It’s got to be sneeze-free
Something important to know about me is that I am a walking disaster zone. If something goes wrong, it will go wrong for me and I’ll end up on yet another medication or walking with crutches again. The thing is that it’s never particularly dramatic. I don’t break bones. I’ve never had a really serious illness. I have what I recently described to my dad as “a litany of minor medical fuck-ups”.
One of those minor medical issues is a variety of unreliable allergies; unreliable in that they’re usually fairly well controlled by antihistamines but just occasionally I’ll spend an entire day sneezing, my face will go bright red and my eyes will turn to jellied golf balls. Definitely symptoms I do not want to be associating with my wedding day! So I decided a little while ago that I didn’t want to use fresh flowers in my bouquet. If something was likely to set me off, it would probably be the bunch of pollen-filled beauties sitting right under my nose. One of my flower girls is unfortunately similarly afflicted with asthma and allergies, so I definitely don’t want to inflict it on her either.
The next question to ask is just what I plan to use instead. Of course, artificial flowers are an option, but you have to swing the balance between the ones which look fake and the ones which cost a fortune.
I do wonder whether if I got artificial flowers, it’d just be for the sake of having flowers (which doesn’t really match with my whole wedding philosophy) so I’ve also been looking into alternatives to carrying a traditional bouquet.
Yeah, I know, it sounds counter-intuitive, but just because you don’t want flowers doesn’t mean you can’t go for something natural.
A pine-cone bouquet wouldn’t work very well for a summer wedding, but if you’re marrying in the autumn/winter or in a wooded area it could make for a very beautiful and understated bouquet. They can be used with other elements too, and are quite versatile in terms of venue decoration. I really like the idea of bouquets made from succulents. They’re good for allergic people like me, they stand up well to not being watered, you can get some gorgeous purple colours and they can be planted out after the wedding, meaning they’re great for people who worry about the ecological impact of cut flowers. Definitely something which is on my radar.
Sweets for my Sweet
These bouquets are incredibly cute! I don’t know what I think about a bride carrying one of these herself, but it would definitely be adorable for a flower girl to have one (you just might have to expect some nibbling on the way down the aisle!). I particularly love the work which went into Mrs Frozen Yoghurt’s bouquet for her bridal portrait session at a frozen yoghurt parlour (so it wasn’t her actual bouquet, but I definitely think it’s appropriate to include it here). I don’t think I’d personally choose these but I really appreciate the imagination and artistry which went into them.
Fruit in place of flowers
Easily accessible and unusual, fruit can readily take the place of floral arrangements and still look elegant. Along with the pine-cones, the apple bouquet would be more appropriate for an autumnal or winter wedding, but the lemons and limes would be fab in the height of summer (not to mention that it would a really easy DIY bouquet!). I love that it would make guests smile at how unexpected it is, but is simple enough not to detract from the dresses (no to mention the people in the dresses!) – it’s something I might consider if it would actually go with our colour scheme. Plus, you could end up with your bouquet in your drink by the end of the night 🙂
Fasten it up
Although more usually used to fasten items of clothing together, buttons and broaches are being used more and more as decorative pieces, particularly in wedding styling. These kind of bouquets can vary from the very vintage to almost cartoony in their execution. When done well (and when in-keeping with the feel of the rest of the wedding) I think these can be incredibly elegant and are a fab alternative, but I’d be concerned about not quite pulling it off. If I could find some great buttons though, I’d definitely think about making a button bouquet (broaches might be a bit out of my price range!).
I’m very drawn to the bouquets which display some kind of labour-intensive craft. I have my moments of really craft-intensive spare time and the origami bouquet in particular definitely calls out to me (although I’d be scared of squashing it in between its construction and the wedding day). Using a bouquet to say something about yourself is a great idea, and if I decide I’m capable of making something like either of these I might just go for it!
The Not-a-Bouquet Bouquet
But perhaps I don’t want a bouquet at all. Perhaps I should go with nothing at all? Or (more likely) something else with which I can occupy my hands. The fan in the picture above is so beautiful, and I also love bridal parasols. A parasol in particular might be a good plan, to protect me from the sun (fingers crossed!) during the outdoor ceremony, and it would be a lovely keepsake too. The pinwheel is another one which is cute and I can’t imagine working for the bride, but for flower girls and young bridesmaids it would be adorable (and if it’s well-made enough, perhaps it’s something they’d like to keep after the wedding).
So there we have a variety of different alternatives to fresh flowers, and there are so many more out there which I’ve not even touched on! I’m still none the wiser as to what I’ll go for, but it’s nice to have some inspiration for when I finally do make my mind up. Are you having a traditional bouquet for your wedding or something a bit more unusual? Would you consider going for any of the ones above? And do you have another idea which might just make me say wow?