Somewhere along the history of weddings, the floral industry (and the wedding industry) has convinced us that the elaborate and lush arrangements of fresh flowers we see in magazines and on TV is the proper, traditional wedding floral choice, and silk flowers (or no flowers) is cheap and tacky. I can see how silk flowers seeming tacky might have been then case years ago when you couldn’t get high quality fake flowers, but today you can get beautiful, high quality silk flowers at nearly any craft store, or flowers and decoration arrangements made out of nearly any material imaginable.
Here are some pitfalls when using fresh flowers.
- Having fresh flowers means that you cannot have your floral decor made more than a day or two in advance of your event (as opposed to other options, which can be made months in advance and stored until the event day).
- With fresh flowers, someone has to be responsible for going to get them the morning of the wedding, ensure the order is correct (and heaven help you if it’s not), transport them to the event site(s) and make sure they are all where the should be, or you have to pay an exorbitant fee to have the florist deliver and set them up.
- You have to store them from the time they are picked up until the event begins. In most cases, this is a whole lot of flowers that have to be kept cool and hydrated anywhere from a few hours to 2 days. (I know, I know, if you store them properly blah blah proper care blah blah they will be fine. But that is one more moving part on an already hectic day that someone has to worry about.)
- They wilt. Fast. I have been to weddings where the bridesmaids bouquets were already wilted before the walked down the aisle.
- You can’t save them unless you dry them, and if you don’t dry them properly they crumble. I don’t know about you, but to me, this sounds like big pain in the hiney!
- People are allergic to them and you end up with half of the bridal party sniffing and sneezing with puffy red eyes, runny noses and red blotches all over them.
All of these issues can be avoided by choosing to use something other than fresh flowers for your floral decor at a wedding (or any other event).
Here are some alternatives to fresh flowers that still make an impact.
Silk Flowers. Silk flowers are a great alternative to fresh flowers, and make it easy to make your own DIY bouquets and arrangements.
Candles. Nothing can create atmosphere like flickering candles, and your money will stretch a lot farther towards votives and pillars than for beaucoups of blooms. Be sure to check the sales after the Christmas holidays, this is a great time to get candles at a deep discount.
Lanterns, Bird Cages, Lucite Risers, and other Non-Florals. There are plenty of eye catching decorations you can use that don’t involve of any type of flowers, or when combined with flowers will greatly reduce the number of blooms needed to make a stunning display.
Non-Floral Bouquets. Who says flowers have to make up bouquets and centerpieces? Flowers can be made out of paper, broaches, seashells, fabric; anything can become a bouquet if you get creative. The Overwhelmed Bride has some great ideas for alternatives to flowers in bouquets, and Nine to Five offers a great source for flowers made out of old book pages.