Beautiful bridal bouquets and huge floral arrangements are a mainstay at most weddings, but some couples choose to bid adieu to fresh blooms. Matthew Robbins of event planning and styling firm Matthew Robbins Design says weddings without flowers seem like a growing trend. He's designed three weddings in the last year without a single blossom. "It's an interesting design challenge," he says. Instead, couples are embracing textures, greenery, and other design elements. And flowerless weddings can be just as chic and wonderful as flower-filled celebration. "Style-focused is sometimes the right way to go," he says. "The focus is more on the vibe of the party instead of the fluffy details." Throwing a wedding without flowers is also a great way to express your creativity with out-of-the-box bouquets, centerpieces, and décor. No matter your reason for ditching the blooms, consider these tips when planning a wedding with absolutely no flowers.
Have a "Big Moment"
Flowers add punch to your wedding décor, since they're often used for impactful design components like arches. Robbins says that couples planning a wedding without blooms still need a "wow factor" in order to ground the space. This standout element can be a luxe bar, grand reception tent, or a decked-out dance floor.
Vary Shapes and Textures in the Décor
With their textural petals and green stems, flowers create visual interest. Couples who decide to forgo flowers must figure out new ways to do this. According to Robbins, the best way to achieve an appealing aesthetic is by varying shapes and textures—especially if the décor includes plants and other natural elements. "The way you're putting things together has to be considered," he says.
Find an Alternative Clutch
Modernize your wedding bouquet by trading out fresh flowers for other objects, like jewelry, a book, foliage, herbs, or faux flowers made of silk or paper. If the bride has more eccentric tastes, Robbins recommends creating a bouquet with vegetables like kale, cabbage, or cauliflower. Bridesmaids can carry the same alternative bouquet as the bride, but they can also hold items like parasols, lanterns, small purses, balloons, or candlesticks.
Spice Up Your Tables
There are countless replacements for floral centerpieces. For a natural aesthetic, consider decorating tables with fruit, plants, foliage, or even wood. "My personal favorite centerpieces are always using interesting combinations of seasonal plants," says Robbins. He's also seen unique and edible centerpieces made with food, like loaves of bread and bowls of olives.
Flowerless centerpieces can add a personal touch to wedding, since couples can decorate tables with items pertaining to their interests. Some ideas are favorite books, travel memorabilia, and framed photos. Robbins recalls a still life wedding that he recently designed, where centerpieces included collections of books, globes, and old clocks.
Trade in the Corsages and Boutonnieres
According to Robbins, pocket squares and pins are popular alternatives to traditional boutonnieres. In terms of corsage replacements, "we've done things made out of ribbon, fabric flowers, and cool broaches," he says. Crafty brides and grooms can also DIY boutonnieres and corsages to suit the wedding theme and design.
Rework the Flower Girl Petal Toss
Just because she's called a "flower girl" doesn't mean she has to toss flowers. The cutest member of the bridal party can throw items like sequins, confetti, popcorn, or dried lavender onto the ground.
To eliminate mess, she can carry something down the aisle instead. Robbins recommends a beautiful plant, but other suggestions are a pinwheel, parasol, basket of herbs, balloon, or ribbon wand. Or, simply give her a faux flower headband to wear.