Whether you’re opting for a minimalistic wedding, or you’re going all out with a bright, bold palette, your wedding flowers can really be one of the most beautiful parts of the day. A wedding ceremony will traditionally incorporate the bridal bouquet, bouquets for the bridesmaids, corsages, and altar flowers, just to name a few. Moving into the reception, guests are greeted with stunning blooms used as centerpieces, garlands, and even on the cake. The possibilities are endless! But with so many ways to incorporate floral touches, it can all be a little daunting, especially when it comes to building this decoration piece into your budget.
Before you determine any floral plans, be sure to start with your wedding flower budget early on. This will give you a better idea of your must-haves, wants, and pieces of traditional floral design that you may want to skip. But how much do wedding flowers even cost? Where’s a couple to begin in building that budget? Read on for a few tips and tricks from floral and wedding planning experts to help better understand the average cost of wedding flowers, how to save on flowers, and a few sample budgets to get you started.
The Average Cost of Wedding Flowers
The average cost of wedding flowers can vary widely, depending on how many flowers you need, the types of flowers you choose, and whether or not they're in season. Though no wedding flower costs are set in stone, florist Caytlyn McCloskey, owner of Sea Lily in Malibu, California, provided a range couples can expect certain floral items to cost.
- Bridal bouquet: $150–$350
- Bridesmaid bouquet: $65–$125
- Boutonniere: $24–$45
- Pin-on corsage: $32–$48
- Wrist corsage: $48–$65
- Reception flowers: $75–$250
- Flower girl petals: $65 per bag
- Altar flowers: $75–$500
- Arrangement next to sign-in book: $150–$250
- Arrangement next to place cards: $65–$125
- Head table centerpiece: $65–$150
- Sweetheart table garland: $12–$45 per foot
- Guest table centerpiece: $75–$400
- Cake flowers: $25–$150
- Flower crown: $45–$125
Los Angeles wedding planner Tessa Lyn Brand of Tessa Lyn Events has seen wedding flower budgets as high as $75,000. Brand recommends allotting 10 percent of your overall budget to flowers as a good rule of thumb, adding that a budget of $3,000 is enough to make for a beautiful display. As an average, she says her clients spend between $6,000 and $11,000 on wedding flowers.
Ways to Offset the Cost of Wedding Flowers
Though wedding flower budgets can be expensive, there are ways you can keep your flower costs (relatively) low and maximize your overall wedding budget. Here are eight ways to save on costs when it comes to wedding flowers.
1. Mix Expensive Flowers With Inexpensive Flowers
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, suggests Jennifer Arreguin and Natasha Burton, cofounders of Swoon California in Santa Barbara, California.
2. Use Lighting and Other Decor Alongside Floral Arrangements
Votives and candlelight are just as romantic as flowers, and they can help keep you within budget. "You can also mix in personal items for the table displays like pictures, keepsakes, or lanterns instead of concentrating solely on blooms," Arreguin and Burton advise. Another bright idea if you don't have a big flower budget? Concentrate on finding unique vessels that may take fewer flowers. Choose items that, when combined with other design objects such as the above-mentioned candles in multiples, will create a stunning centerpiece, recommends celebrity event planner Michael Cerbelli, CEO and president of Cerbelli Creative.
3. Reuse Your Ceremony Flowers at the Reception
Sometimes you just have to go big or go home, right? So if large, over-the-top arrangements are what you want, get them, but try to give them multiple uses. "These arrangements can be placed on staggered columns to create a gorgeous backdrop for the ceremony," advises wedding planner Scoobie West of Scoobie & Company. "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. Choose Wedding Flowers That Are in Season and Locally Grown
Don't choose flowers that are completely out of season or don't jive with the climate where you're getting married, cautions seasoned planner Sandy Malone. "Tulips, peonies, and hydrangeas, for example, don't last long in tropical heat," she says. "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." On top of that, options that are grown locally will usually be more affordable and fresher than specialty varieties that need to be shipped from far away.
5. Opt for Volume
"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 Haskins, co-founder of Tinsel Experiential Design, loves using towering flowering branches like cherry blossom and forsythia as a way to get a colorful, voluminous look.
6. Stick to a Few Types of Flowers
The more variety, the more the cost, 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," she says.
7. Consider Using Plants
Consider using potted plants or herbs for your centerpieces, suggests wedding planner Jyl Deering of Deering Events, so guests (or you) can take them home to replant. Palms and hearty desert cacti are also a great way to make a statement without having to go overboard on flowers. Succulents and terrariums are a great choice as well.
8. Be Open-Minded and Ask 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, your florist 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," says Cooke. "In the end, the results can be beautiful and unexpected."
9. Select a Venue That's Naturally Beautiful
Book a venue that's naturally beautiful. Choose a windswept beach, a gorgeous garden, or a wooded grove as your wedding backdrop, and then just enhance your surroundings with simple floral accents.
10. Choose One or Two "Wow" Moments
You don't have to cover every surface at your reception with flowers. Instead, set a few statement centerpieces in key areas and use more minimal arrangements on tables. Here are some examples of ways to create those "wow" moments:
A Hanging Garden
Suspended florals and greenery are an unexpected way to add drama, but a full-on canopy is out of reach for most couples. Get the look with fewer flowers by grouping small vessels, like pots of dahlias, zinnias, and roses, or opt for simple green fronds and leaves across the ceiling.
A Flower Wall
For a Kimye-inspired moment without the crazy price tag, have your florist create multiple easy-to-transport square panels. Look for bloom varieties that are lush and full but still reasonably priced.
A Grand Centerpiece
A sculptural tulip or rose display is gorgeous but pricey. Instead, try an oversized, tightly packed gathering of snapdragons—a low-cost flower that's available year-round. For an even more cost-effective and ultra-dramatic look, try single palm, elephant ear, or monstera fronds as your centerpiece.
Two Sample Wedding Flower Budgets
To get a feel for a few real wedding floral budgets, here are two budgets from real couples in California and Florida.
Wedding Flower Budget #1: $5,481
Florist Natasha Lisitsa of Waterlily Pond Design Studio created the modern, sculptural floral arrangements at a vibrant affair in Carmel Valley, California. Here's how the budget broke down:
- Bride's bouquet: $300
- Groom's boutonniere: $18
- Four bridesmaid bouquets: $440
- Fresh flowers for bridesmaid hairstyles: $25
- Four groomsman boutonnieres: $72
- Two father and grandfather boutonnieres: $36
- Mother and grandmother corsages: $60
- Ring bearer's "nest": $50
- Flower girl's basket of petals: $35
- Two floral arrangements at altar: $300
- Two floral garlands on church railings: $500
- Wreath on church doors: $75
- Escort-card table arrangements: $275
- "Wishing tree" display: $225
- Seven dinner table arrangements: $1,750
- Two floral arrangements used as chandelier decor: $500
- 55 floating candle arrangements: $220
- Floral design fee: $600
Wedding Flower Budget #2: $6,165.50
Florist Karen Cohen of Always Flowers and Events used bright orange flowers in a number of textures for a modern tropical celebration in Miami.
- Bride's bouquet: $300
- Groom's boutonniere: $18
- Three bridesmaid bouquets: $255
- Three groomsman boutonnieres: $45
- Grandmother's wrist corsage: $25
- Ceremony garland: $500
- Two entrance arrangements: $550
- Five cocktail table arrangements: $500
- Escort-card table arrangement: $250
- Nine dinner table arrangements: $2,025
- Four arrangements for the DJ booth and bar: $1,100
- 85 palm fronds at guest place settings: $212.50
- Alcove arrangements (three arrangements of floating candles at $20 each): $60
- Alcove arrangements (three arrangements of leaves and floating candles at $75 each): $225
- Two restroom arrangements: $100
- Complimentary flowers for cupcake tier: $0