Wedding flowers are not cheap, that's just FACT.
When planning your wedding, websites like the Knot and Wedding Wire recommend couples spend about 8-10% of their overall budget on flowers. So if your total wedding is going to be around $30,000 then reserve $3,000 for your florals, but on average, most my couples spend from 15-20% to get all their desired arrangements.
If you're wanting that big ceremony installation, growing aisle, or a hanging chandelier of flowers over the dance floor that you saw on Pinterest or in Crazy Rich Asians, you're going to be spending way more than 8%.
Here are a few tips I've put together to help you stay with in your budget...
1.) Pick in Season Flowers
Do your research before choosing your wedding date. If your heart is dead set on Peonies, or a specific flower, make sure you choose a date when that bloom is in season or you'll be paying a pretty penny to import it!
We are very fortunate in California to have a longer growing season for most flowers, but there are still certain flowers that don't grow year round. Importing one of these flowers, if it is the off season, for your wedding can be more than double the normal price. If your date is already booked and you discover the bloom you want will have to be imported or is unavailable, work with your florist to find a similar flower or replacement for that special bloom, or discuss only using it in the most important arrangements, like your Bridal bouquet, to help keep the cost down.
2.) Decide Where You Want to Focus Your Budget.
If going all out on florals for your wedding isn't within your budget, think about what are the most important things for you and focus your budget there.
If you want the Ceremony to be grand and memorable, work with your florist to maybe do smaller centerpieces, or just candles at the reception tables to make sure your Ceremony can be more flower heavy.
If you're only doing a 30 minute Ceremony and want the Reception to be the show stopper, consider cutting back the number of personals; bridesmaid bouquets, boutonnières, corsages, and so on, so that you can go all out on the Reception decor.
3.) See if Your Venue or Coordinator Provides Hard Goods Rentals
Hard goods are the non floral products we tend to provide, ie. candles, lanterns, votives, etc. A lot of Venues and/or Coordinators include these rentals in their packages already. If they're able to provide them, let your Florist know you don't need them and it'll save you some money since we don't have to transport them and clean them etc., or consider providing them yourselves.
4.) Consider Doing the Clean Up Yourself
If you are getting your hard good rentals from your venue, coordinator or providing them yourselves, you can eliminate the need for your Florist to come back at the end of the night, for what we call Strike (aka clean up). By doing the clean up yourself you'll save some money.
5.) And Most Importantly, Trust Your Florist!
Let your Florist know what your budget is and ask what from your long wish list they can provide within your budget. Tell them where you want to focus most of your money and work with them to come up with solutions that will keep cost down in other areas. Your Florist wants your wedding to be pretty just as much as you do, so trust them to provide alternatives if and where needed and be willing to compromise some.
One important thing to remember is never expect more for less; if you keep adding on arrangements, the total is always going to go up.