This year, bouquets are losing some petals and gaining some leaves. Pampas grass is quickly becoming a very popular addition for bridal bouquets and decorations alike – and not just in boho weddings. Pampas grass is a particularly popular choice because it comes in different colors, has wide feathery plumes, and grows up to 13 feet tall. There are other, lesser-known great grass options though, so we’ve compiled a list of beautiful grasses and ideas for how to use them in your wedding.
Liriope: grows up to 9-15 inches tall, has spikes of lavender, purple, or white flowers in the summer and blue-black berrylike fruits in the fall
Twister Rush: grows up to 1-24 inches tall, the spiraling foliage resembles a corkscrew
Mexican Feather Grass: grows up to 6-24 inches, its delicate, airy flowers bloom in the summer, and its thin leaves allow it to sway in the wind
Japanese Forest Grass: grows up to 1 foot tall, yellow leaves with thin stripes, and light pink foliage in the fall
Purple Fountain Grass: grows up to 3 feet tall, has burgundy or maroon leaves and bright red plumes
Switchgrass: grows up to 5 feet tall, blooms pink airy plumes in the summer that fade to yellow and orange in the fall
Blue Oat Grass: grows up to 4 feet tall, has silvery-blue blades and light brown flower clusters in late summer
Maiden Grass: grows up to 8 feet tall, has silvery green leaves that turn golden-bronze in late fall
Tufted Hair Grass: grows up to 3 feet tall, dark green blades and wide flower plumes in gold, silver, purple, and green in the summer, fading to yellow through the fall and winter
Frost Grass: grows up to 5 feet tall, bamboo-like leaves and purple flowers in the summer
Purple Millet: grows up to 5 feet tall, rich purple or burgundy color, blooms in late summer
Ravenna Grass: grows up to 12 feet tall, gray-green leaves in summer will become orange, purple, or tan during the fall, and brown in the winter, flowers in late summer are silvery white and often tinged with purple
Zebra Grass: grows up to 5 feet tall, has green leaves with yellow horizontal bands and silver or white plumes in the fall
Giant Reed Grass: grows up to 20 feet tall, bamboo-like stalks that flower in late summer to early fall
Dixieland Maiden Grass: grows up to 5 feet tall, ivory and green variegated patterned leaves, feathery pink plumes beginning in late summer through winter
Northern Sea Oats: grows up to 3 feet tall, unique brown flowers in fall and winter
Little Bluestem: grows up to 3 feet tall, has gray-green leaves during the winter, but blue, green, and purple leaves in the spring and summer and reds, coppers, and oranges in the fall
How to Use Them
Make a statement with your bridal bouquet by adding just a few stalks of grass. The contrast between the long grass and short, colorful flowers is sure to catch everyone’s eye. Statement bouquets are also a great option for the shy bride. If you’re nervous about having all of the attention, a statement bouquet will help shift just a little of that attention off of you. You can also skip the flowers altogether and have a bouquet of just grass. With all of the options for looks and colors, you’re sure to find a gorgeous, unique combination that is perfect for your wedding.
For tall grasses, use just a few stalks of varying heights and pair it with short candles and wood blocks. For short grasses, pick ones with the shortest stalks and widest bases and don’t add anything taller into the mix. Consider “sprinkling” decorations throughout the grass, though, such as small individual flowers, glitter, or ornaments. If you want something simpler, consider a single wide bloom in a small vase, scattered across the tables.
One of the most common uses of grass at a wedding is in the entry doorway or hallway. Situate tall stalks in large vases on either side of the door or hall. If you can, put a large mirror and a candle or two behind the plants to enhance their look.
Set flowing bouquets with long, drooping grass leaves on top of step ladders for a gorgeous photo backdrop. Or, choose a landscape backdrop and supplement it with potted grasses that would be found in that landscape positioned in front.
Use vases of grasses at the ends of the aisles at the ceremony. If you’re using short grass, you can put the vases at each aisle. For taller grasses, consider just placing them behind the last row or only on the outside of the aisle, so guests can still watch the processions.
Rather than a tapestry or curtain, consider using a “grass screen” behind the officiant during the ceremony.
Arches are a popular decoration at either ceremonies or receptions for the bridal party to process through. Make yours out of feathery grass for a unique, stunning look.
Do you have a lot of headspace at your reception, and not so much wall or table space? Hang the grasses in an elegant display!
One thing to keep in mind when choosing a grass is whether or not it is native to your area. Do some research on what grasses are native to your area before you decide. If you choose a non-native grass, you’ll need to be very careful about the seeds. Some of these grasses are aggressive and can take over or even harm the native wildlife. Your florist may be able to remove the seeds from certain grasses, but other grasses need the seeds to complete their look. It’s best to use grasses that are either already native or are non-invasive, but if you fall in love with one that is invasive, you’ll need to burn the flowers after your wedding (if you don’t plan on keeping them) so the seeds don’t spread.