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Did you recently get engaged and are planning your wedding? Congratulations!! Once you’ve finished celebrating, if you’re reading this blog, your next thought is probably, “how can I stay on budget?!”
There’s no doubting getting married and having the “whole traditional thing” can be expensive. A venue or church/place of worship to get married costs money, a reception venue costs money, food, your dress… it all adds up. In fact, in the average wedding costs anywhere from $25,000 to $35,000, according to The Knot.
But there’s hope! The majority of couples do end up spending less than $10,000 on their wedding, so if you’ve got a “small” budget compared to the average, fear not! In fact, our wedding cost less than $9,000 – and I definitely don’t think our wedding looked “cheap”, like many might have assumed from our budget.
Throughout February, I’ll detail exactly how to save money on key elements of your wedding. Last week, I covered how to save (and make!) money on your wedding dress. Today, let’s talk flowers! Here are 4 surprisingly affordable ways to save money on your wedding flowers.
Consider the Time of Year You Get Married In
The first thing you want to do is think about the time of year and when you’re getting married. Don’t have a date set? Then really consider setting one because that will also impact everything else you’re trying to book!
If you do have a date set, think about the season in which you’re getting married. For example, we got married in the winter in Phoenix. In many places, getting married during the winter could be difficult (blizzards! And other stuff you get when it snows!). However, winter in Phoenix actually means spring… which I thought would mean flowers, right?
Well, surprise: many flowers are not grown in Phoenix. While Phoenix might have once had a vibrant flower market, we now rely on flowers from all over the country. And February in most parts of the US is not a kind season to flowers!
This will really impact your budget for flowers, because what if you had your heart set on peonies in November? Sad fact: peonies bloom in April and last through June. Not exactly a hardy November flower. While you could still have peonies in November, using out-of-season flowers will increase your budget, because they’ll have to come from some part of the world where peonies are in season.
But don’t get too discouraged: a good florist will help you figure out the best flowers based on what you want, the season, and your budget. You may not get peonies, but a good florist will choose an excellent (and affordable) alternative.
Interview Several Different Florists
Just like you’re going to want to visit several different cake shops (because cake, right?), you’ll also need to interview several different florists. It’s easier than ever to find florists: Instagram is your friend!
Not on IG? That’s okay: check out Facebook, Pinterest, and creep on your friends’ wedding photos! Ask them who their florist was (if they got married in the same city as you) or who they would recommend.
At this point in our lives, all of us Millennials probably have one or two people who could recommend a good florist, either based on their experience or an experience of one of their friends/colleagues. Work your connections!
I recommend following your potential florists’ Instagrams and Pinterest accounts, or at the very least browsing their sites, so that you can make sure your wedding flower dreams match with what they can accomplish. For example, I knew I wanted succulents in my wedding, so I started following florists in Phoenix who worked with succulents and were familiar with arranging them in pretty ways.
Related: Southwestern Wedding Flower Ideas
Once you’ve found at least three, visit their shops and interview them! This is their chance to sell you on flowers, so don’t feel pressured to accept anything or apologize for your budget. It’s their job to accommodate your wishes (within reason!!) and stick to your budget.
I say this because one florist I visited (who shall remain nameless) acted very annoyed when I told them my small budget for flowers ($1,000). They showed me some flowers but acted very put-out when I asked them questions – like my budget wasn’t it worth it to them. I found someone better – and cheaper – but this is why it pays to interview a few florists in person!
Don’t Just Search for a Wedding Florist
One costly mistake people make is adding the word “wedding” before everything – wedding flowers, wedding hair, wedding venues, etc. Yes, your wedding flowers will be more special than regular flowers – but they are still flowers!
I ended up finding my amazing florist from good old fashioned Facebook stalking: I saw a friend was recommending this florist because they had done a great job on my friend’s parents wedding anniversary. The flowers were beautiful and, even though it wasn’t a wedding, I decided to call and just see, since my friend recommended them so highly.
The florist I used ended up being absolutely amazing – and way cheaper ($800) than all the other quotes I was getting. If I had only searched for “wedding flowers” I wouldn’t have found my florist, because they didn’t really market that part of their business as much as they did for other events.
Be Upfront About Your Budget
Your budget will be one of the first things a florist will ask you, which makes sense. You can’t have gardenias on a freesia budget (fun fact: I wanted both of those but got the freesias. Yes, they turned out wonderful!)
It’s great to have dreams on what you want your bouquet to look like! It’s your florist’s job to manage those expectations and still get you a beautiful floral arrangement and bouquet within your budget.
Be open to what the florist recommends. A good florist will work within your budget and work with the flowers that you like. Take the peonies: I really wanted them, they weren’t in season, and they would have cost a fortune to get. My florist suggested ranunculus and guess what? They were beautiful and perfect!
One thing to be aware of is the stuff holding your flowers, also known as vases, goblets, pimp chalices, whatever it is you want to hold your flowers. In many cases, florists will charge you to use their stuff or they will request you buy it.
I did not want 10 random vases to take home after a long wedding day, so I rented the pretty glass vases my florist had. It was a very cheap rental, less than $50 total, but other florists I interviewed wanted $200 and up to use their vases. Either BYOV (bring your own vase) or be prepared to rent from your florist.
Cut Out Your Loved Ones
If you’re really looking to save money on flowers, consider cutting out your bridesmaids/groomsmen – maybe even some family members. In general, your bridesmaids carry flowers, your groomsmen have boutonnieres, family members have flowers… that stuff adds up!
I didn’t end up having bridesmaids/groomsmen by choice, but even just flowers for my Mom + MIL and my grandmother and my Dad + FIL added up – plus my wedding bouquet and husband’s boutonnieres. It. Added. Up.
Saving Money on a Florist: Going with Someone New
You can save a lot of money by hiring people (like photographers, your cake baker, and even your florist) if you hire someone new to the wedding business. Weddings are lucrative, but everyone needs to get started somehow – and they need the picture proof and rave reviews!
However, if you do end up choosing a relatively new florist, ask to see pictures of their previous work. That could mean anniversaries, retirements, big parties, small parties, etc. Ask them if they’ve done flowers for your size wedding (a 25 person wedding with flowers is vastly different from an 100 person wedding with flowers!)
What you’re looking for here is someone who can deliver on time: do they have a track record with tight turnarounds? Flowers are delicate and usually have to be set up the day of your wedding. Is your florist familiar with setting up table flowers vs. vase flowers vs. getting you your bridal bouquet on time?
In my case, my florist set up our reception tables with flowers and had her assistant run to my wedding venue to give me my bridal bouquet, boutonnieres, etc. Make sure your florist has a team that can handle things like this!
Your Wedding Bouquet Will Cost So Much Money
At first I was super annoyed to be quoted such a high price for my wedding bouquet – it was almost half the $800 cost! For a small wedding bouquet?!
It turns out, this is important. Do not try to cheap out on your wedding bouquet flowers. Here are just a few reasons why:
- Your wedding bouquet will be sturdy – it will be used for at least an hour if not longer before the wedding starts
- It will be in almost every single wedding photo
- It has to be bigger, because it will be in photos
- You’ll be carrying it around a lot – you want to love it!
Also, fun fact: you don’t throw your wedding bouquet at all the single ladies! I at first thought I would have to give it away, but my florist made a “mini bouquet”, and that’s what I tossed at my single friends.
It’s Still Fun
My wedding flowers are still one of my absolute favorite parts of the wedding. The flowers were gorgeous, not expensive, and smelled so wonderful. It was nice holding my bouquet because it had everything I wanted in it – beautiful flowers and succulents.
You may not love your wedding flowers as much as I did, and sure, many people won’t remember them, but they are important to have. You’ll definitely notice – you’ll notice everything when you’re the bride! 🙂 That said, it is definitely possible to stick to a budget. By following these surprisingly affordable ways to save money on wedding flowers, you’ll be on your way to a great wedding – on a budget!
Do you have any tips for saving money on wedding flowers? Let us know in the comments below!