Fresh cut flowers are beautiful, smell amazing, and add vibrant colour to your big day. However, if you have allergies to flowers, or you're worried about your flowers wilting and not being open, faux flowers can be a great alternative. To decide if artificial flowers are right for you, try weighing the pros and cons of faux flowers.
1. Artificial flowers are more sustainable
Fresh flowers go through a long, stressful process to get from the field to your bouquet. Most wedding flowers are imported from flower farms in South America. Once cut, the blooms must be transported a great distance to a supplier in Canada, who then delivers them to the florist you've hired. Imported flowers are usually sprayed with pesticides, or even spray painted to guarantee vibrant colours. During the transportation and storing process, the flowers also require refrigeration to slow the wilting process. Imported blooms may be transported up to 7,000km in refrigerated airplane holds.
Many florists use harsh cleaning chemicals, flower foam, and other by-products that are thrown away. An artificial flower studio (like mine) is chemical-free with minimal waste, with no refrigeration requirements.
At the end of your wedding day, all of your flowers are thrown away. If flowers are composted properly, they naturally break down and actually won't be very wasteful. However, the majority of wedding venues throw flowers and greenery into tight garbage bags, where the organic waste can't access oxygen to breakdown properly. They end up in a landfill.
From field to wedding day, there is a lot of overlooked environmental impact in the floral industry. My artificial flower studio is sustainable because we use a rent and return model. Once a bride is finished with her flowers, I pick up everything, bring it back to my studio, and re-use them for another wedding. I even opt for reusable alternatives to floral foam when making centerpeices. Everything is reused in my studio.
2. Artificial flowers don't trigger allergies
If you're a bride that's allergic to life (pollen, flowers, grass, and air), it can be difficult to source fresh flowers that won't give you puffy eyes on your wedding day. Artificial flowers are a great alternative if you or a family member have allergies to the real thing.
3. Modern artificial flowers look like the real thing
Some brides are worried about artificial flowers looking tacky and cheap. However, if you do your research and source high-quality artificial flowers, your guests will hardly know the difference from a few feet away. Artificial flower manufacturing has come a long way in the last couple of decades.
There are several different materials that artificial flowers and greenery can be made out of. Foam, silk, real-touch, and plastic are just a few. It's best if you can view sample flowers in-person before committing to a large purchase.
4. Artificial flowers don't wilt in summer heat
In Canada, there are a lot of hot, sunny July and August weddings. If you've ever cut your own fresh flowers, you know it's best practice to cut them early in the morning and get them into the shade as quickly as possible. Cut flowers sitting in heat and direct sunlight risk wilting in a short period of time. If you're planning an outdoor summer ceremony, you might want to consider using some artificial flowers.
5. Artificial flowers are cheaper (if you rent them)
DIY brides that purchase their own high quality faux flowers might be spending even more than if they had gone with fresh flowers. Per stem, a high quality artificial dahlia can range from $10 - $30. If you're doing an entire wedding, this can add up quickly. An alternative is using a rent and return flower service (like mine!). I source and spend the big bucks on high quality artificial flowers and greenery and rent them directly to couples. Not to mention, I do all of the manual labour of assembling bouquets and accessories so you don't have to.
6. Artificial flowers are less delicate
Fresh cut flowers require refrigeration and a delicate touch to ensure petals don't get smooshed or torn. The artificial flowers I source (silk and foam) can handle a bit more throwing around and can be set down and picked up a lot without fear of ruining the blooms.
7. Artificial flowers give you more time to plan
A florist working with fresh flowers prepares your arrangements a few days out from your wedding and delivers them just hours before your ceremony begins to ensure they're refrigerated for as long as possible. You just have to put trust in your florist that everything turns out right.
For brides that are planners, artificial flowers are a perfect alternative. Even months before your wedding, you can assemble your bouquets and make adjustments as your day comes closer. You and your wedding party can practice holding your bouquets weeks before your big day.
When I work with a client, I send update photos months before their wedding so they can communicate any adjustments they would like to their artificial flower arrangements. There are no surprises on the big day. That's one less thing for the bride to worry about.
8. Artificial flowers are always in-bloom
Flowers are nature's art. However, nature is unpredictable! No florist can guarantee that all of your flowers be open for photos. Artificial flowers have a secret power - they're always in-bloom and photo-ready!
9. Artificial flowers have more colour options
Fresh cut flowers have some limits. For instance, unique colour palettes containing blues and purples might only be obtainable by using artificial. If you want modern, vibrant colours, a florist might even use chemical-filled sprays to boost the colours of your blooms. Choosing artificial flowers opens up a huge range of possibility for colour palettes and creativity.
10. Artificial flowers are a wedding keepsake
After your wedding day, fresh flowers are usually thrown away. Some brides might opt for bouquet drying or preservation. However, this can be expensive, and not all varieties of flowers can be preserved (white flowers turn yellow and brown when they're dried).
Getting artificial flowers means you can keep your bouquet forever, guests can take home the centerpieces to enjoy for a lifetime, and mothers can keep corsages as a keepsake. When I rent out my flowers, I give brides the option of mixing renting and purchasing. They might rent large ceremony pieces from me, but choose to purchase their bridal bouquet.
In conclusion, artificial flowers aren't for everyone, but it's something to think about. The beauty is, it's your decision, and your budget. If you're considering the artificial route, you can save even more by renting. Feel free to reach out and I can help bring your dream wedding flowers to life at a fraction of the cost of a fresh flower florist.