I hate to say it, but flowers are not cheap. I spent around the standard 8% of my budget on them. This included my bouquet, bridesmaids' bouquets, boutonnières, decoration for the ceremony, and centerpieces for the reception. Considering that the average wedding costs around $25,000, the flower budget can easily come out to $2,000.. I won't tell you exactly what I spent on my flowers, but it was more than I'd intended!
It doesn't have to be that way, though. The biggest tip to saving money on your flowers is to go with what's in season. That could be tulips or peonies in spring, hydrangeas in the summer, mums in the fall, evergreens and holly in winter, and roses and lilies year-round. I went with the classic bloom of brides, the rose, for the bulk of my floral arrangements, rather than opting for more expensive out-of-season flowers.
Being flexible helps – tell your florist to use whatever flowers are in season and within budget. If he's a decent florist, he can make a lovely display without billing a fortune.
Here's another tip: centerpieces do not have to involve flowers at all. I had glass vases containing white and red roses, but I could have saved a fair amount of cash by going with a flowerless alternative. Think about an arrangement of economical pillar candles in varying sizes, all in the wedding's colors. Or perhaps glass cylinders featuring sand and seashells for a wedding with beach theme.
For couples who really want fresh flowers and don’t mind putting in the labor, wholesale flowers are an option. Some wholesale florists in big cities will sell to the public, or you can search “wholesale flowers” online to find internet vendors. Of course, you’d have to clean and trim the flowers, arrange them, and keep them alive until the wedding. Doing all the finishing work can cut costs by half or more.
I'm ultimately glad I made the decision to go with a professional florist, but the savings certainly would have been nice!