Artificial vs. real flowers. It’s a debate as old as time.
Every couple needs to make this call for themselves, an I am not here to tell you either way what is best. That’s between you, your vision, and your budget. I am here, however, to let you know the pros and cons of each:
- THEY ARE LESS EXPENSIVE: You can still spend a bundle on the highest quality silk flowers, but overall they tend to be friendlier to budgets.
- THEY ARE SAID AND DONE: These arrangements can be made way ahead of time, and then tucked away until The Day.
- THEY AREN’T JUST FLOWERS ANYMORE: In recent time, artificial flowers have been made out of unconventional materials, such as wood and paper, and “flowers” can be created out of brooches, vintage jewelry, and other repurposeful items.
- THEY ARE NOT REAL: No matter how realistic they look, they aren’t real.
- IT PRODUCES MORE WASTE: Flowers are at least biodegradable and can be reintroduced back into nature; artificial flowers can’t.
- MIGHT BE HARD TO MATCH: If you are particular and maybe have some perfectionist tendencies, this could be a frustrating scenario for you. Dye jobs and fabrics are not made equal, so it might be hard to mix and match.
- THEY WILL ALWAYS BE UNIQUE: Real flowers allow for a unique combination of buds and blooms that can’t be attained with artificial.
- THEY ARE NICE: Even the finest silk flowers aren’t real, and there’s a certain something-something that comes with the real deal.
- LOCALLY SOURCED OPTIONS: One of my favorite trends with real flowers is this trend to locally grown stems. It makes it not using real flowers not only sustainable, and but also makes an impact on your local economy.
- THEY AREN’T CHEAP: Floral arrangements can be pricey.
- YOU ARE AT THE MERCY OF THE SEASON: Want lilacs in October? Good luck with that. With fresh flowers, you are restricted to what is available at the time you need them. This also means you are held to the supply chain.
- DURABILITY: Wedding flowers go through a lot on a wedding day, so they require a little care to make them last the whole day.
MY BEST ADVICE?
- ALWAYS DEFER TO YOUR BUDGET: If you have room for it, consider real flowers. If a specific venue or photographer or venue is more important, consider artificial or an alternative to real.
- CONSIDER DRIED OR STRAW FLOWER: This is almost a middle ground between real and artificial. These are real (so compostable, biodegradable), but they are also longer lasting and can be purchased ahead of time and set aside. There are tons of sellers of these arrangements on Etsy (but a personal favorite is The Flower Patch–not an ad for them, I just know their goods are GOOD).
- GO HALF AND HALF: There’s no rule that says everyone has to have the same flowers or every single flower on your wedding day has to be all the same. I’ve seen things mixed and match and you know what? It always works.
Bottom line: It’s your day, and you need to do what you need to do to make it yours.
Kayla Lee is a Minnesota-based wedding and elopement photographer. She provides services to elegant, authentic, sentimental couples who not only choose their own adventures, but also live them to the fullest! See more about the KLP Wedding Experience!
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