Whether you’re opting for a minimalistic wedding, or you’re going all out with a bright, bold palette, your wedding flowers can really be one of the most beautiful parts of the day. A wedding ceremony will traditionally incorporate the bridal bouquet, bouquets for the bridesmaids, corsages, and altar flowers, just to name a few. Moving into the reception, guests are greeted with stunning blooms used as centerpieces, garlands, and even on the cake. The possibilities are endless!
Before you determine any floral plans, be sure to start with your wedding flower budget early on. This will give you a better idea of your must-haves, wants, and pieces of traditional floral design that you may want to skip. But how much do wedding flowers even cost? Where’s a couple to begin in building that budget?
Read on for a few tips and tricks from floral and wedding planning experts to help better understand the average cost of wedding flowers, how to save on flowers, and a few sample budgets to get you started.
The Average Cost of Wedding Flowers
The average cost of wedding flowers can vary widely, depending on how many flowers you need, the types of flowers you choose, and whether or not they’re in season. Though no wedding flower costs are set in stone, Los Angeles wedding planner Tessa Lyn Brand of Tessa Lyn Events, provided a range couples can expect certain floral items to cost.
- Bridal bouquet: $250
- Bridesmaid bouquet: $80
- Boutonniere: $20
- Pin-on corsage: $25
- Wrist corsage: $30
- Reception centerpieces: $120-$600
- Flower girl petals: $25
- Ceremony structures: $1,500-$4,000
- Arrangements next to place cards and guest book: $200
- Head table florals: $1,500
- Sweetheart table décor: $500
- Cake flowers: $150
- Flower crown: $100
“Our Los Angeles-based clients usually spend between $12K and $20K on florals, but [we] have done $50K-$80K a handful of times,” reveals Brand. She recommends allotting seven percent of your overall budget to flowers as a good rule of thumb.
Money-Saving Wedding Flower Tips
Though wedding flower budgets can be expensive, there are ways you can keep your flower costs (relatively) low and maximize your overall wedding budget. Here are 10 ways to save on costs when it comes to wedding flowers.
1. Mix Expensive Flowers With Inexpensive Flowers
Get the look for less by following everyone’s favorite fashion rule: Mix high with low! “One of the best ideas I have ever seen was the bride who had white roses and bushels of baby’s breath,” says Ani Keshishian, creative director of Anoush Banquet Halls & Catering and L.A. Banquets. “She alternated between roses on one table and baby’s breath on another and you couldn’t tell the difference in her photos. It was very elegant and did wonders for the feel of the wedding.” If you’re not a fan of alternating, try choosing a lot of filler like stock and greenery and adding in pops of the expensive and coveted flowers, such as David Austin roses or peonies, suggests Jennifer Arreguin Jacobson and Natasha Burton, cofounders of Swoon California in Santa Barbara, California.
2. Use Lighting and Other Décor Alongside Floral Arrangements
Votives and candlelight are just as romantic as flowers, and they can help keep you within budget. “You can also mix in personal items for the table displays like pictures, keepsakes, or lanterns instead of concentrating solely on blooms,” Arreguin and Burton advise. Another bright idea if you don’t have a big flower budget? Concentrate on finding unique vessels that may take fewer flowers. Choose items that, when combined with other design objects such as the above-mentioned candles in multiples, will create a stunning centerpiece, recommends celebrity event planner Michael Cerbelli, CEO and president of Cerbelli Creative.
3. Reuse Your Ceremony Flowers at the Reception
Sometimes you just have to go big or go home, right? So if large, over-the-top arrangements are what you want, get them, but try to give them multiple uses. “These arrangements can be placed on staggered columns to create a gorgeous backdrop for the ceremony,” advises wedding planner Scoobie West of Scoobie & Company. “Then, during cocktail hour, they can be easily transported to the reception space.” Brand adds, “If you are lining your aisle with floral boxes, those can easily be moved in front of your band stage. Your guests will be at cocktail hour and will have no idea!”
You can do this with bridesmaid bouquets as well. Stick them in little bud vases and display them on cocktail tables or anywhere that could use some sprucing up.
4. Choose Wedding Flowers That Are in Season and Locally Grown
Don’t choose flowers that are completely out of season or don’t jive with the climate where you’re getting married. Options that are grown locally will usually be more affordable and fresher than specialty varieties that need to be shipped from far away.
5. Opt for Volume
“Full-petal flowers will go much further in terms of space than smaller blooms,” says wedding planner Francesca DiSalvo-Follmer, owner of Pure Luxe Bride. Erica Taylor Haskins, co-founder of Tinsel Experiential Design, loves using towering flowering branches like cherry blossom and forsythia as a way to get a colorful, voluminous look.
6. Stick to a Few Types of Flowers
The more variety, the more the cost. Instead of overwhelming your floral arrangements with a multitude of different flowers, keep it simple and stick to a few varieties, keeping costs down and preventing your florist from ordering in bulk.
7. Consider Using Plants
Consider using potted plants or herbs for your centerpieces, suggests wedding planner Jyl Deering of Deering Events, so guests (or you) can take them home to replant. Palms and hearty desert cacti are also a great way to make a statement without having to go overboard on flowers. Succulents and terrariums are a great choice as well.
8. Be Open-Minded and Ask Your Florist for Advice
When in doubt, ask your florist for some insight. According to event planner Kristine Cholakian Cooke, owner of Simply Charming Socials, your florist should be able to give you some great alternatives that meet your expectations visually and are also more accessible for your date. “We always find that brides who are more open-minded going into initial floral meetings can truly learn about flowers and options they didn’t know existed,” says Cooke. “In the end, the results can be beautiful and unexpected.”
9. Select a Venue That’s Naturally Beautiful
Book a venue that’s naturally beautiful. Choose a windswept beach, a gorgeous garden, or a wooded grove as your wedding backdrop, and then just enhance your surroundings with simple floral accents.
10. Choose One or Two “Wow” Moments
You don’t have to cover every surface at your reception with flowers. Instead, set a few statement centerpieces in key areas and use more minimal arrangements on tables. Some examples of ways to create “wow” moments include hanging gardens, flower walls, and grand centerpieces.
The cost of floristry for any wedding event is a part of the overall wedding budget. Whoever is footing the bill for the wedding is responsible for covering these costs.
The cost of the bridesmaids’ bouquets is absorbed by the overall wedding floral budget. Whoever pays for the wedding would also be covering these costs. Traditionally, bridesmaids do not pay for their own bouquets.
Typically, florists don’t expect tips as they own their own business. If you’d still like to show your gratitude, you can tip them and their assistants between $50 and $150 each. However, some vendors do include a gratuity in their total fee, so double-check your contracts before tipping extra.