Aug. 19, 2010, 6 a.m. by SMARTBRIDE

Wedding Advice: Budget-Friendly Floral Decor for Your Wedding


On a daily basis I encounter brides who want a stunning wedding, but don’t want to go broke trying to pull all the elements together. One of the biggest ticket items can be the flowers.

Image Courtesy of FLUR.

How can you get the flowers you want without taking a second mortgage out on your house?

Keep Reading for a few of my tips and tricks to guide you down the aisle with a happy bouquet!

  1. Do Your Research!

    Research your florist or designer and the actual flowers. Being in this business for over ten years has taught me that there are hundreds upon hundreds of options when it comes to your choice of florists and flowers.

    Also, create a list of questions in advance of picking up the phone, so that you’re comfortable and prepared when you speak with a florist. Educating yourself by doing a little bit of homework will benefit everyone and save time! Keep in mind that reading a few pages on a website about flowers does not a florist make. This leads me to my next point…

  2. Trust The Experts!

    These are individuals that usually have anywhere from 10 - 25 years of experience in the wedding floral industry. So, if they tell you that hydrangea won't work for your August bouquet, trust them! They’ll give you advice on what works and what doesn't work.

    Chances are they’ve experienced wilting hydrangea in August and don't want to put you in the same position. Listen, we’re all human and have made mistakes from time to time, which is how we all learn and quite frankly, makes us the experts.

    You might not want to hear that hydrangea doesn't work, but if you listen and trust your florist, you’ll be happier in the end!

  3. Be Honest!

    On a daily basis vendor inquiries filter in through phone or email, so for the sake of everyone's time be up front, concise and honest.

    Be up front about your budget and what you’re willing to spend. If you're not sure what flowers cost (even after doing research) let your florist or designer know this, so they can guide you.

    Tell them exactly what you need:

    • How many bouquets and boutonnieres do you need for the bridal party?
    • How many guests do you anticipate will attend?
    • Do you want high or low arrangements?
    • What are your favorite blooms?
    • What's your floral color scheme?

    Not sure of your answers? Start tearing out photos in magazines of flowers you like and flowers you don't like. Just because you don't know the name of a flower doesn't mean you don't know what you like. Follow your gut and go with it!

    Let the florist or designer know if you’re shopping around and why. We all know you do it, but if you’re shopping around based on price then tell us! If you’re shopping around for ideas, let us know that too. If you’re honest and upfront, almost all your vendors will be the same with you.

  4. Choose Your Blooms Wisely

    Keep in mind that seasonal blooms aren’t always less expensive. Lily of the valley (although quite prevalent in the spring) is a very expensive flower. Tulips and hyacinth on the other hand, are more reasonably priced during springtime.

    Image Courtesy of FLUR.

    So, if you’re gang busters to have lily of the valley in your bouquet ask your florist to "dot" the arrangement with these more expensive blooms, which will help you save money while getting what you want. Dot the key areas like: the brides bouquet, grooms boutonniere, and the table arrangements. Don't put expensive blooms in areas like a bar or food station because guests won't notice them.

  5. Cut Back On Attendants

    Cut costs by reducing the number of attendants in your bridal party. An ever growing trend is to include a Maid of Honor and a Best Man and that's it! You’ll cut back on the cost of the bouquets and boutonnieres. In some cases this can be upwards of $1,000! I know it sounds crazy, but asking less people to be a part of your big day is less stress for you and for them.

    You won't have to worry if your fiancés sister is a real b…(well, you get the idea) and she won't complain that she doesn't like the dress and shoes you chose. Plus you're saving money! It's a real win, win!

  6. Reduce Your Ceremony Décor

    Although it can be used later at the reception, there can be costs associated with labor to move the flowers from one location to another. Further, some churches require that you leave the flowers as your "donation" to the church. If the church is stunning (most are) use minimal décor.

    Do key arrangements on the altar and later have these moved to your venue on either side of the band or DJ. You can also have pew arrangements dotted along the aisle and that's it. Half of the time the photos are of you and your groom saying your vows, not of the flowers at the church!

    If I were to advise a couple on a budget, I would suggest they put their money elsewhere and go with minimal décor.

  7. Reviewing Your Proposal

    When the proposals start coming in, don't just look at the bottom line. There are many factors to consider when hiring the right person for the job. First, did they understand what you wanted? Did they include everything you asked for, from the number of arrangements to the color of the flowers to the style you like?

    Second, not all companies are run in the same manner. Some include labor, delivery and setup fees in their pricing while others may itemize these costs.

The bottom line here is that you shouldn’t just look at the bottom line, but look at the overall picture. You might have to pay a touch more to hire the florist or decorator that meets your needs best, but remember the old saying….you get what you pay for.

Until next time, happy planning and cheers!


About Shawn Rabideau Events & Design:

Shawn Rabideau Events & Design is a one-of-a-kind firm that believes the client comes first. Always elegant, innovative and classic, Shawn makes the event yours. From location to colors and flowers, everything that Shawn does reflects your personality. Combining full-service event production and lifestyle planning with Shawn’s affinity and passion for floral, Shawn Rabideau Events & Design creates immaculate events, from intimate dinners to large-scale corporate events that speak volumes about you.

More from Shawn Rabideau

  1. How to Plan a Budget-Friendly Rehearsal Dinner
  2. Budget-Friendly Wedding Cake & Dessert Options for Your Reception