Flowers play an important role in your wedding. They are everywhere on your big day. You and your girls are all carrying a bouquet of them, your groom and groomsmen have boutonnieres. There is also the centerpieces, the boutonnieres on dads and grandfathers, the corsages on mothers and grandmothers, as well occasional aisle decoration, and even alter decoration. Most weddings have flowers everywhere, meaning every bride has an important decision to make on what she wants. Does she want a wedding filled with real florals and greenery, or does she want fake/artificial florals and greenery? This is a wedding so many of my brides have pondered and then came to me with asking what do you think? What looks better? Of course I have my opinion, but that is for you to decide as it is your wedding. So I decided to help all of those brides out who feel lost or confused when it comes to their wedding florals and the debate of real vs fake.
Real Flower Advantages
1. The fragrance. That sentence alone should be enough in itself. The smell of real flowers is one of my favorite reasons why I love them. I have had so many brides tell me that they love roses (example) because the smell reminds them of their wedding day. I also think the same thing every time I smell certain flowers, for example every time I smell Lavender I think of the Wright wedding who had gorgeous lavender bundles for their flowers. If you chose fake flowers you will miss out on this. Plus it also gives your husband a special flower to give you for your anniversary.
2. Since flowers are not mass produced, each flower in your bouquet will be unique in its own way. Their shapes and sizes will vary giving an extra level of originality and depth in your bouquet that fake flowers can not offer. Because of this, florists are able to blend the flower arrangements together. Real flowers are usually gapless because there are smaller ones to fill them, while fake flowers often have gaps.
3. Real flowers photograph 10x better because they are real. They tend to look natural and not stiff in photos meaning it is rather easy to tell once a bouquet has been photographed if it is real or fake.
4. People can tell the difference. If you want to wow your quests with your florals you have to go real. If you want your wedding to look more high end, you definitely have to use real because there is nothing as good as real flowers on your wedding day. There is also a stigma with real flowers that the wedding in general is more high end because you spent the money on real florals.
5. Your florist handles everything. If you hire a florist, they worry about your flowers and not you. They will transport your flowers and not you. They will handle placing them in the centerpieces, and anywhere else on your wedding day not you. By choosing real florals you have one less thing you have to worry about on your wedding day. No stress over the florals and when they are going to arrive or making sure they look perfect.
6. Real flowers are technically tradition. I can bet you that your grandmother and your mom had real flowers because fake flowers were never used at a wedding until the mid 2010's. So if tradition is important to you, or going more classic real flowers are the way to go.
Fake Flower Advantages
1. If you are getting married in the warmer months, and are having an outdoor wedding. Bees can be a very common problem, especially with real flowers. I have shot quite a few weddings where the bride and her bridesmaids were spending a lot of time smacking away bees. However you will not have this issue with fake flowers.
2. Fake Flowers tend to be a tad bit cheaper then real, but it really depends on what you are looking for. If you want your bouquet to be super realistic up close, you are probably going to spend only a few dollars less then you would on a real bouquet, however if no one is going to be close to them, or you don't care if people notice then you can save quite a bit of money.
3. My favorite advantage of fake flowers is that you can keep your wedding bouquet forever and I totally love that idea. While some may not think it is sentimental, or ask what are they even going to do with it, you do have the option of keeping it for forever.
4. Out of season flowers are not an issue at all. Many real flowers have seasons, meaning your florist may be unable to get a hold of your favorite flower for your wedding bouquet. However when you chose fake flowers you are able to get ahold of any flower no matter the time of the year, eliminating the fact that your favorite flower may not be able to be a part of your bouquet.
5. Fake flowers come in more colors then real flowers, meaning you can perfectly match your color palette, or bridesmaids dresses no problem. Real flowers can only come in the color they were made so often the shades offered do not perfectly match. Fake flowers definitely eliminate this problem if you have a thing about things perfectly matching on your wedding day.
6. Fake flowers can take a beating! I have had so many weddings where the grooms and groomsmen's boutonnieres are falling off or withering before we have even done pictures because they have hugged too many people, or been goofing around. For this reason I am always collecting the boutonnieres before they do the receiving line to keep them as fresh as possible. However sometimes I can't get to them or they are already beat up by the time I see them. Fake flowers will not change no matter how many hugs are given out.
Real Flower Disadvantages
1. Real flowers have seasons, meaning you probably aren't getting a carnation in the middle of December. That being said sometimes you can not have the flowers you want in your bouquet because your florist can not get a hold of them due to them being out of season.. That being said it is definitely a good idea to not be dead set on exactly what type of flowers you want in your bouquet because you might not be able to have them.
2. Cost wise, real flowers can be quite expensive. I have shot weddings where the bride spent 500+ on just her bouquet. If you think about that, and add 6 bridesmaids and then table decoration, you are going to be spending quite a hefty amount on florals, especially if you use a high end florist. If budget is a big concern and you want real flowers, consider having smaller bouquets for your bridesmaids, or less flowers on the table.
3. Weather can be a huge issue when it comes to flowers. I have had brides whose flowers were looking rough and dried out before photos even took place. Getting married in a hotter month means you are going to need to keep your flowers in water every second of the day you can unless you want them to wilt, and again certain flowers do not do well in direct heat, eliminating some of your favorites. For this reason though, I always recommend not totally skimping on your floral budget. Most of this issues do come from brides who spent little to no money on their real flowers.
4. You can not hold on to your bouquet after the wedding as it is. Sure you can dry it, which I will have to say I love the look of a framed dried bouquet, you can't keep it as is sitting in your house for the rest of your life. Some people aren't sentimental or could care less, but for others that might be something to consider.
5. Real flowers can be so dang heavy. I have had brides whose arms were sore after carrying around their bouquet all day. Was it worth it? Absolutely. But if you aren't very strong, or don't like the idea of carrying something heavy around a good majority of the day ask your florist for lighter options, or opt for fake flowers.
Fake Flower Disadvantages
1. There are not many places that make fake floral bouquets for weddings, meaning you are definitely going to be making them yourself. If you don't have a lot of time this is going to be a disadvantage to you. If you aren't creative this may also be a disadvantage to you. By the time you get the florals and everything needed, then assemble the bouquets, you could easily be spending 20+ hours on your wedding florals. Ask yourself if you want to do this before committing to using fake florals.
2. Anyone who loves flowers can definitely tell they are not real. I am usually the first person at a wedding to notice, mainly, because I am up close and personal with your florals a lot. However I don't care which one my brides chose. However other quests will notice if they are close to them. Often, especially with the older crowd, fake flowers at a wedding are considered cheap, so consider this before letting grandma get up close and personal with your florals if you choose to go fake.
3. Fake flowers are all the same size meaning your bouquet will often lack depth and originality because they are all the same size and colored the exact same. This is actually how I can usually tell if a bouquet is fake or not. This can also be a disadvantage because of the flowers being all the same sized they don't normally blend together as well, often leaving gaps in your bouquet.
4. If you want really good fake flowers, and I mean the ones that you can get up close with and have a hard time telling if they are real or fake. They will cost nearly just as much as real flowers. I've had brides who used fake and did end up spending more money than if they had gone real because they were trying to make them look real.
5. Fake flowers tend to not photograph as well as real flowers. Often fake flowers have a glossy coat that is easily picked up by my camera, and can cause them to look more fake in photos than they even do in person. I have spent a whole wedding day not noticing if the flowers were real or fake, but the second I saw the image on my computer I definitely knew. Besides the gloss on them, fake flowers don't lay as naturally as real flowers, and that can often be spotted.
6. You are responsible for your florals entirely. Because you bought them and made them, there is going to be no florist there on your wedding day perfectly arranging them, or making sure they look perfect, or even end up where they belong. You or one of your bridesmaids or family members will have to be responsible for your florals, giving them an added stress to the day as is. If you do real flowers, it will all be handled by the florist.
Best of Luck!
**Only the last image in this blog post is of fake florals.**