Beautiful Wedding Blooms Without Breaking the Bank
By Shana Fein
Along with the dress and food, flowers are one of the most important elements of beautiful wedding. While there are no hard and fast figures about how much wedding flowers should cost, research suggests the flower budget should amount to around eight percent of the overall wedding costs.
The final cost depends on your budget, vision and creativity. A Jewish wedding has some extras that could bump up the flower budget. Flowers are often used in the bedeken area—think of a bride sitting on a throne of flowers—and of course at the chuppah, which can be anything from a few simple blooms down the aisle to a veritable bower of flowers. Then there’s the yichud room, which even though the bride and groom will only have eyes for each other, should be beautifully decorated. And, don’t forget the reception area, centerpieces and dance floor. While you can spend a fortune on flowers, there are plenty of ways to keep the cost down, without compromising on the wow factor.
KEEP IT SEASONAL
The easiest way to keep down the cost is to use whatever flowers and plants are available for the time of year. Seasonal blooms will be in abundance and far cheaper than out-of-season blossoms.
Keeping your flower choices local can also save money. Using local flowers should also keep them fresher than anything that has to be flown in from abroad. This will help them maintain their just-picked appearance through the whole wedding, so there’s less chance of wilting flowers when it comes to formal photo time.
If for you nothing but exotic blooms will do, make sure you book a florist well in advance so there is plenty of time to source any flowers that have to be air freighted.
LESS IS MORE
Keeping the flower selection for everything from the bouquets to the boutonnieres to just a few key blooms will help to keep costs under control.
No matter if you have many different varieties or stick to just one or two key choices, opt for unscented blooms. The last thing you want is for any of your guests to have allergy attacks from heavily scented flowers.
When it comes to wedding flowers, it often pays to think big. Statement flowers might cost more per stem than more common blooms, but since you need fewer of them to create a sensational look, it might work out cheaper than opting for a lot of lower-priced flowers.
Use a lot of greenery to keep costs down. Foliage is cheap compared to flowers and choosing geometric or statement filler can bulk out simpler bouquets into an eye-catching arrangement that looks much more expensive than it really is.
KEEP IT EASY
The more work involved in prepping the flower, the greater the cost. If a flower needs wiring or taping to get it to sit in a bouquet, it might be worthwhile looking for an alternative that doesn’t need quite as much work. Stick with easy-to-manipulate blooms for maximum effect with minimum fuss.
CHOOSE HARDY FLOWERS
Opt for more robust blossoms, especially if you are getting married in the summer when the sun and heat plays havoc with cut flowers. From pre-ceremony photos to photos at the reception and beyond, you want to make sure your flowers stay perfect from beginning to end. Shy away from flowers that need plenty of TLC to keep them happy and opt for those that can take the roughhousing they’ll go through as you enjoy your perfect day.
THINK OUT OF THE BOX
Giant centerpieces might seem like a great idea, but they have to have function as well as form. Make sure your guests can all easily see each other, without having their view blocked by an oversized arrangement. Think minimal for maximum effect—water bowls filled with floating flowers or candles add a gorgeous effect, while allowing your guests to enjoy the event.
If you are willing to take a risk, you can also fill the arrangements with offbeat items, such as vegetables or feathers to create a still life that will be a talking point (while letting your guests talk to each other).
RENT, DON’T BUY
Find out what extras and accessories you can get for free or for a nominal price. The venue may have candelabras it can lend out, cutting down on the need for a floral centerpiece. Don’t forget to talk to your florist about renting bowls or vases rather than buying everything. You might also be able to rent large tropical plants that can fill spaces and add a dramatic touch for a low cost.
Make sure you get full value from your flowers by reusing them in multiple locations throughout the day or night. Depending on the layout of the hall, flower arrangements can do double (or even triple) duty in different areas.
Once the wedding is over, consider spreading the joy, and getting full value, from the wedding by donating the bouquets and arrangements to a local hospital or nursing home.