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There are many reasons real flowers may not be in the cards — er, hands — on your wedding day. They’re expensive, they’re sneeze-inducing (particularly if you have allergies), and they’re quite delicate. You might want to keep your bouquet intact for longer than a few days, which can be tough with real blooms, you know? And even if you’re not worried about a price tag or an itchy nose, you might be a hip human who wants to consider wedding flower alternatives because you never know, you just might dig them. (Oh yes, that was indeed a plant pun.)

Remember to think beyond the bouquet, too. It’s true that flowers are the ultimate wedding decoration, and they can make or break your venue’s environment. But centerpieces, photo booth backdrops, and hanging arrangements can all be created out of flower alternatives as well. From succulents, the flowers of the desert, to more playful alternatives like bunches of fancy balloons, there are so many options for you to check out before committing to peonies or poppies.

1. Look To Lavender

Lavender is lovely in that it looks understated, but also provides a pop of color. It’s also appealing in that it smells pretty heavenly. Consider a lavender bouquet for you or your bridesmaids. An added bonus? The scent of lavender is said to be calming. And who doesn’t want to be calm on their big day?

2. Super Simple Succulents

Don’t be afraid to be a sucker for succulents, even on your wedding day. Miniature succulents make for excellent party favors, but you can think bigger. Want a tropical vibe at your wedding? Think about renting some giant palms for under your tent. And have you ever seen a succulent bouquet? They’re gorgeous (and they won’t prick you, promise).

3. Felt Flowers

Felt or paper flowers are a sweet, simple way to add a touch of whimsy to your wedding day. Handcrafted felt flowers don’t have to be dumpy DIY, either. They can look incredibly gorgeous, if you get them from the right spot. Etsy and Pinterest are ripe with felt and paper flower ideas.

4. Leaves And Greens

Having a winter wedding? Consider creating a bouquet of winter greens like fir branches and pine cones to enhance the theme. Or, if you’re getting hitched in the fall, why not consider an autumnal bouquet full of leaves to set the tone for the event. Pumpkins, gourds, and other harvest adjacent decor can work on your tables as centerpieces. Other green plants work as well. You’re not going to look like you’re holding a salad, we promise.

5. Balloon Bouquets

Balloons are the latest trend in wedding decor, and there’s not reason they can’t be a part of your bouquets. Balloons might be too cumbersome to carry down the aisle, but this new trend of balloon masterpieces can work perfectly as centerpieces or hanging garlands at your cocktail hour or reception. Having a kid-friendly wedding? They’ll love it too.

Written by: Kimmy Foskett