An overview of flower choices

Hanna Johansen

Among all the choices to make for your wedding day, using real or silk flowers is a decision many future brides must consider. It is important to weigh both options and make your choice based on what type of wedding you are having and the budget.

Silk Flowers

Choosing to use silks can possess many positive attributes. Silk flowers will not wilt, which is something that should be taken into consideration, especially if you are having a warm-weather wedding. Similarly, silks won’t freeze in cold weather.

Silks are available year-round in all types and colors. Though many types of fresh flowers can be purchased year-round, some, including peonies and various types of lilies, are harder to come by during certain parts of the year and come with increased prices.

Another advantage of using silk flowers is that they are lighter and more durable than real flowers. This makes handling and transporting much easier. It also cuts out the hassle of having to water them. Once the wedding is over, bouquets can be stored for years to come.

One misconception about using silk flowers is that they will be less expensive. Though many brides have found they can save money by using silk flowers, buying quality silks can cost just as much — if not more — than real flowers.

Many brides who are trying to cut costs will choose to purchase silk flowers and assemble the arrangements themselves. This is a very practical choice and can eliminate the cost of labor, but it is important to plan early if this is the route you are going to take. There are many books and videos that can instruct inexperienced florists on the art of floral arranging, but it takes time and patience to get things looking perfect, so brides should allow plenty of time.

Fresh Flowers

Though silk flowers have their benefits, there is something unique about fresh flowers that many brides cannot resist. The soft feel, radiant smell, exquisite detailing and natural hues that come with fresh flowers are qualities that are hard to replace.

One major benefit of using real flowers is that they photograph beautifully. Often, silks are much shinier than real flowers. This can cause the flash of the camera to bounce off the fabric in a way that real flowers do not. Depending on the quality of silks selected, pictures — especially close-ups — of silk flowers can make it pretty obvious that the flowers aren’t real.

Though fresh flowers are breathtaking, they do have their disadvantages. Real flowers must be arranged the day before the wedding to keep them looking fresh. If brides are hoping to do their own arrangements, using real flowers may not be the best option as they will not have much time to switch gears if they aren’t happy with the results.

Real flowers require more care when being transported and can be damaged in extreme weather conditions. Fresh flowers must be watered and kept cool right up to the time it is to walk down the aisle.

Best of Both Worlds

Some fresh flowers can be pricey, such as orchids and ranunculus. Because of this, some brides are opting to use both real and silk flowers. By using a mixture of both flowers, brides can cut costs on out-of-season flowers or specialty flowers without losing the distinct look of fresh flowers.