Wedding Flower Budget Do's & Don'ts
I know weddings have been a little different these days with the pandemic and having to be careful of how many people are invited. But with the hopes that things will be back to normal soon I am going to share with you the typical list of flower needs for a wedding and what you should splurge on and what you should cut back on. This is also assuming you're the average bride on a budget. I know most all of us would love to have a big extravagant wedding with all of the bells and whistles. But this will be a way more realistic list of needs.
Lets start with the bouquets. One thing I would always tell my bride's is that if they are going to spend more of their flower budget anywhere it should be on themselves. So if you've always wanted that Instagram worthy bouquet you should definitely have it! It will also be one of the items that is photographed the most, so I think this is a very worth while splurge that you won't regret. You can keep your bridesmaid's bouquets simple and elegant so that your's can be the showstopper.
Next let's talk about the guys. I think we all know that most guys could care less about having a flower pinned onto their lapel. Why waste some of your budget on something they really don't need or want? The groom can be the exception, but if you have 7 or 8 guys standing up plus the father's boutonnieres your looking at around $80 of your budget spent on something they'll only wear for a couple of hours.
This leads into extended family members that are typically acknowledged with a corsage or boutonniere. When I'm in a consultation with a bride I always run through the list of family members/guests that would usually get a flower. Most of the time they hadn't even considered getting them something. So my rule of thumb is if they've been a big part of your life and you would truly like to acknowledge them then by all means get them a corsage or boutonniere. But if you haven't seen or spoken to them in three years but are inviting them because they're family then maybe skip over them and save some money.
Then there's the ceremony. As much as I love Pinterest and Instagram and also like to use them for inspiration, they are not realistic to a wedding budget. This is always a struggle because everyone wants to have the super picturesque scene for when they walk down the aisle. I was also one of those brides! I wanted nothing more than to have lush flowers covering every pew and large elaborate arrangements to decorate the front of the church. But I also knew the cost and this quickly brought me back to reality.
If you really do want to have flowers decorating your ceremony location then I have this very helpful tip for you. Pick pieces that can be transferred and used at the reception once the ceremony is done. This way you are getting that picturesque look you wanted for your ceremony, you're helping your budget, and you'll get the most out of your flowers.
Onto the reception! This is a broad topic because trends are always changing, budgets are all very different, and some brides don't really care about the flowers. Here are some lists of ideas for a few different types of brides that I have encountered over that past 8 years and what I would advise for each specific case.
The Flower Lover
Include tall lush arrangements that can be used at the ceremony and reception, layer in some smaller (but still lush looking) arrangements to cut back cost a smidge, and layer in a third design that is a combination of floating or pillar candles with blooms tucked in around the bottom. Layering candles is a great and less expensive way to keep the extravagant look you're wanting without breaking the bank.
The Greenery Lover
If you love greenery over flowers but still want to make a statement I would recommend layering in some tall arrangements that are filled with lush, draping greens. If you limit the number of tall arrangements to four or five it is still a very realistic centerpiece to have. Then you can size down to an arrangement style of floating candles with submerged greenery. You can add an extra element of greenery by tucking it around the vases if your budget allows it.
One other design that looks extravagant without breaking the bank is to do a runner of greenery or bud vases with sprigs of greens going down the center of the table. This obviously works best it you are using farm style tables but can be managed on a smaller scale for round tables as well.
In addition to the greenery runner and/or bud vases you can layer in tons of candle light to make it look more romantic and elaborate. The key is to not overdo it with the greenery if you are on a tight budget. A thin layer should be enough to help your theme show through.
The Budget Savvy Recycler
One idea that I absolutely love and will probably always love is to use potted plants as a centerpiece. This style will get you the most bang for your buck because your centerpieces won't die within a week! And if you have a green thumb you'll be able to keep them alive for years and years and have the best memento from your wedding day.
This works for just about any style wedding. If you're looking for a tropical vibe then pick some fun exotic looking plants. If you're more of an Italian villa kind of bride then go thrifting for some terra cotta pots and fill them with different types of herbs. Don't forget to layer in some candles though! This is an ever present element with all of the weddings I have done over the years. Why? Because once the lights are dimmed your tables maintain that beautiful glow.
One element that I know most bride's want but sometimes doesn't fit into the budget are the other arrangements that are sprinkled around the venue. Like little vases on the cocktail tables, maybe one at the bar, and a few on the guest signing table and gift table. I would highly recommend leaving these elements as a last addition if your budget still has some wiggle room or just leave them out completely. They really aren't essential and a lot of the time are overlooked because they're just hanging out in the background. Don't get me wrong. It's all a beautiful finishing tough to any wedding.. but again, if you're on a budget then they're not considered essential.
There are countless other wedding styles and different ways you can accomplish them while still maintaining your budget. These are just some of the tried and true ways I have saved my bride's money over the years. Just remember that it's your day. So take into account what matters most to you, split your budget accordingly, and make it your own.