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17 Cheap Wedding Flowers Ideas & Arrangements on a Budget

By Casey Slide

wedding flowers bouqetsFlowers can add such beauty to your big wedding day, but they can also add a lot to your expenses!

With so many different uses for flowers in a wedding – the bride’s bouquet, the bridemaids’ bouquets, boutonnieres, various corsages, flower girl peddles, altar arrangements, pew decorations, cake decorations, and reception decor – brides can spend upwards of $10,000 on the flowers alone.

But you can still have a gorgeous wedding, without emptying your wallet. Here are 15 great ideas to save green while buying greenery.

Ways to Save Money on Wedding Flowers

1. Move Flowers from the Ceremony to the Reception
I didn’t want to spend a lot on flowers at my wedding so what I did was transfer the flowers that were set up at the ceremony over to the reception venue. Since I didn’t have too many, the person who was in charge of this task had no problem grabbing the altar flower display, taking it to the reception, and giving it to the wedding planner who got it inside the reception hall before anyone entered.

2. Re-purpose the Bridal Bouquets
At the reception, your bridesmaids won’t have a need for their flower bouquets, so why not use them in vases as wedding centerpiece ideas or as decorations for the cake table?

3. Choose In-Season Flowers
Just like with your wedding food, using flowers that are in-season can save you a lot of money. For example, tulips are beautiful, but they are winter/early spring flowers. If you are able to find them during their off-season, the price could be as much as 5 times the cost during their in-season.

4. Get Cheaper Flowers
Some flowers are just cheaper than others. Carnations are probably the cheapest flowers that you can get. Gerber daisies are also inexpensive. If you are not a fan of either of those, use them for some things, like alter bouquets, and then get a more expensive flower for the bride’s bouquet if that is preferred.

5. Go Green
For a simple, yet elegant look to your wedding, use lots of greenery instead of flowers. Leaves can be just as stunning as a bouquet, especially if you create one from fall branches – and they’re much cheaper too.

6. Share Flowers
Inquire if there are any other weddings taking place the same day as your ceremony at your venue. If so, see if you can contact the other bride and groom to see if they would like to use the same flowers and split the cost.

7. Order Your Flowers Online
You can save quite a bit of money by purchasing your flowers from an online wholesaler, which is much less expensive than your local florist. That being said, you will have to trim the flowers, arrange them, and care for them prior to the wedding yourself.

8. Be Simplistic
Sometimes less is more. Not only will being simplistic cost you less, it may add to the overall impression of your wedding. An easy way to simplify wedding flowers is to get just the basics: bouquets, boutonnieres, and an altar arrangement.

wedding couple flowers

9. Don’t Be Picky
You may have to compromise with your decorations if you are on a budget. This is especially true with your flowers. Be open to several different types when it is time for you to choose. If you decide to buy your flowers through a local florist instead of online, tell your florist your budget and see what types of flowers she proposes to you and be open to the suggestions.

10. Have a Christmas or Easter Wedding
Churches are already beautifully decorated with flowers for both Christmas and Easter. Take advantage of that fact by setting your wedding date during the Christmas or Easter seasons.

11. Have a Small Bridal Party
Since a big chunk of your flower money will be going to bouquets and boutonnieres, you can cut down on your wedding flower costs by going with a smaller wedding party. This will also save money on dresses, tuxedos, and bridal party gifts, just to name a few.

12. Use Flowers from Your Own Garden
If you have a garden, are there any flowers that will be in bloom at the time of your wedding? If not, consider planting some so that they will be ready in time for the big day. You can start a basic garden for not too much money.

13. Have Your Wedding in a Garden
There’s no need to buy any arrangements if you are already in a garden! Gardens make beautiful and inexpensive wedding venues anyway.

14. Use Silk Flowers
Have you ever found yourself questioning if some flowers were real or fake? So why buy real flowers at all? Not only are silk flowers beautiful, they also last forever unlike real flowers, and you can arrange them exactly as you want them – weeks before the wedding. And if you don’t want to keep your silk flowers once your wedding is over, consider selling them on eBay for someone else to use at their wedding.

15. Buy Used Silk Flowers
Just as I suggested that you sell your silk flowers once your wedding is over, you could also buy silk wedding flowers that were already used. This is a good alternative for someone who would like silk flowers but has no experience arranging them. And once you’re done with them, sell them again.

16. Borrow Flowers
If you know someone who had silk flowers at their wedding, contact them to see if they would allow you to borrow them. If they let you, you will hopefully not have to spend a dime on flowers!

17. Don’t Have Flowers
My cousin used peacock feathers for the boutonnieres (and even wore one in her hair!) for a super-chic look. For centerpieces, you can replace flowers with candles or lanterns, which would work beautifully for an evening wedding. Get creative! You can save money, and still have a gorgeous wedding, without flowers.

Final Word

I was really intimidated when it was time for me to pick out flowers for my own wedding. Since I knew so little about flowers, I consulted a local florist and worked closely with them to figure out what flowers would fit my budget. I only had two bouquets, a couple boutonnieres, corsages for my grandmas, and an altar arrangement. My total flower bill was only $200. With the above tips, you too can save a fortune on wedding flowers.

What have you done to cut the costs of wedding flowers? Did you have to sacrifice aesthetics at all, or did you replace the flowers with something else?

(photo credit: Shutterstock)

Casey Slide
Casey Slide lives with her husband and baby in Atlanta, GA. She graduated from the University of Florida in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering and worked for a prominent hospital in Atlanta. With the birth of Casey’s son in February 2010, she decided to become a stay-at-home mom. Casey’s interests include reading, running, living green, and saving money.

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  • Diana

    Good advice! It’s tough to stay on budget but you can do your own wedding flowers and really save! Thank you for sharing!

  • Whitters

    Good tips! My fiance’s mother said that she shared church flowers with another couple way back in 1977, so it’s an oldie but goodie :) And for her wedding in 1982, my own mother made a silk arrangement for her bouquet and arranged it in a basket–she had a prairie-style wedding dress, so it went really well together. My wedding is going to be in my dad’s garden, so we’re working on it this spring and hopefully will be able to fill it with flowers that will be in bloom next May, plus we can use some of them for the bouquets! I’ve also seen bridal parties who carried giant paper flowers down the aisle instead of a bouquet (same flowers are also used as centerpieces at the reception). It looked very whimsical and pretty! This same idea works with plenty of other decorative items, especially if there’s a theme. I’ve even seen the bridesmaids carry single balloons at a carnival-themed wedding!

  • ccouric

    It really bothers me that a college graduate would misspell “petals” as “peddles” in an article about flowers!

  • http://ecofrugality.blogspot.com/ Amy Livingston

    One option you didn’t mention here: use live flowers! Two days before my wedding at a state park in 2004, I went to our local farmer’s market and bought out their entire supply of double impatiens, which look like miniature roses. We transferred some of the plants from the small pots they came in to big pots to flank the entrance to the pavilion where the ceremony was held. The rest we left in the small pots, which we wrapped up in plastic and ribbon to look more decorative. We put one pot on each table as a centerpiece, one in each of the rest rooms, and even a couple on the big communal grill (which we weren’t using) to make it part of the decor too. At the end of the reception, we invited our guests to take them home as favors. I loved the symbolism of having live flowers rather than cut ones at our wedding–it gave the idea that our love, like the flowers, was still growing.

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