Want beautiful big-day blooms without blowing your budget? We asked a host of experts to share their top tips…
Go for a retro vintage theme and you can use a mix of second-hand containers. “I raided my mum’s cupboards for old-fashioned china jugs which we used as shabby-chic vases,” says real-life bride Emily. “We also had a good rummage at car boot sales and charity shops – both great places to look if you’re after lots of inexpensive, mismatched china.”
Before you start spending, carefully plan your budget and decide where flowers rank on your list of wedding priorities. If you’d rather spend more of your pennies on food and drink than decorating the venue, look to spend less on flowers, but if you want to create a beautiful space for your reception, allocate a larger portion of the budget to flowers.
Be upfront about how much you have to spend. “Your budget is one of the first things you should discuss with your florist,” says Cindy Kirkland. “The average spend is 10-15% of the overall cost of the day but this is not a realistic option for everyone. Be clear about how much you have to spend and your florist should have the experience to rise to the challenge.”
Choose a florist who is happy to work within your budget. A florist who encourages you to spend more than you can afford isn’t the right person for the job. You may have to compromise on the specific blooms or the types of arrangement you want in order to stay within your financial limits but your florist should be able to suggest alternatives that will look just as good at a lower price bracket.
Choose seasonal flowers grown locally. This will cost you much less than flying in exotic blooms from abroad.
Bridesmaids’ bouquets can really add up so be inventive. Think about giving each bridesmaid a single statement bloom to carry down the aisle, or opt for just having flowers in their hair or on a wrist corsage. If you’re set on bouquets, consider using them as table centers at your reception afterwards.
“Concentrate your budget on the areas that guests will spend the majority of time in and where lots of photographs are going to be taken,” says florist Gary Cooper. “If you want to get a real wow factor at the reception make the flowers totally different to the ceremony it will make everyone gasp especially going from country chic to modern funky!”
Instead of having expensive flower arrangements on every table you can alternate tables with displays of candles, which you can get for a fraction of the cost from Ikea.
“Be a little indulgent,” says A-list florist Mathew Dickinson.”If you’ve got your heart set on an expensive flower, use it but do so sparingly. Lots of brides love Lily of the Valley but used in abundance, it can break the bank. Instead, just have a little in your bouquet then you’ll feel like you’re surrounded by it all day.”