Wedding flowers 101: How to WOW on a budget

Posted by Hannah

Whether flowers are at the top or bottom of your wedding wishlist, you’ll probably have some kind of budget in mind.  They were pretty high upon my list but we certainly didn’t have a fortune to spend due to all the other elements demanding a slice of our wedding fund.

Like many couples, we were keen to trim costs where we could without it looking like we’d cut back at all. This is no easy feat since flowers and quality floral design don’t come cheap, so next up in our Wedding 101 series we share some top tricks to help your stretch your budget with style.

Tulips wedding flowersSource / Source

Go seasonal
Flowers are plentiful, at their best and far cheaper when they are in season so take some time researching seasonal availability or ask for expert advice from your florist. Tulips are nice and cheap in spring for example, allowing you to create a big impact on a more conservative budget.

While most brides don’t arrange their wedding date around flower seasons (it’s not uncommon though!) it’s worth keeping it in the back of your mind if you have your heart set on a particularly variety.

Amaryllis RannunculusSource / Source

Keep it simple
When flowers are in season and more affordable, there’s a lot to be said for keeping it simple with a single variety in a tall, clear class vase. There’s something very pure and Scandi-chic about this approach, and it’s a great choice for modern weddings in a contemporary venue.

romantic bouquetSource / Source

Avoid national holidays
Flower prices spike during occasions such as Valentine’s, Mother’s Day and Christmas, so it makes sense to avoid these times of year if you can. Shoppers often mistakenly think florists slap on a massive mark-up at these times, but we’re just passing on the wholesale prices that have risen due to supply and demand.

If your wedding date is around these times, speak to your florist about more reasonable priced alternatives to expensive premium blooms like roses. And whatever you do, don’t go for red roses at Valentines. It’ll cost you a fortune.

Antique hydrangeasSource / Source

Size matters
I love hydrangeas. They’re not cheap, but there are big, blousy and fill lots of space, which can actually make them more cost effective than using lots of smaller headed flowers as you can use less of them.

But bigger isn’t always better. As I mentioned in the post on choosing vessels, the larger the neck of your vase, the more flowers (and expense) you’ll need to fill it. A cluster of bottles and bud vases with single stems can create more impact on a budget, or even a tall, slim vase with an few choice blooms.

Flowers in tinsSource / Source

Upcycle containers
If your florist doesn’t have the vessels you’d like, it’s easy to spend a small fortune on vases as you’ll need one for each table. A far more economical solution is to repurpose items you might already have, or ask friends and family to collect recycled food jars and tins. It lends a relaxed, rustic vibe to your arrangements and is pretty much free since you’d normally be throwing them away.

Foraged bouquetSourceSource

Forage
Any floral material you can get your hands on for free will help to trim your costs. We’re not suggesting some stealthy flower theft from your neighbours garden in the dead of night, rather ask around friends and family to see what they might have growing at home.

I wanted trailing ivy around our venue for example, so I went foraging in the lane behind my house and asked family to snip some cuttings from their gardens. A good florist should be happy to use cuttings to help you save money, providing they are fresh and good quality.

Branches in bottlesSource / Source

When less is more
I love to display branches in big glass bottles – blossom in spring, rusty leaves in autumn and contorted willow at pretty much any time. Branches have a great architectural quality that looks beautifully chic and simple. It’s an inexpensive option too since you can get away with a just a few branches per table (or even one), and it’s cheaper still if you can forage some from the garden.

Pick a good florist
This last point is key as a good florist will suggest creative ideas to stretch your budget and help you save where possible, such as reusing ceremony arrangements for the reception.

Are you on a tight budget for your wedding day? How are you keeping costs down? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.

Hannah Ricci is a trained florist and co-owner of BLOOM fleuriste, and a freelance interior stylist, writer and editor.

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