Why do Brides Want to Consider an Alternative Wedding Bouquet?
Fresh flower bridal bouquets are susceptible to drying, wilting, and fading over time. Certain alternative bouquet options are less susceptible to these problems. Brides getting married in inclement weather should consider the delicate nature of many fresh flowers for how they will hold up on their wedding day in determining whether or not to go with fresh flowers or an alternative in their bouquets. If a bride is having bridal portraits taken prior to the wedding day and will be carrying fresh flowers, she will need a separate bouquet for the photography session and her wedding day if she wants her fresh flowers bouquet to be at its best. Many times an alternative bouquet can be used on more than one occasion and still look its best. Although there are things brides can do to preserve their bouquets following their wedding, fresh flower bouquets will never look the same as on their wedding day. This is an important consideration for the bride who wishes to keep her bouquet as a keepsake of her wedding.
Some varieties of fresh flowers can be difficult or simply unavailable if the bloom the bride wants for her bouquet is in high demand or is out-of-season when the wedding is taking place. Out-of-season, difficult to secure blooms, or more popular blooms can be expensive too. Brides who want a bloom in a particular color may be out-of-luck if the flower does not occur naturally in that color and cannot be dyed so they will substitute an alternative in their bouquet.
Eco-friendly brides having a green wedding may object to the pesticides used to grow the majority of fresh flowers available in the United States or object to the waste from the bouquet. Organically grown flowers are available, but they can be difficult to find and are expensive unless the bride wants some from her own garden. Highly allergic brides, grooms, or wedding party members are susceptible to the pollen in fresh flower bouquets. Some brides may simply desire a less traditional bouquet for their wedding day that does not include fresh flowers so they turn to alternative bouquets.
All of these are reasons why some brides are choosing alternatives to fresh flower bouquets for their weddings. Some Alternatives to Fresh Flower Bridal Bouquets will discuss edible bridal bouquet arrangements.
Alternative Wedding Bouquets
Sugar Flower Bouquets
A sweet alternative to the fresh flower bouquet is the sugar flower bridal bouquet. Sugar flower bouquets can be designed to coordinate with the wedding cake if desired and can be made and delivered by the bride’s wedding cake vendor or another confectioner who specializes in sugar flower construction. Depending on the craftsmanship of the artist, sugar flower bouquets can be very lifelike. These alternative flowers are generally edible but, how tasty they are will depend on the vendor and the kind of material used to make the flowers. Fondant, spun sugar, gum paste, and painted sugar flowers are some of the more common materials used in construction. Depending on the type of material used to make the bouquet, it may be more susceptible to heat and humidity so they can droop over the course of the day. Keep the weather for the wedding location in mind when considering this alternative flower bouquet option. Fondant and gum paste are more susceptible to this problem. Like some fresh flower bouquets, sugar flower alternatives can be fragile so they should be handled with care. Be sure to talk to the vendor about any concerns the bride may have about using sugar flowers as fresh flower alternatives before the wedding day and do not leave the bouquet on the ground or anywhere else it may be exposed to insects, pests, and small children with a sweet tooth on the wedding day. Because each flower of the bouquet is hand-crafted, expect to pay a premium for a bridal bouquet made of sugar flowers.
Candy and Cookie Bouquets
Candy and cookie bridal bouquets are a whimsical alternative to fresh flower bouquets that can be eaten after the wedding. Brides can have their cookie or candy bouquets designed to resemble flowers or crafted to be a more abstract interpretation for their bouquets. An advantage of using cookie flowers as alternatives to fresh flowers is that the cookies can be iced with a special message. If the bride elects to toss her bouquet, the “flowers” treat can be enjoyed by the catcher. The bride may want to have the individual “flowers” wrapped in the event it is dropped by the catcher before it can be eaten. As a variation on this theme, try a fortune cookie bridal bouquet and include special notes with wishes for the future or happiness for the bride or couple on the wedding day. The bride can also have each flower contain a special wish for her attendants and give each a cookie flower from her bouquet to enjoy later for good luck for a spin on the bouquet toss tradition. Brides can select their favorite candy or use candy wrapped in cello or paper for a specific colored fresh flower bouquet alternative. Candy bouquets can incorporate custom-labeled chocolate bars for added personalization. If the bride elects to keep her original candy bouquet she and the groom can eat it on their honeymoon for a fun snack. Special love notes can also be incorporated into the candy or cookie bouquet to share with the groom on their honeymoon evening to make it even more romantic.
Vegetable and Fruit Bouquets
Another edible, albeit healthier, an alternative to fresh flowers for brides to carry down the aisle is a fruit or vegetable bouquet. Fruit and vegetables have traditionally been used in wedding bouquets and arrangements to convey abundance, fertility, and good fortune. Fruits and vegetables are available in a wide range of colors and many fruits and vegetables hold up remarkably well. Florists especially like to work with citrus fruits, sugared grapes, peaches, apples, and berries. In the vegetable department carrots, turnips, beets, and radishes can be quite lovely especially if the greenery is used with the root vegetables. Artichokes and celery are popular choices among brides. Really any fruit or vegetable can be used as an alternative to fresh flowers with proper planning. Try visiting the local farmer’s market for inspiration. Eco-friendly brides can select organically-grown vegetables and fruits that are more widely available than organically grown flowers stateside. Bouquet waste can be eliminated with the practicality of being able to cook and eat or compost the fruits and vegetables following the wedding.
Herbs were used anciently in bridal bouquets before flowers were adopted. It was believed that certain herbs offered protection from evil spirits. Garlic was commonly carried down the aisle to ward off the evil eye. Dill was used in bouquets anciently and was eaten after the wedding ceremony by brides and grooms and their wedding parties because it was believed to be an aphrodisiac. Sage was carried by brides in their bouquets because it was believed it would make them wise. Sheaves of wheat were carried to symbolize growth, fertility, and renewal. Other popular herbs brides might try as alternatives to fresh flowers in their bouquets include basil, rosemary, lemon thyme, bay leaves, and lilac. Herbs are a fresh alternative to silk flowers, but still, eliminate many of the pollen allergy concerns (just double check to make sure there are no food sensitivities). Herbs can also be carried in dried arrangements for the bridal bouquet. Fresh herb bouquets can be dried and hung in the kitchen to use in cooking following the wedding. The bride and groom can enjoy this tradition together by using the herbs in their own home or share the herbs with wedding guests.
Many contemporary brides who desire an alternative to carry fresh flowers down the aisle are opting to carry a crystal bouquet on their wedding day. Crystal bouquets are most often made up of small individual crystals that are wired. The strands of wired crystals are typically twisted together artistically to make a hand-held bouquet. Wired crystal stems can be shaped into many different bouquet shapes although the hand-held dome bouquet seems to be the most popular at the moment.
More expensive crystal bouquets feature crystals with high-lead content. Crystals with high-lead content are highly desirable because the higher the lead content of the crystals, the more sparkle the bouquet will have. The most popular manufacturer of leaded crystals used in crystal bouquets is Swarovski. This enables the bride to have the look of the crystal bouquet and the sparkle of higher leaded crystals without the expense of a crystal bouquet composed entirely of high-lead crystals. Wired crystal strands can also be mixed with wired faux-pearls for a less expensive alternative to fresh flower bouquets. Brides should be sure to check out specifically what kind of crystals or the lead content of the crystals are being used in the bouquet so apples are being compared to apples as she shops for her crystal bouquet. One caution to be observed with leaded crystal bouquets is to be careful to keep children and pets from ingesting leaded crystals as they can be harmful to their health.
Brides can choose different colored wire for crystal bouquets to personalize their bouquets. The two colors most frequently are seen and that are widely available in crystal bouquets are silver and gold-toned wire studded with crystals. If the desired wire-color is unavailable for the crystal bouquet, brides can also try applying a patina to the wires to alter the color of the wire.
Crystals are available in a multitude of colors for bridal bouquets. Many vendors will make crystal bouquets as custom orders so brides can personally design their crystal bouquet as they would a fresh flower bouquet. To personalize their crystal bouquets, brides can use crystals that coordinate with their wedding colors, the bride or groom’s birthstone colors or the anniversary month’s gemstone color. The bride could also use several different colored crystals for each member of the wedding party or the bridesmaids’ birthdays.
Porcelain Flower Bouquets
A realistic-looking alternative to fresh flowers is porcelain flowers. Porcelain flower bouquets are usually made up of individually hand-crafted and painted porcelain flowers that are arranged to make a bouquet.
Porcelain flower bouquets are an excellent alternative to fresh flowers if the bride wishes to be able to display her bouquet after the wedding as a keepsake or use it as an heirloom object. Porcelain flowers are wilt and fade-proof and can be dusted easily. Like fresh flower bouquets, porcelain flower bouquets can be fragile so brides should handle them gently. Most brides will want to make other arrangements if they want to toss their bouquet on their wedding day because of the delicate nature of porcelain flowers.
Depending on the kind of arrangement the bride chooses for her bridal bouquet, porcelain flower bouquets can be a heavier alternative to fresh flower bouquets. Keep this in mind when selecting the size of the porcelain flower arrangement and the duration of time the bride will be carrying it around.