Non-Traditional Wedding Bouquets For The Free-Spirited Bride

You know how it goes: the bride carries a bouquet, tosses it, and the lucky person who catches it will marry next. But what exactly is in the bouquet that the bride carries? Some newlyweds don’t want to grab a traditional rose bouquet, but would instead hold an art piece more true to their soul.

Succulents, butterflies, light bulbs, cotton candy–which alternative material would you choose? Personalize your wedding experience through these creative bouquet ideas. As you’re planning your wedding, don’t forget to jot down these non-traditional bouquet ideas to make your special day more you.

One unique bouquet idea is perfect if you want to feel like a mermaid.

Succulent Bouquet That You Can Continue To Grow Afterward

Bride carrying succulent bouquet while hugging the groom.

Unlike flowers, succulents can be replanted as a memento from your wedding. Every time you look at your garden, you’ll be reminded of your special day. And don’t worry; they’re hardy plants that can live several years inside or outside.

You can craft a succulent bouquet yourself (the benefit of creating a homemade wedding souvenir!) But since succulents don’t have long stems, like flowers, you’ll need to wrap the ends using floral wire. Make sure you pick out succulents that you’ll want to plant later!

Embellish Your Bouquet With Cotton Balls

Cotton ball bouquet with pincones, dry leaves, and twigs
Pinterest/Phillipa Cruickshank

Are you worried that you’ll start crying during the reception and need to fix your makeup? This unconventional bouquet can add to the beauty and functionality of your wedding getup. You can either create DIY flowers out of cotton balls or pad them in between flowers to add a dainty, soft look.

If you incorporate dried flowers or leaves into your cotton ball bouquet, it’ll last far longer than traditional plucked bulbs. Plus, the white accent matches most wedding dresses.

Seashell Bouquet For The Mermaid Bride

Seashell and flower bouquet
Pinterest/Texasdaisey Creations

Are you getting married by an ocean, lake, or river? You can match your wedding’s theme by assembling a seashell bouquet. Customize each seashell and ribbon color to add to the mermaid vibes.

You can purchase a seashell bouquet online (although they’re harder to find), or make your own. Brides often garnish these arrangements with fake flowers, such as sea-blue and white roses. If you make one yourself, be sure the seashells aren’t too heavy to carry down the aisle.

When brainstorming bouquet ideas, remember the two B’s: butterflies and billy balls.

Bouquet Of Butterflies

Bride holding a butterfly bouquet
Youtube/Buchete bijuterii – Brooch bouquets by Eoyn

Flowers aren’t your thing? Go for a whimsical, fairytale look by building a bouquet out of butterflies. You can find plastic or paper-made butterflies at several craft stores and garden stores. Wrap them together with floral wire and ribbon, and you’ll carry around a fascinating pop of color.

Crafty brides can design each butterfly themselves. Add a butterfly garnish to your hair, and you’ll look like a fairy princess! If all-butterfly bouquets seem like too much, you can add some to a traditional bouquet as well.

A Bouquet Of Billy Balls

yellow felted craspedia bouquets lying on a white tablecloth
Pinterest/Naomi Zora Events

Felted craspedia, sometimes called “billy balls,” can make a bouquet appear more DIY and fit a woodland aesthetic. These wool pom poms add more color and pop than ordinary cotton balls and appear chic while remaining simple. This look can work well for brides with more intricate dresses.

Brides who have used craspedia have also incorporated them into boutonnieres and table arrangements. They’re relatively inexpensive and can be reused after the wedding. You can also add them to flower bouquets if you wish.

If you want three delicious bouquet ideas, keep reading!

Artichoke Bouquet: A Gardener’s Dream

Bride holding a purple artichoke bouquet with succulents
Pinterest/Strictly Weddings

Artichokes and other vegetables can add a forest, rural, or nature-themed look to a bouquet. Mini carrots, kale, dill, and cabbage can add a romantic elegance to the traditional floral arrangement.

Although these bouquets won’t last beyond the big day, that’s the common lifespan for most floral arrangements. You wouldn’t be losing any cost through this; in fact, you can save money by buying or growing your own veggies to assemble this gorgeous bouquet. Try not to eat it at the reception!

Donut Bouquet (If You Want A Snack On The Aisle)

Bride holding a powdered donut bouquet

If you’re a bride who prefers chocolates over flowers on Valentines Day, your mouth may be watering at the thought of a donut bouquet. Surely, no one would be surprised if you began eating your bouquet in the middle of your vows.

The issue with donut bouquets is the frosting can melt in warmer temperatures, so make sure no chocolate drips onto your white dress. And, like a traditional bouquet, you’ll need to secure it the day of.

Return To Your Childhood–Carry Cotton Candy!

bride holding a pink cotton candy bouquet
Pinterest/Darcy Allan

Some flower shops may interpret “cotton candy bouquet” as a light, flowery pink arrangement. But no, this bouquet features literal cotton candy. This bouquet is inexpensive, will stay for the entire day, and brighten up your smile with its adorable, fluffy sweetness.

These bouquets add a whimsical touch to any dress, especially if the bridesmaids carry them too! If you do take a bit, you won’t have to worry about leaves in your teeth or smearing your lipstick. This trend has raged through 2019 and popped up at weddings everywhere!

Modern and steampunk fans, you’ll want this upcoming bouquet to light up your wedding.

Keep It Playful With A Paper Pinwheel

Bride and groom with pinwheels

Rustic weddings are all the rage, and this playful bouquet will match any outdoor, barn, or field wedding. Paper pinwheels will spin the breeze, making your wedding feel more fun for both you and your audience. Imagine an entire row of bridesmaids with individually designed spinning pinwheels!

If you want to, you can easily make your own pinwheel using custom paper and designs. If you don’t want a spinning bouquet, you can use the pinwheels as centerpieces instead. You can even offer the wheels to children once you’re done, and watch their faces light up!

Illuminate The Bouquet With Sparkling Lightbulbs

Light bulb bouquet hanging from a string
Pinterest/Leslie Lopes Sandes

No, these lightbulbs won’t turn on. But they will add a sparkle to any modern or steampunk wedding. All you need to do is spraypaint lightbulbs and wrap them with some golden or silver leaves and ribbon.

Some brides won’t paint the bulbs, but fill them with dried flowers for a more fantastical look. If you’re set on turning your bouquet into a lamp, you can create a cordless socket that powers the lightbulb. Your technological skill will literally shine during the reception.

A beautiful bouquet that provides shade as well–what more can you ask for?

Chrome-ify Your Flowers: Metallic Bouquet


Brides who want a touch of sparkle and a futuristic, modern look should look into adding pinches of metallic to their bouquet. You have several options for this. You can add a metallic ring, golden or silver leaves, or bells among the flowers.

You can also spray paint individual flowers. Or, you can choose a more unconventional route by hanging your florals on a metal ring, which you then hold as a basket. Adding jewelry to your bouquet can personalize the metallic look even more.

Flowers Provide No Shade. Try A Parasol Instead

bride carrying a white lace parasol walking with green

Not only do parasols catch peoples’ eyes, reflecting on 30s and 40s fashion, but they also provide well-needed shade in outdoor weddings. Choose a translucent or laced umbrella if you want your family to catch enough of your wedding dress.

Pictures with the couple, bridesmaids and groomsmen will look lovely when everyone carries a parasol. And in a flower field or a beach, it’s hard to imagine a more dreamy accessory! Parasols come relatively cheap, so you can offer some to your guests, too.

Steal an idea from 1920s fashion to create a fashionable and functional bouquet.

Beautify Your Bouquet With Yarn Balls!

black and orange yarn ball bouquet held by a bride
Pinterest/Offbeat Bride

Full yarn balls can create a bouquet that’s both dainty and adventurous. All you need are yarn balls, floral wire, and hot glue to ensure that the yarn doesn’t unravel. Some brides create this look by wrapping styrofoam balls with the yarn.

If you want to add some leaves into the mix, you can carve them out of cardboard, and wrap them as well. The yarn gives your bouquet a unique texture that craspedia and paper don’t have. They also keep the bouquet light and comfortable to hold.

Cleanse Your Bouquet With Crystals

Amethyst crystal bouquet

For a fantasy snow queen look, you can carry a bouquet of crystal. But these bouquets mean more than just the material: each crystal carries a benefit and meaning that you can find online. These bouquets are harder to make, but you can find metal wiring and tools at craft stores that can help.

Re-purposing an old necklace will work wonders for this bouquet. Head to a bead store to garnish the bouquet with little pops of color and supplies you may want to tie everything together.

Mirror A Flapper With A Feather Fan

Bride holding golden feather bouquet

Get inspired by ’20s fashion by using a feathered fan in place of conventional flowers. You can appear elegant and refined while fanning yourself off, should the weather warm up. Whether you buy the fan or embellish a cheap costume fan to make it appear stellar is up to you.

Some brides ornate their fans with jewels or peacock feathers. Others carry a paper fan with fake flowers attached. Whatever look you’re going for, you can customize your fan to reflect the event’s theme or your dress.

Can’t go without your purse? Don’t fret–incorporate it!

Self-Made Origami Flowers

Pink origami bouquet
Pinterest/Angela Leung

Crafty brides can save money and flood their bouquet with personality by folding each flower themselves. In its purest form, you only need paper. To make it fancy, you can buy embellished paper and incorporate lace, paints, or watercolor splashes into the design.

The best part of crafting your own bouquet is that you can customize it however you want. This option may fit brides who wear an unconventionally-colored wedding dress since the origami can match the color without overwhelming the design.

Carry A Clutch, And Keep Your Phone With You

bride carrying clutch full of flowers
Pinterest/Nancy Lorenzini

If you want a wedding accessory that you can use over and over again, you can carry a custom clutch. Most brides don’t need to pay for another bag, but if you want to, you can find similar designs for yourself and your bridesmaids.

A colorful, intricate clutch can add a small amount of pop to a white dress, without appearing as flashy as a bouquet. Some brides may stuff their bags with flowers for the wedding, although this will make them less practical.

Rustic-style weddings would benefit from one cost-effective, stylish bouquet.

Enter A Fantasy Realm By Carrying A Lantern

bridesmaids carrying light blue lanterns

Combine the traditional with the unconventional by carrying a lantern down the aisle. Lit or unlit–it’s up to you. Either way, you’ll feel like you’re stepping into a fantasy world or turning into a forest nymph. Plenty of brides adorn their lanterns with real or fake flower wrapping.

If you don’t want to hassle with a flame, you can buy electric candles at the dollar store. Have your bridesmaids carry lanterns as well, and light up the night like a constellation trailing after you.

Crocheted Flower Bouquet

Redditor crocheted her daughters wedding bouquet

Crocheters, pick up your hooks! You have the awesome opportunity of crocheting your bouquet. You can find several patterns online, and watch your bouquet slowly come to life. Better yet, you can keep the creation and pass it down to your future daughter.

You can crochet each flower individually, or weave all the flowers together. No matter the color or design, a crocheted bouquet will definitely be comfortable to hold. And you won’t have to worry about it falling apart if you throw the bouquet.

Burlap Blooms: Create More Textured Flowers

person holding burlap flowers bouquet in Hobby Lobby

Anyone who wants a rustic-themed wedding should consider forming a faux flower arrangement out of burlap. The texture and color will match the rest of the wedding’s scenery, and you can keep the bouquet after the wedding.

Some brides wrap real flowers in burlap, while others make the entire bouquet with that material. You can always wrap centerpieces and tablecloths in burlap to match your bouquet and fit the barn aesthetic. Add some dried vines, seeds, sticks, or fake pearls to enhance the arrangement.