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Thursday, August 22, 2013

How to do chic wedding floral arrangements on a budget

In honor of my fifth year wedding anniversary I thought I would share some great ways to spend less on your wedding flowers.

I love flowers but they are ephemeral and the price can go from within budget to NASA budget! I think that you should spend money on things that last and that if it gets too hot/too cold it will not wilt up your budget!

 Before I went with a florist I viewed a couple of The Knot videos that really helped me think outside the box and realize I do not have to do boring flowers. In 2008 the knot had these videos on demand through the wedding channel. They helped me see that I could get creative, be within a budget and it would not have to look cheap. I was able to get all my 15-20 centerpiece table flowers, the bouquet for the bouquet toss, my bouquet, my matron of honor's bouquet, 2 nosegays, 3 corsages, 10 boutonnieres for around $1150.00! The price includes the tax and delivery of the flowers which was 45 minutes from the florist! 

I also was lucky that I got married in a gazebo that had greenery and potted plants inside the gazebo. I really did not need anything outside since I was on a lake. Lake Pearl really made my wedding day fantastic! So your wedding ceremony venue can either cause you to save money on flowers or can make it be expensive. But you can fill up your ceremony space with other items beside flowers like personal mementos, toys, candy, balloons, flags, maps and etc to your theme to cut down on the price! If you have alternative centerpieces you can DIY and save more money for your ceremony flowers or a other reception upgrades.

Ways to fill up ceremony space besides flowers
 how cute is this banner!

Balloons done chic! Might be a cheaper way
to fill a ceremony reception area than flowers

chocolate centerpiece leaves you money for
your ceremony flowers plus your guests can enjoy them!

Candy for a winter centerpiece
Smaller version for a nice and French centerpiece.
Guest will enjoy these much more than flowers!
You could change it up so there are different treats
at each tables so people will mingle! Yum!

I went to a couple of vendors to get price quotes and to see the quality of the items that they had done before. This was of course before pinterest I had to go in person, look through many florist binders and then show them what I saw on the web. You had to really had to have an active imagination and a good florist. I luckily had both! I went with the person that actually seemed to give me great ideas, was warm, receptive and who was the right price. She no longer has a floral shop which is disappointing because she was fantastic! She gave me demonstrations and let me play with what I wanted for a centerpiece. She also gave me the final ideas to take home!

Ways to save on flowers:

1.) Go with in season flowers because out of season flowers and being stubborn causes wimpy centerpieces. Who wants wimpy! Go with full and more flowers for your money! You spent a lot on the dress and everything else do not make the wedding look cheap with crummy flowers (even if it is done on the cheaper-- weddings are never cheap!).

In season for August Freesia

2.) If you cannot afford a flower because it is out of season or is always expensive then think of texture instead of an exact flower. I saw that you could mold, arrange cheap filler flower baby breath and my florist made beautiful nosegay bouquets for my mother in law and for my mother. It was actually very elegant and at $15.00 a bouquet--it was the right price!

My mother in law showing off her
nosegay of baby breaths.

Also look at the other ways that a cheap flower like baby's breath can really transform a place and for less. This is a great example of a cheap flower being arranged to look glamorous to do this on this large scale with other flowers would have been insanely expensive!

See how grand baby breath can be in your elegant wedding!

Another example how a cheap flowers
 arranged can look expensive and chic.

This is beyond beautiful using carnations!

3.) If you still cannot go without a certain flower that you love treat yourself to a couple of the blooms. This is where a really good florist can help you  try to see if the bouquet could work with a couple other blooms of your must have flowers. They can also suggest a flower that looks a lot like the flower that you love that is in season or is a lower cost. Or they could suggest what would be a good filler flower or leaves that could help plump up the bouquet. They can also suggest a bouquet style that would make the flower have more of a presence and make it more elegant.

Work with your florist and you can get beauty on a budget!
The knot also has a very good video about how to make an expensive centerpiece that you have pinterest that is out of budget into unique and within budget centerpiece. The knot also has another great one for flowers on a small budget.

4.) Rethink the tradition bouquet shape and flower arrangements. Go outside the box, look at many different ways to do flower arrangements and look at your savings add up! Some bouquet styles are more time consuming and even if you pick a less expensive flower it still will be labor intensive therefore will cost you more!

 I was going for a modern Golden Hollywood look so I wanted lillies. I worked with my florist a lot to have saving on my bouquets and centerpieces. When I went into a flower shop in the next town over I discovered these beautiful flowers called pink ginger. Most bouquets for the bride I was quoted for at least $120 for a wimpy bouquet. So I got an idea they charge by bloom so if I wanted volume I would pick bigger flowers.  I decided to have three large lillies and three pink ginger flowers with banana leaves and then have it in a presentation bouquet. The presentation style bouquet was less labor intensive than a wired posy bouquet or even more expensive composite-flower bouquet. The less labor intensive presentation bouquet helped save my flower budget and it was so beautiful! All this drama and hollywood glamour and it was only $75.00!

Three large white lillies, three pink gingers and
banana leaves in a presentation style.

The pink ginger really helps update
 the Golden hollywood white lillies!

5.) Go with bigger blooms that are might be a more expensive a bloom but they fill up more of a vase or bouquet so in the end you pay less. I love hydrangeas, they were in season and they were $15-$20 to fill up a vase plus the cost of the silver short vase it was not bad! I think they came to $35 a table and the guest could take home the centerpieces. I decided to go with one big hydrangea that was white and to have it wrapped in a bow of banana leaves for my pregnant matron of honor. To match the pink ginger in my bouquet my flourist dusted the leaves in a pink. It was stunning and only $25.00! So for $100.00 I got my bouquet and my matron of honor's bouquet! That is a deal!

My Matron of honor's bouquet that is a steal that
I recommend you stealing for your wedding!

6.) If you are on a budget and you have guests like mine that want to take home the centerpieces then I suggest not renting the vases. You will lose the deposit on the vase and it is tacky to yell out "No do not take those vases they are only rented!" Also in the same vein do not have high centerpieces because when they are too high people take them off of the table so they can see who they are taking with. So when your high flowers are on the flower getting knocked over and rental vases breaking your deposit is not worth it! Think low and inexpensive vases. There are many ways to fill an inexpensive vase to make it more expensive looking and there are many inexpensive but chic containers for flowers. I went with a silver plastic cup vase that looked like an antique silver vase. I was going to rent actual silver short cup vases until my florist asked the question "do your guests expect to take home the flowers." The answer for me was yes. In fact my flowers were a hit and people were quasi fighting over them so I am glad I did not rent the vases! If I had rented my vases I would have had to buy the expensive vases I expected only to rent. That is an unexpected cost that I saved myself and would recommend to those on a budget to avoid!

My centerpieces simple and elegant. The chairs I
did not like but most people were off the chairs
 dancing so it was fine for an hour or so!

I went with this plastic silver vase. It looked real
and it saved a lot of money!
7.) If you find that the vases that are provided by your florist are not what you want or if they are too expensive then provide the vases. You can go to ikea, ebay, tag sales, estate sales and even your own house. If you are going for a more vintage vibe to your reception and ceremony if you get different types of vases or even trophy award cups it can make it more vintage/eclectic. Or maybe you want instead to have mason jars or to have mint julep cups as vases! Done right these can add character and be quite stunning.This can help lower the cost of the vases and it is not as convenient but for great shopper this can mean an upgrade to the DJ, an addition of a candy bar or other wants!

The silver color is beautiful in this mint julep cup and is rather
popular for vases. When not drinking mint juleps on your porch
have your cut flowers drink up some water! This one is actually
on budget and plastic! Now tell me that is not a steal for 12 at $32!

Mason Jar cheap and reusable! This is a very chic Mason jar!

This is a great trophy cup found on Etsy that
can really add a great vintage vibe. It also
is just stunning and you might be able to
get at a great price on etsy, ebay, estate sales and etc.
Your wedding with this style will come in first place!

Different vases but all in the same silver family.

Many different vases with blooms have a unique and vintage vibe.

8.) Try mixing flowers with fruits or other items in the vases to provide interest but also to save lots of money!
For a whimsical center piece flowers and lemons.
Limes and baby breaths  A sweet centerpiece for a casual wedding,
 rehearsal dinner or engagement party

So go for unique out of the box ideas that can save you money, make your wedding less cookie cutter and hire the best florist you can buy! If you and your florist do not have a good understanding you might as well go down to a floral market or a grocery store before your wedding and do the flowers yourself. But that is not smart because you will have other things to think about!

Spend a little money for a treat for yourself and show the world who you Mrs. (insert your to be married name hyphened or not or keep your last name or whatever you decide) are during your first celebration as a married woman. Do not just get flowers that everyone else gets and do not get pressured to be ultra traditional and do things because that is what "Bride-you" has to do. But then again if going to far outside the box and not being comfortable because you do not see you in the flowers then step away! Think of it as your dress. I hope you try/tried on lots of different styled dresses and have/had an open mind. Try out new styles and even just say to the florist what you love for textures, colors and even smells. Then pinterest a lot and scrap book ideas for flowers. Go to wedding expos and see what is offered and then bring it back to your florist. A florist is a flower tailor and you have to make sure you go with one fits your flowers to your wedding day dream!