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Five Ways To Save On Wedding Flowers

May 19, 2008
I'll admit my bias up front: I love flowers. And not just any flowers, I love expensive flowers. Peonies, burgundy cymbidium orchids and mini calla lilies are among my favorites. When I was planning my own wedding, I tripled this area of my initial budget. Several brides share my love of flowers and that makes it all the more difficult to stay on budget. Even brides that do not share my extreme love for flowers want beautiful weddings, and your florist will play a huge role in that. As a general rule, flowers should account for 10-15% of your overall budget. Here are some tips to help to stay at or below that number while still having beautiful wedding flowers.

1. Do it Yourself

Yes, you can create your own wedding flowers. There are several online and local wholesalers where you can buy flowers in bulk for substantially less than what you would pay a florist. You should plan to receive your flowers 2-3 days prior to your wedding and have adequate space in your refrigerator to store them. If you are ordering too many flowers to fit into your fridge, air conditioning your home will suffice. Simple hand tied bouquets are relatively easy to create and you can gather bunches of flowers and place them in vases to create centerpieces. My advice with DIY flowers is to keep it simple! You are not a trained florist, so do not try to create more complicated arrangement that you find online or in magazines. Keep it simple. Also, a word of caution: if you are a perfectionist and want perfect arrangements, hire a florist. As a novice, you're likely to make some mistakes and slight imperfections will exist. If that is not acceptable to you, it's best to hire a professional. Also, it's a good idea to do a test run before the real thing.

2. Use a delivery service

There are new delivery services, most notably Pro Flowers, which will arrange your wedding blooms and deliver them, already assembled, to your door 1-2 days before the wedding. They have several flower varieties and several packages to choose from at amazing prices. You will have to do a little work with this option. You should have vases prepared for the centerpieces and holder vases to hold your bouquets until the wedding. On the wedding day, you will have to designate someone to set up the arrangements. Several brides are nervous about this option because they worry that the flowers will not show up in time. Pro Flowers has a built in safety measure to prevent no shows. If your flowers do not arrive on the scheduled date, Pro Flowers has contracts with thousands of local florists that will assemble and personally deliver your flowers prior to the wedding.

3. Reuse, Reuse, Reuse

Slash hundreds from your florist bill by reusing arrangements throughout the day. Your ceremony altar arrangements can become a part of your reception décor, your bridesmaids bouquets can become centerpieces and your bouquet can become an arrangement for your sweetheart table. You can also ask your florist to reuse aisle arrangements from the ceremony as centerpieces during the reception. You may have to pay a slight labor fee for the arrangements to be moved and recast as centerpieces, but it will be much less than paying for both.

4. Stay in season

Different flowers are in season at different times of the year. If a flower is out of season, it does mean that you cannot have it, but it will be substantially more expensive. There are some flowers that are expensive all year round. These include mini calla lilies, tropical blooms and certain orchid varieties. Ask your florist about what flowers are in season for your wedding day and stick with those.

5. Cut back

Ask yourself what you really need and what you can do without. Do you really need pew bows? A pomander for the flower girl? An arrangement for the place card table? A floral cake topper? None of these things are necessary and can be replaced by other decorative items. Cut back on the excess and stick to the bare necessities.
About the Author
Tiffany R. Wright is a top wedding planner in the Washington, DC area and owner of Pirouette Events , a premiere wedding planning company in DC/MD/VA.
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