Minimize your wedding flower budget

by Karen on September 10, 2008

I’ve never been that into flowers. To be honest, I’ve always thought they were overpriced considering their short shelf life. I told my husband early in our relationship that I wouldn’t mind if he never gave me flowers. Apparently, he didn’t mind too much, because he never has. :)

I always wanted a red rose bouquet for my wedding, though, because I’ve always loved the classic elegance and simplicity of red roses. I felt that if I was justified in spending money on flowers one time in my life, my wedding day was it.

Because they weren’t a top priority for me, I was determined to keep my flower costs low. Here’s what I did to minimize the impact on our budget:

Keep your attendants to a minimum.

The more bridesmaids and groomsmen you have, the higher your flower costs will be. Most of the florists I called estimated $40-$80+ per bridesmaid bouquet and up to $15 for boutonnières and corsages. Keep that in mind before you decide to ask 10 people to join your bridal party.

Decide what you want before you talk to a florist.

I had a really hard time finding a florist who would work with me from a long distance without a “consultation” to pick out my arrangements. Why? I’m convinced it’s because they wanted to sell me huge, expensive arrangements, which is easier to do when they’re sitting in front of you with a big book of expensive floral arrangements.

If you don’t know exactly what you want, look through some bridal magazines and research some flowers before you start calling florists.

Make sure the flowers you want will be available in your area on your wedding day.

Exotic flowers or flowers that must be shipped from somewhere else are more expensive for obvious reasons.

Skip the centerpieces and altar flowers.

We chose to skip the decorative flowers. The only flowers we had were red and white roses for the bridal bouquet; an attendant bouquet; boutonnières for the groom, best man, fathers, and grandfather; and corsages for our mothers and grandmothers.

Decorative flowers can add hundreds, even thousands of dollars to your flower costs. If your budget is small, leaving them out is a great method for keeping costs down.

If your budget is super small, you might consider skipping the corsages and boutonnières for the parents and grandparents. I considered doing that when some of the florists estimated $30 each for the corsage. We decided to leave them in when we found a florist who only charged $10 each.

Shop around, and get several estimates before you choose a florist.

I was amazed at how much florist prices vary. I was given estimates that ranged from $200-$700. Yikes! That’s why it’s so important to call many different places and insist on estimates.

I called every florist in town, told them exactly what I wanted, and asked how much it would cost. The florist I chose was about $500 cheaper than the most expensive florist in town. It pays to do your homework.

Do it yourself.

Many brides swear you can save a ton of money by buying fresh flowers and arranging them yourself. You can find instructions all over the Internet for handmade boutonnières and bouquets.

If you decide to go this route, be sure to do some research and compare the cost of fresh flowers to florist prices. Depending on what kind of flowers you want and how elaborate the arrangement is, doing it yourself might not be worth the headache.

My bridal bouquet was made of 3 dozen roses and only cost $60. I don’t think I could have saved much by doing it myself. The florist’s bouquet was a lot prettier than anything I could have done, and having it arranged and delivered saved me a lot of stress.

For brides who aren’t sentimental about fresh flowers, silk bouquets can save you a ton of money. The bonus is they never wilt. I was partial to the look and feel of real flowers myself, but silk flowers might be your best option if you want to hang on to your bouquet for years to come.

Make sure all of your flowers are delivered.

With so many things happening all at once, it’s difficult to keep track of it all. When the flowers arrive, be sure to take a few minutes before you start handing them out to make sure everything was delivered. Flowers are expensive, and if something was left out, you shouldn’t have to pay for it.

We ordered a floral cake topper that should have been delivered to the reception site. It wasn’t. Luckily our quick-thinking cake baker put some extra frosting roses on the top of the cake when she delivered it so it wouldn’t be bare.

The topper wasn’t that important to me anyway, so it wasn’t a huge deal. I didn’t want to pay for flowers that were never delivered, though. So I called them when we got home from the honeymoon and asked for a refund. They gladly credited the $15 back to my account.

Our grand total for flowers: $180.

The red rose bouquet was honestly my favorite part of my bridal attire, so it was worth it for me. The roses look absolutely stunning in our pictures.

I was sad when the flowers wilted, but throwing them away only reminded me of why I don’t want my husband to buy me flowers. I much prefer chocolate, though it doesn’t last any longer. :)

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Wedding Wednesday: If you can do it yourself, you’ll save a lot of money « Living Well on Less
September 16, 2008 at 7:55 pm
Wedding Wednesday: If you can do it yourself, you’ll save a lot of money « Living Well on Less
September 17, 2008 at 10:07 am

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