Alternatives to Wedding Bouquets

Carry a beautiful shell for a beach wedding.

The bridal bouquet is one of the most recognizable features of a bride's attire on her wedding day, but many brides are interested in alternatives to wedding bouquets for a variety of reasons.

Why Choose Alternatives?

One of the most prominent reasons for a bride to investigate alternatives to the traditional floral bouquet is because of allergies. Even if she is not allergic to flowers herself, a considerate bride will choose a different option if her groom, close attendants, or family members may be allergic to pollen. Sneezes, itchy eyes, and sniffles can turn what should be a joyous day into a histamine nightmare, but there are many gorgeous alternatives to choose from that are just as lovely as a cascading bouquet of blooms.

Other reasons to choose an alternative to a floral bouquet include:

  • Cost: The bride's bouquet alone can cost more than $100 depending on the size, flowers, and design. Opting for an alternative can be a much more cost effective choice for a budget-conscious bride.
  • Use: Many brides are reluctant to spend a significant amount on a floral arrangement that will only be used for a few minutes during the wedding ceremony. Even if the bouquet can easily be converted into an arrangement for the wedding reception decorations, it still has a very limited lifespan. Alternatives, however, may be cherished and reused for years.
  • Personal Preference: Not all brides are into frilly dresses and delicate flowers. Some brides who choose alternatives to their bouquet simply prefer not to use flowers as a decorative focus for their wedding.
  • Uniqueness: The vast majority of weddings use flowers for bouquets, centerpieces, accents, and other decorations, and choosing an alternative to a floral bouquet can make the celebration more unique.

Whatever the reason for choosing an alternative to a classic bouquet of flowers, brides today have many choices for beautiful accents as they walk down the aisle.

Faux Floral Alternatives

If a bride wants the look of flowers without real blooms, she can choose from a variety of unique materials that can be folded, molded, and sewn into floral-like arrangements. Options include:

Non-Floral Bouquets

Pussy Willows

Some brides want the look of a classic bouquet without any hint of flowers, and using unique plants and greenery can create a stunning and beautiful bouquet without a single bloom. Popular choices include:

  • Ferns
  • Ivy
  • Herbs
  • Grains
  • Fall leaves
  • Pussy willows

Unique Alternatives to Wedding Bouquets

The most unique alternatives of all are stunningly different from bouquets and give brides a much more individualized look to their wedding details. These unique ideas can be adjusted for a variety of wedding themes, locations, and formalities. Alternatives can include:

Rosary
  • A jack-o-lantern carried for an autumn or Halloween wedding
  • An open prayer book or Bible for a religious ceremony
  • A jeweled rosary, perhaps coordinated with the wedding colors, for a Catholic wedding
  • A lit candle with a glass shield for an evening affair
  • A personalized bridal purse for an unusual and practical option
  • A lace or painted fan for a spring or summer wedding
  • A delicate parasol for a vintage event
  • A lit lantern for a wedding in a barn or other rustic location
  • A horseshoe to bring the couple good luck as they recite their vows
  • A conch shell or other lovely shell for a beach wedding

Whatever the bride chooses to carry, it can easily be coordinated with the wedding colors or decorative scheme by adding subtle accents to blend in with the overall décor.

Hands-Free Options

Some brides may choose not to carry anything down the aisle. Wearing elegant gloves can draw attention to their hands without needing any accessories, or the bride could link arms with her escort for a simple and elegant processional. Other items could be used as unique hands-free focal points for the bride's attire, such as an elaborate brooch on the neckline of her wedding gown, an intricate hairpiece, or stunning bridal jewelry.


While most brides do opt to carry flowers down the aisle, there are many alternatives to wedding bouquets that are just as lovely and suitable for any memorable event. From themed accessories to faux floral arrangements, brides today have many options to make their walk down the aisle unique and suitable for their individual preferences.

Alternatives to Wedding Bouquets