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Wedding Flowers: How to save money but look like you spent a bundle!

Author:  Simply Flowers (Central California)
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In these days of ballooning wedding expenses, where some weddings can cost upwards of $60,000 it’s important to remember that you don’t have to spend a fortune to look like you did.  Most everyone is on some type of budget and although it’s easy to overspend, it’s really easy to stay within you means and still get the wedding of your dreams.

Weddings flowers are usually 10% of the wedding budget but with these helpful tips you will be able to save a lot more.

1.  Limit the size of your wedding party: If you keep the number of attendants to less than three people you can literally save hundreds of dollars.  If you have 12 attendants and a $300.00 budget you are in big trouble.  The average bridesmaid’s bouquet is anywhere between $50.00 and $75.00. If you have a small wedding party you can still create a warm and intimate event with gorgeous flowers.

2.  Use seasonal flowers: We have all heard this one before, but it’s true.  Stick to year round flowers or ones that are in season and you can save up to 30%.  We are lucky enough to live in California which means we literally have hundreds of choices when it comes to flower type, color, etc…If your not sure what’s in season ask your florist or do some research on the internet.

3.  Avoid holidays: I can’t stress this one enough.  Avoid major “flower” holidays like the plague.  This means Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day.  Some florists charge up to 100% more for these dates.

4.  Create your own centerpieces:
Love the ideas of having floral centerpieces at your reception but hate paying the cost?  Consider creating your own.  A lot of ambience can be created with simple candles and rose petals.  A nice statement for less is filling glass bowls or vases with fresh fruit and few scattered blooms tucked inside.  Or depending on your theme you could also fill a vase with sand and sea shells.  Look around you, maybe you have some fabulous item in your home that would make a nice statement and you could build your centerpiece around that.

5.  Still want floral centerpieces: If you still want floral centerpieces but need to cut down on cost consider having half the tables designed with fresh flowers and the other half designed with a creation of your own or something much simpler.  A great suggestion is to float a single bloom in water such as a stargazer or a large gerbera daisy.  Floating candles always look great as well.  Just be sure to check if the facility allows it.

6.  Rent vases/glassware: If possible rent any vases you may need from your florist or a party rental store, rather than purchasing them.  Or see if any of your friends or family members has any vases you could borrow.  Having different types of vases adds texture and dimension to the room and creates a festive tone.  You can then easily create a consistent look by using the same ribbon, picture, charm, favor, or table number to each centerpiece.  Glass gems, mirror tiles, or small mosaic stones also make a large statement for less.

7.  Avoid the delivery fee: Ask your florist if you can pick up your wedding flowers and/or return any rental items.  This can save you up to $150.00 or more in some places.

8.  Do it yourself (DIY): This is much easier than it sounds and you can often create the flowers a few days ahead of time if you designate some refrigerator space.   If you stick to simple arrangements and hardy flowers this can save you a lot of money.  You can either check out books on how to create beautiful bouquets from the library or visit your local bookstore.  The internet has a lot of useful information as well.

Although you can easily purchase flowers online, it’s best to see if a local florist can order for you.  Most will.  Ordering flowers online can be tricky as you may not get the color, variety, or quality you want and you may end up paying more than if you just checked around locally.  A good florist can and should help you with your decision making process even if you decide to do it yourself.  If you decide to “DIY” be sure to order 10%-20% more than you think you will need just in case.  It’s also a good idea to order some sample flowers early so that you will know what to expect prior to placing the entire order.  Be sure to order your wedding flowers at least 3 weeks in advance.

9.  Set a date in the “off season”: We all know that May and June are the “Super Bowl” season for weddings.  As such florists can and do charge a higher premium for wedding flowers, but if you get married in the “off season”, you may find that prices are slightly less especially during the winter (December-February) months..  You may also get a slight discount if you set your wedding date on a Friday rather than a Saturday as well.

10.  Be flexible: Sometimes brides are set on having a particular bloom without realizing that there might be another variety that looks similar but costs less.  Ask your florist for suggestions on how to keep costs down.  They often times will have an idea or two that you haven’t thought of.  Remember they deal with flowers on a daily basis so tap into their vast knowledge and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

11.  Talk money: This is often times a taboo subject but if you are prepared to honestly discuss your budget with your florist then they will be able to give you several sound suggestions that will keep your budget trim and still create a beautiful look.

12.  Ask for a discount: Can’t hurt right?  Ask your florist if they have any special discounts or current promotions that you can take advantage of. 

13.  Develop a friendly relationship with your florist: In other words, don’t be a “Bridezilla”.  If you are willing to work with your florist and create a friendly relationship you will find that it is easier to get more of what you want for less.

14. Use the same flower:  Often times it is less expensive to use one type of flower throughout the entire order rather than combining several different flowers.

Don’t sweat the small stuff:  Realize that most people won’t know that you have 2 ½ dozen roses in your bouquet instead of 3 or that you have aisle decorations on every other pew instead of each one.  Most of your guests are just there to see you marry the man of your dreams. Relax, have fun, and remember the real reason for your special day.  In the end that is what counts.

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