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With wedding season in full bloom, married couples-to-be are busy planning their blessed unions, and, in many cases, that means forking over a fortune. The average cost of a wedding in the U.S. in 2021 was $22,500, according to data from WeddingWire. Of that number, about $1,500 was spent on floral arrangements.
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One of the easiest ways to lower your overall wedding costs is to be flexible with your floral arrangements. Let’s explore all the ways you can save on the historic but expensive tradition of decking your venue halls with beautiful blossoms — without sacrificing elegance and presentation.
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Be Upfront About Your Budget — And Be Flexible With Your Florist
“A good florist won’t lie and will tell you that they can work with your budget if they can’t,” said Kate Blott, marketing manager at Atlas Flowers. “As much as you may have some very formed ideas in your mind of what you want to achieve, use their experience to guide you toward the right choices for your budget, and don’t be pushed into making adjustments to spend more. There are so many amazing products out there that there’s likely to be more than one cheaper alternative to the more expensive option, so be flexible.”
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Choose Less Traditional Flowers
“There are some flowers that just scream ‘wedding’ — notably, things like roses and lilies,” said Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst with DealNews.com. “But if you think outside the box, you may find that you can save a ton just by opting for cheaper flowers, or those that are in less demand, particularly if you’re getting married during the height of wedding season. Consider creating your floral arrangements from things like carnations, chrysanthemums, and freesia for a cheaper alternative to the highly sought-after peonies, hydrangeas, and gardenias.”
Share Your Floral Arrangements With Another Couple
“I would also strongly advise that you enquire to see whether there is the possibility to share your floral arrangements with other couples getting married in the days leading up/prior to your wedding (at the same venue),” said Allison Williams, chief editor at Everlasting Occasion. “You can share the cost, often get better flowers because of it, and it also saves your florist time on the day to arrange/put them up.”
Get Married in a Garden
“Instead of opting for a traditional location that requires flowers, like a church or banquet hall, consider getting married in a garden or another outdoor space that is already beautiful,” said Tia Mula, founder of Live & Wed. “Not only will you save money on floral arrangements, but you’ll also have the added bonus of stunning natural scenery as your backdrop.”
Use a Venue That Includes Decor
“A raw space venue might seem less expensive but remember that you have to fill it with decor i.e. flowers,” said Rachel Silver, the founder and CEO of Love Stories TV. “If you find a venue that is already a beautiful space and/or a ceremony venue outside in a garden for example, you need far less flowers and decor. Talk to a florist or planner at the same time you’re evaluating venues to price out how much you could save on florals by booking a slightly expensive venue — you might be surprised by the numbers.”
Buy Local and In Season
”Buying local, in season flowers is much less expensive than [buying] flowers that are imported and/or out of season,” Silver said.
Rent Silk Flowers
“There are a few companies out there, like Something Borrowed Blooms that allow you to rent your bouquet and boutonniere,” said Brianna Parks, an elopement photographer. “This is a great option if you’re open to the idea of using silk flowers.”
Buy Dried Flowers
“Opting for dried flowers over fresh is a great option here too, as not only do they last for a really long time (in excess of two years if looked after correctly), they are often more forgiving to work with, won’t spoil due to lack of watering or the right plant food, and there is always the option to sell them on after your event, thus recouping some of the money you have outlaid,” Blott said.
Use Potted Plants Instead
“I had one couple buy potted ferns at Home Depot to be used down the ceremony aisle,” said Helen Parsons, an event and wedding planner and catering manager at The Addison. “[It] looked amazing and then they took them home and planted them in their yard.”
Get Crafty at the Dollar Store
“Buy bulk styrofoam balls at the dollar tree or online, super glue them to your base structure and add each faux floral head into the styrofoam until you create the arrangement you want,” said lifestyle blogger Dolores Renee. “I did this for my wedding and spent about $300 total for 36 table centerpieces and 12 bridesmaids bouquets and my own bouquet.”
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About the Author
Nicole Spector is a writer, editor, and author based in Los Angeles by way of Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in Vogue, the Atlantic, Vice, and The New Yorker. She’s a frequent contributor to NBC News and Publishers Weekly. Her 2013 debut novel, “Fifty Shades of Dorian Gray” received laudatory blurbs from the likes of Fred Armisen and Ken Kalfus, and was published in the US, UK, France, and Russia — though nobody knows whatever happened with the Russian edition! She has an affinity for Twitter.