In our weekly Featured Shop series, we shine a light on a standout shop from Etsy’s talented seller community, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at their process and story.
Wedding floral designer Brittany Kinney is officially reclaiming the word “fake.” Lush, wild, and full of texture, her incredibly breathtaking—and 100% artificial—bouquets and arrangements are so vibrant and life-like, it’s hard to believe they weren’t plucked fresh from vast fields of thistle and peonies. “We trick the eye so often that wedding planners will see our pieces and throw them in a refrigerator,” says the California-based creator of The Faux Bouquets. “They call us later, laughing, and say, ‘These don’t look like silk flowers at all; they look like something from the highest-end florist in town.’”
Brittany first discovered the creative possibilities of working with what she likes to call “poser-blooms” while DIYing her own wedding back in 2014. “I was instantly impressed with the quality,” she says. “Plus, it felt super special to have a keepsake I could treasure long after the ceremony.” Fast-forward five years, and Brittany has built a bustling business turning brides across the world onto the benefits of going faux. Wilt-proof, budget-friendly, and easy to transport (just ask the newlyweds who have taken them skydiving), each of Brittany’s beautifully handcrafted arrangements is, perhaps most importantly, a lasting reminder of the exuberant love a couple shares on their special day.
How did The Faux Bouquets become your full-time job?
After we got married I was kind of sad, because all the fun planning was over. Doing the flowers for my own wedding was exciting, and I’d fallen in love with the possibilities of faux blooms, so I started designing bouquets as a hobby. I put a couple of them up on Etsy, and people started checking them out and leaving good reviews. And they started asking for more things, like corsages and boutonnieres.
It got to the point where I would come home from my “real job” and could stay busy doing flowers until midnight. I’m not a risk-taker, but everything grew so fast that within a year my parents and my husband were encouraging me to go full-time—so that’s what I did. I rented a retail spot and hired two employees.
What’s the trick to making faux florals that look so real?
We use so many different textures and elements to achieve our aesthetic of hefty, rich-looking bouquets. You won’t see the flowers we use in a typical crafts store, because ours are either made just for us or specially sourced from reps all over the world.
What are some of the reasons a bride might choose faux flowers over real ones?
I think the keepsake factor is the biggest thing. It’s true you can always keep your dress, but that just stays in a closet. If you go to our Instagram, you’ll see so many brides posting afterward, “Now my bouquet sits in my room. It’s just the prettiest arrangement ever, and it’s from my wedding day.” And that’s really cool.
Another reason is that you can see your arrangements well ahead of your wedding, which isn’t possible with fresh flowers. That way, you won’t stress wondering how they’ll turn out. Plus, it’s a great option if you’re on a budget, especially our ready-to-ship section.
Who’s your typical customer?
Some brides turn to us because they want a particular type of rose, or they want out-of-season peonies, or a certain shade of a flower—florists who work with real blooms might not be able to get those, but we can.
We’re also getting a lot of what I call our “travel brides,” and our flowers are great for them because they’re so easy to bring on a plane. We’ve had brides go to the top of an iceberg in Iceland; we’ve had brides skydive in Moab with our bouquets; we’ve had brides who go climbing in the Rockies and go out to big craters in Canada. These brides usually want their bouquets to pull from the nature around them. So for example, we’ll do a lot with burnt oranges for our desert-y brides, and lots of blues and fuchsias inspired by the skies and the sunsets of cold, icy places.
What are some floral trends that you can’t get enough of these days?
Bigger is better right now—the more flowers, the more overwhelming they are, that’s the look everyone wants. I love bouquets that look wild, where no two blooms are alike, in rich tones of deep oranges, wine, and plum paired with lush foliage. Blue is really hot right now too, especially when contrasted with softer blush tones. And of course, everyone is still into peonies and basically every hybrid of rose—we keep our shop stocked at all times with both of those.
And while we definitely do a lot of big weddings, we’re also seeing a good amount of smaller weddings, with maybe 20–30 guests. I mentioned our travel brides—often it’s just them, their officiant, and a few family members. In those scenarios, they’re not doing multiple centerpieces, so it’s even more important to them to have a bouquet that’s big and intricate. They might wear a flower crown, too, but lately we’re getting more requests for flower-adorned hair combs.
Do you accommodate custom requests?
We do! One of the most special things we’ve incorporated has been a piece of the wedding dress worn by a bride’s mother, which we’ll wrap around the bouquet handle. We had one client who shipped us her mom’s gown, and we took the lace and the pearls off of it and added them as an overlay on a satin ribbon. We’ve had other orders where a bride had her mom’s jewelry, like a little charm, that we tied onto the bouquet.
Another thing we do a lot is redesigns of bouquets for brides who used fresh florals on their wedding day. We emphasize, though, that the one we create will be inspired by their real one, because you can’t do an exact replica.
Have you ever had any really unusual or eccentric floral requests?
One bride was serving in our forces and wanted plastic army men jumping out of her bouquet. She asked if we could make it classy by painting them metallic gold. Another unique one we did was a cupcake bouquet. That bride loved desserts, so in her bouquet we had artificial cupcakes peeking out of it in addition to the flowers and rhinestones.
It sounds like you really go above and beyond for your customers!
I want our clients to be genuinely happy, and I think they sense that, because I focus on every single element of the arrangement, down to the littlest accent. I really do care about it as if it were my own wedding or the wedding of my best friend.
Retail storefront photography and portraits by Jessie Webster. Product photography and photos of real brides courtesy of The Faux Bouquets.