Flowerless Bouquets

By Nora Heston Tarte

Ditch the botanicals for a more modern bouquet. Brides everywhere are forgoing flowers in lieu of other handhelds on the big day. From broaches to non-floral greenery, learn how to lockdown this trend. Lori Cole, owner/designer of Lori Cole Events, shares some of the more creative ideas her brides have brought to the table—and to their bridesmaids.

Vintage Brooches

A brooch is a type of ornament typically worn on clothing and fastened by a pin. They are a great way to bring color, texture, and dimension to a bouquet, much like flowers typically do.

Get the look: scour thrift stores or ask older relatives to share favorites from a private collection. Be mindful of how the brooches will look against your wedding gown, but don’t be afraid to go a little crazy. Brooches can be all one color, or pull in several colors for a more festive look.


Women typically walk around carrying a purse and not a bundle of flowers so it makes sense to ditch the bouquet and opt for cute, matching clutches instead. Lori says one bride she had placed floral pins on satin clutches for all of her bridesmaids.

Get the look: Find clutches that compliment the wedding party’s attire, and then adorn them with cute extras if you want to.

No Bouquet

Some brides are opting for no bouquets at all, not even a replacement purse. Instead, the focus is on pretty jewelry—think necklaces and hairpieces that stand out.

Get the look: Choose a couple of pieces to be the centerpiece of the outfit, but don’t go big on everything.


Think origami. Have you ever seen napkin roses and pretty paper flowers? Perhaps you’d like to throw some cranes in there. From all white to colorful and crafty, brides are making cost-effective, sustainable bouquets they can keep for life… out of paper.

Get the look: Enlist an artsy friend to do the dirty work, or order one from a professional.


Don’t limit yourself. Lori has just about seen it all. Needlepoint hoops and shotgun shells have both been used to create out-of-the box bouquets for creative brides. One bride even approached Lori about carrying rescue puppies down the aisle—a trend the Internet made famous when a group of pooches was adopted at a wedding where the bride did the same.