You know, we can’t really imagine a wedding without flowers.
We’re not suggesting that you have to turn your ceremony and reception into a replica of Kew Gardens, but well chosen blooms do add a certain beauty to your big day. A venue decorated with flowers simply bursts with romance and style. And blooms can fill the air with wonderful fragrances, setting a special mood and atmosphere.
Most brides would agree and allocating a budget for flowers is a key part of planning. You need to set aside some of your finances to cover the flowers you choose, but if you pick cleverly, it doesn’t have to be an enormous chunk. Knowing what to choose and how to display your flowers can make them appear to have been a lot more expensive than they actually were.
Where to buy your flowers
You can source your flowers yourself from a local flower market (but be prepared to get up early) and remember to use flowers in season to get the most blooms for your buck. Or you could order your flowers online via a wholesaler. If you decide to use a florist then remember that the simpler the arrangement the less time it will take to put together (so you’ll have a smaller bill). And simply arranged flowers can look just as beautiful as more complicated ones.
It’s also worth shopping around for florists, stating honestly what your budget is and seeing what they can put together for that price. Keep an open mind – although you might think peonies would be perfect for you, an experienced florist would be able to suggest some cheaper alternatives that would look equally good.
Certain flowers like roses, carnations and gypsophilia won’t blow the budget and always look pretty. If you’re having a spring wedding you can go wild with daffodils, narcissi and tulips without breaking the bank. In autumn get creative with branches of berries and fruits.
What do the professionals say?
Rachel Charmbury of Ambience Venue Styling has been responsible for making many a wedding venue look amazing. We asked her for her suggestions…
“Visit a garden centre or market and buy some inexpensive small white pots of marguerites (daisies). You only need one per table and you should be able to buy them for less than £5 each. Place inside a simple white pot and then display on your table. This is a great DIY wedding centrepiece as well, you can make up the displays a day or so before and as long as you keep them somewhere cool and water them a little, the flowers will be quite happy until your wedding day.
You can also put clear glass hurricane lanterns around your reception and ceremony venue with inexpensive white chunky candles inside. Place the candles on a bed of sand so that they stand firmly and then hide the sand with a scattering of petals, which could be roses, delphinums or whatever colours suit your theme. To add an extra dimension, place the lantern on a circular mirror and scatter crystals nearby.”
If you use an eyecatching and elegant tall vase for your flowers (and these can be hired so you don’t have to invest a chunk of money in buying them) then you can get away with using quirky, inexpensive blooms like gerberas and carnations (which are available cheaply all year round). Remember odd numbers always look better than evens and these tall vases are very elegant and will look fabulously eye catching as your guests enter the room.
A country garden theme gives you the perfect excuse to decorate your venue with simple jugs of flowers. The cheapest way of getting your look right is to buy flowers at your local market and choose blooms that in season, all of the same colour. As the bride you’re not going to have too much time to do this so you might have to delegate – but you can arrange the flowers the day before of course and just make sure they are watered and misted to stay fresh.
If you’re using a florist just state that this is the type of arrangement you’re interested in. It takes less time than a formal wired arrangement so the cost will be less.
Simple and elegant
Another very inexpensive way to do your flowers is to just put a rose bloom in a small candle votive holder. Add a sprig of greenery to complete the look. Group together in threes or fours on your wedding tables – white roses and silver holders look very classy and expensive, although in fact a silver candle votive costs just 79p from the Wedding Ideas Shop and a single rose should come in at less than 80p from a flower wholesaler.
Be clever and thoughtful with your flowers and you’ll get gasps of appreciation from your guests and they’ll think your floral budget was much higher than it actually was.
If you’re looking for more ways to save on your wedding flowers our Wedding budget section has loads of money saving hints that will help you save on your big day.