Walking down the aisle without flowers

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I'm getting married in September and am thinking about not carrying anything (flowers, etc.) when walking down the aisle.


I love flowers, but I don't really feel like having something that I will only hold for about 10 minutes.

What are your thoughts?

Has anyone else done the same?


I've seen plenty of instances where folks replace flowers with something else — like lanterns, candles, clutches, feathers, and parasols. Some brides walk with a book in their hand (usually the bible, but could just as well be the Kama Sutra), framed photographs, or other family heirlooms.

…But that's not what you're really asking about, right? You want to walk down the aisle nothing in your hands at all, right?

I think it would be deeply romantic to walk down the aisle holding only the hand of your beloved. The two of you could enter separately, meet and clasp hands, and then walk toward the officiant together hand-in-hand. Very simple, very romantic, and no bouquet or other props involved.

There are hundreds of Offbeat Bride readers who have done similar. Here are a few of their stories:

We even have a tag archive for alternative aisle setups to make this even more interesting.

For more non-floral inspiration, check out our archive of bouquet alternatives and non-floral bouquets.

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Comments on Walking down the aisle without flowers

  1. Usually people are really excited and/or nervous when walking down the aisle, so holding something gives them a focus and maybe even something to fiddle with so they don’t feel so awkward or exposed. If you are confident enough to walk with your hands at your sides, then I think it’s a great idea. However keep in mind that holding something, anything, might be helpful in a security blanket way, should you want to calm your nerves a little. I mean I think people picked flowers back in the day because they were cheaper then books, and not everyone could read. I think it’s more about the holding something then it is about flowers. Mull it over, but really most traditions were started for very arbitrary reasons, it’s each individual that imbues it with meaning. So imbue your tradition with meaning, and don’t worry about someone else’s.

  2. A friend of mine did something very similar– she didn’t carry anything, just walked arm in arm with her fiance. I’ve always liked the idea of walking down the “aisle” with your spouse-to-be.

  3. “Karma Sutra”

    Aka: “What goes around Comes around”
    “Getting what you deserve…in bed”


  4. i think i’ve decided to go sans holdy-thing. probably go with the walking hand in hand (we’re in this together, it’s not just me making a commitment and walking the long walk alone!).
    my mom didn’t really get it at first, but why pay a zillion dollars for something that you pass off to someone else after 20 seconds. “but at the reception you can put it on the table and it looks nice…” ok mom, but isn’t that the purpose of centrepieces? she finally understood when i said, it’s not only about being cheap, it’s about trimming all the excess and being left with only what’s important: a big celebration with our friends and family. which i can have without carrying around flowers. (by the by, i think i’ll make purses for my ladies if they don’t want to feel hand-naked)

  5. I’m not carrying anything at all, myself. I also decided not to have flowers as decorations since the wedding is at a berry farm and we’re starting the day by planting trees. the idea of cutting a bunch of flowers made me uncomfortable.
    I like how Jennifer worded it – ‘trimming all the excess and being left with only what’s important…”

    I digress.

    I’m also skipping the walk down the aisle part and instead we’re having our guests bussed into the location where i will be sitting in meditation with my friends and fiance and officiants (there are two). I decided I was more comfortable with everyone else walking down the aisle toward me than the other way around!

  6. I’m getting married in August, and not having an aisle to walk down or a bouquet. When all our friends and family are there, we’re just going to gather everyone around and start the ceremony. I’ve seen others do this as well. The one thing I’ve learned from this site in particular is that traditions don’t matter unless they’re meaningful to you.

  7. What Tricia said is true – either keep a tradition if it means something, modify it so it does, or throw it out.

    I didn’t carry flowers, but I sang my way into my ceremony so I was carrying a microphone which was adorned in a piece of white, sparkly tulle. (Thank you Shannon for making that!) It would have been kinda silly to try to carry that with a bouquet (or shove the mic in the middle of one as one overly-helpful person actually suggested). Still, during the planning, I can’t tell you how many times I heard “what do you MEAN you’re not having flowers??” People may question you along the way, but if you do your own thing and stay true to yourself, it’ll work out just fine!

  8. I have to give a shout-out for the holdy-thing. My husband and I are chronic nail biters and kind of fidgety anyway. On the video my brother took years ago of my graduation from college, I was biting my nails the whole time and I looked like an idiot- and I was completely unaware I was doing it. Sometimes, you just need a woobie.

  9. i’m not carrying flowers, but in concession to the parents i’m having a wrist corsage of silk flowers instead. i don’t want to be carrying things or wasting a fortune on flowers that will only last the day

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