What’s a wedding without a flower or two (or 100)? Here’s how to stay in the green when it comes to your floral arrangements.
CONSULT A FLORIST
You may be able to DIY your favours of have your cousin DJ, but when it comes to flowers. It is best to speak to a professional. Your florist is the expert who can give you the most educated advise with regard to reducing costs while still achieving your vision for your wedding day.
DISCUSS YOUR BUDGET UPFRONT
Be open with your florist about what you would like to spend on your flowers and ask them if your vision is possible. If it’s not, they can offer suggestions on how you can get a similar look within your budget.
AVOID GETTING MARRIED CLOSE TO SPECIAL DAYS
Red and white flowers (especially roses) are extremely expensive a week before Valentine’s Day, as are pink flowers (they are the second option for most people, since red and white are so pricey). Flowers also cost more around Mother’s Day and Christmas.
KNOW YOUR (BUDGET’S) ENEMY…
As a general rule, flowers with large heads – like peonies, dahlias, hydrangeas (when not in season) and garden roses – are pricier than others. Those that have blooms on onestem can also be quite expensive, like hybrid delphiniums and orchids.
… BUT DON’T EXCLUDE HIGH-END VARIETIES ON PRINCIPLE
Sometimes the more expensive flowers make sense, as these have a bigger head size and fill the same space as a few smaller, cheaper flowers. They can also be very effective solo. A single orchid, rather than a large centerpiece made with less-exciting flowers, will almost certainly be a more affordable option.
Seasonal local flowers can be less expensive than imported flowers. However, this will depend on the type of flower. Some varieties are difficult to grow and maintain, and this drives up the price, regardless of where they are sourced.
GET THE MOST MILEAGE OUT OF YOUR BLOOMS
There’s no reason your blossom-covered chuppah can’t serve as a photo booth later. Cut out the unnecessary things that can’t be repurposed (like pew ends) and re-use the large arrangements from your ceremony at the reception.
CHOOSE A VENUE WITH ITS OWN NATURAL BEAUTY
With colourful fynbos surrounding you, or vineyard views stretching to the horizon, you can go minimal on your flowers and let Mother Nature do the work for you.
HAVE FEWER, BUT MORE EFFECTIVE, ARRANGEMENTS
Particularly for larger wedding with more tables, it is difficult to achieve a lush floral look on a tight budget. Rather spend your money on a few beautiful installations in the space, and then decorating your tables with candles and textiles. You could also do extravagant arrangements on half the tables, and something simple on the other half, to save on costs while still creating a wow factor.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
Arranging flowers is labour-intensive and requires the skill of a creative person. Costs depend not only on the flowers, but also on the size of the arrangements and the time, skill and equipment needed to create them. For example, a hanging installation is very pricey, as it requires a base to be created or hired, ladders, time and experienced staff to hang it, and a large number of flowers and/or foliage to create an impact.
BE RUTHLESS WITH YOUR GUEST LIST
The more tables you have, the more you will spend on flowers and décor.