17 wedding bouquet alternatives for fearless brides

Updated Oct 12 2015
meggyfin
Y

I opted to not carry a bouquet; put something, anything, in my hands and watch me awkwardly bend, fold and fondle it into oblivion. Plus, for some strange reason, I didn't feel like spending a load of money for flowers that I was just going throw away at the end of the day. But if I wasn't so fidgety I would have definitely been one of those brides that opted for a bouquet alternative to flowers.

Since Offbeat Bride Kerry started a discussion called "Bouquet Alternatives" on the Offbeat Bride Tribe, a wealth of amazing offbeat bouquet porn has been popping up. I thought I'd share a few of the unique and inspiring ideas.

Tribe member Zan suggested making this bouquet out of "beautiful, cheap, fashionable feathers" that she'd seen at a craft store.

Another take on a Hobby Lobby feather creation by Offbeat Bride Tribe member Christina with peacock feathers and paper dollars "that just jumped out at [her]." Well it's a good thing they did because they look awesome together!

Offbeat Bride Tribe member Jennifer opted for a clutch bag. "…a silky/satin one in a pink to match the underskirt of my dress" like this one from Mabel Hand Bags.

Candy bouquets are an incredibly delicious option, like this one from Lin and Philip's wedding.

I can't help but notice the "button trend" that's been sweeping the offbeat wedding scene and I also can't help but love it. This awesome bouquet made of vintage buttons and a few leaves of reclaimed leather was made by Etsy seller Lil Fish.

And of course there's always Princess Lasertron's felt-and-button wedding bouquets!
Princess Lasertron bouquet

Fans… the ultimate alternative?

I'm a big fan of all the cool origami options.

Super-fun sparkly and festive beaded bouquets are like fireworks that you can hold! Or as Offbeat Bride Tribe member Reba Radey said, "Crystally clear glassy vintagey chandeliery glittery BLINGYNESS."

A seashell bouquet found by Offbeat Bride Tribe member Akaisha! "For all your beach wedding needs."

An idea that came from Offbeat Bride Tribe member Rebekah were to use these "Modern Victorian" bags filled with branches and feathers.

How about an eco-friendly alternative to parasols? I love the idea that OBB Kate presented of using these see-through biodegradable umbrellas.

Check out this post featuring these lovely bouquet alternatives.
wedding 108

Having a winter wedding? Why not carry a muff instead of a bouquet? It's warm and fuzzy and totally practical, plus think about how much fun it would be to toss! [Editor's note from Ariel: plus, you get to make muff jokes non-stop. And who doesn't like muff jokes at a wedding!?]

In my research I've also noted a lot of talk of lantern carrying. I haven't seen this in practice yet, but Offbeat Bride Tribe member Book_Thief provided a picture of a pretty one.

Then there's always the option to not carry anything! There's no rule that a bride has to be holding something, and we are a community of rule breakers, are we not?

And if this post isn't enough for you, make sure to check out the rest of the Offbeat Bride posts that deal with wedding bouquet alternatives for even more ideas.

  1. Somehow reading these posts just inspired me with a new (and oh-so-cheap!!!!) idea for our wedding:

    Our theme is "going back to our roots" with a tree motif throughout. I have been really struggling with the whole bouquet thing (expensive, may be hard to find organic flowers, blahblahblah). So, here's what I think we'll do:

    Each of us carry a branch (picked up from the ground somewhere) with family photos hanging from them. Once at the "altar," we'll put them together in a vase or some sort of container. Voila! Inexpensive, "green," and oh-so-symbolic!

    Wow, I feel better.

  2. For the vegan who loved feathers, instead of searching for "synthetic feathers" why not do a search on "cruelty-free feathers". Like hair, feathers also fall out on their own, or birds die of natural causes, and Peacocks being revered birds, I don't think they are usually slaughtered for their feathers. But I could be wrong on that. Anyhow, just a thought. I'm not vegan, but I also would avoid feathers if I thought that my acquiring them had caused an innocent animal to suffer. Good luck!

  3. Mileah…I LOVE your idea. Our theme is "Retromantica Carnivàle" and we'll also be including as much family memorabilia as we can round up. You could make vintage style mini photo frames for your pictures too, by cutting recycled cardstock. And I've seen vintage looking "frame" stamps at the craft store…. There is a special embossing ink you can use, and then dust with a metallic pigment. It makes kind of a relief design. That would be so neat! Also, I'd say print duplicates and do them front and back so they don't get flipped backwards. OK, now I'm gonna have to do this with our photos. I love how ideas evolve on OBB!!! Thanks for the inspiration! Good Luck!

  4. I'm making my bridesmaids carry parasols with ribbon and flowers wrapped around. I'm carrying flowers and maybe a pretty lacy fan too. My favorite of these ideas is the outrageous fake flowers and the ball bouquets. they are so fun.

  5. Totally creative. I love it. For my wedding, I made the bouquets and used feathers and flowers. I thought they turned out rather well. I generally go for things that are unique. I absolutely love the brightly colored balls for a bouquet. They add a vibrant fresh look to the whole scene.

  6. A good friend told me her best friends wedding bouquet was made from one flower from each person who attended; so each person was asked to bring one of their favorite flower. It was beautiful and what a great way to include everyone by carrying a favorite flower of everyone in attendance? 🙂

  7. How about hand held candle with holders like they sometimes do with christmas caroling, decorated with maybe flowers or ribbons. Of course with careful walking while doing that. I was thinking of doing that for my outdoor wedding coming up in stead of silk flowers or a fan, I even wanted to do a paper parosol too. I think I have to chose which ones since thats alot to hold……

  8. I am planning a very OBB wedding in Northern Portugal. I have designed my dress to be in shades of blue, cream, butter yellow, and periwinkle (this will match the blue and white tiles and the gold leaf on just about every surface of the church). The dress will have a corset (removable), and for modesty, a medieval style hooded cape with late medieval/early renaissance sleeves that would be awkward with a bouquet. Because I'm doing the medieval/renaissance look to go with the church (circa 1400s) I'm doing a faux flower head wreath for myself as well as my attendants. I made them, they're easy to carry, affordable…and when done can be hung on a wall or reused (either in the home or to wear)….so they will double as a 'thank you' gift for the bridesmaids (my sister and nieces.) The other challenge, and reason for not carrying a bouquet, is that I am doing a bilingual ceremony and will have to carry a 'cheat sheet' of vows etc. in Portuguese (which I will disguise in some kind of nice leather-bound journal or prayer book thingy.

  9. these are really inspiring! I wonder if brides ever thought of carrying a giant candle! might be risky (of flames blowing out) but the illumination effect would be spectacular especially at sunset

  10. Years ago, when I was both engaged and working as a cook, I was going for an all-vegetable "floral" theme–a bouquet made of crudites and sort of a harvest cornucopia effect at the chuppah. The wedding didn't happen in part because my MIL-to-be thought the vegies (and me, and my friends, and my folks, etc.) would embarrass her in front of her family; my intended agreed with his mom, and this is too much information, isn't it? Sorry.

    This isn't exactly non-floral, but I did see a more a successful wedding in which the bride–a neuroscientist marrying another neuroscientist–carried a bouquet made of coxcomb celosia in the form of a brain, with the major lobes color-coded.

  11. Years ago, when I was both engaged and working as a cook, I was going for an all-vegetable "floral" theme–a bouquet made of crudites and sort of a harvest cornucopia effect at the chuppah. The wedding didn't happen in part because my MIL-to-be thought the vegies (and me, and my friends, and my folks, etc.) would embarrass her in front of her family; my intended agreed with his mom, and this is too much information, isn't it? Sorry.

    This isn't exactly non-floral, but I did see a more a successful wedding in which the bride–a neuroscientist marrying another neuroscientist–carried a bouquet made of coxcomb celosia in the form of a brain, with the major lobes color-coded.

  12. I'm still carrying flowers, but my bouquet will be hand assembled with dried flowers with wheat instead. I love the look for my fall wedding, and that way, I don't have to worry about trying to dry them or preserve them later!

  13. I made button bouquets for my own wedding and LOVE them. One has a collar of white ostrich feathers and the bridesmaids one have tulle. I love the look so much.

    I have recently made some for other brides one featuring a collar of doileys, its so cute i love them.

    I also really love the look fo the crystal bouquets, i think i will have a go at these soon as a gift for my mum for house decoration.

  14. Ok So i want to give my girls flasks and I was just reading on how the gifts can double as the "bouquets" and I am sitting here talking to my fiance about it. What if the girls carried flasks and the groomsmen carried 2 shot glasses! At the end of our vows when we say our I do they take a shot! I love this idea. Cheers!

  15. At my wedding, the flowergirl and I carried Kusudama balls that I made (Kusudama is a Japanese paper folding craft like origami, only it uses glue.) while the bridesmaids carried lanterns.

  16. I've been thinking about holding a single helium filled balloon, the oversized brightly colored kind that look like paper lanterns, instead of flowers.Flowers are pretty and they smell nice, but they're so expensive and they die.

  17. Thank you so much for this! I am very allergic to flowers so when I told everyone I didnt want them in my wedding, the first question was, "What are you going to carry?" Thanks to this, I will have an answer!!!

  18. How do I make the candy bouquet? That is very unique and pretty! I would love to do that for my wedding!

  19. I'm carrying a crystal bead bouquet, but mine is packed tightly, not firework-ey. I'm going to make a candy bouquet to throw, since out wedding is on Halloween. It's cheap, and it totally fits! 🙂

  20. I wanted an alternative because my nan died last year and my mum has kept a portion of her inheritance back to pay for my flowers so I am definitely keeping them forever!!! I'm happy to see no one has done my idea yet. Will have to submit a pic when we've made them! 😀

  21. I also loved the pic I saw on here a while ago of a monarch butterfly bouquet, it was seriously gorgeous!

    For myself, I'm planning on having parasols, but I'm trying to decide if I want to incorporate flowers into that to give my bridesmaids more of a bouquet feel (although I'm sure they won't mind either way…) I'm still not sure. I'm definitely avoiding fresh flowers as much as possible, and I LOVE the look of paper flowers.

  22. The caring a lantern idea I did for my wedding. All of my bridesmaids carried glowing lanterns. Each lantern decorated a little differently for their personalities. I've submitted my wedding to OBB already…

  23. I made for me and my bridesmaids yarn pom pom bouquets. They are so inexpensive to make and look gorgeous for displaying in a nice vase after the wedding.

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