Roses are red, violets are blue, and holy moly, flowers in general are crazy expensive too! Just ask your fiancé how much that pretty arrangement he got you for your birthday cost. Turns out, it probably wasn't cheap, nor will your wedding flowers be. But fortunately, there are ways you can nip that floral budget problem in the bud now. Here are eight ways to get the most bang for your buck.
1. Mix high with low (cost).
Get the look for less by following everyone's favorite fashion rule: mix high with low! "One of the best ideas I have ever seen was the bride who had white roses and bushels of baby's breath," says Ani Keshishian, Creative Director of Anoush Banquet Halls & Catering and L.A. Banquets. "She alternated between roses on one table and baby's breath on another and you couldn't tell the difference in her photos. It was very elegant and did wonders for the feel of the wedding." If you're not a fan of alternating, try choosing a lot of filler like stock and greenery and adding in pops of the expensive and coveted flowers, such as David Austin Roses or peonies, suggest Jennifer Arreguin and Natasha Burton, co-founders of Swoon California in Santa Barbara.
2. Use lighting and other décor items to save big.
Votives and candlelight are just as romantic as flowers, plus they can help keep you within budget, point out Arreguin and Burton. "You can also mix in personal items for the table displays like pictures, keepsakes or lanterns instead of concentrating solely on blooms." Another bright idea if you don't have a big flower budget? Concentrate on finding unique vessels that may take less flowers to fill them but when combined with other design objects, such as the abovementioned candles, in multiples will create a stunning centerpiece, recommends celebrity event planner Michael Cerbelli, CEO & President of Cerbelli Creative.
3. Recycle and reuse your ceremony flowers.
Sometimes you just got to go big or go home, right? So if large, over the top arrangements are what you desire, get them but also use them for the ceremony, advises wedding planner Scoobie West of Scoobie & Company. "These arrangements can be placed on staggered columns to create a gorgeous backdrop for the ceremony. Then during cocktail hour, they can be easily transported to the reception space." You can do this with bridesmaid bouquets as well. Stick them in little bud vases and display them on cocktail tables or anywhere that could use some sprucing up.
4. Go seasonal.
Don't choose flowers that are completely out of season or don't jibe with the climate where you're getting married, cautions seasoned planner Sandy Malone, owner of Weddings in Vieques. "Tulips, peonies and hydrangea, for example, don't last long in tropical heat. That means you have to order twice as many to make sure you'll have enough still alive for your wedding, which is a total waste of money."
5. Opt for volume.
For example, full petal flowers will go much further in terms of space than smaller blooms, says wedding planner Francesca DiSalvo-Follmer, owner of Pure Luxe Bride. Erica Taylor, co-founding partner of New York City-based Tinsel & Twine, loves using towering flowering branches like cherry blossom and forsythia as a way to get a colorful, voluminous look too.
The more variety, the more the costs, warns Malone. "This is particularly important if you're getting married someplace where there aren't big flower wholesale markets so your florist will be ordering in bulk just for your event."
7. Try plants.
Consider using potted plants or herbs for your centerpieces, suggests Jyl Deering, Chancey Charm Boston wedding planner. "Guests (or yourself) can take them home to replant!" Palms and hearty desert cacti are also very trendy right now and are a great way to make a statement without having to go overboard on flowers, adds Taylor. Succulents and terrariums are another fab choice too.
8. Be open-minded and look to your florist for advice.
When in doubt, ask your florist for some insight. According to event planner Kristine Cholakian Cooke, owner of Simply Charming Socials, she should be able to give you some great alternatives that meet your expectations visually and are also more accessible for your date. "We always find that brides who are more open-minded going into initial floral meetings can truly learn about flowers and options they didn't know existed. In the end, the results can be beautiful and unexpected."