We had a couple of huge breakthroughs in our wedding planning this week. The check for the venue and catering cleared (!!!), we received our fabulous, personalized guestbook in the mail, and our first two wedding gifts have been received! I have a dress (well, two…more on that another day), Terrence has his tux, and everything has been paid IN CASH. We are doing great with sticking to our budget, and both of us are determined not to go into debt over this wedding. We have been pretty fortunate to find great money saving ideas that actually work, and aren’t tacky. The last big expense we have to take care of is the flowers. We are going to use the same frugal ideas that we’ve been using as we figure out our wedding flower situation. Here’s how you can save money on flowers for your wedding, just like us.
1. Purchase flowers in bulk, and create your own arrangements.
I’ll be honest with you. Creating lovely flower arrangements is a lot harder than you think. It’s not totally impossible, but you need to have to have a creative eye. That’s where Pinterest comes in. Just search for DIY Wedding Flowers. When you find an arrangement that you want to copy, ask your bridesmaids to help you, and FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS EXACTLY. Make sure you do a practice run well before the big day just in case they don’t turn out the way you want them to.
2. Go faux.
Listen. I get it. Weddings are for flowers. I’m not suggesting that you only use fake flowers, but you could save a few bucks if you use some here and there. For example, use gorgeous silk flowers to create your bridal bouquet. It’d certainly save much better than fresh flowers! Maybe you can use silk flowers at the end of your aisles, or for the boutonnieres. My friend Brandi made this beautiful bouquet that is just as pretty as anything a florist would create.
3. Skip the fancy florists.
They look so inviting when you walk past them, don’t they, those fancy floral shops? They draw you in with their (usually) great looking florists, and ambience. The thing is, you can often get the same quality of flowers and arrangements at a small storefront florist, and it’ll be less expensive. Those florists have have lower overhead, but I have found in my interviews that they are just as professional and creative as the flower folks in the big shops.
UPDATE: On a whim, about 2 weeks before the wedding, I walked into a local florist to inquire about pricing. I asked for a quote for my bouquet, a toss bouquet, flowers for 5 bridesmaids, boutonnieres for 4 men, corsages for 3 moms, flower petals, and a flower for Ayva’s hair. The florist gave me all of that for $480! A few days later, Terrence and I went back to her to ask how much it’d cost to trim the gazebo, and she did it for $15o. Not only that, she delivered the flowers on the day of the wedding and attached them to the gazebo. She and her assistant stayed through the ceremony and part of the reception. It was like having another member of the family there! If you’re fortunate like us to find a small florist that is willing to take a small job on a budget, make sure you tip BIG!
4. Order ready made arrangements.
I did a bit of research and discovered that you could purchase ready made arrangements online. Seriously, is there NOTHING you can’t buy on the internet??? Costco has entire wedding collections, many well under $1000 that come with everything from the bridal bouquet and wedding party florals, as well as centerpieces. 1-800-Flowers also has affordable collections that you can order as close as 2 weeks before your wedding. They have a lot of packages and flowers to choose from so most brides will be able to find something they like.
5. Use less flowers.
Instead of covering your entire wedding with flowers, look for ways to incorporate other decorative pieces. Candles are incredibly romantic, and would actually suit an evening or night wedding really well. A single flower in the right vase can look as good as a lush arrangement if styled correctly. Also, don’t forget about the power of the petals. Rose petals floating in water, or scattered on a table lined with candles can look seriously beautiful. *Terrence just suggested that y’all can consider using balloons, too. We will NOT be having balloons at our wedding, but I think if done right, it could be kind of cool!
6. Buy inexpensive ready made arrangements from the grocery store or Farmer’s Market.
Terrence and I were in the market about a month before the wedding and remarked at how lovely the arrangements were. We looked at the prices, about $16 for a pretty arrangement in a nice container, and we realized that we could save money buy just purchasing our flowers from Trader Joe’s or any other grocery store. Arrangements that were not in containers were even less expensive. Check out the selection at your market, and see if anything tickles your fancy. The only thing to be concerned with is you might not be able to get multiples of the exact same arrangements on the day of your wedding. If your grocery store has a florist, you can talk with them, and they may be able to help you out!
UPDATE: Terrence and I purchased some bulk vases for about $80 with plans to use them for faux floating flower petals. A couple of days before the wedding, I decided that I wanted fresh flowers and I told him that I’d take care of the flowers the morning of the wedding. My Maid of Honor and I went to Trader Joe’s that morning, but there weren’t enough of the arrangement that I liked. We walked over to the flower vendor at the Farmer’s Market and picked up 20 bunches of gorgeous autumnal flowers. The vendor sold us a few buckets to put the flowers in, and I spent $90 total!