This seems to be a question I’m asked a lot lately – how much will my wedding flowers cost? Or, I’ll ask a bride and groom their budget, to which they have no idea, but quite often seem surprised or shocked at the initial proposed quote.
So, how much should you expect to pay on your wedding flowers? Traditionally, it was suggested that 10% of your overall budget should be set aside for flowers and venue decoration. These days though, sadly this is not really adhered to. Couples spend an average of £560 on their flowers. With the average British wedding costing £24000, that’s considerably less than 10%!
Exciting though planning your big day is, it’s important to first sit down and prioritise what’s important to the two of you. Are there particular flowers that are favourites for you, or your family? Who would you like to have flowers – just the bridal party, or all family, or all guests? What style will your wedding take and therefore what theme will your flowers follow? Which season will your be getting hitched in?
I’ve heard a couples say that they don’t think flowers are important in the grand scheme of their day. That’s fine if you feel that, but I’d like to remind you of a few things. Firstly, remember that the flowers will be in all of your photos – from you meeting each other at the altar, your couple shots and group pictures, through to the reception with the speeches and cake cutting. They are often a feature that many guests notice, and comment on their beauty complimenting your day, both on the day and after. And they can be a year on year reminder of your special day – they’re the perfect way for hubby to remember your anniversary, right? If you’re not in a position to spend vast amounts on floral decoration, you don’t have to, but I’d advise against scrapping the flowers all together.
When you’re gathering ideas and inspiration for your venue decoration and bridal bouquet, please keep an idea of your budget, in mind. I love Pinterest, but it is all too easy to get carried away pinning pictures of large orchid waterfall bouquets and tall rose spheres, when in reality the purse may not allow such luxury. And clever though we florists are, we’re not magicians – just as it is impossible to have an exquisite 7 course dinner at £20 a head, so is it impossible to have an orchid bouquet for £50. It just can’t be done.
If there’s a particular flower you’d like to include in your bouquets, consider the season they are in bloom. Any flower out of season will carry a substantially larger price tag than if bought in season. The most popular ones to consider are tulips (late November to April), peonies (mid May to early June), and Lily of the Valley (April-June). Due to the wonders of horticultural advance, a lot of flowers are available all year, and in a vast array of colours.
Another way to ease the strain on the budget is to reuse your bridal party flowers elsewhere in the reception. Once the photos are done and you’re settling down to the wedding breakfast, your bouquets are redundant. Why not use them along your top table in simple tank vases? You’d like a pedestal arrangement at the front of the service? Why not use it again next to your cake table, or on the end of the bar?
At the same time, think about where you can get away without additional decoration. Yes there may be a gorgeous sweeping staircase in your venue, but you’ll probably only be passing through that area so it’s not worth the cost of draping meters of organza. Similarly, unless you’re able to use the chairs elsewhere in your reception, is it necessary to spend £15+ a go on chair and aisle decoration? Bear in mind, once your guests are in the room in their beautiful coloured wedding outfits, the room will look vibrant and lively, unlike when you’ve see it empty when initially looking at the venue.
Finally, and most importantly, find a floral designer who’s work you admire, and talk to them. Give them your ideas, the theme for your day, and then listen to their thoughts. They may say that although the exact design is not achievable within your budget, a similar vision can be created using slightly different flowers, or style of arrangement, or by swapping in a few alternatives. Have an open mind, and trust them to know what they’re doing!
You might like to take a look at my wedding flower packages to help give an idea of what can be achieved with at certain budget points.