Peacock Feather Fans, the ultimate bouquet alternative

merkle (347)

I've featured lots of alternatives to the standard "clump of flowers" bouquet (check out all my non-floral bouquet posts) but this photo may feature the ultimate alternative: gorgeous feather fans.

Now, this may not be an option for the vegans & vegetarians in the house … but for a hot summer wedding, can you picture the loveliness of all these fans in motion? The fluttering of feathers and little breezes of air in the bridesmaids hair as they stand at the altar? Why, it's positively cinematic!

  1. Actually, even thought I am a vegan, we're featuring peacock feathers at our wedding! Maybe I'm a hypocrite, but they are SO gorgeous, and I am under the impression that the peacocks are not killed to get their tail feathers…
    Anyway, the plan is to use peacock feathers in the bouquets in place of greenery/filler.
    So rather than in lieu of bouquets, we'll be using peacock feathers to jazz ours up.
    I'm so excited about them. It'll be a DIY kinda thing, and we'll be sure to post pics.

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    • My FH's family raises peacocks and other exotic birds. No, typically they aren't killed. peacocks like other birds naturally shed their feathers. Although, unless they are picked up in a timely manner they don't stay nice and pretty. You may look into local farms/bird enthusiasts to see if there is someplace local that has peacocks. A lot of people that raise them will let you come pick up feathers that have fallen for free.

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  2. I bought one of these fans in orange to use instead of a bouquet. I was really sad when it came and the orange was WAY different than the orange in my dress. They just looked wrong together. I think I'm going to try and use it somewhere in the reception instead because I really do think they are AWESOME!!!

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  3. whatabout faux feathers for the veggies and vegans (i'm veggie, so no snark here). this are gorgeous.

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  4. I really wanted fans, but considering it'll be the dead of winter, we decided against it. :D

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  5. So beautiful! I am using this website that has AMAZING reproduction feather fans and jewelry for my August 09 wedding. (not sure if Ariel allows it in the comments)
    http://www.sapphireandsage.com/featherfans.html

    On a side note to the vegan/veg group. The plastics used to create faux feather and leather remain in land fills for literally hundreds of years and never breakdown. Think carefully before purchasing plastics as they are made from toxic chemicals and are more damaging to wildlife, fish, fragile ecosystems, etc. than many animal products. Research your sources carefully.

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  6. All birds shed their feathers naturally, at least once a year, every year. So I'm pretty sure that no peacocks were harmed to get the feathers! They were probably just collected as they were dropped… If you had a bunch of peacocks, you wouldn't want to kill them since they will grow new feathers each year!

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  7. Emily is right, peacocks aren't harmed for their feathers. At least everything I read about when I used them in my own wedding (after facing the wrath of someone who thought I was endorsing murder or something) said that they are actually treated quite well to get the best feathers possible. So, vegetarians can rest easy, none of the birdies get killed.

    Still haven't found any information about the quality of life they have on the farms in general though, but I'm sure if that's a concern there are farms one can look at in their own state, and there's definitely sources for organic farms on the internet.

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    • Unfortunatly, Most places do not treat them well and they DO NOT have a good quality of life, they have thier feathers PLUCKED out several times before they kill them because they are not useful anymore, it would be more humane to just kill them first, please dont be naive and HOPE they treated thier animal well, look it up, do research first.

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      • People should check for local people who raise peacocks. My FH's family raises exotic birds (it's a love of his step dad's) and he has a pair of peacocks. They are VERY finicky birds and most times they don't handle people being close well so he keeps everyone (especially children) that the birds aren't used to away from the pens. They do shed their feathers and so there is always really cool feathers (peacocks aren't the only exotics he has) to be had. If people like feathers I suggest looking into who locally owns and keeps exotics because they will usually give you the feathers for free if they have nice ones laying around.

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  8. Aw! I'm so glad you all like the fans (I'm the bride in the picture)!

    I didn't see how I was going to shell out the money for floral bouquets for myself and my girls, so I came up with this alternative.

    I'm not a huge flower fan anyway, so I ended up being glad I was forced to get creative.

    I have a little article about them on my blog as well for anyone who would like to know where to find something similar.

    Thanks for posting, Offbeat Bride!

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    • I have been looking everywhere for fans like these but I just don't have the budget to spend $50 on fans! Do you mind telling me where you found them?

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  9. I'm vegan as well, and the thought of using peacock feathers was tempting but still bothered me. I thought that maybe the branches of a tin Christmas tree (you know, those old silver trees like they had in Charlie Brown) would be a good combination between Christmas ornament bouquets and peacock feathers, since they have a feather-y look. I'm sure the crafty OBBs could come up with an eco-friendly way to make fake peacock feathers that would also last longer (the real thing gets so dusty so quickly!).

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  10. My boss has a peacock farm — they tend to shed a good number of feathers on their own.
    I think this is an interesting idea, but remember to check with your wedding party that no one has allergies to bird dander or dust!

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  11. I'm having a summer wedding, and a huge 1880's gown, so was thinking fans would be ideal as bouquet replacements, and these are the most gorgeous I've ever seen!

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  12. Peacocks can remain unharmed by the loss of their tail feathers. My grandmother has a HUGE collection of feathers that some neighborhood-roaming peacocks simply shed in her back yard. (I'm going to try to convince her to at least let me use them for centerpieces.)
    That may not be the case for purchasing large quantities of feathers, but if it's only tail feathers, maybe the birds weren't harmed. Just do some research… Good luck.

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  13. I'm having my wedding on holloween with a masque ball theme. I love the idea of fans instead of flowers. I think it goes great with my theme. I just can see spending that much money on flowers when they only last for that day. Thanks for the great idea.

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  14. Be cautious about this. Export of peacock feathers from India, where peacocks are native, is banned under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species: "The peacock sheds its feathers, but the peacock does not shed its feathers enough for a trade to continue. There is no doubt that the peacock is trapped, killed and then its feathers are plucked out and sent to the shops and trading centres. If it becomes difficult, then mass poisoning takes place."

    http://www.indiatravelogue.com/envi/envi51.html

    Since they're indigenous to India, locals might well be eager to scratch out a living by tapping into wild populations and not sustainably harvesting feathers from their private stock. I expect U.S. farms don't have that problem, but then you need to be certain of your source.

    Everything's a tradeoff, but I'm not convinced that using fake, plastic peacock feathers isn't less damaging than the real thing. Probably better all around to opt for local, responsibly grown, in-season flowers, even if they aren't offbeat and "exotic."

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  15. What an awesome idea! These are so much nicer than flowers! Hopefully these are feathers that are naturally shed – I'd hate to think these were plucked off some poor bird!

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  16. Unfortunatly, Most places do not treat them well and they DO NOT have a good quality of life, they have thier feathers PLUCKED out several times before they kill them because they are not useful anymore, it would be more humane to just kill them first, please dont be naive and HOPE they treated thier animal well, look it up, do research first. If you think about it the only way they would be able to naturally shed thier feathers would be if someone WASNT selling them to make a profit, thier birds wouldnt be able to shed feathers that much fast enough to keep up with demand, its too bad too cause they do look really pretty.

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  17. I really really REALLY want to have peacock feathers in my wedding, but my mom and a few other family members are terribly allergic to feathers of any kind, even the fake ones. Do any of you know if anyone makes fake, hypoallergenic decorative peacock feathers?

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