As much as you'd love to throw down a pretty penny on those oh-so-pretty peonies, unfortunately money doesn't grow on trees (or flowers in your case) — and you don't have the budget for them. Bummer, we know. Weddings are expensive, and like many brides, you may not have the luxury of splurging on every bud and bloom your heart desires. However, with some help from these fab florists, you can follow your head, avoid going into debt, and get the look for a whole lot less.
1. Swap Peonies for Carnations
Carnations often get a bad rap, but when creatively arranged and grouped together, they can mimic the ruffled layered look of peonies, points out Ellie Hsu, owner of Flower Muse. "While you may need to use more stems, the overall cost of carnations can be as much as 70-80% less than peonies," she says. Plus, they're available in a wide range of colors year-round! On the flip side though, during peak peony season (May-June), the cost of peonies can be less and the bloom size very large, sometimes reaching over 6" wide.
Why does this all matter then? Well, according to Hsu, when bloom size is that big, you won't need to use as many stems and sometimes it can even work out that peonies are more cost-effective than using other flower types. So definitely do your homework first!
2. Swap Phalaenopsis Orchids for Hawaiian Dendrobium Orchids or or Phalaenopsis Plants
If you have your heart set on orchids, opt for the Hawaiian dendrobiums to save some dough, says Lucy Diaz-Flores, Creative Director of Bella Flora in Dallas. "They both have long stems with multiple blooms and create a dramatic effect, yet the Hawaiian orchid will set you back 76% less than the phaleo orchid will." Floral expert Caroline Bailly, Owner of L'Atelier Rouge, recommends the Phalaenopsis plant designed in vases as another alternative. Although the effect won't be quite the same, it will cut the costs in half.
3. Swap Hydrangeas for Stock Flowers
Don't let the name "stock" fool you! If you're looking for a fab filler that won't break the bank, stock flowers give off a gorgeous fragrance and don't necessarily look like a filler, notes Bailly. "It's a different take — and they're twice as romantic and beautiful as hydrangeas."
4. Swap Lily of the Valley for Bouvardia Blooms or Sweet Peas
If you know your wedding flowers, then you're well aware that Lily of the Valley is one of the most expensive ones. To save 60%, Diaz-Flores suggests opting for pretty bouvardias or sweet peas, both of which are very delicate blooms that produce clusters of flowers to give your arrangements a fuller look.
5. Swap Delphiniums for Snapdragons
In search of a more affordable flower with a long stem? Nix the delphiniums and trade them for snapdragons instead, advises Bailly. "These are still extremely elegant and won't compromise your floral design," she tells us.
6. Swap Long-Stemmed Gloriosa Lilies for Short Stems
If this particular flower is a must-have, get your money's worth by using the shorter version of the gloriosa lilies (as opposed to longer, more expensive ones) on low tabletop designs or handwork, recommends Diaz-Flores.