Planning a wedding is a rollercoaster of emotions. From the highs of landing that incredible supplier you’re obsessed with, to the lows of trying to budget for everything you want – we totally get it, which is why we’re here to help alleviate a little bit of the financial stress. Flowers can be a big chunk of your outlay (we break down the costs of wedding flowers here) and if you were to pick a round figure as the average amount that couples spend, it would be approximately €1,500+. If you need your flower budget allocation to work a little harder, while still bringing the wow factor, we’ve compiled 12 savvy ways to save money on your wedding flowers below.
1. Budget is Everything
First things first, set a realistic and manageable budget. Check out our flower price guide here to help steer you in shaping a personal budget according to your flower needs. Consider things like how many bouquets and buttonholes are needed for your wedding party, along with how many rows need ceremony pews, reception tables etc. Larger numbers will drive up the costs, and possibly affect your style options. Break down each item with your florist and let them to guide you in what works per price bracket.
Saving Tip: Whether you’re getting married in a church or other ceremony location, ask the coordinator or sacristan if there are any other weddings taking place before or after you – even by a day. If specific flowers are not high on your priority list, it might be possible to share the cost with another couple on some items.
2. Repurpose & Re-use!
To achieve maximum use of your flowers, repurpose your decor. When consulting with your florist or stylist, mention that you’d like to reuse your ceremony flowers for your reception decor. Your florist will guide and inspire you on options you have, and we have a whole post with ideas on how to repurpose your decor here. Simple things such as placing your floral pews ends into vases on your tables, mean nothing goes to waste. This is also a very sustainable approach to decor.
Saving Tip: One large wow piece such as a ceremony arch can be broken into smaller parts later on for things like table centrepieces. Note that you may need your florist to transport and arrange them between spaces, so this works best when your ceremony and reception are in the one venue.
3. Alternative Dupes
Unless you have an abundance of floral knowledge – which many people don’t before starting their wedding planning – choosing florals can be overwhelming. Between names, seasons and prices, there’s a lot to wrap your head around. Usually, florists will ask for images upon consultation, so have a Pinterest board ready, and remember it’s about creating a look or vibe. If your heart is set on Eskimo roses, but your budget doesn’t align, your florist can advise a similar alternative that will give you the same look with a kinder price tag. Florists are fonts of knowledge and experience!
Saving Tip: Create a budget for each bouquet and arrangement. If the cost proves higher, ask for similar alternatives that cost less.
4. Go Smaller
If you have your heart set on one particular flower variety, ask your florist if reducing the size will reduce the cost. While there’s no denying the drama of a maximalist, oversized bouquet, there’s also a lot to be said for small wedding bouquets. Not only are they adorable, but they’re generally more affordable, easier to manage on the day, and they allow your dress to take centre stage. Petite posies are ideal for smaller, intimate weddings. Check out 25 small bouquets to inspire your look here.
Saving Tip: Small wedding bouquets can be can be classic or rustic, retro or wild, but if they don’t work for your bridal look, they might be perfect for your bridesmaids!
5. Have Just a Few
If you have your heart set on a particularly expensive variety, like peonies, a bouquet containing just a few of these flowers mixed with others is a good compromise. Your florist will be able to tell you what will complement your chosen blooms best.
Saving Tip: A few single long-stemmed flowers elegantly tied with silk ribbon, especially roses or peonies give a pared-back, romantic look.
6. Fabulous Filler
If you’re compromising and having fewer blooms, but still want a full look, ask your florist if it’s possible to add filler such as greenery using fresh ruscus and eucalyptus, or smaller blooms like baby’s breath.
Saving Tip: Most brides feel they need to have a larger bouquet than their bridesmaids or even the same flowers – not at all. Chose a more expensive flower for your bouquet and less expensive flowers for your bridesmaids, but keep the size consistency the same, like the baby’s breath and peony combination above! Bunches of tiny blooms like gypsophila (baby’s breath), lavender and most Irish wildflowers are ideal for this type of bouquet, and are quite inexpensive.
7. Who Said They have to be Flowers?
There are plenty of alternative and amazing bouquet styles that don’t require flowers! If you want to inject personality or perhaps simply toss the rule book, this may be the perfect option for you! From comic book origami to button and brooch bouquets, we’ve seen it all here at One Fab Day.
Saving Tip: If you are opting for a fun brooch or button bouquet, ask family and friends for spares. Who doesn’t have a box of unused and forgotten buttons in their house? Plus, if you borrow a brooch they’ll be psyched you’re including something of theirs.
8. Why not go Faux?
If you prefer a classic look, silk or faux flowers have a lot to offer, and when sourced correctly, can look exactly like the real deal. Just remember to pre-order samples as pictures can look very different to real life. An added bonus of silk flowers is that you won’t have to worry about damage or expiration, they’re allergen free, and you can keep them as heirlooms, or even sell them afterwards. Little Daisy Flower offers silk floral services for bridal bouquets to ceremony and venue decor. Interested? Read all you need to know about silk flowers here.
Saving Tip: Many wedding planning and styling companies also offer the options to rent smaller scale faux flower items such as centrepieces, cherry blossom tress, arches and faux floral walls which can all be rented for the day. This also works really well for two-day weddings, as you can keep the arrangements for the weekend.
9. Dried over Fresh
Dried flowers lend themselves to both vintage and modern weddings, and incorporating unusual blooms, seed pods, dried grasses and other lasting botanicals in sun-bleached hues and variety of textures. Dried floral bouquets, or bouquets with some dried florals mixed in can work out less expensive, as they have a longer shelf life and have less chance of getting damaged en route to your florist.
Saving Tip: If you want to preserve your wedding bouquet, dried florals work really well for this. Read how easy preserving your bouquet is here!
10. Think Seasonally
Seasons play a huge role in the choice and price of wedding flowers. Hallmark days and seasonal holidays such as Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day and Christmas Day also inflate costs. If you haven’t chosen your wedding date yet, keep in mind that the cost of flowers tends to be higher at these times and also during summer (peak season) and winter (out of season). If a specific floral you desire isn’t in season, exporting it will add an additional charge. To choose according to the season check out our guides as to what’s in season in spring, summer, autumn and winter.
Saving Tip: Book your floral consultation in the same season as your wedding. That way, you see exactly what’s in season, and your florist may even create a quick sample bouquet for you to hold and get a feel of what yours will look like on the day. If you’re getting married around popular floral times, ask what flowers will be ordered. If your florist is ordering heaps of red roses for Valentine’s Day, ask if choosing these florals for your bouquet will reduce the cost seeing as stock will be abundant.
11. Raid the Garden
If you are thinking seasonally, then summer is a great time to DIY some of your florals. For instance, if you are choosing a single bloom bouquet for your flower girls or bridesmaids, then choose something you know is growing in abundance and in season in a loved one’s garden.
Saving Tip: Hydrangeas are popular in Irish gardens, and even more popular for bridesmaid bouquets, as they are easy to bunch together for a full-looking bouquet, and come in dreamy pastel shades of pink, blue, lilac, and even white.
12. Eliminate Extra Costs
Be aware of any additional or hidden costs, and ask about all of these at your consultation. Taxes, VAT, export, delivery, fuel, styling and removal or collection may be a few of these additional charges that you need to clarify.
Saving Tip: Depending on the location of your wedding, the distance between ceremony and reception spaces (if you’re repurposing your florals), and who is available to assist on the big day, you might need to pay extra. Eliminate some delivery and travel costs by asking a trusted friend to pick up and deliver the bouquets and wedding florals from the florist on the morning of the wedding. Ensure they have enough space for transporting them without damaging them, and are strictly briefed by your florist about any set up involved or what’s required to keep them fresh.
For more wedding flower ideas check out all our floral inspiration features here or follow us on Instagram. We also have lots of budget saving tips to help you here!