Flowers: Where to Begin???
Wedding flowers are often a huge question mark when it comes to budgeting. It's hard to know where to begin, and how much money to budget to get the flowers you want. When I was wedding planning my flower knowledge basically consisted of rose, daisy, tulip....you know, the ones I doodled on my notebooks with my collection of "Gelly Roll" sparkly gel pens. To solve the mystery of How Much Wedding Flowers Cost I decided to give my florist pal, Kelly of Thistle and Blooms, a call. Here is what I learned from the expert:
Hiring a Pro-What You Need to Know
When you hire a pro, they will sit with you to create the look you want, help you choose flowers for your budget, and then execute everything. That means they deliver everything and come to pick it all up at the end of the night. You can expect to have an initial free consultation meeting, and from there the creation of a proposal. Upon booking, you will meet again to plan and create everything you want. After that you will finalize the details and see your florist on your wedding day.
Most florists have a minimum price to book because they have to purchase all of your flowers in advance wholesale, then plan, design, store and deliver your flowers for your wedding. You can have your florist do a mock up of your bouquet for around $75-$100 so you can see in person what it will look like before your wedding date. Kelly recommends bringing a pinterest board of what you like to your initial meeting to make sure you and your florist are on the same page with ideas. This way your florist can even bring those pictures to the wholesaler to make sure all of you understand what "pink" looks like in your eyes. The average cost of this service is about $3,000. That includes wedding party bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages, table arrangements, centerpieces, perhaps a small arch, and maybe even a flower crown! If you want to cut costs, you can hire a florist to just do bouquets and boutonnieres and pay around $1500. How else can you cut costs? Kelly recommends get the general idea of the look you want and then choose flowers that are in season. If you give your florist more free range with flower types, they can help you stay in budget by the flowers they choose. You can also add more greenery to keep on budget. (Plus eucalyptus is so darn pretty!)
For the flower-inept like me, here are the most expensive and least expensive flowers:
$$$$ peonies, dahlias, orchids, hydrangeas, ranunculus, lilies $ stock flowers. chrysanthemums, carnations, daisies, baby's breath
Pro florist not your thing? Here are some fun alternatives:
Hire a florist for just your bouquet, average cost is about $200.
Order flowers from Costco or Sam's Club in bulk, then fill in what you need with flowers from Trader Joe's or the nearest CoOp.
Go to the farmers market! In fact, buying flowers from the farmer's market in Minneapolis has become so popular that they have created Market Flowers, an easy DIY way to make beautiful flower arrangements for your wedding.
Head to the craft store, like Hobby Lobby or JoAnn Fabrics, and use fake flowers to make your bouquets.
Make paper flowers! You may have to enlist a few friends to join in a crafty night, but they can turn out really fun and unique.
I had a bride once have her bridesmaids carry the couple's favorite books down the aisle!
Another bride I know had her bridesmaids carry a single candle and then bring all the flames together to light a candle for the couple.
Bridesmaids and groomsman can walk arm in arm and forgo flowers altogether.
For a fall wedding, a bride used gourds and pumpkins to decorate the table tops. I have also seen candles, books, cakes, or picture frames to decorate tables instead of flowers.
I hope this little guide gives you a good start in your flower planning. Remember, you don't have to do anything you don't want to do-so be as creative as your heart desires when it comes to decorations and what you carry as you walk down the aisle. If you are hiring a florist, do an initial meeting to have them give you a realistic idea of what to expect with your budget. You can also do a mix of hiring a florist for some things, and have other ideas that don't require a florist. At the end of the day, you can't really go wrong because flowers are always beautiful!!