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thrifty wedding flowers

Traditionally, it the responsibility of the Groom and his family to purchase the flowers.  This is the one major expense the Groom has for the wedding, everything else is traditionally paid for by the Bride’s family.

When my husband and I were getting married, I had found an amazing deal online from a flower distributor who specialized in wholesale wedding rose “kits”.  Spending days before my wedding putting together the flowers had it’s appeal (until I got closer to the wedding) but what made me not choose them was the cost.  At that time the kit was $350 which was a bargain for flowers but I knew I could do better.  In the end, we spent about $100 for the flowers.  I still designed all the bouquets and table arrangements at my own leisure.  And it was beautiful.

wedding flowers

I had nearly forgotten this picture.  The flowers were my wedding bouquet.  I took the pictures for a book project I had been working on after we’d been married a couple years.

What did I do – I had my lovely fiancé purchase fake flowers.  Now that may seem a little unfavorable but the trick is to buy good fake flowers.  There is a wide range of faux flowers on the market.  Some of them are even more expensive than the real thing.  However, the great thing about fake flowers is that don’t die while you are collecting enough to make a bouquet and they are seasonal.

Our wedding was in September which meant we went through two seasons while planning our wedding.  Because I am a planner this worked.  I would much rather have everything done while I’m planning instead of having them done just before the event.  So for the six months prior to the wedding (during the hard core planning stages), Rob and I were collecting fake flowers when they went on clearance.  We even got the bouquet holders on clearance.  Mine was a traditional white bouquet holder that is common at craft stores but for my brides maids I found these cool decorative metal flower holders.  I wish I had a picture of them since they are long gone.

Flower arranging does take some skill, I hear since I seem to have a natural flower arranging ability.  However, it’s not hard to find a picture to copy or someone willing to help.  My best friend got help with her flowers for her wedding.

If you feel you must have fresh flowers – great.  I still recommend arranging your own.  For my brother’s wedding, the family purchased lots of flowers from Costco and I arranged them into bouquets and decorations for the wedding.

To arrange for your wedding – fresh or fake flowers tied up with ribbon is actually the traditional format for bouquets.  You can purchase a bouquet holder at a craft store for a low cost which makes arranging more complicated bouquets easier.

I mentioned before about holding your wedding and reception in a space with flowers helps reduce the need for flowers – gardens, parks, etc.  Also, decorating the tables with something other than flowers makes the space more interesting (if you are at a venue that is catering, they may provide flowers on the table).  With sites like pinterest, the ideas for table decorations are endless.

I will say that if you are working hard to make the tables interesting so that your guests have something to look at then you are neglecting the reception activities.  Your guests won’t notice the tables if they are busy dancing and visiting.  So remember to keep them simple.  Make arrangements with interesting candy dishes instead of flowers.  For my sister in laws baby shower, I folded little origami flower boxes and filled them with M&M’s.  Recently I saw a project with mason jars that had been decorated with pictures of the couple.  I can’t remember what the rest of the centerpiece looked like but I loved that idea of bringing the focus back to the couple.

I will say that before working on centerpieces for the reception make sure you know what the tables will look like.  Small rounds tables will have a different focus than long rectangular tables.

One last note – when designing centerpieces don’t make it so people can’t look across the table.  It’s very hard to visit if there is a monstrosity in the way, no matter how beautiful it may be.

Okay – that was the last note on centerpieces but I feel like I’ve neglected to discuss why you need flowers.  That all depends on if you want flowers, don’t feel pressured to have them if you really could care less.

Traditionally flowers make up the bridal bouquet, bouquets for the bridesmaids, corsages for the groom and groomsmen, bouquet for the flower girl.  Sometimes there are alter flower arrangements and flower arrangements at the reception.  Your alter flowers can double as reception decorations if you so desire.  Also, some brides prefer to have a second bouquet for throwing.

We used fresh flower petals for the flower girl.  You can get these rather inexpensively from flower shops since they are usually waste petals.

No one says you have to be traditional.  You can craft flowers or have bouquets made of something that is special to you (for example – feathers).  You know what appeals to you.  This is your wedding.  I know I said that you have to remember your guests but, to be honest, your guests aren’t really going to care what or if you have a bouquet.  They are there to celebrate the day with you and get free food.  It’s quite possible they won’t even notice the flowers unless you do something really unique.

Feel free to ask for ideas – I am full of them and love to help plan parties.  I promise I won’t even take over the planning for you, I’m much too busy for that (unless you’re family then all bets are off).