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Ten Ways to Save Money On Your Wedding Flowers

Updated on January 5, 2013
Some bouquet designs use only a small number of flowers, but can still be stunning and inexpensive.
Some bouquet designs use only a small number of flowers, but can still be stunning and inexpensive. | Source

Why You Should Consider Saving Money on Flowers

With weddings costing more and more each year, it's not surprising that brides are looking for ways to get the wedding of their dreams without a nightmare budget.

Floral decorations can be a significant cost at any wedding, from the brides bouquet to the venue arrangements and the reception table centers. One way to save is to make your own, but even so, there are many expenses such as vases and the flowers themselves.

Here are some simple tips that can help save you money, some are obvious, some are not. If you have advice to give on this topic, please add your tips as comments.

Use Potted Plants.

  1. Don’t forget potted plants. Sometimes if you want to add ivy or fern to arrangements, but don’t need a lot, it can be more cost effective to buy some large pot plants from a local garden center and snip off what you need, rather than buying the stems. Many wholesalers sell bundles of greenery which are far too large for what you want.

I've used a single fern to provide soft foliage for a bridal posy, and a single trailing ivy plant can be enough to create a stunning cascade bouquet. In addition to pot plants you can also buy garden plants for use with your wedding flowers, silver foliage like Dusty Miller is particularly effective. You can often buy a plant for less than $10, whereas buying 'greens' from, for example, one of the online florists, can mean spending close to $100.

2. Potted plants can also be used to fill small shallow baskets, often more cheaply than flowers. (take a look at miniature roses, for example)

Buy a round basket and three two inch diameter candles, all different heights. Place the candles in the basket, spacing them equally, fill any 'holes' with flowers or more flowering plants. This looks especially good when done in a basket planter with ivy spilling over the side.


Candle Centerpieces

3. Buy a tall vase and fill it with colored water, then float a candle on top. Surround it with smaller votive candles and colored rose petals. If the budget can stand it set the tall vase on a mirror mat.

4. Using cylinder vases, (either one vase or a set of three the same width, but different heights) buy flowers with striking colors, like purple or pink orchids. Cut the bare stems leaving a section of blooms around one inch less than the height of the cylinder vase. Fill the cylinder with pebbles or something heavy and tuck the orchid stem between them so it doesn’t float, then fill with water and float a candle on top. One set of cylinder vases is around $10. Add a bunch of orchids, (they cost 179.99 for 100 stems from Fifty Flowers) and the floating candles. Buy buying in bulk (and you find most of this on amazon, your centerpieces will cost a little over $10 each, and if you have 12 tables, then you'll have 64 stems of orchids left to make your bouquets. Total cost around $350.

5. Use the idea above but fill the base with sand and/or seashells for a beach themed wedding and scatter small shells around the table.

A very simple table center for a fall wedding created from three separate bunches of flowers added to three separate vases all the same width, but different heights. The three vases are placed together and gold beaded wire trailed over the result.
A very simple table center for a fall wedding created from three separate bunches of flowers added to three separate vases all the same width, but different heights. The three vases are placed together and gold beaded wire trailed over the result. | Source

Ways to Save Money on Flower Containers and Vases

6. Using wine glasses. Add a small piece of florists foam to each one and tape in place. Fill around the outside of the foam with water pearls in an appropriate color, then arrange foliage to hang over the edge of the glass and add some flowers. For a designer twist add some coils of wire or megabeads wrapped around the glass stem. If this seems too small, make up for size with quantity and place one glass at each guests place setting.

7. Soak the labels off a 2 litre soda bottle and cut off the top. The bottle can be used as a vase, for any sort of arrangement or simply fill with colored water pearls and one or more battery powered floralytes. You can float a large flower on the top (say a hydrangea)

8. Using the same technique to create three soda bottle vases of different heights. Fill them with waterpearls (and floralytes if you like these) then create three small bunches of flowers and tie them together with wire. Each bunch should just sit at the top of the vase. Put all three vases together and sprinkle around leaves, confetti or rose petals and/or votive candles. It's easy to make, inexpensive and very effective.

Add colors with Wire or Beads

Charming yellow bridal bouquet is relatively easy to make if you can get hold of the smithers oasis european bouquet holder. The black contrast is added through the use of wire and mega bead wire.
Charming yellow bridal bouquet is relatively easy to make if you can get hold of the smithers oasis european bouquet holder. The black contrast is added through the use of wire and mega bead wire. | Source

Choose Your Flowers Carefully

9. White flowers are often cheaper than colored. If you don't want the all white look you can add foliage, or you can add colored wire as an accent to your bouquet. Ribbons can also stand in for colored flowers. Some varieties of flower are much less expensive than others. Gerbera daisies for example cost a lot less than calla lilies.

Use Trees Instead of Tall Tablecenter Arrangements

10. Trees can often be hired and placed around your reception venue and they look fantastic when lit by warm white LED lights which are cheap to buy and easy to use since they can use battery power. Trees in pots can even be used as table centers. However, if you can't find anyone who hires trees, you can get a similar effect by making your own.

Branches with many twigs make excellent DIY trees, and the best thing is that if you live near a wood, branches are free!

Choose one with lots of sub-branches and trim it until you can place the branch in a pot, (or vase) and have it look like a leafless tree. You can weight the pot with stones and place the branch in florists foam.

There are so many ways to decorate the result!

Spray paint your branches (black or white look good) and glue on some tissue paper flowers (just scrunch some tissue and add glue) Provide some small cards with ribbon loops (color co-ordinated to your theme) and a pen. You can easily make the cards yourself using card making techniques. Find an appropriate rubber stamp, get some ink in the color of your wedding, stamp each card, punch a hole and add the ribbon. Then ask each guest to add their wish for the happy couple and hang it on the tree. It's not just a centerpiece, it's a keepsake!

Here's a video which talks about the process, using manzanita branches, but we're sure you can get the same effect for a lot less, if you live near a wood. Just combine a number of branches until you get the fullness you want.


Turning a Branch Into a Tree

Don't Postpone, Just Get Creative!

So many people are postponing their weddings until they can afford their dream. A wedding is an important day, but I know that in my mind, it takes second place, for example to the days my children were born. Truthfully, I remember less about the wedding, which passed in a blur!

Don't spend every penny you have on a single day, use these and other tips to help you save, so you can have your dream wedding without breaking the bank.

Please add your own tips on how brides can save money!

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    Post Comment

    • Amaryllis profile imageAUTHOR

      Lesley Charalambides 

      5 years ago from New Hampshire

      I understand that weddings are expensive, and the florists have to make a living, but sometimes I think that the moment you mention that something is for a wedding, people overcharge, which is really sad. A wedding without flowers would not be a wedding!

    • CZCZCZ profile image

      CZCZCZ 

      5 years ago from Oregon

      These are great ideas for making beautiful flower arrangements for a wedding on a budget, thanks for the suggestions.

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