Alternatives to Bridesmaid Bouquets

Written by katherine harder
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Alternatives to Bridesmaid Bouquets
Bridesmaids at summertime weddings can cool down using decorative silk fans. (fan image by windzepher from

Bridesmaids' bouquets can often be one of the most predictable elements of a wedding. Handheld arrangements usually consist of a bouquet of fresh flowers, coordinated in colour and style to the bridesmaids' dresses. Add an element of surprise and funk to your wedding by eschewing bridesmaid bouquets in favour of non-traditional alternatives.

Faux Flowers

Let's face it, flowers are beautiful. But as an alternative to the fresh--and expensive--bouquet, why not substitute faux? Vintage silk flowers would compliment a Victorian-style wedding, as would delicate ceramic or porcelain varieties. Crafty brides may want to work up paper, crocheted or felt flowers, which not only look gorgeous and last forever but also cost a fraction of what buying fresh cut flowers can cost.

Herbs and Other Greenery

Add a feeling of authenticity to a rustic barn wedding or other outdoor locale by having your bridesmaids carry greenery and herbs such as garlic, pussy willow, ivy, shapely veggies or other greens. According to the website Hudson Valley Weddings, brides and wedding party members carried herbs before they ever carried flowers, so this move is also a nod towards history and tradition.


Another adorable yet inexpensive alternative to bouquets for your bridesmaids are edible arrangements. Lollipops on long sticks or shaped cookies with attached stems add an element of innocent whimsy to your ceremony. After the ceremony is complete, your bridesmaids can delight the children present by handing out their goodies, or they can eat their snacks themselves while waiting through the many rituals and staged photographs planned between the ceremony and reception.

Religious Objects

A wedding is often a religious affair, and a devout couple planning a very pious ceremony could ask their bridesmaids to carry meaningful religious paraphernalia. Have bridesmaids at a Catholic wedding carry vintage, heirloom or hand crafted rosaries. If you have enough heirloom Bibles or prayer books, your bridesmaids could hold those. Candles also compliment a church wedding, as long as there's no concern about a possible fire hazard.


If your wedding's theme is closely tied to the time of year at which you're holding the ceremony, consider replacing your bridesmaids' bouquets with seasonally related objects. For winter weddings, have your bridesmaids carry foam balls covered in Christmas ornaments or hide their hands completely inside fur muffs. Parasols give springtime bridesmaids something to hold and protect their carefully constructed hairdos from spring showers. Decorative silk hand fans or oversized pinwheels make sense for summer weddings, and autumn bridesmaids can carry arrangements crafted from fallen leaves or Jack-o-lanterns, if it's close enough to Halloween.

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