Flowers are a huge part of a wedding’s design and budget, from table centerpieces to boutonnieres to the wedding bouquet. Just because a bouquet of flowers is traditional, however, doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of other options for an unconventional bride. Here are a few options for truly eye-catching and unconventional wedding bouquets.


Image of a Bride Finding Seashells for Her BouquetFor a beach (or beach-themed) wedding, a seashell bouquet makes for a stunning conversation piece. While they’re not as delicate as flowers, seashells can be so thin and light they’re translucent, and they come in a lovely muted color palette and hundreds of interesting shapes. A seashell bouquet can be as light, airy, and beautiful as a flower bouquet–but you might want to skip the bouquet toss.


Sparklers are one of the most unconventional wedding bouquets you can create. Nothing is more dramatic than the bride entering the hall with glittering sparklers! However, it’s important to choose the correct size and type before creating a bouquet. For normal-sized venues, 20 inch sparklers for weddings are usually the best choice. Not only are they smokeless and safe for indoor use, they last for a minute and a half. That is the perfect amount of time to make your way to the altar, yet not last too long to be awkward.


Wood is a great way to put together a bouquet with little effort and maximum impact! You can gather some twigs from your backyard and wrap them in a lovely ribbon. Optionally, you can create a bouquet from wooden flowers if you want a more traditional look. Whatever way you choose, wood is the perfect organic material for making unconventional wedding bouquets.


Paper wedding bouquets can be scrupulously realistic mimicking a real flower bouquet, but a more stylized bunch can be more fun and add an extra layer of meaning to the keepsake. You can have a spot on your invitation for guests to write well-wishing or advice for the new couple, and then print them on the flowers. Song lyrics, sheet music, pages from a book, illustrations, or even a map can make a bouquet as unique as the bride who carries it.


If you have a friend or family member who loves to work with yarn or embroidery floss, a crocheted or embroidered bunch of flowers lends a delightful handmade touch to your wedding procession. Crocheted flowers can be so artfully made that from a few feet away they could pass for real flowers. But instead of perishable blossoms, they’re a keepsake you won’t have to press in your wedding album. A lovingly-crafted crocheted bouquet is a work of art you’ll treasure long after dried flowers have fallen apart.


Image of Simple Bouquets Made From SucculentsFor a Western-themed or rustic wedding, trade in those delicate blossoms for hardy cacti. Now, obviously not every succulent would make a good bouquet–you don’t want to get a face-full of prickly pear or yucca prickles on your special day. But there are plenty of beautiful, non-prickly succulents out there. They come in a rainbow of colors, hardy enough to survive your wedding ceremony, and can even be planted in a pot after the wedding for a long-lasting souvenir.


Herbs can make a lovely addition to a traditional bouquet, or even serve as the bouquet all by themselves. The tiny purple flowers of a stalk of lavender, the bold green of mint, the muted dusty tones of sage, the piney needles of rosemary: an herbal bouquet not only smells fantastic, but looks great, too. Bonus points if you dry the leaves after the ceremony and use them to spice up your first few meals together as a couple!

Floral bouquets are pleasing to the eye and the nose, but they’re also costly and sadly temporary–some won’t even survive the wedding ceremony. You could always use wooden roses, but then you are choosing something entirely different from real flowers. Whether you want to go for class, rustic charm, or even kitsch, these unconventional bouquets will brighten your special day and beyond.