Flowers are an essential element in most weddings, and bouquets for the bridesmaids are an attractive tradition that looks stunning in photos. However, flowers are not for everyone—and they can be super expensive.
These days, wedding planners are experimenting with many unique looks to better compliment the bride and groom’s personal styles on their wedding day. Some are using flowers in non-traditional ways, and others are foregoing them altogether.
Discovering new and exciting ways to personalize your wedding has become a tradition unto itself. What’s more, creative solutions not only help your wedding to stand out, but they’re great fun for DIYers and can help put the budget-conscious at ease. That said, let’s take a look at some bridesmaid bouquet alternatives!
Do Bridesmaids Need Bouquets?
Bridesmaids are an integral part of every wedding, and traditional bouquets are one way to help them stand out from the crowd. Nevertheless, there are many alternatives when it comes to having your bridesmaids carry something down the aisle.
Of course, at a traditional wedding, your bridesmaids would each have a beautiful flower bouquet and the groomsmen boutonnieres. However, there are no hard and fast rules about these sorts of things, and it’s your wedding day—you should do what feels right.
In fact, the original reason why bridesmaids carried bouquets was so that their floral scent would mask their body odor. Of course, this was done when regular bathing was not an option for most. Thankfully, these types of issues are no longer a concern, and bridesmaid bouquets are included as a beautiful accessory, although not a necessary one.
What Can Bridesmaids Carry Instead of Bouquets?
One of the most essential things that bridesmaid bouquets do is provide a cohesive look for the event. As such, there are other options to ensure the best possible wedding experience. You’re free to be creative and, once you start looking, you’ll soon find some amazing bridesmaid bouquet ideas. Here are a few of our favorites!
We know we said flower alternatives, but paper flowers have come a long way in the past few years. From simple to the most intricate designs, faux flowers are growing in popularity. Plus, if you’re DIY-inclined, you can create some stunning and unique looks that your bridesmaids can then take home with them to keep as a memento. Unlike traditional bouquets, these bridal bouquets won’t wilt or dry out, making them a great keepsake for your bridesmaids!
If you or someone in your wedding party is into DIY projects, you can make your own bouquets. Follow these steps from blogger The House That Lars Built. You’ll be able to create your bouquets however you’d like, using colors from your wedding. The ideas are endless!
For a bride that isn’t so crafty, you can find creators on Etsy to create beautiful paper flower bouquets.
Flower crowns and headpieces are extremely trendy right now. Instead of having your bridesmaid carry a bouquet of flowers down the aisle, have them wear a delicate floral crown. This look may not be for everyone, but for the bride with a whimsical boho wedding style, this could work wonderfully!
Wreaths are a gorgeous alternative to the traditional bridesmaid bouquet. They provide a more rustic appearance and are ideal for wintertime weddings. They’re also made out of simple foliage, so they’re less expensive than flower bouquets and make a statement. Plus, your bridesmaids can take them home after the wedding and hang them in their homes.
An excellent alternative bridesmaid bouquet idea to add some color to the event without flowers is to give your bridesmaids pinwheels. Not only are they fun and whimsical, but they look fantastic in photographs and keep everyone smiling, especially when there’s a light breeze outside.
Fans are another stand-out option. They look beautiful and are the perfect complement for summer weddings to help your bridesmaids stay cool. Also, they come in a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes, and you can even have them custom made to match the style of your wedding perfectly.
Corsages are making a comeback as they are an excellent way to still incorporate fresh flowers into your wedding and are still budget friendly. Corsages are stylish, beautiful and allow your bridesmaids to use their hands.
Another bouquet alternative idea that’s trending right now is lanterns. Lanterns look elegant in pictures and add some serious ambiance to evening ceremonies. The flickering glow provided by the lanterns also sets the perfect mood for the reception, where they can be used as decoration or gifted to your bridesmaids.
You may also want to consider parasols as an alternative to bouquets. They’re pretty and practical, providing a feminine accent, pop of color and come in a variety of designs and prints. What’s more, your bridesmaids can use them to provide shade during sunny outdoor ceremonies.
Winter Muffs or Shawl
For winter weddings, winter muffs or shawls can add some adorable style to your bridesmaids. They can be used to keep bridesmaids hands warm during the ceremony and offer a unique look that you can’t achieve with flowers. Winter furs and muffs also add an elegance to your bridesmaids.
Tips for Bridesmaid Bouquet Alternatives
Remember, it’s your wedding. Now’s your chance to express yourself and personalize your wedding so that it will be an event you’ll never forget. If you’re looking for something different than flower bouquets for your bridesmaids, don’t let tradition hold you back.
Make it Yours
Personalizing your wedding is more than selecting a unique color palette. Don’t be afraid to take the customization process a bit further to make the event truly special. Your bridesmaids are like your VIP guests, and there are so many amazing alternatives to flower bouquets to choose from.
Whatever bridesmaid bouquet ideas you decide to use, take the opportunity to share your interests and favorite things as a couple. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and approach your wedding based on what you like to do. Make it fun, and don’t worry too much about tradition.
Consider the Season/Weather
Be sure to think about the time of year when your ceremony is taking place. Is the venue indoors or outdoors? Can you expect a lot of sun, or is there a good chance there might be rain? Will it be cold or hot?
In some cases, the season and weather can help you to determine the proper bouquet alternative. For instance, if you’re having an outdoor wedding and expect lots of sun, then parasols may be a perfect choice. On the other hand, if it’s likely to be cold, winter muffs add an unmistakable style and cozy appeal that’s hard to pass up.
Consider Your Budget
No matter how you plan your wedding, budget is always a concern. While flower bouquets are beautiful and add vibrancy to the atmosphere and photographs, they can also add up quickly, especially if you have lots of bridesmaids. In some cases, you may decide to opt for a less expensive option for your bridesmaids in order to save more of the budget for other things.
There’s nothing wrong with setting priorities with your budget. You may feel that money is best spent on more immediate concerns, such as venue and catering. In this case, have your bridesmaids carry simple fans or paper flowers. There’s no shame in setting priorities and focusing on what’s most important to you.
Consider a DIY
For DIYers, creating your own pieces to feature on your wedding day can be more budget friendly. There’s no better way to personalize your wedding than to add DIY decorations to the ceremony and reception.
That said if you like to do things yourself, consider exchanging the traditional flower bouquets carried by your bridesmaids with something a little more customized. You can also create your own bouquet arrangements with real flowers, if you prefer.
For instance, if you’re good with paper, you can create elegant paper flowers, unlike anything you can buy for your bridesmaids to carry. Flower designs made from felt, origami paper, or even sheet music make a statement no one will soon forget. You could also make customized fans or pinwheels. You could even knit something—your options are truly endless!
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