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How to Cut Costs on Wedding Flowers

Flowers make up a significant portion of any wedding budget. Check out our tips for cutting costs without sacrificing beauty.

By Allison Cullman

Money bouquet
Photo by Zola

When you first start planning your wedding day, it can be shocking to discover that flowers are actually a big-ticket item in your budget. The exact cost will depend on the size and type of flowers you want, though there are a few tried-and-true tips to get your beautiful wedding flowers on a budget. Most of the time, you should be able to get what you want without making sacrifices elsewhere. However, it’s important to set realistic expectations because no matter what tricks your florist has up their sleeve, large and extravagant arrangements are going to cost you.

With that in mind, check out some of our favorite ways to keep your wedding florals elegant and affordable… because the two aren’t mutually exclusive.

Consider Alternatives

If you are trying to incorporate a specific flower because of its shape or color, there might be a flower option that looks very similar but with a cheaper price tag. For example, garden roses and peonies are revered for their voluminous, luxurious shapes and delicate colors.

Carnations and ranunculus offer comparable characteristics at a budget-friendly price. Switching out an expensive bloom for something cheaper will help you get more for your money, allowing your florist to create fuller, more elegant arrangements and displays.

Make a Statement

Sometimes using an alternative, however, can seem like a huge sacrifice if you have always dreamed of having luscious pink peonies at your wedding. So another option is to limit the quantity of your more expensive blooms and use them to enhance special displays such as a bouquet or as decor on your head chairs. Doing so not only saves money but helps make an eye-catching statement.

Cut Costs on Wedding Flowers Photo Credit // Bozena Voytko Photography

Use Unconventional Fillers

You don't need elaborate centerpieces and flower arrangements to make a statement on your wedding day. Creating perfect centerpieces or runners may seem like a lot of flowers, but a little creativity can help you stretch your blooms. For instance, if your tables will have runners or garland, try weaving your flowers and greenery with a lightweight, gauzy fabric.

This will give the illusion that the arrangement is full while using fewer sprigs and bringing your tablescape to life. You can also incorporate water or candles to add different elements to your tabletop arrangements. These unique alternatives to wedding flowers add a beautiful element of decor without breaking the bank. For example, a few gardenias floating in water makes a beautifully delicate centerpiece.

Go Minimal

Perhaps the most obvious way to cut flower costs is to simply use fewer and smaller arrangements. If it fits with your theme and style, minimal floral displays can create an elegant and timeless vibe. However, this can be more difficult than it sounds. Using less means you can probably go for quality over quantity, but be sure to find a florist who understands the look you are trying to achieve.

You will also want to consider the size of your venue before deciding on minimal decor. Unfortunately, if your venue is large with high ceilings or you are expecting your guest count to be under the venue maximum, small and dainty displays will get lost in the space.

Remember Seasonality

As with other plants, many flowers only bloom at certain times of the year. While in rare cases you may be able to have a specific blossom imported, doing so will come at a price. Instead, find an affordable wedding florist to talk to about what’s in season to keep your budget in check or consider a flower that is available year-round. Some of our favorites are tea roses, carnations, mums, or tulips.

Try Single Blooms

Selecting a single varietal for your wedding letsyou to purchase larger quantities, usually at a discounted price, so you may consider using only one type of flower throughout the whole celebration. Single bloom bridesmaid bouquets, in particular, can be elegantly simple. If, however, you would like more variety, you might also try using a single bloom in some displays and surrounding it with more greenery.

Think Green

Due to their labor costs, greenery arrangements aren’t necessarily cheaper than displays bursting with flowers, though they docover more space with less. Think creatively about how you can incorporate more greenery into your celebration. You might consider draping greenery over a table or incorporating it around wall displays. Because of the way greenery hangs, less will look like a whole lot more.

Look Locally

As with seasonality, flowers are also regional. The more local you can stay in your flower choices, the more budget-friendly your florals will be. For example, dahlias are typically an expensive choice for most couples to use at their wedding, but couples withwedding venues in Virginia can benefit from working with local growers.

Locally sourced flowers will always be the more budget-friendly choice and will be higher quality since they won’t need to travel to get to you. Try talking to your florist about local options or reach out to farmers and growers directly to talk about what they have available.

Stay Consistent

Keeping your colors and style consistent will not only look better but will help you stay on budget. It may be tempting to do something unique with your wedding bouquets or boutonnieres; however, this requires your florist to purchase more materials and florals that will not be used in other arrangements, which increases the total cost. Choose a few different types of flowers, ribbon colors, and other elements to use consistently throughout all your wedding displays.

Incorporate Extra Clippings

As your florist creates larger displays and arrangements, she will end up with lots of little clippings. Finding ways to incorporate these trimmings can help stretch your budget. For example, placing a single bloom on a place setting, using extra sprigs to decorate your cake, or putting a few flowers in your hair are creative ways to use more of the florals you are paying for.

Focus on One Moment

Rather than trying to create a flower-filled celebration, choosing one big moment to focus on will help you keep your flower budget in check. Creating one extravagant floral display, such as a backdrop or ceremony structure, will emphasize that moment. Then you can do smaller displays and arrangements throughout the rest of the wedding. Plus, your florist can design the large arrangement to be moved from ceremony to reception, giving you more use out of the display, which is key to figuring out how to do wedding flowers cheap.

Cut Costs on Wedding Flowers Photo Credit // Taylor Dane Photography

Cut Your Wedding Party

A larger wedding party requires more flowers for bouquets and boutonnieres. So one way to cut down on costs is to keep your wedding party small and seriously consider how many attendants you need at the ceremony. If that seems impossible, however, consider floral hairpieces, wrist corsages, or single stems to carry in lieu of full bouquets.

Know Your Budget

This one might sound obvious, but it’s easy to lose track of your flower costs when you don’t have an accurate budget at the start. At your consultation, ask your florist to look at the ideas you have and let you know an estimated total cost. Be honest and upfront about how much you have to spend so that she can work with you to maximize your money. Plus, if you have extra room in your budget closer to the big day, you can always add more.. Not sure what your budget should look like or how much you should expect to spend on flowers? Check out our advice here.

Deciding how to cut costs on wedding flowers can seem daunting at first, but remember that your florist is there to help. Think about what is most important to you as a couple and where you are willing to compromise. Maybe that means a smaller wedding party, or perhaps you are willing to swap out an expensive bloom for a cheaper wedding flower alternative. Whatever it means for you, there are plenty of creative ways to achieve luxurious and elegant floral arrangements that won’t break the bank.

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