers, silk might not be the choice for you.
One of the biggest benefits of silk flowers is that they can be pre-arranged. Therefore, you can know exactly what your bouquet (and other flowers) will look like far before the wedding. This will help avoid last minute mishaps and mistakes.
Not only are the initial costs of silk flowers normally less than fresh, but you can also reuse them for years to come. You can save all the silk flowers from your wedding day and use them in your home for parties or everyday centerpieces.
In recent years, several websites have emerged with paper flowers. For example, FloralOrigami.com offers paper bouquets in an assortment of colors. You can buy the finished pieces or purchase individual paper flowers and leaves, then arrange them yourself. Since they are paper, they won't wilt outdoors and are hypo-allergenic.
Here is a video that shows you how to make origami flowers yourself.
Like the flower girl, the bride can carry a basket of flower petals and sprinkle them down the aisle on her way to the altar. You can select rose petals or any other type of petals that you like, either silk or fresh. This is particularly beautiful for outdoor garden weddings.
For evening weddings outdoors, a wonderful idea is to carry a lit candle in a glass container as you walk down the aisle. You can also line the aisle with candles or paper lanterns to light your way. Everyone looks beautiful in candlelight. Candles are a very elegant, sophisticated alternative to fresh flowers.
An open bible or prayer book is the perfect choice for a religious ceremony. The bride can hand the book to the priest or officiant when she reaches the altar. I have also seen a wedding where the bride read a passage from the bible before handing it to her husband-to-be, who then did the same.
For a Catholic wedding, consider carrying a jeweled rosary as you approach them altar. Oftentimes brides use antique rosary beads that have been handed down through family members. You can also purchase wedding rosaries just for your special day.
Other alternatives to a floral wedding bouquets include a fur muff to keep your hands warm (perfect for winter weddings), a parasol umbrella (ideal for outdoor spring/summer weddings) or even an elegant handbag. Whatever you choose to carry down the aisle, make it uniquely yours by incorporating a little bit of your own personality and fashion sense into the style.
Story by Kori Ellis