Friday, July 9, 2010

Wedding Flowers on a Budget

There are numerous wedding flower ideas to choose from. On average, flowers can take up to 10 to 15 percent of your entire wedding budget. That's a big chunk of your money. However, what you spend depends on where you live. Flowers in a big city like Los Angeles or New York are going to cost far more than those in small-town USA.

While you want to hire someone experienced and good at what they do, you don't always need to hire the biggest, flashiest florist in town. Small shops can have as much talent as large places. You’ll know what a florist can do just by looking at a portfolio of their work.

Most important, have ideas before you go into the floral shops. Otherwise, florists may dazzle you with what is possible, whereas having a specific flower or color scheme in mind can help narrow down your choices and keep your budget in check. Knowing what you want can keep you from being talked into something you don’t need. Browse books, magazines, even bridal shows and floral shops to get ideas.

You can also keep costs down by choosing only flowers that are in season. The season will help you determine color schemes and types of flowers.

If you are having a spring wedding, you may choose soft pastel colors and flowers like lilacs, tulips and Easter lilies.

For summer, you may choose bolder, brighter colors that can be found in Asian lilies, roses, calla lilies or any summer-blooming flowers.

Fall flowers, such as mums and sunflowers, would have deeper colors: rust, burnt orange, gold and burgundy.

Winter would showcase shades of blue, silver and white or even reds and greens. During this season, you can use evergreens in your bouquets and floral arrangements.

The season can help determine your color scheme, but you’ll also need to consider the outfits worn by your wedding party. You will want to choose flower colors that coordinate with your wedding party's attire.

Also make sure you don't have white flowers if your dress is ivory or vice versa, unless you are going monochromatic by mixing shades of white and ivory. Take color swatches of the bridal gown and the bridesmaids' dresses with you when choosing your flowers.

Make a list of all the flowers you may want: bouquets, throw bouquet, corsages, boutonnieres, garlands, pew bows, centerpieces or a unity candle arrangement. Put a star by the ones that are most important. This can help if your price quote is more than you expected. You can start cutting out the flowers that aren't as important to you, like individual flowers on the silverware wrappings.

Little things often add up. Keep to the basics, and you will stay well within your budget.

Shop around before settling on a florist. Even if you love the first one you interview, keep shopping until you have a few price quotes. Someone may offer a better deal or have better ideas than the first. Weddings are a competitive business, and vendors will often price match or give you a better deal if they know you are comparing prices and shopping around.

When you set your wedding date, hopefully it is not near a major holiday, such as bouquet-heavy holidays like Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day.

You might also want to avoid setting your wedding date between early to mid-May through mid-June. Those are busy times in the floral shops due to prom season, Mothers' Day and graduation season. At those times of year, floral shops are in high demand, florists are extremely busy and flower prices go up

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