Yeah Weddings

13 Alternative Ideas to Traditional Bridesmaid Bouquets

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. Many brides opt for bridesmaid bouquet alternatives to match their unique wedding theme!

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!


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!


Paper Flowers

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

bridesmaid putting on flower crown

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!


Bridesmaid Wreath

bridesmaids carrying floral wreathsWreaths 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. These creative alternatives could also work double duty as reception decor!



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 for bridesmaid bouquet alternatives. They look beautiful and are the perfect complement for a summer wedding 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. These are the perfect summer wedding alternative!




bouquet alternatives corsageCorsages are making a comeback as they are an excellent way to still incorporate fresh flowers into your wedding and stay budget friendly.

Corsages are stylish, beautiful and allow your bridesmaids to use their hands freely. Slim down the traditional bridal bouquets with corsages instead!



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. At an outdoor wedding, your bridesmaids will be glad to have parasols in hand, and it gives a charming and somewhat Southern look to your wedding!


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. Who needs bridesmaids bouquets when you can look glamorous in your gown and fur at a winter wedding? If you’re against using real furs, you can use faux furs, or even lace or other fabrics.




For a musically-inclined couple, consider having your bridesmaids hold tambourines! This new trend typically includes adding colorful ribbons or even flowers to the tambourines for some extra fun. 

The bridesmaids can use the tambourines to make some noise for the happy couple, and if your wedding has any kind of musical theme to it this is the perfect look for the bridal party.


Flower Baskets


If you don’t have a traditional flower girl at your wedding, but you love the idea of freshly scattered petals, enlist your bridesmaids to act as flower girls! Instead of bridesmaids bouquets, give them baskets of flower petals to sprinkle on their way down.

For a picture-perfect moment, have the bridal party throw the petals in the air for the bride and groom’s big kiss, or as they walk back down the aisle as husband and wife.


Macrame Hoop

For a bohemian inspired look, consider macrame art for your bridesmaid bouquet alternatives. This artsy look is even easy enough to DIY! 

Incorporate dried flowers to add some color to the look, or use different ribbons for an eclectic bouquet of fabric! You’ll save money with these creative alternatives. 


Brooch Bouquets


A popular new trend in weddings is the brooch bouquet! A brooch bouquet is made of vintage jewelry like brooches and other interesting jewelry items. If you have a lot of old jewelry at home, you can even create on yourself!

These are the perfect bridesmaid bouquet alternatives for a retro wedding theme, and it will get guests talking! If you can thrift the jewelry secondhand, you can even save money with this bedazzled look.


Do Bridesmaids Need Bouquets?

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. 

Bridesmaid bouquets are often included as a beautiful accessory on the wedding day, although not a necessary one.


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 bridesmaid bouquet alternatives to flowers to choose from.

Take our ideas above and customize them even further! You could make your wreaths in different shapes, use dried flowers instead of traditional flowers, or even let your bridesmaids go hands free with a statement corsage that travels up their arm. 


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.


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