How to Throw a Beautiful Wedding With No Flowers

by Bridestory May 17, 2016 | 09:00 in Wedding Ideas  


Wedding bouquets, corsages, floral centerpieces, even aisles covered in rose petals. Flowers have been deeply associated with weddings for ages that it seems almost impossible to get married without them. But do you really need to have flowers in your wedding? These days, weddings are a lot more personal than they used to be decades ago. Wedding celebrations come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, so having a wedding without flowers doesn't seem to be such a radical idea anymore.

Flowers are so pretty, why would anyone even consider a flowerless wedding? First of all, flowers are costly. Fresh flowers, especially imported ones, will take a huge chunk of your wedding decoration budget. Wedding flowers also cause a lot of waste as they can't be reused, which is why the more environmentally-conscious brides have chosen to go flowerless for their wedding.

The popularity of wedding flowers itself might also be the reason why some couples opt for non-floral decorations. A wedding without flowers looks so unusual and modern, perfect for couples who want a less traditional wedding. For some, the reason to forgo wedding flowers is simple: they're just not into flowers! Whatever the reason, we think it's far from impossible to have a beautiful, chic, and flower-free wedding celebration. Just scroll further down to see some wonderful alternatives.

Photography: Chelsea Nicole

Artificial flowers
If you enjoy the beauty of flowers but don't have the budget for them, do consider using faux flowers as part of your wedding decoration. Artificial flowers are not as foolproof and easy to choose as fresh flowers, however, so make sure you consider these aspects before making a decision.

The Pros

1. Budget-friendly
Even though there are many kinds of artificial flowers, ranging from the cheapest to the most expensive ones, they are usually still cheaper than fresh flowers.
2. Long-lasting arrangements
You can keep your flowers after the wedding and even reuse them for years to come. Also, you won't have any wilting flowers to worry about during your wedding ceremony and reception.
3. Seasonal advantages
Aside from being budget-friendly, your favorite fake flowers will be available throughout the year, regardless of the season. This allows you to have any kind of flowers you like, any time you want.

The Cons

1. Scentless
Fresh flowers produce a distinct, pleasing fragrance that faux flowers don't have, even if they've been sprayed with floral fragrance.
2. Not enough options
More often than not, local wedding florists selling real flowers are a lot easier to find around you than artificial flower vendors. It will be hard to compare different artificial flower vendors if you just can't find enough of them.
3. Can get expensive
The cheaper the artificial flowers, the tackier and less realistic they look. There are plenty of realistic, high-quality silk flowers out there, but they can cost almost as expensive as real flowers.

If you don't want to go all faux, use both real flowers and artificial blooms at the same time, with a ratio of 30:70, for instance. Place your artificial flowers in spots that can't be reached by your guests, and make sure to use high-quality artificial flowers.

Believe it or not, fruits actually work really well as decorative elements, even for your wedding celebration. You can have fruits as in different parts of your wedding decoration, such as your centerpieces, escort cards, table numbers, place cards, even the dessert table or bar. Take a look at some ideas below that will inspire you to have a fruit-filled wedding.

Photography: Cly by Matthew - Gavin Farrington

On the tables
Don't be afraid to place colorful fruits on your wedding table as part of the table settings or centerpiece. Their presence will bring a fresh feeling to the whole table arrangement that your guests will love. And as it's not such a common sight in wedding parties, your guests will be pleasantly surprised.

Photography: Stacy Able

You can also use fruits to decorate your chandeliers like this; a unique variation to the usual floral decoration. fake fruits will also be fine for this kind of decoration, as they will be out of reach and you can use real fruits somewhere else.

Photography: Corbin Gurkin - Jessica Kay

Escort cards and place cards
It's common to use escort cards and place cards as part of the whole wedding decoration, so why not take them to another level by using fruits? A tip, if you're doubling fruits as place cards, you can also use them as wedding favors for your guests.

Photography: Patrick Moyer - KT Merry

The food section
Fruits are not only delicious, their lovely colors can make your wedding buffet look even more enticing. Scatter them around, color-coordinate them, or put them anywhere to make your food displays look even more delightful.

How should I style fruits for my wedding?
Although a lot of things look good with fruits, it doesn't mean that you can just scatter them all over the place. You need to pay close attention to their color composition and quantity. You can work with a single color, playing around with its various tones, or you can also use bright colors to add contrast to the whole decorative arrangement.

For the placement, don't forget to always refer to your wedding theme and color palette. A crate or wooden box filled with fruits will suit a rustic or ranch wedding very well. Fine Chinese porcelain will wonderfully match these fruits in a chinoiserie-themed wedding for example. For a more modern and minimalist approach, tall clear glass containers would be great.

When should I buy fruits for my wedding?
You should talk to your wedding decorator about this. You need to also consider the shelf life of the fruits, and their tendencies to change color. It's best to not buy them too soon, since the quality of the fruits will deteriorate over long periods of time. Some fruits, like papaya and banana, may ripen and change color in only a few days. That way, they wouldn't suit your wedding color palette as much as they did when you bought them.

To determine how much fruits you need to buy, calculate your requirements and add one or two kilos just in case some of the fruits don't arrive in a good condition. If necessary, contact your local supplier to make sure that there's enough stock of the fruit when you buy them.

Other flowerless alternatives
Other than fruits and faux flowers, there are still a lot of things you can use to replace flowers in your wedding decoration. See some of them below to get you inspired.

  • Photography: Carla Gates - Aaron and Jillian


    Even without the flowers, greenery can still make your wedding look so pretty. You can use the vines as your table runner, chair decoration, or even to adorn your chandelier as pictured on the right.

  • Photography: Carla Gates - Aaron and Jillian


    Still playing with greens, you can use a pot of lush foliage to make your escort card display. Place a terrarium and stick your escort cards for your guests to see. Such a beautiful and interesting idea.

  • Photography: Carla Gates - Aaron and Jillian


    You can also put up cute and distinctively-shaped lanterns on the ceiling to create some visual interest. If you can, pair up different kinds of lanterns to give unique variations.

  • Photography: Carla Gates - Aaron and Jillian


    Hang colorful parasols upside down from the ceiling to give a vintage feel, especially if you’re having an oriental-themed wedding. You can also hang different parasol styles in the same color as a backdrop for your guests’ photos. They're going to love it.

  • Photography: Carla Gates - Aaron and Jillian


    This earthy element will look so perfect in rustic weddings. The wooden signage is such a great idea. You can have a few of these signs decorating your ranch or rustic-themed garden wedding. The right photo features escort cards made with driftwood. It has a more nautical feel somehow, making it great for a beach wedding.

  • Photography: Carla Gates - Aaron and Jillian


    The classic and ever so versatile candles. You can’t go wrong with this one, as there are a lot of ways you can use them to spice up a plain wedding hall, even without flowers. Down the aisle, over the tables alongside the greenery, over on the chandeliers, the choice is endless.

  • Photography: Carla Gates - Aaron and Jillian


    Experiment with fabrics to create some sort of pattern and variation on the ceiling of your wedding venue. If you want to cover the whole space, the photo on the right might be a better choice. Gather the ends of all the fabrics used to cover the tent ceiling and use it to create a chandelier-like decoration in the center of the tent.

  • Photography: Carla Gates - Aaron and Jillian


    Mirrors, antique and vintage ones in particular, make a great wedding decoration element. A lot of couples have used mirrors to make a beautiful welcome signs for their guests.

  • Photography: Carla Gates - Aaron and Jillian


    Aside from the welcome signs, mirrors can also be used as table numbers or the wedding menu. Mind the ink you’re using over the mirrors, though, make sure they’re readable but not dull.

  • Photography: Arielle Doneson


    If you’ve decided to use no flowers in your wedding, we say it’s the perfect time to get creative with thematic wedding decoration. This couple went with a nautical theme, so they had wire ships along with other marine elements to decorate their tables and venue. How would you make your own thematic wedding?

  • Photography: Carla Gates - Aaron and Jillian

    Natural elements

    Going flowerless doesn’t mean you can’t experiment with other beautiful elements that nature has to offer. How about tree branches, twigs, and leaves? And let’s not forget pinecones and wheat strands. There are plenty of other natural elements you can experiment with. Consult your florist or decorator and don’t be afraid to experiment.

  • Photography: Carla Gates - Aaron and Jillian


    Feathers big and small certainly have a glamorous and vintage ambiance about them. If you're the more subtle and modest type, pick small feathers and pair them with natural elements we mentioned before. If you’re looking for a lush and glamorous feel, get big feathers and assemble them together in a big centerpiece. So chic!

  • Photography: Carla Gates - Aaron and Jillian

    Papers and ribbons

    And finally, papers and ribbons. You must have used these two things a lot for your childhood craft projects, who knew they would come in handy for your wedding as well? Making paper cranes is one option you can consider. Another great idea is to use patterned paper as the backdrop and complete the whole look with ribbons as pictured on the right. What do you think?

Did we miss any non-floral decorative elements you think are worth mentioning? Tell us in the comment section below!

Things to remember when going flowerless
Now that you've discovered more non-floral options for your wedding decoration, it's time to really think things through. Consider these points before you really make a decision to not use flowers for your wedding celebration.

Be sure that this is what you want
Having a flowerless wedding is not the most popular or common choice, so when you do it, you need to be sure that you really want it. Make sure that your partner, as well as your immediate family members whose opinions matter to you, can appreciate your decision.

Embrace your personality
Aside from artificial flowers, fruits, and every single thing we mentioned above, there are many other alternatives to flowers for your wedding decoration. If you're a book lover, you can replace your centerpieces with stacks of antique books, for example. No matter what you choose, make sure that the decorative elements truly represent your personality.

Hire a talented decorator and be specific
This is where it gets a bit tricky. Expertise is needed when creating flowerless wedding decorations, so make sure you hire someone who's not only talented and creative, but also open-minded. A good wedding decorator will happily support your ideas and do their best to make them come true.


  • Photography: 1313 Photography | Aaron and Jillian | Anushe Low | Arielle Doneson Photography | Ashley Bosnick | Branco Prata | Carla Gates Photography | Chelsea Nicole | Christine Donee | CLY by Matthew | Corbin Gurkin | Gavin Farrington | Graham Terhune | Heather Curiel | Jessica Kay | Jonathan Young | Jose Villa | Julie Paisley | KT Merry | Kym Ventala | Lucida Photography | Marina Koslow | O'Malley Photographers | Patrick Moyer | Stacy Able | Sylvie Gil | Virgil Bunao | Weddings by Nicola and Glen

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