Creating Your Picture Perfect Bouquet

Creating Your Picture Perfect Bouquet: The Pros and Cons of Real and Artificial Flowers

Brides have been carrying flower bouquets down the aisle since the dawn of ancient days. The bouquet is full of hope and a symbol of a budding new life on the horizon. Every bride wants their bouquet to be picture-perfect, but what type of materials should you use? Today there are so many options and combinations to choose from. How do you know what the right bouquet is for you? 


One of the first and most important decisions to make is whether or not you want to go with artificial or real flowers. Both options have their pros and cons. 


A big perk of using real flowers is the scent factor. Real flowers allow you to have a more fragrant bouquet. They will also look more fresh and realistic.


With artificial flowers, you will not get that fragrant scent, but you have more options for types of flowers. It doesn’t matter if they are in season or not. Artificial florals also allow you to have full and open blooms in your bouquet. Professional florist Scott Stevanus from Bleil’s Secret Garden in Mineral, Ohio, discussed with us the varying perks of using artificial flowers. “The perks are that you can have flowers that aren’t in season any time and you don’t have to worry about them dying off, and you should get good quality so they look realistic.”


Going artificial does not always mean a less realistic look. It depends on the style and quality of the flowers you choose. With so many different options for artificial flowers, how do you know what type to choose? Stevanus recommends shopping stores like Joann’s or Michael’s for choosing good artificial flowers or even going online. However, choosing online can be risky since you are not entirely guaranteed the quality you may get. 


Despite popular beliefs, using artificial flowers is not inherently cheaper than using fresh. However, they are guaranteed to last longer. Stevanus recommends getting silk flowers for your bouquets. “Craft silk flowers are the best quality. Not any cheaper than fresh, but they’ll be open, not closed. Real flowers you never know if they will be open or full-sized. General starting quality for natural touch flowers is $5.99 to like $12. Some could be up to $24, but they look and feel more realistic, and look more botanically correct.” Natural touch flowers will not only look real but feel realistic as well.


If you are looking for something unique, silk flowers are not the only artificial option. Pennsylvania Bride Hannah Yoho chose to have her bouquet made out of sola wood. Sola wood flowers are crafted from a plant that is a source of renewable wood. These flowers are eco-friendly and long-lasting for the environmentally savvy bride. The wooden flowers are stained to look realistic. Yoho said that she hired someone who lives in Colorado actually and she was fabulous to collaborate with. She really did most of the work by staining the flowers and coloring everything. And now I get to keep my bouquet forever which feels very special to me.” 


What if the choice between real or artificial is just too hard? You can have both! Stevanus is known to mix both artificial and real flowers in arrangements at times to achieve the perfect look and balance. “Basically what I do is I’ll use fresh greens obviously, for instance, peonies are not available so I’m going to use silk peonies tucked in with real roses and people really can’t tell the differences if they are fresh or silk especially if they are ceiling pieces.” 


A mix of the two will give you the bonus of having real aspects to your bouquet, as well as getting to have the picture-perfect bouquet. 


Whatever you choose to do, the important part is that you are happy with it. Bride Mary Kruse chose to go with real flowers and left the rest of the planning in the wonderful and capable hands of her florist. 


Yoho recommended finding an excellent florist to work with. “Work with a florist you can connect with and trust! They want your day to be as special as possible and help you create the memories you’ve envisioned for yourself.” Working with a florist will help take some of that extra weight off of your shoulders while you plan your wedding. Yoho also had previously worked in a florist shop. Even with previous experience as a florist, she chose to hire someone else to help create her perfect bouquet. 


The process of creating your bouquet should be fun! Let your personality shine through your choices. Experiment with different colors and styles to find the right one just for you.


If you are looking for something trendy, try experimenting with a cascade bouquet. Stevanus said he noticed that cascade bouquets were beginning to make a comeback for this next season. These cascade bouquets include long trailing aspects that hang from the bouquet in a fantastical style. 


Stevanus also noted that greenery is in vogue in current wedding trends. He said that there is“lots of greenery and big blooms instead of multiple tiny blooms. They’ll use like 6 or 8 different types of greenery and then like three big hydrangeas in the bouquet.” 


To achieve these looks, Stevanus also gave a few tips for the bride creating their own bouquet. “You need a big fake silk flower like a Sunflower, peonies, or hydrangeas or carnations, or Gerber daisies, dahlias. And then as far as the cascades, you need draping flowers, something that is going to drape. Normally you would wire things but if you do stuff something like orchids they already have a length to them, use any line flower. Your greens, such as Ruscus or ivy, are always nice to use. Seeded eucalyptus adds a nice type of texture to it as well.”


Artificial flowers will give you easier longevity. If you choose to go with real flowers, however, Stevanus gave a couple of options for preserving your special day bouquet.


“So there’s a couple of different ways. There’s silica gel, an older way. Whenever you are trying to preserve your bouquet, you really need to get it to the preservation people the next day. There’s the freeze-dried process, which makes the flowers more softer. The silica process makes it more fragile. Do one or two blooms from the bouquet instead of the whole bouquet and put it in a shadow box with a wedding invitation, making it out of the way and something gorgeous. You need to keep the flowers out of sunlight when you do.” 


Yoho used her sola wood bouquet as a display piece in her house. Keeping a piece of your bouquet is always a nice memento from your wonderful day. 


Whether you choose artificial or real, you have plenty of options today that allow you to display your personality and style within your bouquet.


Author: Hope Merrill, Photo by Irina Iriser from Pexels