While we are all aware of the importance of flowers at weddings and their tremendous impact, there is a lot to consider when making wedding flower choices.
Every wedding is unique, so it is essential to consider what will work best for you and your marriage.
The flowers you select for your wedding day reflect your style and taste.
They can significantly enhance the decor and atmosphere of the event, making a lasting impact on the overall experience.
So to get the best results, it is worth considering what flowers will work best for you and your wedding.
This post considers the fundamental question of choosing fresh, artificial, dried/preserved flowers for your wedding or a combination.
Planning your wedding and choosing the perfect flowers can be overwhelming.
We've created a comprehensive guide to help you make informed decisions.
We'll explore each flower option's benefits and potential drawbacks to ensure your wedding is as beautiful as you've always dreamed of.
1. Fresh Flowers
- What Are Fresh Flowers?
- Why Choose Fresh Flowers For Your Wedding
2. Artificial Flowers
- What Are Artificial Flowers?
- Why Choose Artificial Flowers For Your Wedding
3. Dried/Preserved Flowers
- What Are Dried/Preserved Flowers?
- Why Choose Dried/Preserved Flowers For Your Wedding
- Fresh vs. Artificial vs. Dried/Preserved: Pros & Cons
- Can You Mix Fresh, Artificial & Dried Wedding Flowers?
- Cost Comparison
- Final Thoughts
So let’s get started!
1. Fresh Flowers
What Are Fresh Flowers?
Fresh flowers have been recently picked or cut from the plant bearing them and may also come with their stem and leaves.
They have not been dried or preserved in any way.
They are beautiful, often colourful, and many have a fragrance unique to the flower type.
Why Choose Fresh Flowers For Your Wedding
Fresh flowers are the classic or traditional option for weddings. Well-known and loved, they are often the starting place when considering wedding flowers.
Choosing fresh flowers for your wedding has several advantages. They are the traditional pick, and their bright and colourful appearance can add to the beauty of your special day.
Some flowers even have a unique and pleasant aroma that can leave a lasting impression, triggering fond memories of your wedding day for years to come.
Fresh flowers have some disadvantages.
They are delicate, require water, and have a short lifespan after being picked. Thus, preserving them for an extended period after the wedding is only possible if they are quickly preserved.
During a wedding day, flowers may appear tired or wilted, particularly if exposed to hot, windy, or humid weather for an extended period.
Additionally, certain flowers may only be available seasonally, making importing or sourcing out-of-season blooms costly and challenging.
It's essential to keep these factors in mind when selecting wedding flowers.
Depending on the flower choice, there is also the possibility of specific colour limitations – not all fresh flowers are available in all colours.
Fresh flowers contain pollen and may cause hay fever/allergies in susceptible wedding guests. They can only be made into bouquets and arrangements a short time before the wedding to ensure optimal condition.
This limits the time frame for pick up/set up/decorating the wedding venue. So, fresh flowers are beautiful but have some limitations.
They are not the only available option and can also be used with artificial and dried/preserved flowers with excellent results.
2. Artificial Flowers
What Are Artificial Flowers?
Artificial flowers are imitations of natural (or real) flowers – so they are made to look like the actual flower. They are sometimes colloquially referred to as ‘fake’ flowers, which is most likely in the context of how poor they may have looked in the past compared to the real version.
However, they have come a long way in recent years, so it can be hard to tell the difference between the best quality artificial flowers and real flowers.
However, this is only the case with some artificial flowers; the quality can vary significantly, so it is essential to ensure you are happy with the quality before purchasing.
They can vary from the cheap and nasty end where you virtually have to look at them, and they will fray to the best quality that looks and feel completely real.
More recently, the more appropriate (and kinder) terms ‘faux’’ or ‘silk’ flowers have emerged.
It is important to note that while some flowers may be made with silk fabric, other materials include rayon, cotton, natural or flocked materials, velvet fabrics and plastic fabrics.
Most artificial flowers today are made from polyester materials.
Why Choose Artificial Flowers For Your Wedding
Artificial flowers can be used alone for weddings or combined with fresh or dried/preserved flowers, for example, when the fresh version is unavailable or is costly to source.
Artificial flowers have several advantages.
They are available throughout the year, are durable, and come in various flower types and colours. They can withstand the wear and tear of a wedding day, such as accidental bumps or hugs, and maintain their fresh look throughout the event.
They cope well outside with challenging weather conditions, such as a hot/windy/humid wedding day. More elaborate/adventurous flower creations may be possible as artificial flowers are durable and don’t need water.
They can be taken home and kept for a long time after the wedding day, so they can be a fantastic keepsake or thank-you gift for bridesmaids or other wedding guests and can be used as long-lasting, low-maintenance decor in your home.
Artificial flowers are also hypoallergenic (as they don’t have any pollen), so they will not cause hay fever/allergies in susceptible wedding guests.
Another advantage of using flowers as wedding decorations is their ability to save time.
If stored properly, bouquets and arrangements can be made well in advance without worrying about them deteriorating.
This allows for more time to pick up, set up, and decorate the wedding venue, which can be extremely valuable as the wedding day approaches and things become more hectic.
Purchasing ahead may also allow wedding costs to be spread out and so help with budgeting.
Finally, some suppliers may offer a rent and return option for artificial flowers, which is not possible for fresh flowers – the flowers are returned after the wedding (providing they are in good condition).
This is another way of keeping wedding costs down.
The downsides of artificial flowers include the possibility of some stigma associated with ‘fake’ flowers, especially for weddings where fresh flowers are the tradition.
The quality of artificial flowers can vary significantly, so ensuring you are happy with the quality before purchasing is crucial.
So, in summary, artificial flowers are efficient and durable and are the most robust of the three wedding flower options. Still, they are not ‘real’ flowers, so they are not the traditional option.
They can also be used with fresh or dried/preserved flowers with excellent results.
3. Dried/Preserved Flowers
What Are Dried/Preserved Flowers?
Dried or preserved flowers have undergone a preservation process that can increase their life from days to years if cared for appropriately.
Dried flowers are dried or dehydrated flowers or greenery (roots, leaves, stem, bark or the whole plant) commonly used for ornamental purposes.
Dried Flowers started as real, fresh flowers and have undergone a preservation process by dehydration which removes all of their moisture through a natural process which can be done by hanging them upside down or drying them out with silica gel or freeze-drying (which should be professionally done).
Preserved flowers are natural flowers and greenery (stems/leaves) that have undergone a different preservation process to drying but have been processed to maintain their fresh appearance for a long time.
The resulting quality can be excellent, making it challenging to differentiate between preserved and fresh flowers - it can therefore make them an excellent alternative to using fresh flowers, especially in wedding settings.
Why Choose Dried/Preserved Flowers For Your Wedding
Dried/preserved flowers have undergone a remarkable transformation over the years, and there has been a corresponding significant increase in their popularity, including for weddings. For many reasons, dried and preserved flowers can provide an excellent alternative to fresh wedding flowers.
Dried flowers can bring a rustic, earthy, textured look to wedding flowers and look fabulous, contrasted with the gentle softness of preserved flowers (such as roses). Dried and preserved flowers can be used wonderfully alone for weddings but also look great with quality silk flowers such as orchids (for example, in bouquets).
They can also be combined with fresh or artificial flowers when the fresh version is unavailable or is costly to source. There are possibilities are endless, and the results can look amazing.
The benefits of dried/preserved flowers for your wedding include that they are ‘real’ flowers, so they don’t come with the possible stigma that artificial flowers may have. They also have all-year-round availability, they are long-lasting, and there is an extensive range of flower types and colours to choose from, and with care taken, they will last well during the wedding day.
Significantly, they can be taken home and kept for a long time after the wedding day, so they can be a fantastic keepsake or thank-you gift for bridesmaids or other guests or can be used as long-lasting, low-maintenance décor in your home.
Dried/preserved flowers are also hypoallergenic (as they don’t have any pollen), so they will not cause hay fever/allergies in susceptible wedding guests.
They are also an excellent time-saving option as they can be made into bouquets and arrangements long before the wedding. If stored appropriately, they won’t deteriorate - this means that there can be an extended time frame available for pick up/set up/decorating the wedding venue, which can be valuable as the wedding day approaches.
Purchasing ahead may also allow wedding costs to be spread out and so help with budgeting. Some suppliers may offer a rent and return option for dried/preserved flowers which is not possible for fresh flowers – the flowers are returned after the wedding (providing they are in good condition). This is another way of keeping wedding costs down.
The downside of dried/preserved flowers is that, as with artificial flowers, they are not the traditional wedding flower option, so while they have become increasingly known and popular in recent years, they have yet to be as well known for wedding flowers as fresh flowers.
If you are hoping to preserve or dry your own flowers for your wedding, it can take time to do so well before the wedding date.
In summary, dried/preserved flowers are a durable fabulous flower option but are less well-known for weddings than fresh flowers.
Fresh Wedding Flowers Pros & Cons
Artificial Wedding Flowers Pros & Cons
Dried/Preserved Wedding Flowers Pros & Cons
Can You Mix Fresh, Artificial & Dried Wedding Flowers?
People often want to know if the types of wedding flowers can be mixed – we have already suggested yes – definitely – and often with fabulous results.
Artificial or dried and preserved flowers may be used as an alternative where the fresh is unavailable due to seasonal, cost or other reasons.
Also, artificial flowers may be an alternative in dried and preserved arrangements.
The options are many and varied and may reflect many factors, including personal taste, wedding style, theme or venue decor, cost, and availability.
It is not straightforward to provide a clear comparison between the cost of the three wedding flower options because there are so many factors involved - but it is an essential consideration as budget is usually a necessary part of wedding planning.
The following factors are relevant in determining cost:
On a final note, whichever flower option you choose for your wedding, the results can look amazing.
To get the best results, we recommend buying the best quality flowers that your budget allows and choosing flowers from a good quality supplier – one that you either know personally or comes recommended by a trusted friend or family member or one with consistently high reviews.
We also recommend that you choose a flower supplier that offers excellent customer service, has good timely communication and feels comfortable with them – so, do your research before deciding on your florist to ensure you have the best all-around wedding flower experience.
We wish you all the best with your wedding planning! We hope this guide has given you some help and insight into choosing the flowers you want at your wedding.
If you would like more information about wedding flowers, please see our other articles/blogs below:
Want To Know More?
If you are looking for long-lasting wedding flowers that you can keep for years after your wedding day, please feel free to ask about our wedding flower packages. Here at Milla Rose, our expertise is in dried and preserved wedding flowers, and we offer a range of options to suit your needs. You can click here to enquire now.