As we head into what is being called a “wedding boom” in 2022, we expect to continue to see innovations like micro weddings, event safety protocols, Friday night and Sunday brunch receptions — as well as weddings without flowers.
With increasing flower shortages and costs, non-floral wedding centerpieces and décor will be trending for the foreseeable future. Moreover, non-floral décor boasts many advantages: couples no longer need to worry about whether their bloom-of-choice is in season, nor whether it’s caught in a supply chain lag. Additionally, weddings without flowers are certain to stand out from the crowd.
So now, more than ever, couples want to know, “What can I use instead of flowers at a wedding?” PartySlate searched through thousands of real wedding albums to find our favorite non-floral décor elements. From creative lighting to suspended crystal fringe, there’s no shortage of stunning designs to inspire your flowerless nuptials.
We suggest that you hire a skilled design and décor team to conjure your creative non-floral vision (as well as offer ideas of their own). Read on for 17 unique ideas for weddings without flowers.
1. Above the Fold With Origami-Inspired Décor
The Japanese art of paper-folding, also known as origami (orizuru in Japanese), originated around the 6th century B.C.E. Because paper was a rare resource, this art form was reserved for use in Shinto shrines and — you guessed it — weddings.
While paper is no longer scarce, the art of origami still evokes the beautiful and momentous. The best part? You can choose the fold to match the style of your celebration — be it artsy, elegant, or modern.
2. Balloon Wedding Décor, For Once you Popped the Question
Calling all adults: balloon décor is officially trending. Once relegated to kids’ birthday parties or outdoor graduations, this unique design element now elevates weddings of all kinds.
In fact, we love wedding balloon décor so much, we had to devote an entire article to it. Whether matte or shine, cascade or cluster, balloon installations will add a pop of elegance to your nuptials.
3. Keep Your Vision Afloat With Non-Floral Pool Décor
Consider hosting your wedding celebration near a body of water (be it a backyard pool or luxe hotel fountain) for infinite design possibilities. Pool décor is an easy way to set your event apart from the crowd — with elements your friends and family haven’t seen before.
While scattered petals are always an option, we suggest thinking outside the box with everything from fun floaties to sophisticated beach balls (trust us, it’s a thing).
4. Not Afraid to Shine With Crystal Wedding Décor
They say, “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend.” But crystal décor is something we can all get behind. Sparkling design elements add glamour to any wedding — regardless of the theme or style.
We especially love suspended crystals for their dramatic presentation and dreamy ambiance. Consider using crystal fringe for everything from an exchange of vows to a tented reception dinner — or even a cocktail hour in between.
5. Tassels are Trending
When it comes to textiles, think beyond table linen. Ribboned tassels lend a dreamy softness to any event space — even industrial lofts. The best part? Tassels are a perfect opportunity to incorporate your wedding color palette in new and unique ways.
6. Intriguing Installations for a Wedding Without Flowers
For creative couples, custom-made installations offer originality and freshness to what could easily be the sixth or seventh wedding of the season. Unique designs can accomplish everything from transforming your venue space to capturing the theme or style of your event.
7. Chandeliers Create the Perfect Focal Point
Lighting fixtures, while primarily used for illumination, can be as decorative as any bloom. Beyond the traditional ballroom chandelier, light fixtures will elevate tented wedding receptions, ceremonial backdrops, and more.
We recommend choosing a chandelier that matches the style of your celebration. For example, choose sputnik lighting for a contemporary vibe or vintage lighting for a more classic or elegant look.
8. Say Yes to Creative Lighting
For couples who love floral arrangements (but hate supply chain lags), consider creating floral décor without flowers. How? Use creative lighting projections to evoke petal, stem, stamen, and other floral details.
Best of all, lighting creates an immersive experience for couples and guests alike. See why immersive lighting displays made our top party trends for 2022 list. You’ll also find additional floral-free trends to make your wedding picture-perfect.
9. Cue the Romance With Candlelight
Candlelight creates a romantic mood more than any other décor element. And what’s more romantic than a wedding celebration?
Think beyond candle centerpieces and position candlelight everywhere from the walls to the ceiling. Of course, work with your planner and wedding venue to ensure that you are following all safety protocols.
10. Bring Starlight Down to Earth With String Lights
String light tents took over 2021 party ideas — and for good reason. In a year where so many celebrations were scaled back or postponed, string lights kept the magic of this most important milestone front and center.
Never ones to let a good trend go, designers are keeping the beauty of string light décor in vogue with new twists and configurations. From shooting star ceiling installations to twinkling canopies, string lights are reinventing what it means to shine.
West Sand Lake, NY
Twinkling string lights line this spacious white canopy tent for a starlit reception — regardless of weather.
11. A Food-Forward Fête With Fruits and Vegetables
Creative catering displays create an immersive experience for wedding guests. But don’t stop there. Raise cuisine to the level of fine art with unique centerpieces crafted from fruits and vegetables.
The diverse range of color palettes make this original décor element perfect for any celebration — be it rustic, elegant, modern, or tropical.
12. The Simple Beauty of Natural Greenery
While flowers tend to be the celebrities of the natural (and wedding) world, greenery is the faithful sidekick that deserves a cameo of its own. And much like flowers, greenery comes with its own vast array of shapes and shades.
From tropical palm leaves and evergreen needles to garlands of eucalyptus and clusters of sage, there’s no shortage of greenery to suit your wedding vision.
13. Non-Floral Wedding Décor — In Full Feather
From the ancient Egyptians to modern-day influencers, plumage has made its mark on fashion and décor across the centuries. Capturing both the beauty of flight and the power of writing, feathers inspire with their prestige and beauty.
Whether you aim for Art Deco glamour or minimalist elegance, feathers are the perfect substitute for traditional floral décor. While the feathers featured here are all in white, you can see additional examples of colorful plume décor here: Blue and Purple Feathery Centerpieces and Pink and Peach Feathery Centerpieces.
14. Follow the Disco Ball
Year after year, disco remains one of the most popular party themes found on PartySlate. However, disco party themes are no longer just reserved for birthdays or corporate events.
As couples continue to embrace themed weddings that capture their unique style, expect to see more sparkle and funk at celebrations across the country. It turns out, even lounge areas and chandeliers can benefit from a disco ball or two.
15. Floral Linen has Blooms that Never Fade
Say goodbye to utilitarian tablecloths meant to capture crumbs and stains. Today’s wedding linen is an essential décor element that captures both the color palette and style of your celebration.
For a wedding without flowers, consider your linen as a blank canvas that can feature any bloom of your choice — regardless of season or availability. And remember, linen isn’t just for tables. Even the chairs can benefit from luxe textiles.
16. Wine and Dine With Barrel Décor
Wine barrels bring a combination of rustic charm and winery elegance to any celebration. While we’ve often seen barrels used as table legs, we’re now seeing barrels incorporated into every aspect of the wedding day.
For more ideas and inspiration, see how these winery wedding venues inspired real couples.
17. Branch Out Without Wedding Flowers
Beneath lavish greenery and colorful blooms lies the hidden gem of the natural world: branches. Branches inspire us with their abstract formations, neutral color palette, and fortitude. Long after the last leaf has fallen, here in the Midwest, branches awe with their delicate beauty.
People Also Ask…
Do brides have to have a bouquet?
If the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that there are no hard and fast rules. For couples who want a more traditional western wedding, bouquets and boutonnières are a simple way to add pops of color and beauty to your celebration.
However, many cultures do not incorporate wedding bouquets into their traditions. For example, Indian weddings often feature garlands, called varmala or jaimala, which are exchanged by the couple during the marriage ceremony.
Talk to your significant other and decide if bouquets and boutonnières are an important part of your wedding budget. Remember, bouquets can still be featured in a wedding without flowers. Some of our favorite non-floral wedding bouquets include feathers, jewels, and paper art.
What can I use for centerpieces instead of flowers?
When you begin envisioning your perfect wedding reception, there’s a strong chance you’ll first imagine your wedding centerpieces. For couples looking to feature non-floral wedding centerpieces, there are still plenty of stunning possibilities.
Some of our favorite non-floral centerpieces incorporate greenery, branches, candles, and more. You can also find more unique ideas in our article 26 Unique Wedding Centerpieces.
Where can I find a design team to decorate my wedding?
Head to PartySlate’s curated vendor directory to find a top wedding design and floral team near you. Use the filters to narrow your search by location, services, and more.
Remember, you can directly contact vendors from the directory as well as click into their profile page to see real wedding albums that feature their creative work.