Planning a budget wedding is not about throwing a cheap, bare-bones affair. It’s about finding creative ways to spend your wedding budget and lower your overall wedding costs. This approach can be applied to all aspects of your wedding, from the big items all the way down to the smallest details. Flowers add beauty and color to your wedding ceremony and reception, but they can be very pricey. Here are some quick tips on how to save money on wedding flowers.
Be Honest About What You want to Spend
When meeting with your florist, be clear about your wedding budget and see if they offer any packages that would be within your limit. That gives the florist a good starting point to work from, and will prevent them from pricing out packages that are outside of your price range.
Know what You Want
Give your florist ideas about your style and color scheme, and any flowers that you specifically want, or don’t want to use. A florist will usually be able to put together a package that can match your vision and your budget too.
Choose In-season Blooms
Flowers that are in-season are more plentiful and therefore less expensive. Depending on the time of year that you get married, some in-season flowers might be less than half the cost of their peak-season prices. Always ask what is in-season and which flowers are the least expensive at the time of your wedding.
Beware the Holiday Prices
Be aware that flower prices fluctuate in relationship to certain times of rate year. In February flower prices are at an annual high due to Valentine’s Day. Mother’s Day also sees a spike in prices. Take this in to consideration if your wedding falls near either of these days.
Consider the Context
Consider the context of the flowers in your wedding. Will they be viewed up-close or from a distance? Large arrangements on an altar will only be seen from far away. Use inexpensive flowers such as carnations, or large filling flowers such as mums. Since the flowers will be seen from further away, you’ll get a stunning visual for very little money. On the other hand, flowers that will be on tables as part of center piece will be very visible to your guests, so it might make sense to spend more money there.
Choose a venue with Built-in Beauty
If you’re planning an outdoor wedding, consider a venue that has natural beauty like a park or garden. Since the location is already scenic, you can use what is already there, and spend less on decorating with floral arrangements.
Big Visuals at Little Cost
Consider using Bunching large groups of inexpensive flowers can give you a nice effect for very little money. Play up the arrangements with ribbon, or a cool vase for a dramatic effect. Your florist can offer suggestions for how to achieve the best visual for the the lowest cost.
Order Wholesale / Direct
By surfing the web, you can order wholesale flowers right to your door. You’ll pay less, but you will be responsible for all of the prep work of cleaning, trimming, and keeping them alive until the wedding. If you enjoy floral arranging, and have some friends or family who could help you with set-up, this could be a good way to save.
Paint Your Flowers (Huh?)
If you want your floral arrangements to match your wedding colors, most florists can actually spray any white flower a custom color using floral spray paint. The floral spray looks and feels natural, and it’s an inexpensive alternative to ordering brightly colored flowers. For example, we used white hydrangeas at our wedding, but had them sprayed yellow to match our color scheme. It was less money than ordering a naturally yellow flower. Keep in mind, there will be a cost involved for the labor of spraying the flowers, but it may save you money over using more expensive blooms.
Don’t Buy, Rent!
Consider renting large potted plants. These can be supplied by party rental companies and they will be a lot cheaper than buying large flower arrangements. They also help add some warmth and structure to any space.
More and more brides these days are arranging their own flowers. Whether it’s a simple bouquet or hand made centerpieces, you’ll save a bunch of money by doing your own floral arranging.
A word of advice: Flowers take a lot of time to arrange, and your time will be at a premium leading up to your wedding. Consider whether you really want to be arranging flowers the night before your wedding.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in June 2013. It has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.