I love flowers. Honestly, I do. But they’re so de rigueur for weddings. And seeing celebrants and their wedding parties walk down the aisle holding bundles of flowers can get kind of unexceptional after a while.
I get it- there’s an established tradition that says you have to carry something (usually flowers) on your way to the altar. But you know how I feel about traditions: they’re purely optional. If they don’t spark joy, trash ‘em. And if floral bouquets aren’t doing it for you, I have a pitch:
Carry something that casts light down the aisle.
Is your ceremony after dark? Are you getting married in a dimly-lit space? Is the sun and the cruel light of day specifically NOT invited to your wedding?
Take advantage of your mood lighting and make your processional and recessional dramatic as hell with any of these ideas:
Lanterns. Paper lanterns, gas lanterns, decorative Victorian-inspired lanterns, painted IKEA lanterns… take your pick! There’s no shortage of styles here. No matter what your wedding aesthetic is, you’ll easily be able to find something that fits.
Candles (or “candles”). Candles are a romantic staple. And if you’re having a Winter wedding, this would make your ceremony feel really cozy and magical. You can stick with a single flame for each member of the wedding party, or give everyone a full-on candelabra. Venue doesn’t allow open flames? Fair. Stick an LED “candle” in a votive or frosted glass holder and no one will be the wiser!
Sparklers. These aren’t just trendy replacements for rice or bubbles during the newlyweds’ exit. Sparklers are really fun additions to your ceremony processional… especially for Summer weddings! Granted, they don’t last very long. Once they burn out, they’re out for good. But this could be a good thing: It gives your entrance some drama, but fizzles out just in time to avoid distracting anyone during your ceremony.
Orbs. If you’re having a fantasy-themed, sci-fi, or mystically-flavoured wedding, an LED ball or battery-powered orb lamp would be a unique, unexpected twist. Some will allow you to change the colour of the light being emitted… Others resemble the moon or planets. If you’re really crafty, these present a fun and challenging DIY opportunity!
Lightsabers. Geeky weddings are THE BEST. Forget subtlety and tradition: Give your wedding party (or Honour Guard) luminescent WEAPONS. Not a Star Wars fan? Consider wands, sonic screwdrivers, or Elven blades with the ability to glow!
Pick up some fairy or string lights. You can still play with light while sticking to the floral tradition! Wrap your bouquet in some inexpensive string lights to add a little magic to your ceremony. If flowers aren’t your thing- no problem! String lights are extremely versatile. Most of the smaller varieties used for décor are powered by a little battery pack at the end of the string, so you can switch the lights off and on at will.
Use waterproof LEDs. These small, coloured lights can be found in plenty of online wedding favour and décor shops. You can sneak one into your flowers if you’re doing bouquets, or you can use them to create something completely different! Some of these lights are made to float on water, which offers a whole new host of possibilities. If you’re trying to be pragmatic, you can use these again after the ceremony by including them in your centrepieces!