Wedding Flower Alternatives

Alternatives to Wedding Flowers

Wedding days don’t necessarily need to be filled with cut blooms by the boatload! These days, the traditional role of wedding flowers has been usurped by those things that are near and dear to the bride and groom’s hearts. Many couples are choosing features for centerpieces, bouquets and reception décor that have nothing to do with florals!


Wedding table centerpieces are often flowers because they add visual interest and a sense of symmetry to an otherwise empty space. Fill that open space with something meaningful and lovely instead! Cake stands are great for adding height and can be topped with candles, books, framed photos, mementos or even something seasonally relevant, like dyed eggs, pine cones or sparkling branches.


Brides and bridesmaids alike usually carry bouquets, but they don’t have to be made of real flowers! You’ve seen ideas all over Pinterest for ways to make your bridal bouquet unique. Consider doing the same for each of your bridesmaids. Perhaps a quirky or mismatched look for the bridesmaid’s bouquets of fabric flowers, or a whimsical brooch bouquet. If you’re feeling crafty there are plenty of tutorials, but there are many places to buy them as well to save time!

Flower Girl

The role of a flower girl is a thoughtful way to include the little girl (or girls) you love in your wedding. Flower petals, however, can be expensive and impractical. If you’ve got the time and inclination, this easy tutorial for making fabric confetti is perfect to give her something to toss before you come down the aisle!

Groom’s Boutonniere

Finally, the men have a way to express their personalities as well! Usually, the gentleman wears one bloom on his lapel, but there are a ton of ideas for non-floral boutonnieres this year. You could even do something daring like incorporating LEDs into the boutonnieres, but it’s up to you how creative and unique you’d like to be.

AS you can see from the above examples, there are plenty of fun ways to do away with the traditional and expensive flowers on your wedding day. By doing something completely outside of the norm and finding fun alternatives to wedding flowers throughout your ceremony and reception, you can create lasting memories that you and your guests will cherish for many years to come.

Grandfather's Pocket Watch

Wedding Ring Pillow Alternatives

With wedding themes going rustic romantic, beach breezy and a little country chic, you don’t have to be traditional and use a ring pillow. Think outside the box when it comes to putting the personal touches on your big day. Check out our list below on wedding ring pillow alternatives and complete your unity with a special ring presentation.

Wedding Ring Box

Little wooden boxes make adorable alternatives to traditional wedding ring pillows. Etch them with cute sayings like “With This Ring I Thee Wed” or “We Do”. Have your initials or wedding date printed as a keepsake for your big day.

Something Borrowed

One of the sweetest things you can use to hand over the wedding rings is a little something sentimental and borrowed. Rings can be specially transported down the aisle in something meaningful like your grandfather or father’s pocket watch, a small jewelry box that belonged to a favorite aunt or your grandmother, tied to a vintage cowbell or saucer that you have always admired in a loved one’s house.

Book of Love

Choose a book, and place the rings in a cut out heart in the middle. From the bible to a book you both love as a couple, or something that is a symbol of your love this idea makes for a nice photographic moment.

Something from the Sea

If your wedding is beach or nautical themed tie the rings to a seashell with a ribbon for a gorgeous alternative to a wedding ring pillow.

The Sweet Little Pocket and Sign

Sometimes your ring bearer might be too little to entrust with your precious rings, instead give your little guy a cute entrance with a sign that says something like “Here Comes Your Girl”, and tuck the rings safely in the Best Man’s pocket.

Bouquet Toss Alternatives

Bouquet TossThe bride’s bouquet toss. That magical moment where you get to throw the most expensive bouquet of flowers you’ve ever carried, only to watch it get torn apart by your single friends. Or, if you’re near the last of the bunch, to have it be picked up off the ground by the flower girl, leading to uncomfortable laughter all around. Sure, it’s a wedding tradition. But if you want to break with tradition, there are plenty of new ideas to take the place of the flower toss. Using bouquet toss alternatives has grown to be very popular recently, and here are a few examples:

Anniversary Dance

Instead of singling out the people who aren’t married yet, on alternative is to have a dance that honors the couple who has been married the longest. Have your DJ or a member of the bridal party call all the married couples to the dance floor. As the song plays, ask people who have been married under a year to leave the floor, then under 5 years, etc. Have a shower of confetti or balloons ready for the couple who has been married the longest. It’s a great way to celebrate love on your big day.


Slake your guests’ lust for destruction on something that won’t be a keepsake to put in your wedding album. Fill a heart-shaped piñata (or something fun and different, if it suits your theme) with candy and treats and let the adults and children whack away. Even better, have one for adults full of PLASTIC bottles of booze or individually-wrapped shots, and one for the kids full of candy or small toys.

Gift Card

Attach a gift card to a bouquet of paper flowers, then invite ALL of the women onto the dance floor, not just the singletons. You can still have a tussle for the prize, but instead of a moment of embarrassment, the winner gets $15 at Starbucks or Barnes & Nobles or what have you.

Flower Fortunes

Take paper flowers with wire stems and tie slips of paper to them. On the papers you can write fortunes, jokes, love advice, song lyrics, whatever seems like the most fun. Then gather all the ladies in attendance on the dance floor and toss the whole bundle. They’ll come apart in the air so everyone can pick one up. Then take turns reading them and let the guests take the flowers home as a keepsake which makes them a great alternative.

Throw Something Else

If you really want to toss something, pick something else that’s more throwable and save your bouquet. We’ve seen brides throw a bouquet of paper flowers, a playground ball, even a stuffed animal. Or you can go for a classic fake-out– instead of the bouquet, throw a paper bag full of confetti or glitter.

The traditional tossing of the bouquet made more sense when people were all getting married earlier, and the most important goal of any woman was to land a man. These days, the pressure to get married isn’t as significant, and many couples would rather not single out the unwed. These alternative ideas will bring fun to your wedding reception without making anyone feel bad or wasting a beautiful bouquet.

5 Alternatives to Glass Clinking

Glass ClinkingAs soon as the bride and groom sit down at the reception, it starts. Every wedding guest seems to succumb to a fever, the only antidote to which is banging on their glasses with a spoon or a fork. The racket starts with one guest, then quickly spreads throughout the venue until the bride and groom kiss. There are loud “WOO!”s and thunderous applause, and then silence for a few minutes…until the whole thing starts up again.

If there was ever a tradition to discourage at your wedding, the glass clinking ritual is the one. We’ve seen couples try to thwart it by having plastic cups instead of goblets, or not putting out silverware until the meal arrives, but someone will always find a way to make noise until they get that kiss. The only way to thwart it is to provide a clear alternative and tell your guests at the beginning of the reception, “we’re not doing the glass-clinking thing. If you want us to kiss, you need to…”

Sing a Love Song

Have a microphone tied to the P.A. system and tell guests they must sing a snippet of a love song instead of banging on cutlery. The number of guests willing to embarrass themselves at the mic means you’ll have more time in between interruptions to enjoy your day, and the few star performers among your social circle can go crazy with it.

Give Advice to the Couple

Here’s a cute alternative to the constant interruption and noise of glass-clinking: have happily-married guests share a bit of advice for the bride and groom. That way, each kiss at your reception can be a memory of hearing some advice or a well-wishing from a dear friend or family member.

Share a Memory of the Bride or Groom

Much like the advice-giving, this alternative replaces an annoying intrusion with a welcome sharing among friends and family. Those happy memories can lead to great conversations around the table, friendly competition as people try and top each other’s memories, and the revelation of embarrassing secrets that will entertain everyone for years to come.

Bring the Couple a Drink

Look, if your guests are going to constantly interrupt your dinner and conversation with demands that you kiss while they watch and applaud, why not make them earn that kiss with a useful service? To earn a kiss, your guests have to go to the (hopefully cash) bar, pony up a few bucks for a drink, and bring it to your table. If you get too many drinks, just distribute them among the wedding party.

A Kiss for a Kiss

This is it: the nuclear option. In order to get the bride and groom to kiss, guests will have to bring their partners up to the table and kiss first while YOU watch and go “WOO.” The hardy folk that aren’t deterred by the embarrassment will provide a fun reflection of your love. And if anyone’s too embarrassed to kiss on demand in front of a room full of people, well…then you’ve made your point.

If these tips for alternatives to glass clinking don’t quite fit the bill, I’m sure you can imagine some other way that guests can “buy” a public kiss between the bride and groom. But whether you use these ideas or one of your own, there’s no denying the elegant joy of a clink-free reception.

Five Wedding Cake Alternatives

Donut TowerNext to the ring and the vows, the wedding cake is one of the more ingrained wedding traditions in American culture. We’ve all seen the multi-tier white cake with the delicate sugar flowers, elegant and understated and incredibly expensive. An amazing cake can definitely be a conversation piece at your wedding, but there are plenty of options out there for an innovative couple. Here are five suggestions for wedding cake alternatives, in order from more traditional to most out-there:


Instead of one huge layer cake, why not go for several different flavors of cupcake? You can experiment with small batches of different fillings and frosting rather than just one or two on a big cake. What’s more, they’re pre-portioned: no waiting for the caterer to cut the cake before your guests can serve themselves. Plus, there’s no need for plates or forks; cupcakes are portable and finger-food.

A Cake for Each Table

Wedding receptions can be a little awkward as social circles collide and friends and family meet each other for the first time. One way to encourage guests to mingle is to do away with the single big cake and put smaller cakes of different flavors on each table. Make an announcement at the beginning of the meal that guests are encouraged to seek out other flavors and trade with other tables and watch the fun begin! It’s much easier to make friends when you have a reason to interact with each other, and trading a slice of chocolate with raspberry ganache for a slice of lavender-vanilla is an excellent reason.

Pies Instead of Cakes

This possible alternative is really a question of personal taste. For a rustic wedding, a down-home wedding, or a wedding for a couple who just aren’t “cake people,” pie can be a wonderful way to go. Instead of a three-tiered cake, you can go with several different flavors of pie on a cake stand. Pie is the ultimate comfort food; for a more casual reception, you can’t go wrong with a slice of Dutch apple.

Mini Desserts

Mini desserts, or dessert shots, are a great way to let your guests sample a variety of desserts without overly taxing their waistbands which makes them a great option as a wedding cake alternative. Instead of a single piece of cake, let them choose a miniature tiramisu, a tiny crème brûlée, and a little flourless chocolate torte. No one will mind having dessert buffet style if you have four or five unique options for the guests to mix and match.

Donut Tower

If any kind of dessert is a little too conventional for you, and especially if you’re having a morning wedding and brunch-themed reception, a donut tower may be the perfect cake alternative. A multi-tiered display of stacked donuts, with several different brightly-colored frosting finishes, will definitely get your guests talking. Pair it with a coffee fountain for breakfast-themed nirvana.

If those suggestions are still a bit too conventional, you can make a playful reception centerpiece out of just about any foodstuff arranged into that classic three-tiered shape that most wedding cakes are displayed. We’ve seen wedding “cakes” made of stacked Oreos, Twinkies, even cheeseburgers (with ketchup for dipping). Whether it’s sweet or savory, conventional or extremely quirky; make sure your cake fits your personality as a couple, and your guests will love it.