How to cut flower costs at your wedding, according to florists

About 1 in 5 of the weddings scheduled for 2021 were postponed to 2022, according to The Wedding Report, a market research firm. In all, an estimated 2.5 million weddings will take place this year — the most since 1984.

Couples who put their special day on hold for up to two years are now approaching florists with some big — and expensive — ideas, says Sachi Rose, the owner of a flower studio in New Jersey that bears her name.

“Many budgets don’t cover having the entire ceiling covered in flowers, which I get a lot of requests for because of Pinterest,” she says, noting that such decor could range from $8,000 to $30,000, depending on how much coverage the client wants. “I do that sometimes, but the budget has to allow.”

The average couple, however, spent $2,300 on wedding flowers in 2021, according to a survey of 15,000 couples by The Knot.

For many clients, the price of flowers has little to do with the type of stems they want and more to do with the size of the wedding, says Kara Nash of Kara Nash Designs in Atlanta, Georgia.

“The number one way to cut flower costs is to trim your guest list,” she says. “Every eight guests you invite to your wedding, that’s another table. Another table is going to have another linen rental, another center piece, another eight meals.”

But if the guest list is set, couples will have to find other ways to cut costs.

‘The farms did not double their [flower] production’

Along with heightened client expectations, florists are facing logistical problems, too, says Tracey Morris, who owns Ella & Louie Flowers in Santa Barbara, California. “You have double the weddings, double the demand, and the farms did not double their [flower] production,” she says.

Vases, floral foam, and other “hard goods” used in wedding flower arrangements that are made in China are harder to get due to supply chain stress.

Another table is going to have another linen rental, another center piece, another eight meals.

Kara Nash

Owner of Sachi Rose

All of these challenges result in the price of flowers, especially popular ones like the caramel-colored “toffee rose,” going up.

If you’re planning a wedding and want to save money on flowers, here are a few florist-recommended ways to trim costs.

Have an all-greenery wedding

You don’t have to have buds to have a beautiful wedding, Rose says. “If you do an all-greenery wedding, you do save a lot of money, because it means you could get stuff locally,” she says.

Still, you might experience some sticker shock, says Nash.

“Greenery is cheaper than a flower but to get a beautiful look, you’ll need a lot of greenery,” she says. “It’s going to be less expensive but it’s not a cheap way to go.”

One stem of greenery will cost you about $1.50, whereas a white rose stem will cost between $4.50 and $9, she says.

If you do an all greenery wedding you do save a lot of money because it means you could get stuff locally.

Sachi Rose

Owner of Sachi Rose

Nix the flower crowns

Arrangements that require more skill to create are more expensive, Nash says.

“Small detail work like corsages and floral crowns involve a lot more detail and are a lot more labor intensive,” she says. “Larger arrangements, even though they take longer and take more product, you don’t have to pay as much attention to detail as you would a small piece.”

If you plan for the entire wedding party to have flower crowns and boutonnières, it’ll cost more.

Think like a photographer

Ultimately, it’s the flowers that will feature in your photos that matter, Rose says. “The floral arrangement you have by the guest table isn’t going to be in photos and nobody is going to remember them,” she says.

Arrangements that will be heavily photographed, like the bridal bouquet, are where it’s smart to invest your effort, and your budget.

“At the end of the day, the photo that you have on the mantel for years to come is really the thing that is most important,” she says.

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