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An arrangement of white roses is a timeless display of elegance and class, but it’s not for everyone. What if you want something a little more colorful? From mushrooms to cacti, here are 15 gorgeous, off-the-beaten-path bridal bouquet ideas to help you say, “I do.”
Bespoke Bridal Bouquets
Consider incorporating these fungi, flowers, fruits and more into your floral arrangement.
- Air Plants
Air plants have gained popularity as hard-to-kill houseplants that don’t need soil. Coming in a wide array of sizes and shapes, you can add them to a bridal bouquet for a vibrant touch of living color. After the ceremony, you can even give them away as a wedding favor that your guests can enjoy for years to come. Simply water them once a week and mist them every few days.
Perfect for an autumn wedding, a sprig of berries adds a bright pop of red, blue, green or yellow to your bridal arrangement. The fruits may be either fresh or dried depending on which species they are, how far in advance the florist made the bouquet and how long you intend to save it, if at all. Consider using native berries and feeding them back to the birds when you’re done with the bouquet.
Lush, waxy mushrooms with oversized caps add bold texture to an otherwise delicate display. Mix them in amongst flowers for a woodland bridal bouquet that’s sure to stand out.
Just make sure to add the mushrooms to the bouquet last — right as you’re taking it out of the vase — since you shouldn’t leave them in water. A vase of cool water invigorates thirsty flower stems, but it might make the mushrooms swell and change shape.
- Pitcher Plants
For a truly unusual bridal bouquet, why not include a carnivorous plant? Long, upright Sarracenia pitcher plants would probably work well, since they have the same general shape as other flowers you’d normally put in a bouquet. The pitchers can be shades of deep maroon, lime green, yellow or white with red veins. They may also grow colorful flowers to attract insects.
- Cacti and Other Succulents
Although carrying a fully-spined barrel cactus would be a bold move, that’s just asking for disaster. Instead, why not add some spineless prickly pear to your bouquet? The smooth pads — also called nopales — lend a southwestern feel to any floral arrangement.
Another trend gaining steam is the use of succulents. Echeveria is an especially popular plant for bridal bouquets because of its rose-like shape, multiple hues and durability. Other great choices include string-of-pearls, which dangles down like beads, and zebra plant, a green succulent with white stripes.
The best part about a succulent bouquet is that it’s alive! When you’re done with it, you can give the plants away as wedding favors or start a succulent garden to commemorate your marriage.
- Ferns and Ivy
If you want to embrace the mysterious and feminine, create a lush woodland bouquet replete with ferns. Include different stages of growth, such as fiddleheads and fully open leaves, to add texture and visual interest to the arrangement.
Ivy — the non-poisonous kind — also makes a beautiful addition to bridal bouquets. With leaves ranging from triangular to heart shaped, vines add a touch of wimsy to the arrangment, symbolizing those who will always be wild at heart.
- Evergreen Sprigs
Are you getting married on a cold, wintry eve? Only 5.2% of couples in Germany did so in 2022, making it a truly unique season for a wedding. Create an evergreen bouquet out of fir, cedar, juniper or pine sprigs. In fact, anything you’d put in a wreath works well for this arrangement. Add pine cones, berries or tinsel garlands to spruce things up — no pun intended.
Moss is the unsung hero of many bridal bouquets and centerpieces, creating a full, even-colored backdrop against which the main flowers can shine. But you can also make it the star of the show. Moss balls have a plush, velvety texture and dark green hue that lends itself well to any bouquet, from traditional white rose arrangements to verdant spring displays.
- Cholla Wood
Cholla — pronounced “choyah” — isn’t ordinary wood. It’s actually the skeleton of the cholla cactus, one of the few plants to have an internal wooden structure.
Cholla wood is smooth, lightweight and filled with perfectly oblong holes, so evenly spaced they look handcrafted. You can fill it with fairy lights to create a dazzling centerpiece or incorporate it into your bouquet, string lights and all, for a jaw-dropping frame on which to arrange the flowers.
Perfect for farming couples or those getting married around Thanksgiving, your bouquet can become a borderline cornucopia replete with artichokes, kale and different colors of cabbage leaves. Small, ornamental peppers in vivid yellow, red or purple can also make a bridal bouquet really pop. Just make sure to have a snack before you walk down the aisle so you aren’t tempted to eat it!
- Seed Pods and Grass
Want something a little wilder? Many bridal bouquets incorporate unopened poppies and nettles for a less-cultivated look. Lotus pods are another classic choice, as are wheat stalks and feathertop grass.
From January to March, deer and elk shed their antlers. Antlers make a great addition to wedding bouquets with a southwestern theme or for couples who enjoy the great outdoors. You can intersperse them amongst wildflowers or use them to frame the sides of the bouquet, signifying the beauty of nature and the arrival of spring.
Are you planning a beach wedding? You can add a few seashells to your floral arrangement in keeping with the theme. Long, conical shells, twisting spirals and shimmering opal hues will make your wedding bouquet stand out as you walk down the aisle — and, perhaps, the isle.
Peacock and rooster tail feathers are so colorful that you could almost mistake them for flowers. Feathers look lovely in all kinds of bridal bouquets, and you can find them in several different colors and patterns. Just be sure you’re only using feathers from a sustainable source, such as those the birds shed naturally.
- Artificial Flowers
Real flowers can be one of the priciest parts of a wedding budget, with floral arrangements costing an average of $2,300 in the U.S. in 2021. But you can save money and preserve your bridal bouquet for years to come by purchasing flowers made of glass, wood, porcelain, cloth or paper instead. They’re just as beautiful as the real thing. Plus, you won’t have to worry about them wilting before the big day.
Wedding Bouquets to Suit Every Style
For nontraditional couples, one-of-a-kind bridal bouquets are a great way to showcase personality and charm while thinking outside the box. Whether you incorporate seashells, moss, paper flowers or something else entirely in your floral arrangement, you can make it just as special as you are on your big day.
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