Why Brides May Want to Consider An Alternative Wedding Bouquet
Fresh flower bridal bouquets are susceptible to drying, wilting, and fading over time. Certain alternative bouquet options are less susceptible to these problems. Brides getting married in inclement weather should consider the delicate nature of many fresh flowers for how they will hold up on their wedding day in determining whether or not to go with fresh flowers or an alternative in their bouquets. If a bride is having bridal portraits taken prior to the wedding day and will be carrying fresh flowers, she will need a separate bouquet for the photography session and her wedding day if she wants her fresh flowers bouquet to be at its best. Many times an alternative bouquet can be used on more than one occasion and still look its best. Although there are things brides can do to preserve their bouquets following their wedding, fresh flower bouquets will never look the same as on their wedding day. This is an important consideration for the bride who wishes to keep her bouquet as a keepsake of her wedding.
Some varieties of fresh flowers can be difficult or simply unavailable if the bloom the bride wants for her bouquet is in high demand or is out-of-season when the wedding is taking place. Out-of-season, difficult to secure blooms, or more popular blooms can be expensive too. Brides who want a bloom in a particular color may be out-of-luck if the flower does not occur naturally in that color and cannot be dyed so they will substitute an alternative in their bouquet.
Eco-friendly brides having a green wedding may object to the pesticides used to grow the majority of fresh flowers available in the United States or object to the waste from the bouquet. Organically grown flowers are available, but they can be difficult to find and are expensive unless the bride wants some from her own garden. Highly allergic brides, grooms, or wedding party members are susceptible to the pollen in fresh flower bouquets. Some brides may simply desire a less traditional bouquet for their wedding day that does not include fresh flowers so they turn to alternative bouquets.
All of these are reasons why some brides are choosing alternatives to fresh flower bouquets for their weddings. Part One of Alternatives to Fresh Flower Bridal Bouquets will discuss edible bridal bouquet arrangements.
Sugar Flower Bouquet Alternatives
A sweet alternative to the fresh flower bouquet is the sugar flower bridal bouquet. Sugar flower bouquets can be designed to coordinate with the wedding cake if desired and can be made and delivered by the bride’s wedding cake vendor or another confectioner who specializes in sugar flower construction. Depending on the craftsmanship of the artist, sugar flower bouquets can be very lifelike. These alternative flowers are generally edible but, how tasty they are will depend on the vendor and the kind of material used to make the flowers. Fondant, spun sugar, gum paste, and painted sugar flowers are some of the more common materials used in construction. Depending on the type of material used to make the bouquet, it may be more susceptible to heat and humidity so they can droop over the course of the day. Keep the weather for the wedding location in mind when considering this alternative flower bouquet option. Fondant and gum paste are more susceptible to this problem. Like some fresh flower bouquets, sugar flower alternatives can be fragile so they should be handled with care. Be sure to talk to the vendor about any concerns the bride may have about using sugar flowers as fresh flower alternatives before the wedding day and do not leave the bouquet on the ground or anywhere else it may be exposed to insects, pests, and small children with a sweet tooth on the wedding day. Because each flower of the bouquet is hand-crafted, expect to pay a premium for a bridal bouquet made of sugar flowers.
Candy and Cookie Bouquet Alternatives
Candy and cookie bridal bouquets are a whimsical alterntaive to fresh flower bouquets that can be eaten after the wedding. Brides can have their cookie or candy bouquets designed to resemble flowers or crafted to be a more abstract interpretation for their bouquets. An advantage of using cookie flowers as alternatives to fresh flowers is that the cookies can be iced with a special message. If the bride elects to toss her bouquet, the “flowers” treat can be enjoyed by the catcher. The bride may want to have the individual “flowers” wrapped in the event it is dropped by the catcher before it can be eaten. As a variation on this theme, try a fortune cookie bridal bouquet and include special notes with wishes for the future or happiness for the bride or couple on the wedding day. The bride can also have each flower contain a special wish for her attendants and give each a cookie flower from her bouquet to enjoy later for good luck for a spin on the bouquet toss tradition. Brides can select their favorite candy or use candy wrapped in cello or paper for a specific colored fresh flower bouquet alternative. Candy bouquets can incorporate custom-labeled chocolate bars for added personalization. If the bride elects to keep her original candy bouquet she and the groom can eat it on their honeymoon for a fun snack. Special love notes can also be incorporated into the candy or cookie bouquet to share with the groom on their honeymoon evening to make it even more romantic.
Vegetable and Fruit Bouquet Alternatives
Another edible, albeit healthier, alternative to fresh flowers for brides to carry down the aisle is a fruit or vegetable bouquet. Fruit and vegetables have traditionally been used in wedding bouquets and arrangements to convey abundance, fertility, and good fortune. Fruits and vegetables are available in a wide range of colors and many fruits and vegetables hold up remarkably well. Florists especially like to work with citrus fruits, sugared grapes, peaches, apples, and berries. In the vegetables department carrots, turnips, beets, and radishes can be quite lovely especially if the greenery is used with the root vegetables. Artichokes and celery are popular choices among brides. Really any fruit or vegetable can be used as an alternative to fresh flowers with the proper planning. Try visiting the local farmer’s market for inspiration. Eco-friendly brides can select organically-grown vegetables and fruits that are more widely available than organically grown flowers stateside. Bouquet waste can be eliminated with the practicality of being able to cook and eat or compost the fruits and vegetables following the wedding.
Herb Bouquet Alternatives
Herbs were used anciently in bridal bouquets before flowers were adopted. It was believed that certain herbs offered protection from evil spirits. Garlic was commonly carried down the aisle to ward off the evil eye. Dill was used in bouquets anciently and was eaten after the wedding ceremony by brides and grooms and their wedding parties because it was believed to be an aphrodisiac. Sage was carried by brides in their bouquets because it was believed it would make them wise. Sheaves of wheat were carried to symbolize growth, fertility, and renewal. Other popular herbs brides might try as alternatives to fresh flowers in their bouquets include basil, rosemary, lemon thyme, bay leaves, and lilac. Herbs are a fresh alternative to silk flowers, but still eliminate many of the pollen allergy concerns (just double check to make sure there are no food sensitivities). Herbs can also be carried in dried arrangements for the bridal bouquet. Fresh herb bouquets can be dried and hung in the kitchen to use in cooking following the wedding. The bride and groom can enjoy this tradition together by using the herbs in their own home or share the herbs with wedding guests.
Resources for Fresh Flower Bouquet Alternatives for Brides:
– The Pink Cake Box — wedding cake vendor and sugar flower alternative bouquet photograph accompanying article: http://www.pinkcakebox.com
– Candy Gifts & Crafts — vendor and candy bouquet alternative shown in accompanying photograph: http://www.candygiftsandcrafts.com
– The Vegetable Bouquet Company — vendor of vegetable and fruit bouquets, do-it-yourself kits, and bouquet alternative featured photograph with article: http://www.veggiebouquet.com
– Dried Flowers Direct – retail and wholesale vendor of dried flowers and featured bouquet alternative in photograph accompanying article: http://DriedFlowersDirect.com
Part 2 in this article series will discuss crystal, feather, and porcelain bouquets as alternatives to fresh flower bouquets.