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Savvy Wedding Flower Savings for the Cost-Conscious Bride
Photo source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/momopeche/2557359532/
Wedding flowers are costly (duh!). Many brides are shocked when they first learn the bouquet, the moms and the entourage will cost $800 and up. Want reception decor, too? Brace for 2-3K at least.
Given this, it’s not surprising to hear some brides say, “I don’t want to spend that much on something that dies in a few days.” But for others, that ephemeral thrill is precisely the point. After all, the steak tartare disappears even faster, but your guests will still savor it.
If you’re in group two, ditching the flowers would be a major, grumptastic concession. So how to keep these pretty little things from draining the budget dry? Read on!
1) Skip ‘Em (and Say Hello to Succulents, Fruit, River Stones). Heck, if you don’t care that much about flowers you’ve probably already researched the *many* non-floral centerpiece/bouquet options out there. Bridesmaids are carrying silk fans, lanterns, you name it, and tables are looking great with non-floral centerpieces that give off a modern vibe. Just hit Google Images or flickr for the type you like (“fruit centerpieces”) and you’ll be rewarded with a wealth of budget-friendly ideas.
2) Fear of Flowers (Beat It). Farmers markets are cost-slashing dynamos. Or, BJ’s Wholesale will sell you 125 roses for about $150, and that includes shipping. There’s a lot you can do with 125 roses, seeing as they’re hardy blooms (as are tulips and orchids). Keep them cool and shaded until the reception. Then, in addition to centerpieces, you can tuck them into chair sashes, tied-up swags, the list goes on.
The only drawback? That knee-knocking fear! We’ve all been taught that floral work is like nuclear engineering: one wrong move and it blows sky high.
Not so — you just need confidence. I know almost nothing about flowers … the craziest I’ve gotten is those $1 blocks of wet foam from the dollar store. Yet, when I arrange them for parties, people *always* ask about the florist. Crack a book one evening and you can expand your horizons tenfold. Also, more and more craft stores are teaching brides to whip out bouquets in half-day workshops. Just do a trial to boost your confidence: gussy up one of your parties. Then, have a team of helpers who’ll truly show up and pitch in the day before.
3) Go to Pot. Obviously if you’re set on towering Phalaenopsis orchids, you’ll pay more than hitting up a nursery for seasonal offerings, like Easter lilies in spring or mums in the fall. Either way, potted is growing more popular each day — after all, it’s not only budget- but eco-friendly too. Potted or cut, you may be able to deduct your flowers after the fact if you donate them to a local park or hospital. Check with your CPA before diving in, though. Hint: Donated gowns can also be write-offs, as can a portion of some religious and non-profit venue fees.
4) Go Faux. Personally, not a fan … not to offend anyone, but you can spot silks a mile away, just like the restylane in Meg Ryan’s lips. In photos, fakes are even more obvious. Still, if you’re at peace with the faux look, go for it — maybe even get something fantastical, like bright blue roses. Exception: silk blooms can look fabulous wired to bare-branch centerpieces. Also, silk orchids submerged in clear glass cylinders can be lovely under floating candles. Use distilled water to go bubble-free, and tack a small weight to the orchids.
5) Embrace the Age. Do you love Target, too? Then you probably agree that modern design rocks precisely because it doesn’t try to resuscitate the past. In this spirit, paper flowers are on fire this year. Google it and you’ll see all kinds of amazing centerpieces, bouquets and boutonnières made with origami orchids and lilies. Or, look into tissue paper poms. Bunched together, these ruffly beauties have all the appeal of hydrangeas or peonies plucked from the garden. YouTube is bursting with paper flower tutorials, so get crafty — or hit Etsy and tap the crafty for much less than florist-sourced blooms!