A floral budgeting strategy is essential to feel confident about making the most out of your wedding vision. Once you’ve determined the overall aesthetic that reflects your style, it’s time to develop a budget that will guide your decision making process. Just as you've been advised not to try on bridal gowns outside of your budget, it’s wise to have a floral budget in mind before meeting with any design professionals. Even having a rough idea of your budget for the first design meeting is better than going in blind because it will keep you from making some very expensive commitments.

All Photos Provided by Sarah Libby Photography

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What should I expect to spend?

We’ve found an incredible article from Brides Magazine that gives insight into current wedding floral expenses nationwide. Doing your research will help you develop an idea of what you might expect to spend for all of the floral items such as bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages, and centerpieces. Start by tallying those numbers to get a sense of your baseline budget. From there, you can begin to add in rough estimates for your ceremony, reception, and accent areas. It might be helpful to put in a few inquiries with local florists to see what your regional minimum and average spends tend to be though be up front that you’re in the research stage of planning.

 You may be surprised to see that most all professional wedding and event florists will have a minimum total spend. Compared to daily floral shops, event florists order wholesale per event and all that is ordered is used for each client. When ordering, florists are required to meet minimum quantities for each bloom or floral variety. Floral comes in bunches and packs rather than by the stem. Though your bouquet may only have two-three Proteas, your florist may have been required to order eight.

It can be quite easy to let your budget get away from you. Here’s a few pieces of advice to help you stretch your floral further.

1. While the number of your bridesmaids and groomsmen will certainly determine the bulk of your budget right away, you want to honor those friends and family closest to you. If you’re on the fence about a large wedding party, your floral budget may help sway that decision. If you’ve chosen your attendants and need to ensure you’re on budget, you may consider smaller bridesmaids bouquets, minimal boutonnieres, or even limit the number of family corsages and boutonnieres. We often hear concern about where to draw the line for boutonnieres and corsages. While these items are not a necessity, if you know a family member would be honored to receive one, please include them. It’s best to ensure that these are evenly distributed between both sides of the family or skipped altogether to avoid any hurt feelings.  

2. Another tip to stretch your floral budget further is to place floral accents and arrangements strategically in highly photographed or visible spaces. Consider making a statement near the head table, at your seating chart, in the ceremony space, or even near the cake table and keeping the table arrangements minimal. Choose focal points that all the guests will see or visit throughout the evening.

3. Consider utilizing candles, hardware, and other decor for centerpieces. You can save big by using hardware in lieu of or in addition to floral on the tables. You may also save by incorporating two-three different looks across the reception tables rather than ordering a couple dozen stand alone arrangements for all the tables. Do take such advice with caution though. If you can find used or secondhand decor, this will create huge savings. You may spend more on decor than floral if you’re searching new items only. Check with your florist or designer to see if you have access to any candles or lanterns with your package.

4. Finally, check to see if any of your arrangements can serve a dual purpose. Bridesmaids bouquets and mothers’ nosegays work perfectly for table arrangements following the ceremony. If your ceremony is in a different location than the reception, check with your venue or design team to see if those arrangements could be moved to the reception following photos.

When considering all of these tips, remember what’s most important to you. Be open and honest about your budget and your priorities with your florist and trust her experience and care to find creative ways to help you achieve your vision on budget.

All Photos Provided by Sarah Libby Photography