Nine Professional Florist Tips to Keep Wedding Flower Costs Down Without Sacrificing Beauty

Updated on June 2, 2018
Kylyssa profile image

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

Altar arrangement in orange tones with gladiolas, lilies, snapdragons, and roses
Altar arrangement in orange tones with gladiolas, lilies, snapdragons, and roses | Source

Florist Tips to Make the Most of Your Wedding Flower Budget

Nearly every bride has a budget for her wedding flowers. In this economy, that amount seems to be getting smaller than ever. There's no reason people should have to wait until they can save up a small fortune to spend on a single day and floral decorations are a good place to cut costs if possible. There are ways to stretch your decoration dollars and get nice wedding flowers for a reasonable amount of money or to use a moderate budget to create an expensive looking impression.

I'd like to share with you some techniques I learned or created in my 18 years as a professional floral designer and wedding flower specialist.

Photos by Kylyssa Shay unless otherwise noted.

Church decorated for a wedding with pew swags, rented plants, and a couple of altar arrangements.
Church decorated for a wedding with pew swags, rented plants, and a couple of altar arrangements.

The toss bouquet can serve double duty if it’s laid across the cake as a topper and triple duty if it starts out as a unity candle decoration.

Grand Prix rose with green amaranthus in shallow glass bowl
Grand Prix rose with green amaranthus in shallow glass bowl | Source

1. Highlight Lovely Individual Flowers

Save on wedding flowers by making the most of what you've got.

Choose arrangements that dramatically highlight the flowers rather than displaying them in a tight cluster for use in both wedding ceremony and reception venues. Less really can be more. Use style rather than volume to decorate your space.

2. Use Less Expensive Flowers for Arrangements to Be Seen From Afar

Cut wedding flower expenses by using less expensive blooms.

Save the expensive blooms for arrangements that will be seen up close such as reception centerpieces, corsages and boutonnieres. Choose cheaper flowers such as carnations and gladiolas in the same color range for arrangements that are to be seen from a distance such as those meant to decorate the altar or the corners of a room. All people see from a distance is clusters of color so it's pointless to use more expensive blooms on these arrangements.

3. Use Flowers That Are in Season for Your Wedding

In-season blooms can stretch your wedding flower budget.

Trust your florist's advice on which flowers are seasonally available in your region. Off season blooms are more expensive and unreliable. Sometimes their quality is also poor.

I can't stress this too much - off season flowers are not a good choice for your wedding - ever. You are bound to be disappointed after paying more than you should for flowers that may even unexpectedly be unavailable for your wedding. You can learn more about the most popular wedding flowers, including seasonal availability at The 10 Most Popular Wedding Flowers and What You Should Know before Choosing Them.

Bridal bouquet re-used on the head table at the reception, photo by Kylyssa Shay
Bridal bouquet re-used on the head table at the reception, photo by Kylyssa Shay

4. Re-Use Your Ceremony Flowers at the Reception

Stretch your wedding flower budget by using your ceremony flowers twice.

Paying your florist to transfer the flowers from wedding to reception will negate whatever savings you achieve by re-using the flowers. You will need to enlist friends or family members to move and place the flowers if you want to use this money saving tactic to stretch your wedding flower budget.

Create diagrams of the wedding site and reception venue, labeling the ceremony arrangements and indicating where they go. Give these diagrams and instructions to your helpers well before the wedding. Then your helpers will be more comfortable with the task and know exactly what they have volunteered to do.

A trio of submerged cymbidium orchids in rented glass vases.
A trio of submerged cymbidium orchids in rented glass vases.

5. Rent Your Vases Rather than Buying Them

Many florists rent out their glassware for a fraction of the cost of buying it. Also, find out what other rental items your florist has. Some florists rent out big tropical plants, classy looking artificial topiaries or other items which can add a great deal of style with a minimal expenditure. Be sure to rent vases to hold the bride's and bridesmaids' bouquets as decorations on the head table.

6. Go Easy on the Bridesmaids' Flowers

Keep the bridesmaids' bouquets small and inexpensive. After all, the bride's bouquet should be the most grand and impressive. Consider using a single, perfect bloom of a type or color that you will also be carrying. A single rose, lily, gerbera daisy, or orchid can be a very classy alternative for each of your attendants to carry at your wedding.

photo by George Bosela,
photo by George Bosela,

7. Consider Giving Mothers and Honored Guests Flowers to Hold Rather Than Corsages

Corsages, being labor intensive, cost much more than the same number of blooms alone or even made into a little bouquet. A single rose or other flower makes a suitable and elegant alternative to a corsage.

Orange parrot tulip and artichoke reception centerpiece with black stones and green candles in low glass bowl
Orange parrot tulip and artichoke reception centerpiece with black stones and green candles in low glass bowl

8. Add the Impression of Size and Elegance to Inexpensive Reception Centerpieces

You can extend a small, inexpensive reception table centerpiece to serve for an eight or ten top table by using one or more of the following recommendations.

To make the decoration look bigger surround the centerpiece with several votive candles in glass cups. Fill out table decorations by sprinkling items on the table that coordinate with the design in some way. For instance; if your centerpiece uses river rock or sea glass pieces in the vase you could sprinkle more of the same around it on the table.

The same can be done with flower petals or the heads of inexpensive flowers like daisies. A mirror or piece of fabric which matches the wedding colors can be used under the arrangement to give an impression of greater size.

9. Use Petals Rather Than Whole Flowers for Wedding Cake Decorations

Fresh flower petals can stretch your wedding flower budget and make pretty and cheap cake decorations.

Not only is this a money saving tip because petals are cheaper than whole flowers it's something you can do yourself or have an untrained volunteer do for you instead of paying professional to do it.

All you need to do is sprinkle the petals evenly on and around the cake starting on the top and going down the sides for an elegant look at a fraction of the cost of buying a floral cake topper and cake decorations made and applied by a professional.

Questions & Answers

    © 2010 Kylyssa Shay

    Honored Guests are Invited to Sign the Guestbook

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      • profile image

        Skater Boy 

        2 months ago

        I find the more variety color and type of flower the greater the cost. The most reasonable but risky is to wait a day or two before the wedding and pick out blooms.

      • profile image


        8 years ago

        What a beautiful way to save money and still have all the beauty, 18 great tips that may not be thought of by others. Thank you for sharing your tricks of the trade.

      • Virginia Allain profile image

        Virginia Allain 

        8 years ago from Central Florida

        I really like the idea of strewing petals around the cake. You have some real money-saving tips here!

      • Cygnus76 LM profile image

        Cygnus76 LM 

        9 years ago

        Very nice arrangements and very good suggestions indeed. I love the lens! :)

      • justholidays profile image


        9 years ago

        Go, Kylyssa, go! You'll become a Giant by Mach 31st, you deserve the status and I don't understand why you aren't a Giant yet!Great lens with fantastic ideas on how to create flower arrangements on a budget. I definitely love the idea of a flower in a glass water!Blessed by a SquidAngel.

      • norma-holt profile image


        9 years ago

        Great job and nicely presented information. Top marks, lensrolled and featured on my bargain wedding site.Norma

      • mysticmama lm profile image

        Bambi Watson 

        9 years ago

        Great ideas!

      • groovyfind profile image

        Samantha Devereux 

        9 years ago from Columbia Mo

        Very nice!

      • profile image


        9 years ago

        These are fantastic ideas to stretch the wedding flower budget. Great job.


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