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13 Bouquet Alternatives That Will Save You Money

Sep 16, 2008
When I began planning my wedding I compared prices for various florists and looked at what other brides spent on their bouquets and centrepiece arrangements. It floored me to think I would spend upwards of $500 on very simple arrangements.

It doesn't have to be that way. There is no rule book that says you have to carry flowers at your wedding, or adorn each table with a delightful floral arrangement. If flowers are important to you, then search around for the best deal and let no one dissuade your from pretty blooms. But if you'd like something a bit more inexpensive and unique, have a look at these bouquet and centrepiece alternatives.

1. Origami Flowers.

Buy some fancy papers in your wedding colours from your local craft or scrapbooking shop, or look online for specials and deals. Often you can buy coordinating papers in packs for very little cash. You can find instructions for folding all sorts of origami flowers on YouTube. If you're not crafty, some sites sell ready made origami flowers in a range of colours and sizes.

2. Candles

Candles give a dramatic flair to any ceremony, especially if you're having a moonlit or halloween wedding. Your attendants could each carry a long candlestick with a taper candle, and you could follow with the unity candle.

Beware of fire risks when carrying an open flame, especially to your beautiful dress. If you're ceremony is outdoors, have a backup plan in case it's too windy to use candles.

Alternatively, you could carry lanterns. Stained glass lanterns cast magical patterns and colours over the ceremony. Or, for a fun alternative, what about sparklers? Again, just watch out for your dress!

3. Fabric Bouquets

If you're crafty you could make this yourself, or look online for merchants who make something in your style. You can find everything from bold fabric roses to hip vintage button and fabric bouquets.

4. Grow Your Own

Why not buy seeds of your favourite flowers and grow your own? First, research which flowers will bloom around your wedding date. Head down to your local garden shop and buy seed packets for around 10c each. If you're new to gardening, chose robust flowers that grow with very little tending and will withstand unpredictable weather.

On the morning of your wedding, have your bridesmaids help you arrange the bouquets and wrap the stems in ribbon.

5. Feathers

You can purchase feathers in varieties of colours, shapes and sizes at your local hobby shop. Either arrange them in a simple design, or combine them with fabric or fake flowers for a fantastic display.

6. A Book

Perhaps you have a family bible or an heirloom book passed down from your grandparents. Or maybe you and your fiancÚ have a favourite book, or a story that resonates with your relationship. What better way to honour this than to carry that book down the aisle?

Alternatively, you could go to a local second-hand bookstore and find an old volume with a nice leather cover. You could further decorate your book with ribbons, feathers and nice papers. Use the book to hold your vows, or you could even hollow out the pages and keep your rings inside.

7. Fans

Brides love exquisite Chinese paper fans, Victorian lace fans, and bright nineteen-twenties designs adorned with feathers and ribbon. Chose fans that suit your theme. Remember to search online (especially on eBsy) for bargains, or scour craft fairs in your area and support your local businesses.

8. Parasols

These come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours. For my wedding I used an exquisite black and silver lace parasol which I found in a local craft store for $20. Look on eBay for bulk deals and brides selling off their wedding parasols. They look so whimsical and add fun and pizzazz to your wedding photos.

9. Food

Have you ever heard of a cookie bouquet? Flower-shaped cookies, docarted with icing and candy, stuck together into an fun and edible arrangement. I think these are just awesome! You could order one from a local bakery or have a go at making it yourself.

What about a bouquet make from herbs from your garden? For an outdoor spring wedding these look stunning, and smell divine!

For the fun bride, what about a candy bouquet? Use lollipops, sugar flowers and bright liquorice or boiled sweets. Glue them together or use pins to stick them into a polystyrene ball.

10. Crystals

For the ethereal bride, why not carry one or more crystals, like the ones you hang in the window to catch the light? These cast rainbow prisms over your ceremony venue as you move.

Or, why not try making your own crystal bead bouquets? You'll find a tutorials online.

11. Your Pet

If your beloved dog, cat, goldfish or turtle is huge part of your relationship, why not include them in the wedding? You could carry your kitten, or lead your dog on a leash tied with ribbons.

Many celebrants specialise in ceremonies that include pets. When including any animals its important to keep a sense of humour and realise they might not always cooperate with your plans. It's probably not the brightest idea to have your dog or cat carry the wedding rings. They can't be held accountable for accidentally losing them!

12. A Religious Symbol or Family Heirloom

I've seen brides carry nothing but a rosary, and it looks stunning. If your pagan, why not carry the hand fasting cord, or a chalice or grimoire? Perhaps your family has an heirloom plate, chalice or other item you could carry. These symbols probably mean more to you then a bouquet of flowers.

13. Christmas Decorations

One of the coolest bouquet alternatives I've ever seen was a selection of Christmas baubles in the brides wedding colours. If you're having a wedding in December, you could go all out with tinsel, ribbons and bells.

Remember that many Christmas decorations are very classy and don't look 'Christmassy' at all. If you're planning early, scour the Christmas sales before your wedding for ideas, and you may be able to pick your pieces months ahead of schedule.

I hope I've given you some exciting ideas for replacing a flower bouquet. As you can see, there are plenty of ideas for bouquet alternatives that won't break the budget, and you can probably come up with heaps more. Now its up to you to decide which you love most. I wish you fun and happiness planning your upcoming wedding!
About the Author
Stephanie Green is a freelance writer living in New Zealand with her drummer husband and a cupboard full of swords. Stephanie's work includes articles about writing, weddings, disabilities and music. Visit her website for free aticles and wedding planning ebooks.
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