Weddring flowers may not seem like such a big expense at first thought. But when you figure that you will need flowers for; the ceremony & reception, centerpieces, the bridesmaids flowers, the bouquet, and groom. The flower costs can quickly skyrocket depending on the type of flowers, time of year and the amount of flowers needed. Don’t forget about the vases/containers that will hold the flowers and the actual arranging costs. njn
Below are some tips to get your wedding flower costs way down without sacrificing style.
#1 Create your own arrangements
Ok, I know not everyone (including me) is a natural at arranging flowers, but there are plenty of tutorials online especially on YouTube. Or better yet, how about learning a new skill that you can use for years to come? Why not take a flower arranging class at your local community college or craft store? You can save on florist flower arranging costs, plus you’ll be the instant new best friend of anyone who’s having a shower or wedding, or anything else that involves flower arrangements.
#2 Get your own flowers
Instead of going to an expensive florist, buy your flowers at a wholesale flower distributor. Many are open to the public and will even let you pre-order your flowers months before. Just remember to schedule your order to arrive for pickup at least one day before the wedding. This way you will have enough time to create all the arrangements.
Why not try checking at your local supermarket. If you’re flexible on the type of flowers you’ll use, you could save a lot of money.
Another cost-effective way is by getting your wedding flowers online. When you order flowers online you may be bypassing the middle man, which can save you money. The flowers will be delivered straight to your door, so you’ll also save on travel time. The only downside to this is you don’t get to see the flowers before hand. So just make sure to check out reviews of the company online and see their rating and any complaints on the Better Business Bureau.
#3 Reuse and recycle
Why have separate arrangements for the ceremony and reception? Reuse your ceremony flowers. Have the ceremony arrangements match the style and colors of your reception. Then just have them brought over from the ceremony. This could cut your cost in half.
#4 Choose plants vs. cut flowers
Another way to save on your arrangements is by using plants instead of cut flowers. You can cover up the ugly plant containers with a large ribbon, tulle or burlap (depending on your decor). A plant is generally cheaper than a full flower arrangement and can be reused after the wedding. You can plant them in the garden of the new house you bought, with all the money you saved on your wedding (wink!).
If you have a green thumb and enough time before the wedding, you could even buy the smaller container plants (which cost less) and let them grow until the wedding.
We used succulents in our reception centerpieces. Months before the wedding we bought a whole bunch and split them, creating fully grown new plants by the time the wedding rolled around. This saved us at least half of the cost if we would have bought them just before the wedding. We also grew free baby palms from our palm trees, which we gave away as favors. And used ferns and orchids as our ceremony/reception decorations which are now planted in our garden.
#5 Less is more
Sometimes when you have too many things happening at once (in this case, the flowers) all the small details get lost. Having less and simpler arrangements will of course save you money, but will let your guests take in all the beauty of the arrangements without being overwhelmed.
This also lets you buy more of just one or two types of flowers. Buying in bulk will save you money. Just use the same core flower in all of your arrangements. Then add something different to each type of arrangement so they all don’t all look the same.
#6 Go natural
This is one tip that we took full advantage of. We had our ceremony and reception in a botanical garden.
Have your wedding and/or reception in a natural setting; park, garden, hotel garden, backyard, forest etc. This way the location will actually provide most of the decorations for you; trees, plants and flowers. And there is much less need to have very many flower arrangements.
#7 Choose seasonal flowers
Flowers that are in season (at the time of your wedding) will generally be less expensive, more robust and hardier than off-season flowers. Plus they will be much easier to find.
#8 Use less expensive flowers
Yes, I know the less expensive/exotic flowers like carnations (sorry carnation lovers) are not very exciting or stylish for that matter. But they are cost-effective. If you have your heart set on expensive flowers, mix in less expensive ones in with them to lower the costs. If you get them in the same shade as the principle flower, they will just blend right in while adding texture and volume to your arrangements.
Tip: Some flowers are very delicate and will not withstand warm weather for very long. If having your reception in an outdoor area in hot weather, test your chosen flowers beforehand. Put them in a vase with water outside and leave them out for the same amount of time as the reception would be. You’ll then know if they will hold up or if you should choose another flower.
I of course, did not think of this trick till after my wedding. Since it was held outdoors in early October (in Miami it’s still hot as hell) my main wedding flowers (hydrangea) were all wilted by mid-reception. If I would have known they were so delicate I would have chosen another flower!
*Important: If you do DIY your flowers, just make sure you have a backup plan in case something goes wrong. And of course make practice arrangements well before the wedding to make sure they come out the way you want. Perhaps reuse these for the bridal shower….?
Photo credit: photo by avlxyz