While many people think that artificial flowers are tacky and should not be a part of any special event or wedding celebration, the truth is, there are many variables that can make an artificial flower look tacky or not.
It all depends on the quality of the flowers chosen and the type of arrangement composed with these artificials. Of course, real flowers will never be topped by artificial blooms.
The smells, the vibrancy and the uniqueness of fresh blooms will always surpass fake flowers but artificials have their place in special event celebrations when chosen with discretion.
How do I know which artificial flowers don't look tacky?
Take your time when you go shopping to find the right blooms that match your color scheme and preferences. Look for the most realistic looking silks. Color tone is also very important.
I've been to weddings where the bridal parties' fresh flowers were beautiful dark red roses that blended with creme roses accented by dainty baby's breath and feathery greens.
At this same wedding's reception ,the centerpieces were made with obvious artificials. They looked plastic and tacky. What made it worse was the fire engine red color, the clumpy baby's breath and the faded plastic green leaves. What a nightmare from a florist's point of view!
To choose realistic looking flowers, they must be well made with no fringing or fraying of the petals. The colors should be representative of the real flower. If the stamens on a lily are yellow for example, dont pick lilies with hot pink stamens on a red lily. Eewh! The texture and materials used should look and feel realistic and appealing... No plastic rigid flowers please!
The overall look of the flower should be very close to the real thing for success with fake flowers.
What are the pros and cons of artificial flowers vs. fresh flowers?
As a general rule artificial flowers are usually cheaper than fresh flowers especially if you seek exotic or tropicals. Sometimes though, you are able to find amazing deals on your loose fresh flowers.
With artificial flowers, you can make your bouquets as far in advance as you are comfortable with and this is a great comfort to some brides.
On the other hand, making your own flowers either alone, with your close friends, bridesmaids or with a bunch of family members can be greatly rewarding. Imagine the memories created and the sense of pride at knowing that you and your loved ones collaborated in creating beautiful bouquets that will live on forever in the pictures and in the stories of the fun you all had making them.
Fresh flowers could never be surpassed in beauty and uniqueness.
The number one reason I've heard as a bridal florist when brides choose artificial bouquets is that they can be great keepsake souvenirs long after the wedding.
The number one reason brides choose fresh flowers is for the traditional luxury of fresh blooms on their most special occasion.
Can I mix fresh flowers with silks at my wedding?
Many brides successfully combine silk and fresh flowers. But please follow these rules for an elegant look:
1) Choose the prettiest, most realistic looking flowers if choosing silks and the freshest most beautiful flowers if going fresh.
2) Do not mix fresh flowers with silks within the wedding party bouquets and body flowers. If your bouquets are real, your body flowers should be real and vice versa. Some exceptions include flowers for little ones. Flower girls and ring bearers flowers can be silk. Since kids tend to be a little rough, artificials stand a much better chance of surviving the little one's happy day. The throwaway bouquet is the other exception to the rule. Since this bouquet must withstand very trying conditions, silks are quite acceptable for this traditional floral item.
3) Many brides choose fresh flowers for their wedding bouquets and body flowers but prefer having silks for their centerpieces. If done in a tasteful and classic way, this can work out fine. For optimal elegance, choose your flowers well. They must be the exact same shades, especially if going with red.
4) Do not mix fresh and artificials within the same arrangement. For example, if you are floating a red rose in a rose bowl as a centerpiece, don't use silk flower accents in the same arrangement. Silk flower petals are the exception; they are way more practical and most look quite realistic.
If you want to learn how to make all your real or artificial flowers for your special event and save a bundle, check out my book here: "Unleash Your Inner Florist" http://www.howtoweddingflowers.com