Budgeting For Blooms

Everything you need to know about wedding flowers

Average flower cost is a tricky topic. Countless factors tie into cost, and it's nearly impossible to calculate an average number. With rough figures ranging from $500 to $4,000, the gap is simply too large to work out a norm. The best way to look at flower budgeting is in terms of overall budget percentage. Whatever your overhead cost allotted for the whole affair, flowers should account for about 8-10 percent. By looking at it this way, you can easily calculate a number specific to you. Then you will go from there. When it comes to wedding blooms, the sky is the limit. So it's more efficient in every facet to know your own limit from the start. Stick to that figure and use the following tips to offset costs as necessary. 

1. Seasons of Love

First and foremost, you'll want to make certain your desired flowers are in season for the time of your wedding. Otherwise you'll pay a hefty premium for shipping. For those with a strong penchant for particular blooms, be sure to mull this over before setting a date. And for those who need a little more direction, peruse our flower meaning guide for advice. 

2. Two Birds, One Stone

Recycle ceremony arrangements by having your florist transport them to reception location. No sense in tossing them post-"I do." Likewise, have her gather your bridesmaids' bouquets as well. Use these as decor for reception as well. Another use: line them around the base of the cake. It looks stunning. 

3. Green With Envy

Fillers give depth and dimension to bouquets and floral arrangement. And, luckily, greenery looks beautiful interspersed with flowers as well. Try branches in the mix for height variation on table centerpieces. Willows and dogwood are also lovely non-floral options. 

4. Look-alikes

Just because you have your heart set on a particular flower that's out of budget doesn't mean you're out of luck. Discuss your favorite blooms with your florist and, chances are, she'll have a similar option for a fraction of the cost. 

5. Pick and Choose

If you're still set on a particular flower, offset the cost by opting for inexpensive containers. Exotic blooms stand alone in beauty. They don't need extravagant vases to draw attention. Add a plethora of romantic tealight candles and you've got a winning tablescape. 

6. Let's Hear It For The Boys

Grab your best girls and try your hand at DIY boutonnieres for the groom and his men (tutorial here)–and I promise, it's a cinch. Each one took less than 5 minutes to fashion and looked perfectly professional. 

7. Let The Venue Do The Work

By choosing a reception venue with on-ground gardens or a live wall, you can lessen the amount of added decor you'll need to set the scene. Likewise, by choosing a date close to, say Christmas or Easter, your church will likely have floral arrangements on hand at the alter. Discuss such with your officient before budgeting for extra blooms–you may not even need them. 

8. Long Live

Some of the most beautiful–not to mention most expensive blooms are the ones which brown the fastest. With a long time between set-up and ceremony/reception time, you'll want the flowers you paid for looking their best throughout the night. Stephanotis and hydrangea can wilt and brown very quickly. Peonies can also be unpredictable. 

9. Personal Touch

Shy away from internet sites for floral arrangements. By hiring a local florist, you can work one-on-one with your budget to create exactly the arrangements you want. You won't be able to accomplish this in cyber space. 

10. Less Is More

Always go for quality over quantity. Tall glass vases filled with water and floating candles lining the ceremony aisle can be just as stunning as floral arrangements. Not every last cocktail table needs an arrangement, and single flower vases look dainty and romantic lined up down a table runner with alternating candles. Finally don't discount inexpensive options like baby's breath or chrysanthemums. Done right, they can be equally beautiful. 


Bouquet photo: Kristin Vining

Categories: Bride + Groom