Traditionally brides carry a beautiful bridal bouquet down the aisle. One hand is looped around her father (or anyone who is giving her away) and the other hand carries her bouquet. Once she gets to the altar she hands her bouquet off to her Maid/Matron of Honor or a bridesmaid, joining hands with her very soon to be husband.
Once the vows are stated, rings are exchanged and the declaration is made among your guest the bouquet is handed back to the now Mrs. And the couple makes their way down the aisle to their happily ever after. The Bridal bouquet normally doubles as decor on the head or sweetheart table or placed on the cake table. Later either the bridal bouquet or a toss bouquet is tossed to a lucky lady later in the evening.
So the question is…. Do you have to carry one?….absolutely not. There are plenty of alternatives to a floral bouquet. Fans, lanterns, a keepsake or nothing at all. If both of your parents are giving you away, carrying a bouquet can be awkward, you can have your Maid (Matron) or one of your bridesmaids carry it for you and hand it to you once you are pronounced husband and wife.A romantic gesture is to have your groom carry it to you and meet you half way to the altar. If you are not a big fan of flowers or you have an allergic there are
always the possibility of a beautiful paper floral bouquet. Are you having a religious ceremony try carry the bible.
Always keep in mind this is your wedding, your way, and you can do whatever you want. Start your own tradition. Think outside of the box and have fun. Make sure you are not cutting corners just to satisfy budget concerns. You can always discuss with your florist a smaller display with alternative flowers that may work out better rather than hating your decision later.