Good morning! I hope you are ready for another dose of wedding floral education with wedding floral week part deux. Yesterday we talked the cost of wedding flowers and now we are talking about how to save money on your wedding flowers. There are little things that you can do to control the costs of your wedding flowers, but I don’t know what those little things are, so I went to the best wedding florists in the DC area and got their advice. How do they help their clients save money? From what I’ve learned it is more about making smart flower choices and getting the most out of your wedding floral budget vs. just getting a deal on flowers because as we learned yesterday, flowers are expensive. There is no getting around that fact! However, there are things that you can do to have beautiful blooms for your wedding and have them fit within your budget.
Floral Design: Studio DBI
BOUQUETS + CENTERPIECES
“Bridesmaid bouquets and table centerpieces are two places where people’s flower budgets typically skyrocket, as both of these are iterative costs, so having fewer of each of these can save you money. You can also think out of the box and have your bridesmaids’ carry something other than flowers. For tables, seating tables of 10 or 12 can save you on centerpieces vs. committing to eight people per table.” Gerry and Rebecca, owners of Petal’s Edge Floral Design
“We all like to see a variety of designs at a reception as opposed to a space full of the same centerpieces on every table. While elevated designs certainly offer drama, height and variation to the space they come with a higher price tag. They take more flowers to construct and typically the pedestal or base that supports them is heavier and more expensive to rent than a small vase or container. Consider using fewer of the elevated arrangements in the reception space or going with all low arrangements in a variety of containers to mix things up and make the tables different.” Alicia, owner of Alicia Jayne Florals
REPURPOSE + REUSE
“Repurposing your flowers throughout the day is a cost effective way of maximizing your budget. Ceremony flowers can be moved from the church to the venue (if permitted), bridesmaids bouquets can be placed around the cake or on the place card table or you can elect to feature your beautiful bridal bouquet on your the sweet heart table. Flowers such as hydrangeas provide a lot of ‘bang for the buck’ and are my favorite ‘go to’ flower for any time of year. I often advise couples to focus their budget on the areas where their guests will be spending the most amount of time.” Lisa, owner of Petals and Promises
“Getting the best bang out of your buck would be to repurpose your large arrangements. For example, if you use altar and/or aisle pieces, reuse them at your reception for the king table or to add pizzaz to an entry way. Another idea would be to scale back on your bridesmaids bouquets.” Jennifer, owner of J. Morris Flowers
“Smarter value shopping with your floral designs in mind means includes finding a florist that can handle all of your design needs. You can also go with bigger and taller blooms for centerpieces like hydrangea, snapdragons, orchids and delphinium. Lastly, you can find ways to reuse flowers such as using your bridal bouquet for your sweetheart table and your bridesmaids’ bouquets as mantel centerpieces.” Katie, owner of Elegance & Simplicity
“Flower selections are the primary cost drivers. Anemones, peonies, garden roses, and orchids are all budget-busters. Hydrangeas are a great cost-saving flowers – they take up a ton of space and are available year round (with local seasonalities, of course). Beautiful greenery such as salal, viburnum foliage, and ferns all can help keep price down, while still creating a dramatic effect. However, there is a myth that only because a flower is in season, does not mean it is cost-effective. In reality, peonies, when in season, are still running $3 a stem wholesale as compared to a $.35 carnation.” – Liza, owner of Studio DBI
“When a proposal comes in higher than desired, the designer can recommend changing the design in various ways. They can reduce the number of arrangements included in the design, change out some of the more expensive flowers for carnations, greenery and filler, or design smaller arrangements and then mix in other elements to complete the design.” – Janice, owner of Serendipity Bridal & Events
“The best way to save money on your wedding flowers is to truly use what flowers are in season and be open to a variety of flowers, foliage, berries, etc. Set parameters with your designer as to the color palette you would like and let them use their expertise to purchase blooms that are in season and maybe even available locally. Be flexible with the types of flowers. Trust the designer to produce beautiful designs and know that they will not want to put their name on something that is not of top quality and style.” Alicia, owner of Alicia Jayne Florals
“We tend to look at what the couple is showing us for their overall idea and compare it to their budget. We’d like to offer them the best that we can and stay within the budget, but it needs to be realistic. I love white hydrangeas and I’m sure that many other florists do too! But if you have a palette that doesn’t include white hydrangeas, I’m not a lover to dyeing them or spray painting them to get the color. Not all hydrangeas are a great price and the deeper richer colors are much more expensive and mostly procured through Holland. I still feel that roses offer one of the best values and color ranges for the wedding decor. That being said, everything else I love to pair with it, comes with a price too, but who doesn’t love a beautiful anemone bloom or cluster of bouvardia? Orchids, especially cymbidiums are a wonderful price by the bloom. Even though they aren’t a large bloom, their longevity and beautiful colors are spectacular and we love to work with them!” Christi, president of Bergerons Flowers
“One of the best ‘inexpensive’ flowers is baby’s breath. Massed on its own it can make a dramatic and cost effective look. Carnations can similarly have big effect at low cost. We prefer not to mix these flowers with other flowers, though, as that can cheapen the look.” Gerry and Rebecca, owners of Petal’s Edge Floral Design
FOCUS ON THE RECEPTION
“Saving money on flowers is like saving money on anything else – you have to be realistic with your expectations and be willing to compromise. When you have a tight floral budget, forget the ceremony. Your guests are focusing all of their attention on the two of you saying your vows. Reception is where your guests will be spending majority of their time, therefore more bang for your buck.” – Liza, owner of Studio DBI
“Delivery/setup/breakdown can impact the overall cost. If your order is on the smaller side and you have a responsible friend or family willing to pickup the items and bring them to their appropriate venue, do it. This will save a good chunk of change. And, there’s always talk of rented containers versus purchase: with today’s weddings, we usually assume all containers are rented unless the couple specifies otherwise. If you’d like your guests to take the flowers home at the end of the night, consider providing your own containers. This will save on the probable upmarking you’ll encounter with a florist, if the florist was to purchase these containers for you (ordering and tracking the shipment is time and time is money.” – Liza, owner of Studio DBI
Thank you so much, ladies! We are having so much fun with wedding floral week here on United With Love and I hope that you are too! Please check out each of these talented DC area wedding florists on their websites. And, remember to come back all week long because we have so much more coming at you; I can’t wait!
In the meantime, be sure to look through our DC area wedding idea galleries and find wedding advice from local DC, MD and VA wedding pros. If that isn’t enough, check out our collection of local DMV weddings from the real world and the best DC area wedding vendors who make it all happen.