When it comes to wedding flowers, there are basically three categories: ceremony flowers, reception flowers, and personal flowers (the latter referring to flowers that are carried or worn, i.e., bouquets, corsages, and boutonnieres). In all three areas, it is really easy to blow a lot of your budget without even trying — but don’t! After all, memories may last a lifetime, but flowers die (eventually).
With this week’s wedding post, I want to address all of the different ways to save money on wedding flowers, including a few tips on some flower alternatives.
- If using a florist, consider only asking them to do some of your wedding flowers. In our wedding, we used a florist just for the personal flowers. My one stipulation was that I wanted a bouquet of green flowers, including the ever elusive and high-maintenance green cymbidium orchids. I knew this was something I really wanted, but I didn’t want to bother with the complicated wiring process, especially since they’re so delicate and expensive — I didn’t want to mess up and potentially have to order new ones last minute. However, the ceremony and reception flowers we took care of ourselves by ordering them from the Fresh Market floral section and having them delivered a day before the wedding. We assembled everything the night before and brought all of the arrangements to the site the day of the wedding.
- Consider buying the flowers wholesale (find a friend with a tax I.D.) and arrange them yourself (or have a floral arranging with bridesmaids or family).
- Explore different online vendors that will ship them to you. There are a lot of companies that offer incredible savings if you order them this way.
- Try a grocery store’s floral section. Sometimes you can even place a larger order with them (this is what we did with the Fresh Market for our reception and ceremony flowers).
- Try a wholesale warehouse, like BJ’s, Sam’s, or Costco.
- If you have a green thumb, a little bit of land, and time, grow your own flowers or fillers!
- Forget the flowers all together! It may not be everyone’s preference, but I’ve seen some very elegant evening weddings where the wedding party each carried a candle (except the flower girl and ring bearer, of course).
- Amazing advances have been made in silk florals, and you can save a lot of money (especially if you’re armed with a JoAnn or Michael’s coupon). Needless to say, there are also countless websites that sell some varieties at greatly discounted prices. But a word of caution: just because some fake flowers are cheap, doesn’t mean they all are across the board. In fact, if you’re not careful, you can spend as much as you would have had you gone with the real thing in the first place.
- Explore other non-floral options as well:
◦ A cluster of curly willow can look great in a tall vase:
◦ Peacock feathers!
◦ Spray painted or yarn-wrapped sticks can also look very elegant, and can reflect the color palate of the rest of the wedding.
◦ Try hanging small paper lanterns or kissing balls covered in tissue paper flowers at the end of each aisle seat for ceremony decor.
◦ Silk rose petals, when used sparingly, can make a beautiful walkway (we did this in a mix of cream, orange, and red rose petals on either side of the aisle and we loved it).
◦ Colored rocks, glass stones, fruit, or seashells can make great centerpieces when filling a hurricane or apothecary jar.
◦ Use plants that you already have or buy plants that you or a family member will want to keep after the wedding. For the entrance to our ceremony, we used 5′ tall evergreen topiaries on either side of the aisle. They weren’t necessarily the cheapest option, but they were something that my mother had been wanting for either side of her front door, so she chose to buy them so they could be used for the wedding, too. We just added a few orange rosebuds to some of the branches (a la Christmas tree decorating) and spiraled a wire edged orange ribbon around each topiary.
◦ Make flowers! As I showcased in this previous round-up, there are so many ways to make “flowers” from found objects and things bound for the recycling bin. It may take a little time, but that just means you have due cause for a crafty party! Of course they won’t fool anyone into thinking they are real flowers, but so what? They’ll be fun and funky, and totally unique to your big day. This bouquet (below) has a mix or real and fake, including some flowers made out of comics:
◦ Use a mix of florals and non-florals, like some of the ones mentioned in the bullet point above. That way you’re still achieving the look of real flowers (for less money), but you can also have something that is a bit more original in the mix (and probably cheaper).
Hope these tips help! When making wedding flower decisions, haggle, or better yet get your hands dirty and make some of the stuff yourself. Of course it takes a little more time and energy, but you’ll save money in the long-run and you may even enjoy a little DIY (I hope you do — you are reading this blog after all.)
How about you folks? Any tips, tricks, recommendations, or ideas for saving money on wedding flowers? Share!