Use These 5 Proven Tips To Help You Lower Your Wedding Flower Costs
Your wedding flower costs can be a significant expense. At our shop, for example, wedding flowers generally range between $500 and $3000, and that may or may not include the reception flowers.
Wedding flowers, done professionally, can take a bite out of your wedding budget.
That’s why many brides today choose to do their own wedding flowers as a way to save money.
But there are ways to narrow that gap and still get the professionally-designed wedding flowers you really want.
Here are five proven tips you can use to keep your wedding flower cost under control.
1. Set a realistic budget for flowers and stick to it
This is the number one problem I see. Most couples budget too little for flowers, or they have already spent the money that was intended for flowers on other things.
Most of the wedding sites state that the “average” couple should plan to allocate 8% – 10% of their wedding budget for flowers.
That’s a pretty “cookie-cutter” approach to budgeting for flowers, but if you consider yourself “average”, it’s at least a starting point.
But if you consider yourself to be “unique”, like you are, there’s another option.
This tool is better suited to developing a useful budget for all your wedding needs, including the flowers. That’s because it’s based on what couples in your local area actually paid, rather than vendor pricing. Be sure to check it out.
Once you have a rough idea of what your wedding flower cost will be, set aside that money in your wedding account and continue to add to it regularly.
Don’t make the mistake of budgeting too tightly. Prices can and do fluctuate. Try to keep a 10% cushion to cover any unexpected expenses.
2. Get Your Wedding Flower Priorities In Order
Before you meet with a florist, choose what’s important to you. Flowers for the bridal party? Ceremony flowers? Reception flowers?
Being upfront with your florist will allow him or her to offer you a number of options. Draw on their experience, it will save you money.
Begin by splitting up your wedding flower budget into three areas. In my opinion, the order of importance should be:
- Personal Flowers
- Ceremony Flowers
- Reception Flowers
Your bridal bouquet and the attendant’s bouquets should be your top priority. They are the most important element of your wedding. They have the greatest visual impact and also will be the most photographed.
It’s also the first impression of you and your event that your guests will have. You want that impression to be special. In my opinion, it’s not the place to try and cut corners.
I strongly recommend most of your wedding flower budget be allocated in this area, perhaps all of it, especially if your flower budget is limited.
Your choice of flowers and the style of your bouquets will set the tone for your special day. Remember, this is your special day, one you will always remember. Don’t skimp here.
I used to prioritize reception flowers ahead of ceremony flowers, but I have changed my thinking on this a bit over the last several years.
For various reasons, many ceremonies and receptions are sharing a single venue today, making ceremony flowers much more cost-effective than ever before. But whether you are using one or more venues on your wedding day, there are some basic principles I advise brides to consider.
Since most wedding ceremonies are held in churches or other larger spaces, you need to think about size, not quantity, for your ceremony flowers. It’s usually better to have a couple of larger, more impressive arrangements, rather than several smaller ones.
It’s also important to know how the ceremony will be photographed, in order to maximize the design and placement of floral arrangements.
Remember that every floral arrangement used at the ceremony, including altar arrangements, pew decorations, candelabra flowers, and unity candle arrangements can also be re-purposed to use the reception.
But it’s better to design for the ceremony venue and find the right places to reuse those arrangements at your reception venue.
There are variables to consider when sharing arrangements between venues. Following the advice of a professional florist can really pay off here.
The biggest expense of your wedding day is your reception. In my experience, it’s also the biggest variable expense in your wedding flower budget.
Reception flowers can range from very simple to very elaborate. You also have a lot of options to consider, including personal tastes and style, room size and configuration, floor plan, and seating arrangements.
You might be thinking “Do I really need flowers at the reception?” The simple answer is “No, probably not.”
But consider this. First impressions count.
All the guests who RSVP’d plan to attend the reception, but not all will attend the ceremony. And the reception is where everyone will spend the majority of the time that day.
Flowers, no matter how simple or elaborate, provide the finishing touch and leave a lasting impression.
Seeking the advice of a professional florist can really pay off here, even if you do plan to do the reception flowers yourself.
3. Ask About Wedding Flower Packages
Many florists, including us, offer wedding flower packages that can save you significant money. They’re not a perfect fit for every wedding, but we have had brides who have put them to some pretty creative uses.
One bride used one of our corsage packages to finish off some brightly colored gift boxes she used on her guest tables.
4. Remain Flexible And Get Your Florist Involved Early in the Planning Process
Another tip to save on your overall wedding flower cost is to be flexible. For example, you will usually save money by working with a color palette, rather than specific flower types. This will allow your florist more flexibility, often resulting in more bottom-line savings for you.
Many florists also provide other products and services for weddings and events or work closely with other professionals that do. Many offer decor and prop rental, linen rental, and venue lighting.
Working with your florist early on can not only help to significantly reduce your wedding flower costs but your overall costs as well by spending less on related products and services you’re considering.
For example, I just met with a bride who bought several large cylinder vases to use for her reception, something she could have rented from us for much less.
5. Ask For a Lower Price
It’s always a buyer’s market if you know what to ask for, and how to ask for it. Being upfront with your budget is the key here, even if you’re just looking for the lowest price.
As I mentioned earlier, many florists are more than willing to work with couples planning a wedding on a tight budget.
But that said, if you do plan to spend over a certain amount with them, most florists are usually willing to throw in additional products or services for little or no cost.
If a florist knows you are ready to spend $xxx, it’s unlikely he or she will let you walk out the door without offering a few incentives.
They will find a way to make it work, trust me. Even if it doesn’t cut your wedding flower cost, you’ll wind up with more for your money.
Keep an eye on the miscellaneous expenses that florists usually charge such as delivery fees, set-up and tear-down fees, and other service charges. They can really add up, but these fees are usually negotiable. Sometimes all you have to do is ask.
Spending wisely or saving money on your wedding is important. It’s a priority for the majority of couples planning weddings today.
I’ve outlined 5 different ways that you can use to lower your wedding flower cost. But don’t stop there.
Use them with all of your wedding vendors. I think you’ll be surprised at the results.
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I’m the owner of Greenfield Flower Shop in Milwaukee, with more than 40 years of experience in the floral, wedding, and event business.