Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Saving Money on your Wedding Flowers

Recently a wedding blogger asked me for quotable material for a post about saving money on wedding flowers. She asked about trends -- are brides using branches, brooches, paper lanterns, silks, etc. -- to save money on flowers?

My experience is that brides want beautiful flowers, and they want their budgets respected. Those other ideas are just "different ways to decorate," because they aren't really flowers at all. And if couples want those things, they go ahead and do them.

So here is what I wrote for her, and she was able to quote liberally, but didn't. This material is worth knowing. Professional florists have an insider's perspective, and are visual artists, and cringe when we see brides spending good money (which could be used toward flowers) to buy trendy decor items that may not be exactly what they want, but a blogger told them, "this is how you save money."

Read her blog post here.


And now for my unedited thoughts on the subject:

The emerging trend in wedding flowers is lush, lavish opulence. As brides
and groom are spending more time online researching options, their
knowledge and appreciation of flowers is growing.

So how can you have an amazing look within the framework of a "realistic"

The very best way to save money on your wedding overall, is to have fewer
bridesmaids, and to limit your guest list. Intimate weddings with finer
attention to detail are a growing trend, because it's challenging -- and
expensive -- to create a blog-worthy wedding when your budget is stretched
to entertain hundreds of people.

Couples who need to keep their flower budget under control must be honest
with their floral designer from the start. Please be up front with your
budget, if you know it. Then be open to the professional's recommendations
as to how to achieve the best look with the dollars at hand.

Some additional advice:

Never skimp on the bridal bouquet! It's in more photos than any other
floral piece. It should be amazing.

Use Pinterest only as a reference tool, to inspire a "look" for your
wedding. Deciding your "must have" floral pieces and bouquets on
Pinterest, often leads to disappointment later as you learn just how
expensive "celebrity wedding flowers" can be: peonies, anemones, poppies,
ranunculus, Phalaenopsis orchids and garden roses-- especially when out of

"Local and seasonal" does not always mean "less expensive." These are
specialty blooms with short seasons, often organically grown, which
provide incredible interest to your floral designs. Allow your florist to
choose the best value and quality flowers available in your color palette
for a winning look that respects your budget.

Many of my couples wisely "repurpose" aisle to tabletop flowers. Again,
trust your florist to guide you in this process, because some designs
(like large filled glass cylinders) are nearly impossible to move without
the florist's staff there to do it, which will add to your bill.

Another idea: Rent! Many florists have wonderful props that help evoke
your wedding mood. You'll save time and money over tracking down these
items yourself, and they can be delivered and installed with your flower

Above all, once you have hired a reputable florist who you connect well
with, and in whom you can trust, please resist the urge to "micro-manage."
Extra consultations can incur extra charges for many florists.

The best florists are booked solid all wedding season long, giving their
100% to brides and grooms every week. When it's your turn, they'll give
you their very best as well.

 -Julia Miller, Julia's Floral, Edgewood, WA