Candles as Alternatives to Flower Bouquets

It doesn’t matter if you’re using them for centerpieces, accents, or to walk down an aisle—flower bouquets are everywhere. And while they can be a beautiful feature at your event, they don’t have to be. Maybe someone invited—or even the guest of honor!—is allergic to flowers. Or it’s not the right season or climate for flowers. Whatever the reason, if you don’t want flowers at your event, don’t worry! There are plenty of alternatives to flower bouquets.

1. Balloons
Ideal For: Birthday Parties

10 Alternatives to Flower Bouquets

How to Use: Tie balloon clusters to the backs of chairs, or as arches behind a main table. You can also use balloons outside of the venue, to direct guests to parking or the entrance.

2. Assorted Plants
Ideal For: Spring Weddings & Baby Showers

How to Use: Place in the center of guest tables. For stemmed plants, place in vases, making sure they’re not so tall that guests can’t talk around them. If you’re using potted plants—like succulents—cluster a few together at the center.

Bonus Tip: If you’re clustering succulents, try to mix-and-match so not every table has the same few.

3. Candles
Ideal For: Bridal Showers

Jaime Costilglio DIY Wood Lantern Centerpieces

Source: Jaime Costiglio

How to Use: Candles are just as versatile as flowers. You can tier them as centerpieces, or you can scatter them next to framed photos and guest books. Plus, they make excellent prizes for any event games that are played.

4. Vases of Rocks
Ideal For: Outdoor Parties

How to Use: Whether you use earth stones, or polished colorful rocks, flowers aren’t the only thing that can go in your vase. These make excellent centerpieces and general accents where you have a little extra space to fill. Plus, they’re quick and simple alternatives to flower bouquets.

5. Books
Ideal For: Brunch & Tea Hour

Books as Alternatives to Flower Bouquets

How to Use: Old books with ornate covers can be a beautiful feature piece at your event—and they’re not expensive, either! Visit your local thrift stores for an authentic feel that won’t break your bank. To display the books, tie lace around them in stacks of four or five books. Try to cluster by color if you can!

6. Lanterns
Ideal For: Weddings

How to Use: Perfect alternatives to flower bouquets, lanterns can be dressed up or down. Your bridesmaids can carry a lantern down the aisle, which can then be used as centerpieces at the reception. Place flameless candles inside, or even a single rosebud to tie into your overall theme.

7. Picture Frames
Ideal For: Engagement Parties

How to Use: Of course, you’re going to want lots of pictures of the happy couple! Framed pictures should be everywhere—at the guest tables, at any welcome table, at the table for the presents—you get the picture. Include photos from the engagement shoot, but also throughout their relationship. You could even pair the frames with candles or succulents, depending on the theme!

8. Glass Bottles
Ideal For: Housewarming & Garden Party

Glass Bottles as Alternatives to Flower Bouquets

How to Use: Just like old books, vintage glass bottles can give your event an unique, elegant look. But you don’t have to go to the nearby home furnishing store to get them. Simply visit area thrift stores for glass bottles of all colors. Give them a quick wash and presto!

Bonus Tip: Vintage bottles are perfect on their own; you don’t need to put flowers or other greenery in them

9. Fruit
Ideal For: Holiday Parties

How to Use: Incorporating fruit into a holiday party not only adds ambiance, but it’s also functional. Most holiday parties don’t include prizes or over-the-top decorations. And displaying fruit in nice bowls or baskets will look appealing—both as decoration and as dessert.

10. Fake Flowers
Ideal For: Any Event

How to Use: Okay, you might think this is cheating. But if none of the other alternatives to flower bouquets matches the theme of your event, maybe artificial flowers will do! Flowers are a universal party feature, and as long as you have the budget and space, they can be a great addition.