There are those of us out there who have a love-hate relationship with flowers. On one hand, fresh flowers are lovely, wonderfully scented, and add a touch of class to almost any occasion. On the other hand, they wilt, brown, and die. Quite quickly in locales with toasty weather year round.
In terms of your alternatives, you’ve got your silk flowers….but unless you buy the really fancy sort, you may find yourself feeling like you’re carrying a handful of plastic. Then there are paper and plastic blooms, which can either look stunning and original or like something produced in a kindergarten class. For the brave (and coordinated) there are glass flowers. I’d be far too afraid to carry those around, as I do not fall into that latter category.
According to Wikipedia,
A large variety of materials have been used in their manufacture by different peoples at different times, [including] painted linen and shavings of stained horn by the Egyptians, gold and silver by the Romans, rice-paper by the Chinese, silkworm cocoons in Italy, the plumage of highly colored birds in South America, wax, small tinted shells. More recent production methods use carved or formed soap, nylon netting stretched over wire frames, ground clay and mass produced injection plastic mouldings.
At the beginning of the 18th century the French, who originally learned the art from the Italians, made great advances in the accuracy of their reproductions, and towards the end of that century the Paris manufacturers enjoyed a world-wide reputation. About the same time the art was introduced into England by French refugees, and soon afterwards it spread also to America.
Fascinating things, faux flowers. But perhaps you are one of those unique individuals who both fears fresh flowers and has a master plant that doesn’t include faking it. In such a case, I would be quick to recommend freeze dried flowers.
FOR THE FLOWER GIRL: Freeze dried petals can be tossed and simply left on the ground if you’re outdoors. They are biodegradable, colorful, and won’t leave stains on fabric like some fresh rose petals.
FOR THE BRIDAL PARTY: Freeze dried blossoms are beautiful, come with the same benefits as the loose petals, and hold their shape (i.e. won’t start to sag) as the day wears on. If you’re worried about what random bumps will do to brittle blossoms, the flowers can be softened by allowing them to briefly bask in the steam in a bathroom with a hot running shower.