It’s a classic wedding tradition, something you hardly see flaunted–when the bride walks down the aisle, she’ll usually be carrying a huge bunch of flowers. It’s so deeply ingrained in wedding tradition that even an offbeat bride can feel like she’s got to be carrying half a florist’s shop to the altar, or it just isn’t a wedding. While it’s true that an empty-handed bride might be a little too shocking for Aunt Mabel, that doesn’t mean you can’t buck tradition a little (or a lot) and switch to non traditional wedding flowers when it comes to your choice of accoutrements. Here are a few non-traditional ideas:
Image “Farm Fresh Wedding” by http://greenweddingshoes.com/
Craft brewing as a hobby is practically main stream these days. If you or your partner love beer let it show by adding fragrant hops to your bouquet. Hops flowers are actually quite aesthetically pleasing, and they smell terrific (well, to a beer drinker). Bonus points if you serve craft beer made from the same kind of hops at the reception.
Image “Gold, green and red brooch bouquet” by MsSaraKelly
We’ve seen arts and crafts style upcycling brides make a beautiful bouquet out of thrift-store brooches and costume jewelry. Think cloisonné pins, sparkling cut glass, some but not all flower-themed, wrapped in delicate necklace chains. Just skip the bouquet toss with this one–you might end up with a trip to the Emergency Room on your hands.
We’ve seen plenty of bouquets with paper flowers; some made with origami paper, some with book pages, and some with maps. But you can think beyond flowers when you’re doing paper, and with a good laser printer, you can make a beautiful butterfly bouquet. Just print out pictures of butterflies, trim them neatly, and mount them on skewers stuck in a block of florist’s foam. It’s a head-turning alternative, perfect for a spring wedding.
Image “Crocheted hyperbolic pseudosphere, completed — my favorite side” by Cheryl
If you’re a crafty sort, or if you have a friend or relative who wants to pitch in, you can really add a touch of charm to your rustic wedding with a crocheted or knitted bouquet. It has a DIY feel that’s a little off-center, endearingly imperfect, but still formal enough for the day. What’s more, you won’t have to press it in a book or dry it out for it to last forever.
If your wedding cake isn’t providing enough sweets for the day, you can go for sugar flowers instead of a traditional bouquet. We’ve seen flowers made from pastillage, cast sugar, even sugar blown like glass. If you can resist taking a bite during the ceremony, it’s a cool alternative to a traditional bouquet. However, it’s probably not the best choice for an outdoor spring wedding unless you have a fly bouquet instead of a sugar one.
One of the most daring bouquets that I’ve seen involves beautiful wooden flowers and sparklers. It will look similar to a regular flower bouquet except right before the bride heads down the aisle, an attendant lights all of the wedding sparklers so that it literally sparklers the entire time. You use wooden flowers to prevent them from catching fire and they look as fantastic as the real thing.
Image “Pretty with Parasols” by Dorothy Thompson
For an outdoor wedding, why not forgo the bouquet entirely for something useful? Brightly-colored parasols in your wedding colors are a great accessory for you and your bridesmaids. You’ll keep the sun off your faces during the ceremony (have the maid of honor hold the bride’s parasol during the vows) and have a prop for great pictures afterward.
There’s nothing wrong with a vibrant bouquet of flowers for the bride’s bouquet. But if you’re less traditionally-inclined–or you have strong allergies–consider ditching the flowers for one of these cool alternatives.