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10 Ways to Stretch Your Floral Budget & Get a Wow-Worthy Look for Less

Posted by Alexandra Porto on

There’s something enchanting about weddings that fills the air with love, bringing together friends and family from all over to celebrate. Wedding flowers are a big part of creating that magical feeling. They not only add a natural touch and pleasant aroma but help tie your wedding theme and palette together.

Sadly, we can’t be like Isabella in Encanto and make flowers bloom out of thin air. Instead, we rely on experienced florists to make our dreams come true. If you are a bride on a budget, we’re breaking down some expert tips to help you save on your floral budget while still getting a wow-worthy look.

This list does not include any DIY floral projects because wedding planning adds enough stress without having to worry about putting together bouquets and boutonnieres the night before your Big Day. Instead, we focus on practical ideas that make the biggest impact for the least amount of money. So you can still achieve your overall vision but with some adjustments to stay within budget.

Wedding Flowers

Photo Credit: Carolyn Christine, Unsplash

1. Make a Statement with a Few Large Blooms

To get the most bang for your buck, look for large, individual blooms that make a statement and can fill up space in bouquets or centerpieces, or work well on their own in bud vases. Look for bright sunflowers, opulent roses, or gerbera daisies for affordable options. For something more dramatic, choose proteas, peonies, magnolias, or calla lilies.

Avoid tightly packed structural pieces and opt for more organic, loosely displayed arrangement with fewer blooms. Add some bamboo leaves or other greenery for volume.

2. Focus your Budget on Bouquets & Boutonnieres Captured in Photos

As a bride, you’ve probably pinned lots of gorgeous bouquets. This is your wedding, and if anyone deserves to be spoiled, it’s you and your partner. This is where you should focus your budget: the floral pieces that will be seen the most and have to last the longest throughout the day.

As for the bridal party, opt for nicer flowers that match your bouquet but make them a bit smaller in size or with more greenery for some extra savings. Also, keep in mind that fewer wedding attendants mean less cost. Use this handy guide to figure out what you want to include in your floral budget:

Focus on the most visible flowers

Photo Credit: Melissa Morton, Unsplash

The Essentials:
  • Bride’s bouquet
  • Partner’s boutonniere or bouquet
  • Wedding party bouquets & boutonnieres
  • Parent & grandparent boutonnieres or corsages
  • Flower girl petals
  • Ring bear boutonniere
  • Ceremony arch or altar arrangement
  • Reception centerpieces
  • Sweetheart table or back-of-chair décor (or reuse your bouquet, see tip #3 below)

    The Nice-to-Haves:
    • Welcome arrangement or backdrop by the entrance
    • Ceremony aisle decorations and pew markers
    • Petals or dried flowers for tossing confetti
    • Cocktail hour arrangements
    • Escort card table arrangement
    • Floral arrangements by the bar
    • Wedding cake table flowers
    • Food station table arrangements
    • Boutonnieres or corsages for ushers
    • Lounge decorations
    • Restroom arrangements
    • Getaway car décor
    • Florals for large signage

    Reuse ceremony flowers

    Photo Credit: Jonathan Borba, Pexels

    3. Reuse Some Flowers for the Reception

    When reviewing your ceremony designs with your florist, ask about reusing the same pieces during the wedding reception. You’ll want to show off those spectacular florals for longer than a half-hour ceremony, especially if your budget allows for a stunning arch or altar arrangement.

    If you cannot negotiate away a transport fee, ask your closest friends, family, or event planner if they can help move the flowers. Create a floorplan indicating exactly where the arrangements should be placed and leave enough time for transporting them. Be sure to share those detailed instructions in advance of your big day.

    Leave some water-filled vases in the reception space at your sweetheart table, near the bar, escort card table, and restrooms. Then ask your bridesmaids to place their bouquets in the empty vases before the reception so they can walk into the room hands-free and add a little extra oomph to the décor.

    When thinking about reusing flowers, ask your venue if any weddings are planned for the day before or after yours. It could be an opportunity to split a statement piece like a floral chandelier or backdrop with another couple.

    Opt for local and seasonal varieties

    Photo Credit: Secret Garden, Pexels

    4. Go With What is In-Season & Local

    The most common money-saving tip you will hear from florists is to use locally grown, in-season flowers. Trust this advice not only for your budget but for presentation as well. With export issues and supply shortages creating chaos in the floral industry lately, it’s in your best interest to go with what is seasonal and available near your wedding venue. It’ll ensure that nothing is delayed and that your florals are fresh, beautiful, and affordable rather than expensive or wilting on your wedding day.

    Be flexible with the seasonable blooms recommended by your florist. Let them know your color palette and overall vision but give them the freedom to do what they do best in selecting the varieties that’ll work best. You might want to research what is in season in your region too. Here are some general suggestions to give you a headstart:

    • Spring: daffodils, garden roses, lisianthus, lilacs, lily of the valley, ranunculus, sweet peas, tulips, waxflowers, or peonies
    • Summer: wildflowers, delphiniums, cosmos, foxgloves, poppies, sunflowers, zinnias, English lavender, snapdragon, pampas grass, or other dried flowers
    • Fall: chrysanthemums, dahlias, amaranths, cymbidium orchids, magnolias, marigold, or aster
    • Winter: amaryllis, anemones, winter branches, holly, hellebores, or berries

    Shop curated collections

    Photo Credit: Melike Benli, Pexels

    5. Shop Curated Wedding Collections

    Florists typically buy their flowers wholesale in bulk, so arrangements made of fewer varieties often cost less. Ask your florist if they have pre-arranged affordable wedding collections you can choose from or shop online sites like The Bouqs Co., Farmgirl Flowers, or even Costco that include their own wedding flower collections.

    This is also a helpful option if you are more of a hands-off bride, have decision fatigue, or need a little extra guidance when it comes to floral aesthetics. These designer-created packages will make it super easy to select a floral style that suits your tastes. Plus, you can save more than half the price of traditional wedding florists.

    If going this route, order several months ahead of your wedding and have your flowers delivered a couple of days ahead of time to allow for delays or any issues. Read through the site FAQs and make sure you are comfortable with the answers before ordering.

    6. Use More Affordable Flowers for Distant Décor

    Floral arrangements like centerpieces, boutonnieres, and bouquets that will be viewed up close and likely be memorialized in wedding photos are not where you should skimp. For floral pieces that will only be viewed from afar, like altar decorations, floral chandeliers, or backdrops, you can use cheaper flowers like carnations, gypsophila, tulips, or standard roses. These will add a pop of color and look beautiful from a distance when clustered together.

    Have your heart set on a particular flower? Bring a photo to your florist and let them know what you love. They might be able to find a similar-looking flower that is more readily available and not as expensive. Or, they can find a way to incorporate a few of them into those close-up arrangements.

    Mix up your centerpieces

    Photo Credit: Tara Winstead, Pexels

    7. Mix Up Your Centerpieces

    Gone are the days when all of your reception centerpieces had to be identical. Take a cue from celebrity wedding designers and add dimension to your reception space with coordinated centerpieces in varying heights or styles. Best of all, this trend is easy on your wallet. Set VIP guest tables with dramatic pedestal centerpieces and rectangular ones with bud vases and votive candles. If you have a garden-themed wedding, terrariums are another inexpensive option to alternate between tables. 

    Ask your venue for a list of their in-house inventory, and you might be surprised by how much they have on hand, like vases, candles, or charger plates. It’s a great way to elevate your reception décor without added cost. Add a flowy overlay or fabric to the table or scatter rose petals on lounge coffee tables to add drama for less.

    8. Consider Renting Silk Flowers & Vases

    Silk flowers have come a long way from the ones your grandma used to keep in her house. Today, some finer ones are even indiscernible from real flowers until touched. Consider using rented silk flowers if you are working with a tight floral budget but don’t want to compromise style. You could even mix and match by using real flowers for bouquets and centerpieces and some silk floral pieces for décor like your wedding arch or table garlands. 

    Something Borrowed Blooms is one of the most popular silk floral rental companies with an extensive wedding collection to match your vision. Best of all, you won’t have to worry about what is in season, so you can have those exotic flowers you’ve already dreamed of. They also rent out lanterns, candleholders, and vases so you can have everything you need for a fraction of your budget. Just be sure someone is assigned to lay out the flowers and package it all up at the end of the night.

     Look for naturally beautiful venues

    Photo Credit: Olya Kobruseva, Pexels

    9. Look for a Venue with Built-in Natural Beauty

    If you haven’t already selected your wedding location, this is a great way to save on your floral budget. Look for a venue already covered in natural beauty, like botanical gardens, greenhouses, or historic estates. These will serve as the perfect backdrop for your dream wedding and require fewer flowers to turn your venue into an enchanting site. 

    From elaborate topiaries to lavender fields, rose gardens, or desert scapes, there are plenty of different locations that let mother nature be your personal decorator. Your venue’s native flora, whether succulents or wildflowers, are perfect for an outdoor wedding. By spending less on floral arrangements, you’ll be able to direct those funds toward another part of your wedding.

     Follow your florist's guidance

    Photo Credit: Anna Schvets, Pexels

    10. Lean on Your Florist for Other Ideas to Stay on Budget

    When it comes to stating your wedding budget, do not be shy. Wedding vendors understand that most couples only have limited funds to work with. Speak up and ask what packages or suggestions they have to stretch your budget so you can get as close to your vision as possible.

    Florists can usually make suggestions based on their years of experience to cut back pricing. Be friendly and ask for ideas to help you stay within your budget. If your florist is not accommodating, they might not be the best fit for you, so keep looking for someone more accustomed to working with budget constraints.

    The most important thing is to listen and be open to their recommendations. Most florists know which flowers to substitute or designs to alter to lower costs. Some have access to other décor like votives or candelabras, so they might even be able to make suggestions on floral alternatives too.


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