Ever hear the expression, “Diamonds are forever”? What an amazing marketing slogan created by De Beers Jewelers back in 1938! Those three little words have become synonymous with diamonds and engagement rings as the ultimate piece of jewelry symbolizing eternity or eternal love.
The expression isn’t really far from the truth either as a diamond is said to last an average of two to three million years! On the other hand, flowers, bouquets, and corsages, die and wilt in a short matter of time. Just as many equate diamond rings with weddings, would you even dare think of a wedding without flowers?
For all those destination wedding brides that spend so much time searching for the perfect bouquet and paying hundreds for bridesmaids, and flower girls to carry, it is often tragic when they find out that according to U.S. customs, it is illegal to bring flowers (bouquets) back into the country. Many times, bride’s bouquets are removed from their luggage or carry on’s and seized either upon entering the US or even prior to boarding the plane heading back home. The US government warns that flowers (even cut) can carry diseases, and bugs that could cause damage to US plants and agriculture. The customs officers have to actually depose very carefully of your bouquet and you could face fines if you attempt to conceal them and bring them back into the US.
So, if you are aware of the rules and still choose beautiful flowers for your bouquets (like I did) and aren’t worried about the costs and realize they will be left behind, then that is absolutely fine. However, if you are looking for other suggestions for your bridal party that can still be beautiful, and “beachy”, I have a few to offer.
First, one of my destination wedding brides had bouquets made from “real touch” silk flowers. I have added her picture to the blog (bottom left) and wonder if you can actually tell they are not real? Another wonderful idea is to forgo flowers altogether and use beautiful colored parasols. They come in an assortment of colors and price under $20 per parasol and have the added benefit of making a nice souvenir. They look stunning in photos and I have also seen cute text written on these parasols via photo shop and used for “Thank You” notes from the bride and groom. Finally, another practical and pretty option is to use “fans”. There are thousands of websites offering a wide selection of colors, textures and a few online companies even print a couples date and name on the fans. Like the parasols, they look beautiful in wedding photos too.
Whether you decide to use silk flowers, parasols or fans, they won’t be seized at customs, are affordable and make for a nice keepsake. They may not last forever, but they certainly will be a “lasting” memory of your amazing destination wedding!
Have another idea for a bouquet substitute? Please comment or send me a note . . . would love to hear what you have found!