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Wedding Flowers | Real or Artificial?

Here is my hot take on what flowers to use at your depends on YOU!

What did I choose?

To start, let me explain what I did. I knew even before we got engaged I wanted to go with artificial bouquets. I really loved the fact that I could keep them "forever" and that my bridesmaids could also. BUT I did do real flowers for my centerpieces! I made planter boxes and grew succulents and trailing vine plants for my centerpieces.

I've listed some recommendations on what direction to go based on you as a person. The way I approached this for my own wedding was looking at before/during/after the wedding and how my style impacted my selection.

The Before:

Season - What season is your wedding vs the flowers/colors/style you'd like? You may have to make some sacrifices to your bouquet look if you want fall colored leaves in your April wedding. Now that's an "extreme" situation but your local florist should be able to give you a run down of what flowers might not be available during the season of your wedding.

Budget - Budget is obviously a big one for any part of the wedding. One thing I recommend to anyone is buying or printing your own wedding planner to budget out every aspect of your wedding. Once you start looking up quotes you can determine if real flowers are in your budget. They are normally a bit more expensive than artificial ones, but you can also balance it by using flowers from a farmers market or talk to a shop near you for deals! Also remember that if real flowers are something you really desire, then go for it! There are plenty of things that people say are "must haves" in a wedding that can actually be cut. One things we decided to cross off the list is guest favors. This gave us more room in the budget to put towards flowers and our photographer.

Stress - Will the stress of not having flowers until right before the wedding be too much for you? We have a family friend who got all of her flowers at the local farmers market the morning of her wedding, talk about trust! I knew myself enough that I wouldn't be able to handle that, hence why I decided artificial bouquets were for me.

Grow your own! - So I did something a bit different and I made my own centerpieces from a mix of succulents and trailing vines! I started about 4 months before my wedding. With the help of my grandpa we made the planter boxes, stained them and then planted them! I bought all my succulents as cuttings on #Etsy.

Look in your backyard - I knew that I wanted all the greenery I could get in my venue. It is an old brick building with beautiful exposed metal beams, and my vision was a mix of the industrial style with the warmth of plants. While living with my MIL, she mentioned that she wanted to get rid of this one large trailing bush in her backyard. We trialed snipping off a section and putting it in water to see how long it would last to make sure it wouldn't wilt immediately. After than trial, the Thursday before our wedding we cut down the bush, placed all the cuttings in big buckets of water, and then brought them to the venue on Saturday morning! We used all the cuttings we could and then threw the rest away, all for FREE.

The During:

Schedule - How much time do you have to pencil in for receiving arrangements and setting up your centerpieces? If you have time the night before to set everything else up, you may have plenty of time to quickly set up the flower centerpieces. If you have some good friends, not in the wedding party, you may be able to grab their help to set everything up while you are getting ready. Or your florist may set it up for you for an extra charge. If you go either of these routes I highly recommend mapping everything out for how you want things arranged and what your vision of the space is.

For us, we were pretty tight scheduled as there was a wedding the night before ours so we weren't able to set up anything the day before. Thankfully we had plenty of friends who were more than willing to set everything up the morning of, I just gave a map of the space and what I was thinking and everything was set up just perfectly!

The After:

Re-Purpose - What is your thought on re-using your centerpieces and bouquets? Would you line up a service to preserve your flowers in a shadowbox? Or resin? Would you want them pressed into a glass frame? Or would you want to keep it "forever blooming" as a centerpiece in your home? It's all up to your style here. I placed my bouquet in a glass water pitcher and have it on my dining table during the spring & summer, I love that I can keep re-using the bouquet and remember my wedding day in how I decorate my house.

*note* after having my flowers for 3 years now, the one comment I have is the artificial flowers get dusty and there isn't a great way to wash them. I'm searching for what the best way to clean them is, but for right now that's my only complaint on going with the artificial bouquets.

Sell? - One perk of using artificial flowers is the ability to re-sell your arrangements & centerpieces. You can re-coup some of the cost of your flowers using this method, or maybe even rent them out! One of the best ways to sell your wedding items is at a bridal expo! There you can not only meet vendors but they normally have a large section of people re-selling their wedding décor.

Those are my suggestions on using either real or artificial flowers at your wedding. And don't be afraid to mix and match! I loved having both real and artificial flowers at my wedding, and I think it perfectly catered to my vision and needs that day.

Enjoy some inspiration from my wedding below!

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