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3 Outdated Wedding Flowers That Are Cool Again

A bouquet of flowers accented with ferns.

When a young person looks at their parents’ wedding album, they will probably have a lot to say: “Oh my god, you guys! Your hair! That dress! THOSE SHOULDER PADS! What were you thinking?” The fact is that weddings, like every other element of fashion, are subject to the trends and fads of their time—and flowers are no exception.

Trends are always coming and going in the wedding industry. For example, in the ’80s, gigantic cascading bouquets were all the rage (largely due to Princess Diana’s bouquet from her nuptials to Prince Charles). These days, brides are taking cues from Meghan Markle (another royal with an indelible influence on fashion) and opting for smaller, simpler bouquets.

However, there’s one thing we all know about fashion trends: they have a way of coming back. This is true of flared jeans, choker necklaces, and even some wedding flowers that had fallen by the wayside! Here are a few wedding flowers that used to be outdated, but are making a comeback.

Carnations: Inexpensive and Versatile

A reception table at a wedding decorated with carnations.

For years, when I thought of carnations I thought of two things: grocery store bouquets and those science experiments where you dye the bud with colored water. Carnations were considered a “cheap” flower—which is fair, as they’re actually pretty inexpensive. The low price tag made these flowers seem too low-grade for a wedding ceremony.

However, these days carnations are starting to make a comeback in the wedding industry—so much so that some blogs have called them “the perfect wedding flower.” Carnations come in a wide variety of colors, which means you can find one to suit any wedding color palette. The ruffled blossom is romantic and flirty, which makes them great for wedding décor. And did I mention they’re inexpensive? With modern wedding costs climbing so high, any place to save some money is a win in my book!

You can use carnations in decorative flower garlands, centerpieces, boutonnieres, or bouquets. Pair them with other ruffled flowers like peonies to add texture and color, and you’ll have a gorgeous floral arrangement for your big day!

Ferns: Perfect for Greenery Lovers

Like baby’s breath, ferns have a long history of being used as filler in floral arrangements. Seriously, if you want to make a bouquet that looks straight out of your mama’s day, grab some roses, baby’s breath, and leatherleaf ferns and you’ll be ready to go! However, ferns are getting another moment in the spotlight, thanks to the greenery-only wedding trend.

Some modern couples are eschewing flowers altogether and using garlands, shrubs, and other greenery for their wedding décor. This trend is beautifully minimalist and super chic, but it does require a lot of different kinds of greenery to look just right. Enter the fern: a plant with a unique shape and rich green color that looks amazing in greenery bouquets.

If you want to use ferns in your wedding décor, you have plenty of options to choose from. Create a table runner out of ferns. Make a bouquet out of ferns, eucalyptus leaves, and bright green berries—or just carry one large fern down the aisle! The possibilities with this once outdated plant are endless.

Baby’s Breath: A Minimalist’s Dream

A baby's breath bouquet decorating a wood chair at a wedding ceremony.

Baby’s breath has been a filler flower for as long as I can remember. Couples have been using it to add volume, texture, and a pop of white to floral arrangements for ages. It’s even been used as a fashion accessory; I remember wearing baby’s breath in my hair as a flower girl at many a wedding!

These days, baby’s breath is a pretty outdated filler—but that doesn’t mean it has no place in wedding décor! Some brides are modernizing this trend by using baby’s breath on its own. A handful of these delicate white blossoms makes for a delicate, minimalist bouquet, which is perfect for brides who want to keep it simple.

If you want to use baby’s breath in your wedding florals, I say go for it! Make them into a bouquet with sprigs of lavender, make a wreath for the altar, hang them from the ceiling with ribbon—whatever you do, these little beauties are sure to give your wedding an ethereal look.

With these tips, you’ll be able to create trendy floral arrangements for your special day. But I’d like to leave you with a little advice: if you’d rather use some other flowers, ones that people call uncool or “outdated,” go for it! After all, your wedding day is all about the things you and your partner love…and that’s much more important than following the trends.

Do you want to have a bouquet of pink peonies? Carry that bouquet proudly! Do you want to decorate with handmade paper flowers? Sounds lovely! Any flowers that make you and your sweetheart happy are the perfect flowers for your big day.

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