8 Beautiful Alternatives to Real Flowers | Sasha Chou Wedding Photography

Are you a bride on a budget? Or maybe you’re an unconventional couple that likes to do things your own way. When it comes to planning your wedding, you quickly start noticing how fast things begin to add up. One way you can save money is by not using real flowers. Let’s be honest here… Flowers are expensive! So, if you aren’t dead set on using the real thing, consider displaying other items that can be just as beautiful but at a fraction of the cost. This list of flower alternatives is sure to give your wedding that unique look without breaking the bank. In fact, you may find that some of these appeal to you or have more sentimental value than real flowers, and they’ll last forever as beautiful mementos from your wedding day.

8 Stunning Flower Alternatives for Your Wedding Day


Have you considered using silk flowers? Some look almost identical to real flowers, and best of all, you can keep your bouquet forever. Silk flowers give you that traditional look without traditional prices, and they are absolutely gorgeous! You can even mix and match if you want some real and some faux flowers in your arrangements.

silk flowers, flower alternatives for wedding

Tissue Paper

This thin paper can be used for much more than gift wrapping! Create your own flowers out of tissue paper. By cutting the paper into different designs, you can create multiple layers and flower sizes to give your arrangements more texture and variety. Feel free to add in lots of colors, or keep it simple with basic neutrals. Tissue arrangements look both delicate and elegant. You can even attach them to real stems or twigs for a natural look.

tissue flowers, flower alternatives for wedding


With more outdoor weddings these days, many couples choose to forgo flowers all together and instead make use of the natural greenery. Use existing botanicals to your advantage. Then, you can add to it by purchasing fake plants or additional greenery at most craft/decor stores. This will give your wedding a gorgeous pop of color while still sticking to your wedding budget. 

greenery for wedding, flower alternatives for wedding

Wood or Dried Flowers

Looking for an eco-friendly alternative? Wood flowers are trending right now, and some look so real you want to reach down and smell them! Many businesses sell them for a great price, or you can purchase customized arrangements from an artist. Add some dried flowers in as accents, and your guests will be amazed! Then, you can keep your flower arrangements forever to cherish the memory of your wedding day. 

wood flowers, flower alternatives for wedding


There are tons of options when it comes to paper flowers. It’s easy to mix and match when it comes to color and types of paper like cardstock, tissue paper, glossy paper, construction paper, or newsprint. Many people also enjoy adding rhinestones or touches of paint to create a variety of flowery looks.

paper flowers, flower alternatives


For a creative light and airy feel, or even a boho wedding, consider using feathers instead of flowers at your wedding. With so many sizes, colors, and styles to choose from, feathers can fit any wedding theme or style. Group several together for a fun bouquet, or place a few tall feathers in a vase for your table centerpieces. Your guests will love this non-traditional pop of flair! They pair nicely with pampas grass, too!

feather wedding bouquet


Planning a rustic chic or country fall wedding? Burlap is a great flower alternative because it is so versatile. You can fold the fabric to look like flowers for your bouquet, giving your walk down the aisle an extra touch of rustic elegance. Burlap also comes in several different shades, giving you a mixture of tans and browns that won’t be overwhelming like some colorful flower arrangements. 

burlap flowers


Lace or paper fans make gorgeous (and functional) alternatives to bridal and bridesmaids’ bouquets. These are so pretty if you’re having a traditional Asian or fusion wedding. Painted flowers offer a lovely floral touch.

fans for bridal party

No matter which beautiful flower alternative you choose, you can create lovely arrangements out of just about anything! Remember, at the end of the day, it’s not about how much money you spend on things like flowers, it’s about celebrating your big day with the people you care about most. Flower alternatives can be a great way to add a unique, personalized element to your wedding, and your friends and family will love your creativity!

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Sasha Chou is a boutique New York City engagement, wedding, and maternity photographer. She specializes in timeless, photojournalistic images. Discover her style by visiting her portfolio here. Learn more about the dedicated Sasha Chou Photography team here. To book video or photography services or learn more about wedding packages, click here.

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