Why Are Flowers So Expensive? Part Three: What can I do to Make My Wedding Flowers More Affordable?

March 23, 2018

Why Are Flowers So Expensive?

So often, I get inquiries from clients who have really big and beautiful plans for their wedding….. and absolutely NO idea what those big plans will cost.  And why should they?? Pinterest does not come with pricetags on all those gorgeous images, and my clients (hopefully) are only getting married once. So they have no frame of reference for how to go about allocating a portion of their budget for floral decor.  Luckily for my clients, they have someone who DOES know how to go about this–ME!!

The goal of this series is to educate brides/grooms about why flowers cost what they cost, and to create realistic expectations for what floral decor they can have within their budget.  I want my clients to be able to make educated decisions that feel good. I never want a client to feel like they got no flowers for their wedding because of their budget, but I also never want a client to have buyer’s remorse.  To that end, here is Part Three of a three-part series on Why Are Flowers So Expensive?


Why Are Flowers So Expensive?  Part Three: What can I do to Make My Wedding Flowers More Affordable?

So we’ve covered the hard work of a farmer and a florist to get you your flowers.  We’ve covered some common myths about wedding decor. Now, on to a plan of action! What can you do to make the most of your floral budget?

Let’s face it, floral/rental decor are the best and most comprehensive way to convey the style and personality of your event.  They are heavily photographed and can be found throughout all stages of the wedding-ceremony, portraits, cocktails, reception. Attention needs to be paid to this on some level.

Now, Let’s talk about the “Flowers just die” argument.  Food gets eaten, the dress is only worn once, the cake gets eaten, the candles get burned, and the stationary gets used.  At least the flowers can be repurposed for a family event the following day and the photos will last forever. This is not a slight on any wedding vendor, but rather a statement that no vendor or decor element is less significant than another.  Because of that, it is up to YOU to decide which elements are important to you and prioritize accordingly. Below are some tips on how to keep your floral decor affordable (straight from an actual florist!).

*Greenery/Garland:  Premade garland is more expensive than you think.  It starts around $15-20/foot in my market (depending on what greens are used) and goes up based on fullness and addition of flowers.  A less expensive option would be to lay long stems of greenery down the middle of the table. The result is a lighter, airy garland.  Below is an example of each.

Ben Q Photography + Thistle Floral Design

Erin Brennan Photography + Sweet Blossoms

*Consider reusing ceremony decor or bouquets in the reception.  Florals that are attached to an arch or chairs with little/no water are hard to reuse.  If you use arrangements in vases or urns or a collection of candles or lanterns, these can be moved inside to the reception while your guests are at cocktail hour.  This allows you to get more bang for your buck. Larger vase arrangement can frame the sweetheart table or be used on the escort card table and smaller pieces can decorate the bar, dessert tables, or gift tables.  Below are two examples of aisle decor that was reused on small tables throughout the ceremony.

Elliott O’Donovan Photography + Sweet Blossoms

Blush and peach travel themed aisle decor wedding at Stone Manor Country Club

Alicia Lacey Photography + Sweet Blossoms

*Consider reusing bouquets for centerpieces.  Place a vase on the table and surround the vase with small votive candles, petals or smaller arrangements for a finished look.  Most people have more tables than bouquets. That’s ok! I usually recommend 2-3 designs to add visual interest to the room. Who knows?  Maybe having this less expensive option on some tables will allow you to have an elevated arrangement on a few tables or a gorgeous compote design on others.  In the design below, a lush head table design was made by adding petals, candles, and small arrangements to the bouquets.

Lauren Gabrielle Photography + Greenhouse Florist

Be open, honest and FLEXIBLE with your florist.  Give him/her an approximate budget and a wish list of all desired items.  If you are not honest, not only will your florist waste their time preparing a proposal that’s unattainable, but it will waste YOUR time reading an unrealistic proposal.  Let your florist price out all desired items and then go through them together to decide what can be cut or reduced.

NOTE:  A proposal total goes down in one of two ways: remove items from the list or make existing items smaller or simpler.  Either way, something has to be removed. A good florist will tell you if it’s possible to scale something down. Some designs can’t be reduced without changing the design.  Be flexible and let your florist make suggestions. They may be able to suggest a similar, less expensive look or they may be willing to make a smaller, simpler design with less of the “pretty” (this would remove some of the smaller accent flowers that add interest and texture).  However, your florist is also running a business and promoting their brand in addition to creating a decor package that represents your signature style. It’s their job to tell you when/if a design cannot be reduced without compromising the design. Unfortunately, that is when you may need to begin removing items from your list.  If that happens, it’s time to start prioritizing.

Begin by prioritizing what is important to you.  Are pictures of your ceremony more important? If you are having a long ceremony, lots of time will be spent in that space and your guests will spend a lot of time looking at your decor.  A beautiful ceremony arch makes for a great backdrop both for your ceremony and for portraits afterwards. Is your guest’s experience more important? If so, maybe you want to spend more of your floral budget on the reception space.  Asking yourself these questions can help you decide how best to spend your floral budget.  The bride below prioritized her ceremony space and personal flowers and created her own centerpieces.  I was happy to create something beautiful for her outdoor space!

Love Knot Photography + Sweet Blossoms

There are always way to work within a budget to have beautiful floral decor and in the end, the best person to help you make those choices is your florist.  Hopefully after reading this series, you now have a better understanding of why flowers cost what they cost, you have realistic expectations regarding flowers and their cost and you feel confident about how to have an educated conversation with your florist about how best to utilize the money you have allocated for your floral decor.  Thank you so much for reading!

Click here to read Part One: How Did These Flowers Get Here?

Click here to read Part Two: 5 (and a half) Myths about Wedding Flowers