The Thrifty Wedding: 11 Ways to Save on Wedding Flowers

This is a series focused on how any couple headed to the altar can find ways to cut back on spending without sacrificing their vision for the big day. Stay tuned for upcoming posts in this series. The next one will be on additional ways to save on the ceremony or reception, before we go into our last post on the honeymoon.

According to WeddingWire, the average couple will pay about $2,000 for flowers in Boston. Flowers can play a big role in the look of your day. But, the expense can add up quickly. Here are some less expensive ways to incorporate flowers into your big day.

1.Try to go for local, in – season blooms. If the flowers you want for your wedding aren’t already in bloom in your area or somewhere in the country, that means they have to be ordered likely from another part of the world, where they are in bloom. Shipping costs on flowers are pretty high already, because flowers are so delicate and perishable. If you need to get them flown in from another part of the world, that just adds on to the cost of flowers. If you’re flexible about what flowers you want, work with your florist to see what flowers will be in season, and which ones will be local, to help you keep your floral costs low. A bonus on getting local flowers is that they’ll be more fresh than ones coming off a plane. Here are some books to help you get inspired with blooms for any season:


Floret Farm's A Year in Flowers

2. Reuse ceremony flowers at the reception. After the ceremony is over, your bridesmaids don’t need their bouquets any more. You can re-purpose them. Put them in with vases and use them as centerpieces, or other decoration at your reception.

3. Consider using only two or three types of flowers. Regardless of the number of flower types you have in your decoration, your florist will have to buy them in bulk, and you'll have to pay for that cost. However, if you choose to use only two or three flower types, your florist won’t have extra flowers leftover that you paid for. Even if you wanted to use the extras, it would require more labor on the part of your florist; and they will charge you for it. If you keep the types of flowers low, you won't have to pay for flowers you can't use.If you choose to go this route, consider flowers that are similar in colors or shape for a more cohesive look.

4. Use greenery. Use greenery in your floral arrangements wherever you can. Greenery like ferns, myrtle, and eucalyptus are significantly cheaper than flowers. Use them to fill out your arrangements, without paying the extra cost for an additional bloom. They’re great for keeping the focal point of your arrangement on the flowers, while still providing a nice frame and bulk to them.

5. Skip the boutonnieres & corsages/bouquets. One way to save some money is to cut out the boutonnieres from the groomsmen, and the bouquets for the bridesmaids. While all flowers are decorative, these ones are especially so. There’s no need to have your groomsmen have a fresh flower on their lapel, or for your bridesmaid to hold a bunch of flowers during the ceremony. If you skip these, you can save your money for your centerpieces and other flower decoration.

6. Choose small centerpieces. Instead of going big on your centerpieces, consider choosing small vases that fit only one or two flowers. You’ll still be adding a nice decorative touch, but without the added cost associated with those larger arrangements.

7. Discuss budget with your florist. If your budget is tight, make sure to discuss it with your florist ahead of time so they know how much you can and can’t spend. They will be able to help you figure out how to make the biggest impact with your budget, without going over.

8. Use fake flowers. Using silk or latex flowers for some or all of your wedding flowers can help you save some costs. An added benefit to using fake flowers is that you can arrange them in advance, since you don’t have to worry about their freshness. This means that you can also save some labor costs from your florist with this. An added benefit to fake flowers is that you can buy them used online, or, sell them after you’re done with them. For ideas on your faux flowers and arrangements check out these materials:

Simply Stylish Faux Flowers

Faux Fabulous Florals

Faux Florals for your Wedding

9. Donate your flowers to a shelter after the wedding. Once your reception is over, have someone take the flowers over to a women’s shelter, or a homeless center, or similar non-profit. These flowers will count as a donation, and you can claim it as such on your taxes. If you do plan to do this, be sure to coordinate with the intended charity ahead of time to make sure that they will give you a receipt for the correct value of the flowers, and that they’ll be available to receive them. You may also want to check with your florist about the cost of the arrangements, as that will determine their donated value. Note: You can only claim charitable contributions from your taxes if you choose to itemize your deductions instead of taking the standard deduction, so please keep that in mind.

10. Do it yourself. If you’re going to do your wedding flowers on your own, it can save you a lot of money. However, be prepared for the amount of time that it can take, and enlist some friends to help you. When doing your wedding flowers without a professional, make sure you know what you want the arrangements to look like before you order the flowers. That way, you’ll only order what you need. Also, if you don’t want to spend lots of time on the flowers, be sure to keep you plans simple. Don’t try to attempt to do a flower wall all by yourself, if you’re hoping to only spend a couple of hours on this project. Check out these titles to give you tips and ideas for doing your own wedding flowers:

The Flower Workshop

The Flower Chef

Chic & Unique Flower Arrangements

11. Choose a non-floral centerpiece. Another way to save on flowers is to have less of them. You can skip the flower centerpieces, and choose a variety of other ideas to decorate your reception tables. Some couples choose to use jars of candy, others choose to have lanterns or candles instead. There are lots of ideas out there for some potential wedding centerpieces. If you do choose to go this way, make sure to think about who will be in charge of these decorations, and how much assembly is needed. You’ll want to make sure you’re budgeting people’s time accordingly so that everything is finished in time. The Spruce has some ideas for cheap wedding centerpieces that you can use for inspiration here. Please note: The Boston Public Library has not reviewed these ideas, nor does it endorse The Spruce.