July 17, 2020 3 min read

Wedding planning is a notoriously challenging and often stressful time, even in a normal world. The last thing any of us need in 2020 is more worry, or stress on our budget. Especially considering the average bridal bouquet cost in 2020 is $150-$350- with total cost of flowers being about $2,000. Yikes! If a big bunch of flowers just isn't that important to you, but you still want to carry something down the aisle (because like, what am I supposed to do with my hands?!) then this list is for you.

If you're wanting something not too far from traditional, but with a little more whimsy, why not opt for one giant flower? With literally hundreds of easy DIY tutorials on Pinterest in every color, size, or flower type this is a super affordable and fun option that will bring customized magic to your day. 

If you're the sentimental type (like me) why not carry an heirloom, or item of significance down the aisle? A girlfriend of mine carried her grandmother's bible, wrapped in a borrowed vintage scarf, pinned with her mother's brooch. Pictured is another cute way to style a bridal book with a few blooms and a handkerchief.

Another great vintage or heirloom option is a parasol. It doesn't hide your dress, and serves a dual purpose for outdoor weddings. And, bonus! These check off a few boxes of the "Old, new, borrowed, blue" list; And as we all know, multitasking items are a great way trim down a wedding budget. 


For southern brides, or summer weddings choose a utilitarian item with flair for you and your bridal party. Enter: The Bridal Fan. 

I love a classic lace fan for this, but there are so many options! For a 20s theme opt for feathers and flapper glam. Or for a beach-y, boho vibe maybe an embellished rattan fan like this one featured on https://www.marthastewartweddings.com/.

And while we're on the subject of boho, beach-y... Can we talk about oversized greenery for a moment? This image from http://www.100layercake.com/ wedding blog perfectly illustrates how much impact a single leaf can have.

Since everybody and their cat became a plant-parent in lockdown the likelihood that you or a close friend are growing some fab oversized foliage right this minute is pretty good. Even if you're not, the fakes have gotten so realistic and affordable in recent years, there's no reason not to bring home some permanent tropical vibes. 

Balloon walls and garlands for major celebrations aren't going anywhere anytime soon. Carry the trend over to your wedding day lewk with a light hearted and bright balloon bouquet. 

For an extra dose of fun, have the bridesmaids or flowers girls carry bubble guns down the aisle so you can appear in a sparkling, iridescent haze like Glinda. This great bubble exit from offbeatbride.com shows how fabulously fun it can be! 

My last two double-duty carry suggestions are basic. But oh so elegant, affordable, unexpected, AND easy to customize. I give you bridal candles and lanterns:

Colorful taper candles in antique holders look great on their own. But adjust it to your personality by adding a flurry of rainbow ribbons or tassels to the base. Or take a plain pillar candle and scrawl in gold marker some excerpts from love letters, a favorite song, or all your nicknames for your partner. 

Lanterns come in so many shapes and sizes, and are so fun to customize! Fill them with succulents, add a photo, adorn with a bow or some greenery ( like this bridal party featured on https://southernweddings.com/)... the options are limitless. The big plus here of course is that after being carried down the aisle, they seamlessly meld into reception table decor so you don't have to keep up with it all night like a bouquet (your bridesmaids will thank you!)

I hope our quick list has sparked some creativity and cleared the cobwebs around what is or isn't a bridal carry (psst, anything is a bridal carry if you're bold enough) but check out our Pinterest board for even more exciting alternative bouquet ideas https://www.pinterest.com/partyhero/bouquet-alternatives-for-your-covid-wedding/ . And if you're looking for party inspo, or trying to throw an easy, budget friendly, micro or backyard wedding head to our Pinterest page for all the best tips and tricks https://www.pinterest.com/partyhero/ 

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