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Here at Lang Floral Designs, we have created wedding flowers for more than 100 weddings. So when working with a tight budget, how do you know whether or not you can afford to hire a florist? How do you know if you can manage to DIY your wedding flowers. And if you do decide to hire a professional, how can you make sure to choose options that are affordable. Here are my PRO tips for budget-friendly wedding flowers.
Should You Hiring a Professional Florist or DIY?
Your budget is tight, and you’re feeling the pressure to figure out every DIY option possible to save money. So now you’re considering doing your own flowers. I get it! I’m a professional florist in Chattanooga, specializing in weddings, so of course it is in my best interest to convince everyone they should hire a pro. But, I’m going to try to put my personal gains aside and give you real and useful advise on how to decide if it’s wise for you to do your flowers yourself.
So, when considering the DIY route, there are a few key factors to consider. I would hate for you to encounter some of the disasters that some DIY brides experience when trying to make their own bouquets and such the night before. So here’s my advise on how to make that tough decision. If you are considering doing your flowers yourself, you should…
1. Make Sure You Have Quality Help
Do you have a close friend, family member or bridesmaid who has some experience working with flowers. Did your mom used to work at a flower shop? Is your future sister-in-law a hobbiest florist and creative person, arranging beautiful things in her spare time? Flowers can be finicky, and you should definitely have someone around who has a basic knowledge of how to keep them fresh and alive. I would definitely recommend designating a “point person” responsible for the flowers, even if you plan on playing a large part.
2. Keep the Bridal Party Small
Take it from me, a professional florist. If you have 5, 8, or even 11 bridesmaids, DO NOT try to DIY the bouquets and floral elements for your wedding. You may think it would be fine because you have more hands, but that’s often not the case. More bridesmaids equal more chaos, and in my experience, it does not balance out to more help.
3. Be Prepared to be Flexible and Keep it Simple
So are you willing to “keep it simple” floral wise? If you’re in love with a Pinterest image of an extremely extravagant bridal bouquet, a professional is a must! Do your favorite Pins include lots of flower types you’ve never seen before? STEAR CLEAR! Those flower types aren’t commonly used in day to day arrangements for a reason. They may require very specific care that would be appropriate only for a pro. If you’re going to do your flowers yourself, plan for hardy flower types like roses, mums, and carnations. There is a reason you often see those varieties in grocery store bunches…they’re easy to care for and last a while.
4. Avoid Large Floral Installations and Large Floral Centerpieces
Please do not plan to do a large ceremony installation or lots of large floral centerpieces. If you’ve decided to DIY your flowers, keep it simple. Choose only the necessary bridal party items (Bouquets, Boutonnieres, Flower Girl Petals), and possibly just some simple greenery around a non-floral centerpiece like a Lantern or Candlesticks. Also, a large floral installation covering the arbor at your venue should not be attempted by an amateur, because these things can take so much more time and materials than you would ever imagine. So, you really need someone who has done large scale installations before to know what it will take.
5. Do Not Plan on Having a Jam-packed Schedule on Wedding Weekend
Creating bouquets, boutonnières, corsages, and centerpieces for your wedding will take some time. Before you decide whether or not to hire a pro, make a quick check list of your necessary floral items. Estimate how long each will take to make, and consider whether or not you (and your crew) will have that extra time. I would also definitely plan for a little more time than your estimate, because sometimes unexpected things happens. The last thing you want is you and your bridesmaids up all night before your wedding day doing flowers.
If you’ve decided to DIY your wedding flowers, here are some pictures of a few bouquet and centerpiece options. Floral items like these would be reasonable for amateurs to attempt for your big day.
If you choose garland for your long tables, definitely order it pre-made HERE? I’ve purchased this greenery garland many times, and it’s always perfect. Plus, garland is a bit more time consuming to make than you would expect.
For budget friendly wedding flowers, here’s our favorite inexpensive centerpiece option, which includes a modern lantern, some candles, and just loose greenery. In this one, we’re using Silver Dollar Eucalyptus and Italian Ruscus.
Here’s how to recreate this look:
– Greenery (Silver Dollar Eucalyptus and Italian Ruscus)
– Lanterns – We love these Pier 1 Lanterns for a similar modern look.
(To get 25% off any these Lanterns or any Candle Holders from Pier 1, click HERE)
– Pillar Candle for Lantern
– Glass Tealight Candles
6. Where Should you Buy Loose Flowers? FiftyFlowers.com
If you choose the DIY route, you’ll need to purchase the blooms and greenery online. There is one online source that I would highly recommend, because they are super easy to work with and they cater to the DIY-er. FiftyFlowers.com is a great company and I use them often for any special orders I can’t get locally. They ship the flowers directly to your address, and give you all the info needed to care for them properly. Their customer service is also the best, and they even give you a call almost immediately after your order is delivered, just to make sure everything’s okay. They are your go-to resource for DIY budget friendly wedding flowers!
7. If You Hire a Pro, Let Them Be the Expert.
If you’ve decided a professional florist is going to be best, my first tip is to let them be the expert. In my experience, brides usually have a few specific inspiration photos and Pinterest pins they love. But, they haven’t locked down firm ideas on every single floral item (for example, the boutonnières, corsages, aisle markers, etc.). But this is actually the best place to be.
Some brides feel so pressured to “be prepared” for their initial consultation, that they feel the need to have chosen each and every detail before the first meeting. However, it always works best if the bride has a few ideas that she likes floral-wise, and lets me be the expert. I always ask to see her full Pinterest board so I can see the overall style she’s looking for, and from there, I can make suggestions taking into consideration what will fit within the budget.
For instance, let’s say the bride has a certain style of floral centerpiece she likes, but she has a limited budget. If she’s flexible, I can create that floral centerpiece using a vessel that we already have in our rental inventory to save her money. And if she has a large guest count and large amount of guest tables needing centerpieces, I might suggest a secondary (less expensive) centerpieces that’s made up of some of our rental lanterns and loose greenery. Pairing a colorful floral centerpiece with a coordinating all-greenery centerpiece can be a great way to make the most of a bride’s budget.
Here’s how those two types of centerpieces look together:
Above photos by Emily Lester Photography
This mixture of centerpieces is much for affordable than if the bride insisted on all the floral centerpieces, because of course, they take more in materials. There are so many suggestions and ideas like this that your florist can help you play around with while figuring out what’s going to be best for you, your budget, and your venue.
8. Consider a Non-Traditional Floral Item for Your Bridesmaids.
When looking for budget friendly wedding flowers, full-scale floral bouquets can get pricey, especially if you have a large bridal party. There are lots of alternative ideas out there that require a lesser amount of blooms, but our favorite right now is these modern gold floral hoops.
9. Keep the Numbers to a Minimum
Choose a manageable amount of boutonnières, corsages, and bridal party “extras”. Although these smaller items aren’t super expensive, when you include a ton of them in your floral package, the cost can add up quickly. Believe it or not, I’ve done a wedding with 30+ boutonnières and corsages. If you have a large floral budget, go for it. These items help important wedding-party and family members stand out. However, if your budget is tight, these numbers MUST be kept to a minimum.
I would also suggest giving your florist a budget before the first meeting. That way, they will know what scale they’re working with, and how to make suggestions for that price range. If you’re unsure, HERE’S a helpful article on how to budget for flowers and other items in your wedding. Unfortunately, some wedding vendors take an “unsure” floral budget to mean “unlimited”. I recently had a bride tell me that one florist in town gave her a quote that was $1,100 OVER BUDGET! To avoid that, you must communicate your budget expectations to your vendors on day one.
10. Repurpose Flowers from Ceremony to Reception
Consider ideas on how to repurpose flowers being used at the ceremony again for the reception. One of my favorite ways to do this is to repurpose bouquets inside some vases at the bridal party table. Another great idea is to use centerpiece items as aisle markers at the ceremony. You can do this with floral arrangements, lanterns, or candles in vases. Whatever you decide to repurpose, you’ll just need to make sure you’ve assigned someone to move them from ceremony area to the appropriate place at the reception. For a small additional fee, your florist may be able to stay through the ceremony to help with this. But I would recommend saving that money and trying to recruit a helper or two (not bridal party or immediate family, since they will usually be needed for pictures). Here’s how that looks, paired with greenery garland from FiftyFlowers.com.
Need help with your wedding Budget? Click HERE to download our Wedding Budget Spreadsheet with Percentages.
You CAN Have Budget Friendly Wedding Flowers
I hope these 10 tips help you choose budget friendly wedding flowers, while still planning something beautiful that you’ll love on your big day!
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Lang Floral Designs is a premier wedding florist in Chattanooga, Tennessee. We do wedding and event flowers in the surrounding areas of East Tennessee and North Georgia, and we also love providing brides everywhere with useful ideas and information for their wedding day. For a better idea of all we can do at your wedding, click here. Contact us today if you’re interested in hiring us for your wedding or event.