Flowers are a beautiful addition to any wedding, but they aren't the only plant from your garden you can use on your special day. Fruits and vegetables can make stunning bouquets, arrangements and even boutonnieres. They also have the added benefit of being a bit hardier than many flowers so you can create fruit and vegetable arrangements and expect them to look fresh, even after a few days stored in the fridge.
You can use almost any fruits or vegetables for your bouquet, but there are a few things to keep in mind when choosing. Color will be your first consideration since you want your bouquet to match your wedding colors, but don't forget about weight. Try to stick with berries, peppers or other small fruits. For example, use clementines or kumquats instead of oranges.
Not all fruits and vegetables will have stems attached, so you will need to create your own to attach them to your bouquet. Use floral wire stiff enough to support the weight of your chosen fruit. Create a spiral on one end and twist gently into the fruit to hold it securely.
Clusters of Berries
For smaller berries you can place them individually on wires, or create clusters. You can form "flowers" by arranging berries and wiring those arrangements together.
Create a Base
You should begin your bouquet by creating a base of leafy greens. Choose hardy leaves that won't wilt too quickly, like these savoy cabbage leaves. If you don't want green, try experimenting with other leafy vegetables like red or white cabbage or even rainbow Swiss chard. Arrange your leafy vegetables in a circle and wrap loosely so that they hold their shape but allow room to place more objects in the center.
Begin Adding Color
If you are using fruits or vegetables with stems, place them in your arrangement first. Push the stems in the center of your bouquet, paying attention to direction and placement. Try to space the items evenly. These bright red chili peppers add beautiful texture and shape as the bouquet takes shape.
Add more Leaves
Once you have your base and the first set of fruits or vegetables placed in your arrangement you can add a few more leafy greens to fill in the empty space. Use them to enhance and complement the shape you have already created. You aren't trying to fill the whole bouquet, just give it more body.
Add More Berries
Once your basic shape is created and filled out, continue adding more fruits and vegetables. Push the stems or wires down into the center of your bouquet. Place the different colors and shapes evenly around the bouquet, paying attention to how it looks from all sides.
Continue adding and arranging items until your bouquet looks full. Be sure to use a variety of different textures. The shiny blackberries are an excellent complement to the dull blueberries in this bouquet, and really bring everything together. We filled in the last little bits of space with green chrysanthemums, however if you choose you can make a stunning bouquet without using flowers at all. To finish, wrap the base tightly and cover with fabric just like you would a regular floral bouquet.
Bouquets aren't the only wedding arrangements you can create without using flowers. Boutonnieres can be stunning displays of fruit and vegetables. This boutonniere was created with a pomegranate, ornamental grass and a few dried wildflower buds. It could easily be made into a matching bouquet, just use ornamental grass instead of leafy greens and try using whole dwarf pomegranates as well as sections of large pomegranates.
You can create beautiful boutonnieres and bouquets without flowers or fruit. Winter weddings are the perfect time for evergreen arrangements. Use a variety of evergreen branches, leaves and cones to create beautiful winter clusters or experiment with adding brightly colored autumn leaves or small spring blossoms for late fall or early spring weddings.