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6 Professional Florist Tips to Save Money With Silk Wedding Flowers

Kylyssa Shay worked as a florist for 18 years and has created and taught an assortment of crafts to adults and children of all ages.

Permanent Botanical Flower Tips

Permanent Botanical Flower Tips

Silk Wedding Flowers Can Be Less Expensive Than Fresh, But Not Always!

Many advice columns and well-meaning people give brides and grooms the idea that artificial flowers, also known as silk flowers, are always less expensive than fresh-cut blooms for their weddings. This leads to many of them going to florists to order silk decorations and then being gravely disappointed when they see no savings at all and wind up not liking what they've gotten.

There are instances when decorating with fabric flowers can be more budget-friendly, but it's not always cheaper. It has a lot to do with the type of silk blooms used, their quality, and whether or not they are arranged professionally. I think if people getting married were to learn about the differences, this would save them a lot of money, hassle, and unnecessary stress.

You can save money by using silk flowers for your wedding, but you have to keep a few things in mind to guide your choices. Read on and learn whether or not they can help you meet your wedding budget.

Wonderful Ideas and DIY Instructions

1. You Can Save Big by Arranging Your Own Botanical Flowers

One of the biggest ways to save money by using silk flowers for your wedding is to arrange them yourself. This is a good idea for two reasons. Most florists won't arrange the budget ones you bought somewhere else, at least not without a hefty fee if you can even find a very rare one who will, and the permanent botanicals available to most florists are not inexpensive. Florists also charge for arranging them.

The way to take advantage of your cheaply bought silk flowers is to arrange them yourself or with the help of volunteer labor. There are many wonderful DIY tutorials for arranging bridal to be found online, including videos, photo tutorials, and written articles.

A lovely artificial pink rose in full bloom

A lovely artificial pink rose in full bloom

2. Most Common Flower Types Are Often Cheap and Realistic-Looking

Common varieties like fabric roses are mass-produced items and often less expensive than varieties for which there is less demand and competition in the marketplace. Their other advantage is that fabric roses and other common artificial wedding flower types have been made for many years, so their producers have more or less perfected the design of such blooms. Beautiful silk peonies, gerbera daisies, sunflowers, tulips, carnations, orchids, and roses can all be found at low prices.

3. Bush-Style Fabric Blooms Are Usually the Least Expensive

When multiple stems of faux flowers are manufactured with the stems all attached at the bottom in a cluster, as if growing from a plant, it's called a garden bush style. They are often much less expensive than individual stems bought separately.

Some garden bush styles include several types of coordinating fabric blossoms attached to a bush-like artificial plant. Others have only one variety on a natural-looking bush and include several stages of bloom, including buds and wide open blossoms.

I've seen great deals on this style of fabric roses that look very, very realistic. The foliage from bush-style artificial blooms can also be used to fill in arrangements and serve as a backing for corsages and boutonnieres. I find the foliage from silk flowers looks better than the individual fabric leaves sold to make corsages and boutonnieres. The foliage is also cheaper and easier to work with.

Silk lily and artificial hydrangeas at a local craft store

Silk lily and artificial hydrangeas at a local craft store

4. How to Use Inexpensive Flowers to Save Money Without Looking Cheap

Inexpensive silk wedding flowers can be bought at most craft stores and many discount stores. They can also be found online at craft websites and import websites. The really cheap ones are generally not of high quality but can serve well in budget arrangements meant to be seen from a distance in churches and at the reception.

You can use them on any arrangement guests won't be within touching range of when they are seated. Save the higher-quality, more expensive blooms for arrangements that will be seen close up, such as bouquets, corsages and boutonnieres, and table centerpieces.

5. Pre-made Artificial Bouquets Bought Online Can Be Real Bargains

Many wedding artists sell their work online these days, and it's possible to find some stunning bargains if you are patient and search diligently. Check eBay, Amazon, Etsy, and other online stores frequently and create a set of special searches using the advanced search options on those sites to send you email updates when items that match your search criteria become available.

This kind of planning ahead is the key to saving money using artificial flowers. If you take your time, something nice will eventually come up, even if it's just to use as a throw bouquet to toss to the single ladies because you'll likely decide you want to keep your own bouquet as a keepsake after the wedding. A small, artificial bouquet with nothing heavy, sharp, or breakable in it makes for a safer tossing bouquet, too.

Silk tulips are often on sale at the end of spring. The ones pictured were very inexpensive.

Silk tulips are often on sale at the end of spring. The ones pictured were very inexpensive.

6. Seasonal Clearance Sales Are Often Great Deals

Silk wedding flowers actually have seasons, just like real ones. The demand is greater just before the real version comes into season. Likewise, the demand drops dramatically once the real version of an artificial type falls out of season. This means you can really save money buying them just after their real counterparts' seasons end.

Seasonal flowers tend to go on sale both online and in brick-and-mortar craft stores starting just before the end of their season. They tend to go on deeper and deeper discounts after their season, but don't wait too long, as the selection also tends to dwindle with time.

Artificial orchids on natural-looking stems with blooms and buds

Artificial orchids on natural-looking stems with blooms and buds

How Are Artificial Flowers More Expensive Than Fresh?

Now let's talk about how man-made floral decorations can be more expensive. High-quality silk flowers, often called permanent botanicals, cost more than fresh-cut flowers. They are often more complicated in structure than the kind found in craft and hobby stores and may be made by hand rather than by machines. Some of them also use more expensive raw materials. These and other high-quality varieties are the types florists usually carry.

Individual shops also don't have the buying power big hobby store chains have, so the prices they pay wholesale are usually much higher than what the big guys pay. So don't expect a silk arrangement made in a floral shop to ever cost less than a fresh arrangement. They often cost one and a half to five times as much as fresh-cut arrangements!

© 2010 Kylyssa Shay

Share Your Faux Wedding Flower Tips

strandofsilk from London on August 13, 2014:

Good read!

PinkLadies on September 09, 2012:

a very usefull and helpfull lens Thanks

Cynthia Sylvestermouse from United States on March 29, 2010:

This is a really wonderful lens with a lot of information and excellent tips! Angel Blessed and added to my Squid Angel Mouse Tracks lens.

Yvonne L B from Covington, LA on March 24, 2010:

This lens has some great ideas. I really liked it. If I was planning a wedding, I would definitely use some of your suggestions.

KarenTBTEN on March 22, 2010:

You sound very knowledgeable about both floral arrangements and budgeting.

flapper on March 15, 2010:

I found this a fascinating topic not because I intend to be a bride in the near future, (divorced once, next time it is drive thru chapel in Vegas if ever,) but because it shows there are no set rules for weddings. The fact that brides are receiving this suggestion surprises me more (not because the silk arrangements won't be nice) but because it shows that someone is connecting dots that these young couples or 2nd or 3rd or 4th time around are starting to see that the stress of post wedding bills can actually hinder the new union. My feeling is that there is still little acceptance that big weddings over 40 people will become luxuries that many will not or should not go into debt for and there may be a return to these classy wedding of 30 people who really care. just a thought. excellent lens, the variety of topics is amazing, yes I am a newbie.