Picture this. Soft music plays over the speakers as guests fill their seats in the ceremony area, chattering about as you are anxiously awaiting the special tune to signal it is time to walk down the aisle; the aisle that you have been dreaming about since you were five years old. Butterflies are in your stomach and you are holding back the tears because you are so overwhelmed with excitement and anxiety. Your usher is holding your arm and your bouquet is in hand. You can smell the eucalyptus and sage, the peonies and the roses. It is all so overwhelming. Suddenly the wedding march begins to play and you know it’s time. Suddenly, you realize how quickly time has flown by and it is officially time to enjoy. Enjoy this moment that you have been planning since the day you said YES. Here you go. Your usher begins to step and you wipe away the tears that try to escape. You see the love of your life standing at the opposite end of the aisle. Smiling back at you and choking back the tears. The whole atmosphere is warm and romantic- the greens and flowers encompassing the arch, the rose petals down the aisle, the lanterns and candles set the mood. And slowly, you step toward the rest of your life… not in debt! That’s because you’ve been able to reduce the cost of wedding flowers thanks to our helpful guide!
It sounds so surreal. Doesn’t it? It’s so hard to picture when it seems so far away. The thick of wedding planning has a way about instantly creating stress and dollar signs in every aspect. From dinner, to dancing, to music, to the location of the ceremony and reception, to the get-away car, and of course, the wedding flowers. Every couple as a vision for how they want this momentous occasion to play out. Like a fairy tale, some brides dream about this day since childhood. These couples envision a romantic ceremony, vowing their commitment to one another, surrounded by their loved ones, under an arch covered in flowers and foliage. Maybe there are candles down the aisle, and special arrangements and beautiful signs to signal to guests where to sit. In the reception there are hanging flowers above the dance floor. There are tall vases on the dinner tables. A large flower wall behind the sweetheart table. And, flowers on the cake.
I’m here to tell you it doesn’t have to be so overwhelming! Flowers do not have to be so expensive if you are on a tight budget! I am excited to share with you five ways to reduce the average cost of wedding flowers.
FIRST, let me tell you why your flowers are so expensive. Keep in mind that MOST of the cost of your wedding flowers is not the cost of the actual flowers! You are paying for a professional to take the time to plan everything related to your flowers. (If you are using a farmer-florist, the professional is planning the flowers to grow, starting them from seed or plugs, planting and tending to them for months, ensuring they are harvested at the correct stage and time, storing them, arranging them, transporting them, and setting them up at your event). The cost of the seeds is minimal; however, the time and professional experience is costly.
Likewise, if the florist is sourcing their flowers from a wholesaler or farmer, the cost of flowers fluctuates dependent upon seasonal availability (see below), demand for the flowers, and shipping difficulties. So you are paying for the cost of the flowers PLUS their professional skillset to design with them for your event. Many of the specialized pieces for your event take hours per piece. Bridal bouquets usually take hours to craft to ensure perfection for the bride. Installations require a team of people for several hours to create. The same goes for elaborate centerpieces. Everything takes time- even if it is just flowers.
So, next time you get a several thousand dollar estimate from a florist, keep in mind you are paying for their service, and not just a product.
Now, let’s get to your budget-saving tips!
Not all flowers are created equal. As you may know, flowers are a seasonal product. Therefore, flowers are at their prime throughout different seasons. Anemones, Ranunculus, Tulips, Lilac, Narcissus, Violas, Poppies, Sweet Peas, and Peonies are all Spring Flowers (available in May/ June). Roses, Hydrangea, Nasturtium, Delphiniums, Geranium, Sunflowers, Yarrow, Dahlias, Cosmos, and Zinnias are all examples of Summer Flowers (available Late June through August). And, Autumn Flowers would include Dahlias, Zinnias, Sunflowers, Chrysanthemums, and Rudbeckia (available August through Frost). Believe it or not there are seasonal flowers available in Winter, as well. Some Winter seasonal availabilities include Poinsettias, Snowberry, Amaryllis, Kale, Hellebores, Evergreens, and Clematis.
With some seasonal planning you and your floral designer will be able to source flowers cheaper for your event to reduce the average cost of wedding flowers! If you have to ship flowers in from across the globe, obviously pricing will be more expensive.
Opt for an à La carte option instead of a full-service wedding service. A La carte services require less of a time commitment for the floral professional- they only have to create the wear-ables and easy-to-transport items for YOU to pick up from their location. This means there is no set up or delivery fee necessary. So, you will only pay for the flowers and what it takes to design with them (plus tax).
Garlands are SO expensive! Think about it. The cost for someone to tie together a ton of small pieces of greenery takes a lot of time, which as we talked about, translates to a lot of money! Maybe, only utilize a garland on your sweetheart table if you are dead-set on it. This will create a special statement piece for your table while the other tables for the guests can have a simpler, less expensive, centerpiece.
Your flowers can be repurposed to help reduce the average cost of wedding flowers! If you decided on a beautiful backdrop for your ceremony, it can be moved to double as a backdrop for your sweetheart table or photobooth. Likewise, your bridesmaid bouquets can be repurposed as centerpiece arrangements or to create a garland-like look on your sweetheart table (depending on the number of bridesmaids in your wedding).
Keep in mind that you don’t have to do everything! It is totally okay to just have bouquets and boutonnieres for the bridal party. There are other centerpiece ideas if you do not have the budget for flowers! You can think about your other interests-maybe you or your future spouse enjoys reading and travel. In that example, you can have some of your favorite books stacked on the table with three varying height candles and a picture of you two in one of your travel destinations. This creates a very personable centerpiece that your guests can talk about amongst themselves!
I would love to hear how these tips have worked for you, or, if you have had any other success reducing the average cost of wedding flowers. Let us know in the comments below!
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