Average Cost of Wedding Flowers: Making the Most of a Floral Budget

Get the lowdown on your floral decor

Updated 07/31/19

Photo and florals by A.P. Bio

The loving attention to detail that brides and florists put into wedding flowers adds a magical touch to the big day. The first step in floral planning is determining a wedding flower budget. We talked to wedding planners and florists to answer the question "How much do wedding flowers cost?" Read on to better understand the average cost of wedding flowers, complete with floral budgets from real brides and expert tips on how to save big on flowers.

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 cost is set in stone, florist Caytlyn McCloskey, owner of Sea Lily in Malibu, California, provided a range brides 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.

2 Sample Wedding Flower Budgets

Here are two wedding flower budgets from real brides in California and Miami.

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:

Ceremony

$300: Bride's bouquet

$18: Groom's boutonniere

$440: Four bridesmaids' bouquets

$25: Fresh flowers for bridesmaids' hairstyles

$72: Four groomsman boutonnieres

$36: Two father and grandfather boutonnieres

$60: Mother and grandmother corsages

$50: Ring bearer's "nest"

$35: Flower girl's basket of petals

$300: Two floral arrangements at altar

$500: Two floral garlands on church railings

$75: Wreath on church doors

Cocktail Hour

$275: Escort-card table arrangements

$225: "Wishing tree" display

Reception

$1,750: Seven dinner table arrangements

$500: Two floral arrangements used as chandelier decor

$220: 55 floating candle arrangements

Design

$600: Floral design fee

Wedding Flower Budget #2: $6,165.50

Florist Karen Cohen of Always Flowers and Events used bright orange flowers in lots of textures for a modern tropical celebration in Miami.

Ceremony

$300: Bride's bouquet

$18: Groom's boutonniere

$255: Three bridesmaid bouquets

$45: Three groomsman boutonnieres

$25: Grandmother's wrist corsage

$500: Ceremony garland

Cocktail Hour

$550: Two entrance arrangements

$500: Five cocktail table arrangements

$250: Escort-card table arrangement

Reception

$2,025: Nine dinner table arrangements

$1,100: Four arrangements for the DJ booth and bar

$212.50: 85 palm fronds at guest place settings

$60: Alcove arrangements (three arrangements of floating candles at $20 each)

$225: Alcove arrangements (three arrangements of leaves and floating candles at $75 each)

$100: Two restroom arrangements

$0: Complimentary flowers for cupcake tier

Ways to Offset the Cost of Wedding Flowers

Though wedding flower budgets can be expensive, there are ways you can you can keep your flower costs (relatively) low and maximize your money. Here are eight ways to bring down the average cost of of 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.

2. Use Lighting and Other Decor Alongside Floral Arrangements

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," they note. Another bright idea if you don't have a big flower budget? Concentrate on finding unique vessels that may take less flowers to fill but 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 desire, get them but also use them for the ceremony. "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 bridesmaids' 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 jibe with the climate where you're getting married, cautions seasoned planner Sandy Malone, owner of Weddings in Vieques. "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, cofounding 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.

6. Stick to a Few Types of Flowers

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," she says.

7. Consider Using Plants

Consider using potted plants or herbs for your centerpieces, suggests wedding planner Jyl Deering of Chancey Charm Boston, so guests (or you) 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. Succulents and terrariums are another fab choice too.

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, he or 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," 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, 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

Photo by Luna de Mare Photography

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.

Table Garland Alternatives

Instead of a densely packed floral runner, try clustering bud vases filled with inexpensive blooms like lisianthus, quicksand roses, and dahlias. "Pick one or two larger 'face' flowers, like garden roses or peonies," says florist Amy Febinger, of Brooklyn-based Bourgeon. "Then fill in with cost-effective seasonal stems and fresh herbs like lemon verbena and mint." The table will still seem full, but you can cover more surface area (and easily rearrange as you set them up).

A Flower Wall

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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. This one was created with wallet-friendly hydrangeas and greenery.

A Grand Centerpiece

Flower-Filled Reception Tables
Photo by Ross Oscar Knight

A sculptural tulip or rose display is gorgeous but pricey. Instead, try an oversize, tightly packed gathering of snapdragons—a low-cost flower that's available year-round. For an even more cost-effective and ultradramatic look, try single palm, elephant ear, or monstera fronds as your centerpiece like the one below.

Photo by Elvira Kalviste; Planning & Design by Jove Meyer Events; Flowers by Mimosa Floral Design

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