I've been talking with a few other brides who are doing a halloween wedding and there has been debate back and forth about what type of fake pumpkin works best for carving and showing off at the wedding.
A while back I posted my attempt at doing a very simple monogram on an actual Funkin (The rolls royce of fake pumpkins). Aside from me having a hell of a time getting into the bottom it was really lovely to carve (a lot like a real pumpkin without the guts). It held up well when carving out small bits or having to leave behind small sections for the design.
The funkin is made out of plastic that's then coated in a foam that cuts more like wood and is painted. Because of the paint you do have to be careful in carving as you can chip it off. It also has a nice weight to it so I wouldn't worry too much about a funkin blowing off or getting knock off of something too easily.
To contrast yesterday I got a knockoff fake pumpkin from Michaels (Sorry I don't know the brand as I cut the tag off before I thought to write it down). This was one I wanted to carve just for home decorations and not for the wedding.
First thought is that the Michaels pumpkin is much cheaper than a real funkin. It does however before doing any carving look more like a real pumpkin than the funkin. It's made of a foam almost rubber type that is very light so I'm worried about putting it outside for any length of time.
Carving it was also extremely difficult. The foam rubber was at first very hard to punch into and I was very worried about the whole thing caving in easily. I'd say that if you have any kind of a detailed pattern planned don't get a foam fake pumpkin. Also the rubber left behind a bunch of fuzzy white bits almost like small pieces of Styrofoam that are hard to get rid of.
As you can see in the day light picture it is more of a yellow than an orange inside and you can easily see the seam; however, the pumpkin does look really great at night.
In the end, I'd say that if you want to have a realistic looking and carved pumpkin it's best to shell out the extra $5 or so and get a funkin. They are really easy to carve, have a good weight to them, and look almost realistic (I've confused a few of my family).
But if you just want some fake pumpkins that you won't carve or you are only going to have in the almost absolute dark the cheaper Michaels ones work good (but I'd still do my best to avoid any very intricate patterns).