One of the most variable wedding costs is one that surprises many of our couples. It’s an aspect of a wedding that most couples think will be one of the cheaper vendors, but quite often it ends up being the opposite. We’re talking flowers.
Couples typically expect to spend a chunk of their wedding budget on venue, food, and photography/videography. However, beyond that there is often a misconception that the remaining vendors will be smaller in cost. This is generally not the case with flowers. Let’s talk about why.
Flowers are one of the most variable wedding costs you have for your big day. Many people are surprised by this, and often ask for an estimated budget they should expect to spend on flowers. The reality is there are so many factors to consider that floral cost can range drastically. These factors include: flower types, arrangement style, wedding party size, guest count, and more.
Popular flower types (I’m looking at you, peonies) hold a much heftier price tag that others, such as a traditional rose. The arrangement style you choose will determine how many flowers will be needed to achieve the look, which inevitably impacts cost. The wedding party size and guest count also affects your total floral cost. Needing 3 bridesmaids bouquets is more budget friendly than needing 7, as is having 6 reception centerpieces verses 15.
So many factors affect floral cost, so when a couple asks for an estimate on what they should expect to spend on their wedding day flowers, there is no one size fits all answer.
In the age of Pinterest, DIY tutorials, and what I like to call “the simplicity façade,” it is easy to fall under the misconception that flowers will be relatively inexpensive for your wedding day.
Let’s start with the wonder that is Pinterest. Pinterest is an amazing tool that provides near endless inspiration. I love Pinterest as much as anyone, but be careful not to fall into what we call “The Pinterest Trap.”
In short, “The Pinterest Trap” is when a couple gets so attached to a specific photo that they insist on having it exactly recreated for their big day. This can lead to a few problems, but one of them is the misconception that because it’s on Pinterest means its achievable for everyone. The reality is quite a few of the images showcased on Pinterest come at a high price tag – one that isn’t friendly to those on a budget.
So before you get your heart set on the dramatic arch with drapery, cascading greenery, and large amounts of unique flower varieties, keep in mind that an exact replica could take up a large chunk of budget, and greatly increase your floral cost for the big day.
Okay, I want to quickly preface this by saying that I don’t recommend doing your own floral arrangements for your big day. There are a few reasons for this, but the main (and most important) one is that this is YOUR day. This is one of the biggest days of your life. You don’t want to spend the days leading up to it overwhelmed and stressed with a long list of to-dos that include creating 10 centerpieces, 5 bouquets, etc, etc. There will be minor things that come up in the days before the wedding, you want to have your to-do list as clear as possible to accommodate for any unforeseen things that arise and more importantly to enjoy every moment – you’ve earned it!
DIY has become increasingly popular for many reasons. One reason is that its just plain fun to do certain projects, especially for creative, artsy personalities. DIY wedding favors? YES! Invite the girls over, grab a bottle of Rose, and get to filling burlap bags with coffee beans. DIY floral arrangements for your big day? Trade in the stress and thorn pokes for a pre-wedding brunch, spa day or a chill hang out with your friends and family who are in town to celebrate with you!
There is often a strong belief that because you do-it-yourself that it saves money. This is not always true! My husband and sister can both attest to this -with many, many examples to back them up. Is it possible to save money by DIY-ing? Yes, of course. But it is best to get quotes from professional vendors and then look up all the costs of product you will spend to do it yourself to compare.
With DIY, it is important to remember to consider your time and stress! There have been so many times where brides have taken on DIY projects in an attempt to save a few hundred dollars-, and they end up with unforeseen costs, spending hours of their time, and overwhelmed with stress to save a small amount. Make sure to remember your time is valuable, and you don’t want to end up so stressed that the planning of your big day becomes something you look back on in disdain.
The Simplicity Facade
Ahh “the simplicity façade.” The popularity of the barn and farmhouse style wedding has been at a peak over the last few years. Mason jars, burlap, and baby’s breath – Oh my! Here are some debunks for three of the most common misconceptions couples have about keeping costs low for their flowers.
Misconception #1: “We don’t want to spend a lot of money on flowers, and since we like the simple style it’s perfect.”
Reality: Very few flower arrangements are actually considered “simple.” Often times brides say they want simple flowers, but their inspiration photos are anything but simple. Unless you are wanting baby’s breath bouquets and mason jars filled with a few stems and sprigs of baby’s breath as your centerpieces, the style you are wanting is most likely not as simple as you think.
Misconception #2: “We don’t need a ton of flowers. We want mostly greenery so it should lower flower costs.”
Reality: Greenery has increased in popularity as the garden style has hit a peak in the wedding industry. Couples often feel that because greenery is often cheaper to purchase means that using greenery will be cheaper than using flowers. While this can be true, when using greenery to create centerpieces or an arch embellishment, you need more greenery to achieve a look than you would need in flowers. Also, greenery styles typically include a cascading element, which requires a decent amount of product and skilled labor to create. While greenery can be more cost effective than using large amounts of flowers, this generally doesn’t apply to the more popular images you most likely are inspired by on social media and Pinterest.
Misconception #3: “We’re just going to use silk flowers to cut down on costs since flowers will wilt and die anyway. This will keep it simple.”
Reality: This is a very popular misconception. Silk or faux flowers do not typically provide any savings in cost. I know what you’re thinking – that can’t be right! We’re getting fake flowers, giving up having real flowers, AND not saving any money? That makes no sense. What is the benefit of purchasing silk flowers then? Why would anyone use them?
While you may save some on labor costs since you will be creating the faux flower arrangements on your own, silk or faux flowers still don’t typically offer significant savings. The benefit to using these alternatives to fresh flowers is the value of the faux flowers post event. Since they don’t wilt or die, you can either save them as mementos or sell them on a resale group or site to make some of your money back. So while you don’t receive an immediate savings, if you put in the effort and are able to sell them to another bride or interested buyer, you could recoup some of the money through reselling them.
Flowers are one of the most complex components of a wedding day, and pricing can (and typically does!) reflect this. However, there are so many amazing florists in the industry who will work with you on creating gorgeous florals for your big day while respecting your budget.
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