How to save money on wedding flowers

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Flowers are one of the most important, and most expensive, elements of a traditional wedding. But there are ways to save money and still have a beautiful wedding. Here are tips from Marcy Blum, wedding and event planner and author of Wedding Planning For Dummies.

How to save money on wedding flowers

How much you set aside for your flower budget depends on how important the decor is to you. If you'd rather spend the money on food and liquor, or the wedding gown, you can save some money on your flowers. BUT, it's unlikely that you can completely eliminate a florist--it's not as simple as you may think.

Flowers have to be conditioned. Stems are cut and some greens removed to prevent rotting in the water. It's time-consuming and laborious. Experienced is needed to know when to condition the flowers so they open at the correct time.

  • Use plants instead of cut flowers. For example, using cyclamen, African violets, or plants that you've dug up and re-potted, is simple and saves money.
  • Opt for flowers simply placed in a vase or urn, without arranging or wiring.
  • A hand-wired bridal bouquet will cost much more than a ribboned one.
  • Use fruits or vegetables as part of the arrangement.
  • Use candles--they are the best secret for getting the most bang for your buck. Lots of votive candles grouped together make a powerful visual statement, much more so than a row of bud vases.
  • If you use flowers, go for large bouquets of a single type of flower, rather than mixed bouquets. It will make a more dramatic statement if it's all one kind of flower.
  • Consider using daisies or another simple flower, like sunflowers or gerbera daisies. Gerbera daisies have to be wired but they're still less expensive than many other kinds of flowers.
  • Use flowers that are in season and that don't have to be imported, especially if it's a destination wedding.
  • The trend in bridal bouquets is the large, traditional bouquet of stephanotis, the beautiful bell-shaped flowers. But that is an expensive bouquet because each flower is wired and a tiny pearl inserted.
Transcript LISA:  Hi, I’m Lisa Birnbach for howdini.com we’re going to talk about wedding flowers today with Marcy Blum, the event planner, eventist, and co-author of Wedding’s for Dummies. Marcy, to me flowers are the most important thing practically other then the bride, the groom, and the dress. Flowers are also prohibitively expansive. How does one factor a percentage of the budget with flowers?

MARCY:  It depends on how important décor and design is to you personally. I’ve ha people spend tiny winy little bit of their budget, because the food, or the wine, or their dress was more important. But, what it is about the flowers, not only the flowers themselves, but the labor and putting them together, that’s what makes it so expansive.

LISA:  Can you do some of the flower stuff yourself, or do you really recommend couples hire a florist?

MARCY:  The thing is, again, about flowers, it’s not as simple as it looks. They have to be conditioned, in other words, if your using roses, or peonies, or flowers that open they have to be put in floral conditioner. At the correct time the stems have to be cut. All the greens that rot in the water have to be removed. It’s very time consuming, takes a lot of people, you have to be experienced enough to know how long it takes for a peonies to open.

LISA:  Is there a way though to manage the flower budget by going sort of minimalist, or by putting plants on the tables instead of fresh cut flowers?

MARCY:  Plants, which I did at my own wedding, umm, cyclamen of African Violets, or a compilation there of, or plants that you dig up then re-plot in something pretty, that’s simple and doable. If your happy with the flowers just placed in a glass vase or in an earn, or something like that its going to be less expansive then something that is artificially arranged. That needs to be, flowers, not only need to be conditioned, but they get wired. In a wedding bouquet, if it’s a hand wired bouquet it will cost three or four times as much as much as just hand held flowers that have been rib boned.

LISA:  What about arrangements I’ve seen with lemons, and nuts, and fruits, and vegetables that are very artful, but may have a longer lifespan?

MARCY:  Absolutely. Fruits, vegetables, candles. Candles are the secret for getting the most bang for your buck. You can put candles, just a ton of votive candles. It is so powerful visually. So much more powerful then if you put bud vases there. So I recommend using a lot of candles, and using flowers. One type of flowers in huge bunches rather then a lot of different flowers you get, its not as dramatic if you mix up the flowers.

LISA:  At the reception you don’t want to look chincy, you want to have a lot of flowers, but what about, like, daisies or something common, not imported?

MARCY:  Sunflowers.

LISA:  Sunflowers.

MARCY:  Daisy’s, gerber daisies are interesting but have to be wired otherwise they fall over. But then, still less expansive then a lot of other flowers. You don’t want to use things that are in season that don’t have to be imported, particularly for a destination wedding.

LISA:  What’s in right now as the great bridal bouquet?

MARCY:  I think there’s definitely a trend toward retro, umm because it became so that everybody had seen everything, and then it became very contemporary, and people are carrying one orchid or callililly. So now it’s gone back to the huge bouquets of stephanotis, which is the bridal flower. It looks like little bells, and that’s an expansive bouquet, because it is time consuming to make cause they all have to be wired and then little pearl put in each one. But it is a beautiful, beautiful, bouquet to carry. Its, its, very breathtaking when you see a bride carrying that.

LISA:  Marcy thanks so much, great talking to you.

MARCY:  Thank you.

LISA:  For howdini.com I’m Lisa Birnbach.  
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  • Marcy Blum

    Marcy Blum Wedding and Events Planner Marcy Blum is a world-renowned event planner and wedding expert. She has written many articles on food and entertaining. more about this expert »

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