The tradition of a bride carrying a bouquet of flowers on her wedding day has a very surprising origin. During the medieval period, where the plague claimed many lives, brides would carry a bouquet of garlic and dill on their wedding day. These herbs were thought to ward off plague.
The tradition continued and, as the threat of plague diminished, brides began to add their favourite herbs and flowers to their bouquets – after all, you don’t want garlic breath on your wedding day!
Although many brides still attach importance to carrying a flower bouquet down the aisle, you might like to carry something a little different. Here are some ideas for bouquet alternatives.
You can make a bouquet out of practically anything – buttons and felt, feathers, beads, shells, origami, even candy. A crafted bouquet could match your wedding theme – for example, a shell bouquet for a beach wedding – and has the added bonus of lasting forever (well, except a candy bouquet, which I imagine will be gobbled up quickly by your younger wedding guests!). You can display your bouquet in your home as a reminder of your wedding day.
Fans add a sensual, oriental flavour to any outfit, and you can pick them up for next to nothing at Asian stores or online. Fans look amazing in your wedding photographs, and inspire all sorts of creative shots. Plus, you can use your fan to keep cool outdoors even in the height of summer – can a flower bouquet do that?
Maybe you and your beloved bonded over your mutual love of Fahrenheit 451? Perhaps you have a family bible that has been passed down for generations? Maybe you have a hollow book that would make a lovely box for the wedding rings? Carrying a book down the aisle is a great way to add a bit of personality to your wedding ceremony – and you can keep your wedding speeches or vows tucked away inside it.
At my wedding, my bridesmaids and I each carried a Moroccan-style lantern with a tea light candle inside. They create a romantic atmosphere during the ceremony – as long as you can keep the flame alight! The lanterns doubled as my bridesmaids gifts, and I have mine hanging up in my home.
For some pet owners, their animals are part of the family, and the idea of getting married without their presence is unthinkable. Maybe you could carry Percy the parrot down the aisle in a cage decorated with ribbons, or hold Rex the Rottweiler’s leash as you meet your beloved at the altar. Animals at a wedding can be a lot of fun – but don’t expect them to sit still for photographs!
Are you thinking of having an alternative to a flower bouquet? Share your ideas in the comments!