8 ways to save money on your wedding flowers
by Stephanie

When you think of a wedding day, what comes to mind? A bride in a wedding dress maybe, or perhaps the wedding vows, or maybe even you think of an open bar. Regardless of what comes to mind instantly, one thing is pretty much a wedding standard: that a bride will be holding a bouquet when she walks down the aisle.

Even as minor as flowers may seem, like anything with wedding planning, flowers can have a surprisingly hefty price tag. Between your own bouquet, bouquets for your bridesmaids and decor for your ceremony and reception, you're easily looking at a couple hundred dollars, if not much more (depending on who your florist is).

However, just because wedding flowers are typically expensive, it doesn't mean you have to compromise your wedding budget. There are always going to be small workarounds with wedding planning that'll help you pinch pennies. In this post, we've rounded up 8 ways to save money on your wedding flowers. Read on for more wedding advice!

1. Use in season flowers

This is probably the simplest thing you can do to cut down on your wedding flower costs. Trying to get out-of-season flowers for your wedding will rack up the dollar bills quickly, whereas local flowers are that are in season are much more available and affordable. It's simple supply and demand, people.

Of course, if you've always dreamed of having fancy blooms (we're looking at you, peonies) decorating your wedding day, there are alternatives! A good florist will suggest alternatives flowers to help you create a similar look with more affordable and in-season flowers. For example, a high petal count rose has all the fluffiness of a peony without the hefty price tag. If you're willing to be a little flexible with your vision, chances are you and your florist can find an in-budget solution.

Not sure which flowers will be in season during your wedding? We're in love with this handy chart of in season flowers by Jess of The Budget Savvy Bride.

2. Keep things small  -- literally

Sure, huge cascading wedding bouquets are breathtaking — but what Pinterest doesn't tell you is that oftentimes those bouquets are pricey. Depending on what flowers you choose, keeping your bouquet small and minimal will help to cut down on cost. We've even seen some brides and bridesmaids walk down the aisle with just one bloom, which makes a fun statement and costs less than those hefty traditional bouquets! We've also seen mini bridesmaids bouquets, which are oh-so-adorable and kind of whimsical.

3. Use greenery, herbs, fruit or vegetables instead of blooms

I always do a little happy dance when I see a bride that ditched the flower-filled wedding bouquet for something more unexpected. There isn't a rulebook that says brides must walk down the aisle with flowers. Why not ditch the blooms and incorporate herbs, fruits or veggies instead? Incorporating greenery and vines into your bouquet and decor is poised to be a huge wedding trend in 2015, and is going to be a great way to remove flowers from the wedding equation.

This isn't always going to be the most cost-effective solution to saving money on your bridal bouquet, so make sure to check with your florist and compare pricing between a traditional bouquet. But you get bonus points if the produce is in season, of course!

4. Don't have flowers in your centerpieces

Photo by  Kelly Maughn

Photo by Kelly Maughn

The first thing you may think of when it comes to wedding centerpieces is flowers. But guess what? Flowers aren't a must for your wedding reception centerpieces! Cutting flowers out of the wedding centerpieces entirely will help to reduce at least some of the cost off of your florists' bill.

5. Do double duty

If you really can't imagine your wedding reception without flower centerpieces but are on a tight budget, then it's time to get creative. If you and your bridesmaids will be carrying bouquets down the aisle, why not do double duty with them and use them in your wedding centerpieces for the reception? Just add a mason jar or vase, and your in business.

The same could go for any flowers you use for your ceremony decor. If you have a floral backdrop or are using flowers for aisle decor, recruit some friends or family to help you move the blooms to your reception. After all, they won't be doing any good just sitting there after the ceremony is over!

6. Buy wholesale & DIY

A disclaimer before I start this section: some wedding professionals really disagree with the idea that brides can/should buy their flowers wholesale and DIY them. As with any other wedding service, they'll tell you this job is better left to the professionals. With the exception of your wedding photographer, I wholeheartedly disagree with this idea. Sure, if you DIY your stationery or bouquets, it won't turn out the same way a professional's work would — but then again, you shouldn't expect it to.

Anyway, a popular alternative for brides who want to save money on flowers is to buy them wholesale and DIY the bouquets or centerpieces themselves. A word of caution -- it's best to offload this task to an enthusiastic relative or friend, because the last thing you want to worry about on your wedding day is picking up flowers and trying to arrange them in mason jars. That being said, I've been to a number of weddings where the bride opted to DIY flowers from the local farmers market, and the result was charmingly rustic. If you want to get really fancy, take a flower arranging class with a friend or bridesmaid before the big day so you get a sense of the basics -- our bridal blogger Krystal did this for her own wedding!

Get started with DIYing your flowers by checking out these tutorials from A Practical Wedding, Lauren Conrad, Style Me Pretty and Real Simple.

7. Skip the bridesmaids bouquets (or even your bouquet) for something more affordable

Gorgeous rustic paper flower bouquet
Gorgeous rustic paper flower bouquet

Again, there's no bridal rule book saying flowers are a must. We've seen lovely real weddings that used paper flowers, silk flowers, or even fun arrangements of brooches and buttons. You can replace your bridesmaids bouquets for these alternative ideas for a quick cut to your flowers budget. If you're the bride and traditional flower-centric wedding bouquet isn't for you (and you hate the idea of paying for flowers), you can also ditch'em! Find our favorite tutorials for creating your own alternative wedding bouquets on Wedding Chicks, POPSUGAR, and Lia Griffith.

8. Have your wedding somewhere with natural flowers or greenery

Think of it this way: if your wedding venue already has an abundance of flowers, greenery, or breathtaking scenery, you might not need to decorate as much with flowers. I personally kept this in mind when searching for my wedding venue, and ended up with a beautiful outdoor venue that literally has as flower EXPLOSION during the summer months. Not only will it look great in the pictures, it cuts down on the need for me to put flowers everywhere in the reception.

Well brides, are you having flowers at your wedding? If so, how are you making sure you're staying in budget? Let us know in the comments!