Is It Even A Real Wedding Without Flowers?

Options to buy and DIY for your flower-free nuptials

So you want to plan a wedding without flowers. I gotchu. I mean, full disclosure, I’m going to start off by saying I love flowers. Fresh ones, fake ones, you name it. I’m a sucker. And even though I wish I could jam-pack every wedding I’ve worked on with over-the-top florals, I know that vibe just isn’t for everyone. Maybe you don’t want to spend a ton of money on over-the-top florals for your wedding, or maybe flowers are just not your jam. And despite what the wedding industry says, it’s completely not necessary to have flowers at your wedding to make it “a wedding.”

So what do you use to replace flowers? “Nothing,” is a completely acceptable answer, but maybe you just want a flower or bouquet alternative. To start to plan a wedding without flowers, think of the things you love and hobbies you have. Maybe you’re an avid reader, so your bridal party can carry their favorite book down the aisle. Or maybe you have a collection of parasols that you’ve been dying to break out of the box. The good news is that there are more than a few options. Just don’t be scared to think outside of the box! A few weeks ago the APW community shared their best ideas for a wedding without flowers, and we’ve rounded up some of our favorites here.

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Bouquet of red paper flowers for a wedding without flowers

Paper flowers: If you and your bridal party like DIY projects, paper flowers might be a good option for you. Not only are they inexpensive but they look great too! And lucky for all of us, paper flowers are having a moment of their own with tutorials all over the internet, so you can make any paper flower you could possibly dream of. Heads up, they can be pretty time consuming, but the payoff is so worth it!

A woman in a white dress holds a veggie and flower bouquet to achieve a wedding without flowers

Vegetable and herb bouquets: This one is for the foodies! Go full veg or add in some herbs for a cost-effective alternative to fresh florals. Our friends over at Say Yes made this tutorial for an easy-to-follow guide to make your own vegetable bouquet.

a brass swan flower petal holder that could be used in a wedding without flowers

Vintage Planter: If you have a knack for vintage and want to add a special keepsake to your collection, Etsy has a huge selection of vintage brass planters like this swan planter or this brass basket. Fill it with flower petals (real or fake) or get creative and throw some confetti in there!

A woman in a white lace wedding dress on a beach holds a bouquet made from white and brown feathers and twigs for her wedding without flowers

Feather bouquet: These feather bouquets are sure to make a statement! Make it rustic looking with pheasant or turkey feathers, or go glam with fluffy ostrich feathers. If you don’t want to use real feathers to make your bouquets, there is a huge selection of synthetic feathers (in almost any color you can dream of) all over the internet or at your local craft store.

five women in shimmery metallic full-length dresses hold round copper lanterns filled with air plants for a wedding without flowers

Lantern Arrangement: If you’re looking for a WOW moment and want a wedding without flowers, but you still love the look of greenery, these air plant lanterns are sure to turn heads! And if air plants aren’t for you, stick to the more traditional use of lanterns and fill them with candles or LED lights.

three harry potter wands to be used in a wedding without flowers

Harry Potter Wands: Okay, Potterheads. We see you. Have your bridal party carry their own wands instead of fresh florals! Whether or not you want to get the official Harry Potter wands or throw a DIY wand party for your crew, we are here for it. And, if you go this route, send us the photos, okay? WE WANNA SEE.

four bridesmaids holding different color paper fans in a wedding without flowers

Paper Fans: Spring and summer weddings, we’re looking at you! Instead of having flowers wilt in the warm summer sun, switch out the florals for paper fans. They make an affordable alternative to bridesmaid bouquets, and they come in practically any color or pattern you can imagine.

a woman carries a fringe hoop at her wedding without flowers

Fringe Hoop: Hello, Boho Chic! Pull out some embroidery hoops, collect some of your favorite greenery, and swap the fresh florals out for fringe, and you’ve got an alternative to a bouquet that can also double as a wall hanging after the wedding. You can DIY this in a variety of colors and textures with different types of yarn for a minimal look with a big impact!

A few more ideas for a wedding without flowers from the APW community

We’re carrying lanterns with ribbon hanging down and a little bouquet on top (but you can skip the bouquet entirely).


We’re carrying knitting needles. Bonus: If a vampire shows up, you’re protected.

—PAJane Is A Dirty Computer

I had a beautiful little clutch purse that I held instead of a bouquet—and it’s something I can use forever!


And then, this winner:

I hereby volunteer to send a bottle of champagne to anyone who submits wedding photos of bridesmaids holding hockey sticks at the altar to APW.


What have you used instead of flowers for your wedding? Did you buy or DIY? Share your tips in the comments!

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