When it comes to setting the tone and style of a wedding, florals are one of the most important decisions. Picking flowers is also one of the most fun parts! But amazing flower arrangements typically don’t come cheap and many couples struggle to stay within their floral budget. With ever improving quality of faux flowers, more and more couples are considering fresh flower alternatives as a less expensive, more durable floral option.
First, let’s look at two of the most popular faux wedding flowers: Sola wood and Silk Flowers.
Sola Wood Flowers
What are sola wood flowers?
Sola wood flowers are an affordable and sustainable alternative to fresh flowers. They are made from thin, lightweight pieces of wood similar to balsa wood (think of the material used to build a model airplane). The thin pieces of wood are cut into petals and fashioned into flowers. They are a beautiful and durable option that offer a whimsical, unique look.
Where do you purchase sola wood flowers?
Sola wood flowers can be purchased in their natural wood color or already dyed. DIYers interested in saving some money or creating a unique design often choose to purchase undyed flowers and do the dying or painting themselves. Both options can be purchased at many different online retailers including Sola Wood Flowers.
Sola wood flowers are available at varying levels of assembly. Some flowers for purchase already have stems attached. Even complete bouquets are available for purchase on craft sites like Etsy for couples not interested in spending the time on DIY.
What are the benefits of sola wood flowers?
The main benefit of choosing sola wood flowers is cost savings. Even purchasing an already dyed and assembled sola wood flower bouquet will offer at least 50% in savings over a fresh. If you are willing to put in the time to assemble and dye the flowers yourself the savings can be even greater.
Sola wood flowers are also a great option for couples with a very specific color palette. Because the flowers can be dyed by hand, the color possibilities are endless.
Unlike fresh flowers, sola wood is durable in tough outdoor conditions like heat and humidity. While fresh flowers wilt in a day, sola wood flowers can be kept as a keepsake or sold to another couple.
Do they look real?
Not really. Sola wood flowers are not meant to replicate the look of fresh flowers. They have their own unique, often rustic look. In photos sola wood flowers can look like fresh flowers but in person the texture of the wood and the color difference between sola flowers and fresh flowers is noticeable. For many couples, the beauty of sola wood flowers is enough even if they don’t replicate the look of fresh.
What are silk flowers?
Like sola wood flowers, silk flowers are an affordable alternative to fresh flowers. Silk flowers, or more generally known as faux flowers, are typically made of silk, plastic, or other fabrics. The quality of the flowers will depend on the material in which they are made. Most people think of the floral aisle at their local craft store or their grandmother’s table centerpiece when they think of faux wedding flowers, but more realistic and luxurious options are coming onto the market.
Silk flowers are an affordable and often sustainable alternative to fresh flowers. They are a beautiful and durable option that will outlast even the freshest of flowers.
Where do you purchase silk flowers?
Many retailers sell faux flowers, but the quality will depend on the retailer.
Lowest quality – the lowest quality and least expensive silk flowers can be purchased at a local craft store in the floral aisle. Oftentimes these florals will look unrealistic and plastic even from a distance.
Medium quality – many couples choosing to DIY their own silk flowers will look to online silk floral retailers. Many online retailers offer affordable yet beautiful options often sold by the stem. For purchasing completed bouquets, we recommend Etsy for decent quality fake flowers at a very reasonable price. Be warned: many silk flowers will be shipping internationally. Be sure to leave enough time before your event to find a different option if you end up hating the flowers you order.
Highest quality – purchasing high quality silk flowers is often as expensive as fresh flowers averaging about $15 per flower. However, renting high quality silk florals is becoming more and more popular. Faux wedding floral rentals like Silk Stem Collective mail the flowers to you a few days before your event and then you ship them back when you are done.
What are the benefits of silk flowers?
Like sola wood flowers, the main benefit of choosing silk flowers is cost savings. Renting high quality faux flowers will offer up to 70% savings over fresh flowers. Even if you choose to purchase medium quality florals and assemble them yourself you will still save 30-50% over fresh.
Unlike fresh flowers, silk flowers are durable in tough outdoor conditions like heat and humidity. While fresh flowers wilt in a day, silk flowers can be kept as a keepsake or sold to another couple. Silk flowers are not as durable as sola wood flowers, but they will still last years longer than fresh.
Do they look real?
High quality faux flowers do look real! And medium quality will look real in photos. Unlike sola wood flowers that have a harder texture, the texture of silk flowers closely mimics that of real flowers. For couples looking for a realistic looking alternative to fresh flowers, silk flowers are the best option.
Assessing the Pros and Cons of Faux Wedding Flowers:
- Affordable (sometimes)
- No care required
- All flowers available in all seasons
- No allergens
- Questionable quality
- No fragrance
Fake flowers are like plastic surgery: Some results look realistic and amazing, but many look unnatural and cheap. Typical craft store fake flowers are made of low-quality plastics that end up looking tacky or kitschy in floral arrangements. This gives fake flowers a bad reputation, but realistic options are available.
Luxury fake flowers are made of silk or other high-quality materials that truly look like natural flowers. High-end faux flowers can be purchased at online retailers like Etsy, but like good plastic surgery, it will cost you.
The average cost of fresh florals for a wedding is $1,500. Faux flowers can cost far less than this or far more depending on the quality of the florals. There’s no doubt, purchasing local craft store florals can save you up to 50% compared to fresh but the quality will be questionable. Renting faux wedding flowers from places like Silk Stem Collective is also an option for budget savvy couples which can save upwards of 70% compared to fresh.
The sweet scent of roses is the perfect final touch of a beautiful wedding. For some, the scent of a specific bloom can take them back to their wedding day. For others, that same sweet scent will have them congested and sneezing in minutes. Some couples love fragrance and others hate it!
There’s no question about it. Caring for fresh flowers can be challenging and stressful. Fresh flowers require moderate temperatures, water, and delicate handling to ensure they don’t get wilted or mashed. Transportation can be very difficult and time consuming, so we recommend paying the additional cost to have a trained florist transport and set up your fresh florals.
On the other hand, fake flowers require virtually no care and transportation is much easier.
Fake flowers can be kept forever as a memento to your special day or resold online because they are durable and will last. Fresh florals are only fresh for a day or two before wilting.
Faux florals are also much better suited for harsh environments like hot outdoor events or venues with no air conditioning. If durability is a high priority for your event, consider faux florals.
With fresh florals not all varieties of blooms will be available in all seasons. Typically, this isn’t very limiting but it’s something to consider if you have a specific floral preference.
Fresh and faux flowers both have strengths and weaknesses when it comes to assessing environmental impact. Fresh florals are biodegradable so they won’t end up in a land fill like plastic fake flowers will. But fresh flowers often take large amounts of water, pesticides, and energy. They are often transported internationally via airplane which is very environmentally taxing. If you are interested in “green” options, talk to your florist or consider getting your fake flowers used and selling them when you are done.