Post It Notes – 25th November 2011: Money Saving Ideas for Wedding Flowers

Photography Credit: Sugar and Fluff (full shoot can be seen here)

After the success of last week’s ‘average spend’ post it note, a number of you messaged me to say you’d love to here some ideas of how to save the pennies on certain areas. So, over the next few weeks I plan to do just that. Starting this week with wedding flowers.

As ever, please let me know in the comments below (or email me directly if you prefer) if there are any areas of your wedding planning you’d like particular help with. I’m here to serve!

Flowers are one areas of your wedding where it’s really easy to make your budget go further, as Emma from The Green Parlour in Pangbourne told me,

“If people are willing to listen to a florists ideas on how to make the most out of your budget, you can actually achieve something really beautiful for a relatively low price. My top tip is always go for seasonal flowers and to get the most out of your budget try to use as much as you can in your various venues (like moving your ceremony displays to your reception).”

“I always suggest spending money on your bridal bouquet (and re-use this in an empty vase on the top table!) Why not just go for a buttonhole for your groom, instead of kitting the world and his wife with one. It’s lovely to just have you two with some floral detailing too. Also why not go for plants on the tables – these are great for budget saving and still have bags of impact (also great to give away as thank you gifts to your guests!)”

“If you’re going for a church ceremony, always ask if you need to leave anything as a ‘gift’ so you know where to best spend your budget. All-in-all based on 1 bridal bouquet, 1 buttonhole, 10 table centres (plants with containers which is a cheaper option than cut flowers) and 1 church display/ceremony display could cost as little as £400.00.”

Another way of course is to DIY as much as you can. There are various extremes of this, from growing your own (probably the cheapest but most laborious option) to getting up early to go to the flower market the day before your wedding. Buying your flowers wholesale at these markets is cheaper than going directly to a florist, however if you don’t fancy getting up ridiculously early (you usually have to get to these markets at around 6am!) then buying stems from a flower shop and arranging them yourself may be a better option.

14 comments

  1. we were on a tight budget and managed to keep the cost of flowers under £400, which included brde’s bouquet, bridesmaid’s bouquet, 8 buttonholes, 10 pew ends, 2 large church decorations and 6 table centrepieces. They looked stunning and much more expensive than what we paid for! The florist we used works from home so she doesn’t have all the overheads of a florist shop, and she had lots of useful tips on how to keep the costs down!

  2. helen

    We are having a go at growing our own for Aug 2012. We have just been leased a second allotment. I have spent the last month research seasonal easy to grow cut flowers – I have bought the seeds. . . .Watch this space! You may see me at 6am flower market!

  3. I wanted to have bold floral centrepieces and I didn’t like the idea of buying flowers out of season just to satisfy my needs. So I did went DIYing, my mother in law was kind enough to buy all the artificial flowers and vases for the table centrepieces. For the bouquet, hairpin and buttonhole flowers, I asked my dressmaker to send me some spare fabric so I can make them.

    Now my mother in law has enough flowers to decorate her house for Christmas and I have a bouquet which I can take out every so often and play around with.

  4. Great post! I have a clear idea about most elements of our wedding but haven’t got a clue about the flowers yet!! Love the idea of putting the bouquet in a vase on the top table.

    As for centre pieces, we had already decided that wanted to have plants on the tables (different on each table) that we would then plant in our garden, keep in our house or give away as gifts. (We are having a sort of garden themed wedding so we felt this would fit with that and be a better use of the money.)

    Could Emma suggest some plants she thinks would be suitable for an end Sept wedding?? (Emma- I am quite local to you too!)

    Thank you.

  5. Great tips, I agree with everything said and just wanted to add that local markets also do very reasonable flowers. I actually found the quantity I needed for our wedding was much more reasonable at our local market flower stall (Lewisham) than from Covent Garden flower market because I wasnt able to buy at wholesale prices.

    I spent about £70 all in for bride and bridesmaid bouquait, 3 pin holes and table decorations for 6 tables with loads left over. In a last minute panic (my only one) I decided I had to have those yellow bobble flowers and headed to Covent Garden at 6am the day before the wedding. I ended up spending £20 on those alone and really didn’t “need” them in the end.

    To put the flowers together all you need is a bit of string (I reused the stuff they came in), ribbon (mostly saved from gifts and gift boxes over the years) and some pins to keep the ribbon in place and secure the pin holes.

    I had a lot of fun doing our flowers, I did the bouquets the night before and everything else in the morning. My husband arranged the flowers at the venue which looked great just thrown together in vases.

  6. Molly

    I would also say shop around – there is always a better quote out there for you, whether in terms of cost or what you get for your money. You don’t always have to give up what you want or compromise to get a great deal (although being open to it does help!)

    We got married in December – not prime flower season – and I was able to get my bouquet, six good sized bridesmaid posies, large ceremony table arrangement, eleven table arrangements and three corsages for the mums for around £400 from Hot Flowers and Art in Buckinghamshire. They did all the delivery, arranging, and even carted all my 22 vintage silver teapots/trophies/containers of various sorts to the venue. We also something like 5/6 different types of flowers including roses and lisianthus. They were amazing, beautiful and incredible value – the flowers ended up being one of my favourite parts!

  7. Hi Lynda,

    Absolutely love plants on the tables, they look stunning!

    As for the end of September, there are tons and tons of options. The pick of the crop are: miniature rose plants (around £6) Dahlias (£4) Herbs – flowering mint is a must! (around £2) miniature hydrangeas (£8) zinnias (£5) miniature maidenhair ferns (swoon! £6)

  8. Molly –
    so true, do shop around but also make sure you click with the person who’s designing them … its so stressful not to fully trust who you are working with.

    If your using your own containers (fab way to add personality and avoid hire costs) bring them to an initial consultation as size affects the price … florists aren’t mind readers either and it helps understand the look and the impact you want to create. Teapots, trophies and toby mugs don’t need as many flowers as a huge bread bin, instantly you’ve halved the amount you have to pay.

    Def do some DIY … tables/ceremony flowers are the perfect place to have a play, with minimal stress for you, friends and family.

    A good florist will be willing to guide you in the right direction regarding flowers that you can grow (but always have a back-up, the weather and slugs are cruel!)

    We’re currently planning our wedding and I’m already been inundated by people asking who’s going to be making what. I’m letting one of the girls in the shop make my bouquet and a buttonhole for Z, but the rest I want to make myself, I can’t think of any better way to spend the day before the big day messing about with flowers (although invest in heavy duty gloves, no one likes hands scraped by roses in your wedding snaps)

  9. Sarah-Jane

    My flowers are costing £350. I have managed to rope a friend in to create the bouquets and going to a wholesale flower Market and using old jars as vases! Perfect

  10. This is something I’m really excited about, and to brush up on my bargaining skillz – our wedding will be in October 2012. I came up with an idea a couple of months ago – there are a number of houses I walk past to work every day who have the most gorgeous hydrangea eye-porn. As the weeks went on and crept past mid October, I noticed all the hydrangea bushes still had their vigor (and this morning, despite the frost, are still holding strong!) and with any luck, will last up until our wedding date next year.

    I’m hoping to approach said houses in the new year and ask if I could raid their bushes for our wedding next October. We are willing to pay for their gorgeous flowers, with the insight that we’ll be saving 100’s of euros.

    I will however go to a florest for me and my bridesmaid’s bouquets. I think that’s something I wouldn’t chance, since I know hydrangeas can get droopy quickly. But for the tables and ceremony, hand me my sheers.

  11. Caren

    We had silk flowers for our wedding as a way to save money, plus I wasn’t too fussed about real flowers. I made my bouquet, four bridesmaids wrist corsages, two wrist corsages for the mum’s, six buttonholes, table and room decorations with the help of my fab chief bridesmaid.
    It was definatly worth it, altho at times stressful! lol but it gave such a personal feel to the day and I was able to sew in a piece of my mum head-dress into my bouquet as my something old.
    Overall it cost us approx £250 for everything, maybe alittle more but great saving!

  12. Bec

    One other option is to order loose flowers to be sent to you from someone who grows flowers – either all loose flowers or mostly loose flowers but with bouquets/buttonholes made up.

    This option means you get some say in what flowers/colours to order in advance, the bouquets and buttonholes will tie in with the rest of your flowers, you don’t have to race off to a wholesalers at silly o-clock the day before the wedding, you get to have fun arranging flowers for the tables/church etc yourself and you still save a bunch compared to what you’d pay for someone to arrange everything for you!

    I know the Real Cut Flower Garden (http://www.cutflowergarden.co.uk/weddings) offers this service and will even grow flowers to order!

  13. Rachel

    If you are getting married somewhere that holds several weddings per day / weekend, find out if you can share the costs of the flowers between all the weddings. We ended up splitting the £100 flower cost from the church between 4 couples – bargain!

    (this will only work if you can all agree on colour, we simply went with white)

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