Ways to save on wedding flowers

Style-savvy tips for cutting costs

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Even budget brides want stunner personal flowers and impactful arrangements. Here are 10 expert tips for getting gorgeous blooms without breaking the bank.

Pick seasonal blooms

“As spring comes to an end, I realize I’ll miss tulips,” says Tess Kelbaugh, owner of Seattle-based July Floral Design. “They’re economical and there are countless varieties to work with — I love clustering them in groups, mixing contrasting colors or incorporating parrot tulips for extra texture.” Depending on your wedding’s location, elegant peonies are typically affordable in late spring; big, colorful dahlias are a pocketbook-friendly choice for summer; fluffy, cheery chrysanthemums and sunflowers are smart for fall; and graceful branches and berries are great for winter.

Include substantial stems

“Hydrangea, hydrangea, hydrangea,” says Susan Kass, owner of A Fantasy in Flowers, St. Augustine, Fla. Her shop uses these bushy blooms — typically blue, pink, purple or white — to augment bouquets and centerpieces for a lush, full look. Fewer stems are required, freeing up funds for pricier focal flowers, such as orchids or roses.

Go green

Beautiful greenery like sword fern, eucalyptus and tropical foliage can add to the size and style of your arrangements without adding a lot to the bill, says Kass.

Simplify

Kelbaugh suggests giving each bridesmaid a posy bouquet composed entirely of a different type of blossom — variety creates the interest, allowing you to go with low-cost options. Cheaper herbs and pods make for spare, masculine boutonnieres; save the bigticket blooms for your bouquet and key centerpieces.

Seek the chic

Glass vases filled with gems and just one to three submerged blooms look sophisticated and modern while keeping your prices low, says Kass.

use your florist’s containers

“A professional florist will build the rental cost into the price of the arrangement and not charge you as much labor, as they know exactly what they have to work with,” says Kass.

Multitask

Kelbaugh advises maximizing your florals by using them in the ceremony, and then transferring them to your reception and displaying them in a different fashion — arrangements down the sides of the aisle are placed atop cylinders for tall centerpieces.

Illuminate

In lieu of big floral altar d├ęcor or centerpieces, Kelbaugh recommends incorporating candles en masse — mix pillars, hurricanes, tapers, votives, Glassybabys, etc., to cast an elegant warmth.

Say thanks

“Have your guests take florals home as gifts!” says Kelbaugh. “You save on wedding favors, and it’s a unique way for loved ones to remember your celebration.”

Trust your vendor

Once you’ve selected a florist, share the colors, style and budget you want and then let them do what they do best. “Floral designers are artists and work much better not being told exactly what to do,” says Kass. “When you tell them that you love their work and you trust them to come up with a look for you, they will go above and beyond to make your wedding day fantastic!”

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