Wedding Flowers On A Budget (25 Money Saving Ideas)

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If you are looking for the best ideas to have gorgeous wedding flowers on a budget, you are in the right place.

I talked with a professional wedding planner, three wedding florists, and dozens of brides and asked them for tips and ideas on saving money on wedding flowers.

Here is what we cover in this article:

A group of bridesmaid bouquets that were made by the bride and bridesmaids using a diy tutorial

Here are the amazing wedding professionals who provided information for this article:

Repurposing Wedding Flowers (Using floral arrangements and bouquets for more than one thing)

A bride and bridesmaids holding their bouquets. This is for the article called wedding flowers on a budget. This is a collage. One photo shows the bride and bridesmaids. The other photo shows how the bridesmaids repurposed their bouquets to the cake table at the reception.
At this wedding I photographed, the bridesmaids repurposed their bouquets to the cake table once the reception started.

Repurposing wedding flowers is a great way to save big money on the wedding day.

Here are a few ways that I have seen couples use to repurpose their flowers:

  • Once inside the reception, put all of the bridesmaid bouquets into vases and use them to decorate guest tables, the head table, dessert tables, card/gift tables, etc. (A great money-saving tip from Sarah at Sarah’s Floral Design).
  • Use wedding ceremony floral arrangements on the sweetheart table/head table or other locations where you might want a larger floral arrangement.
  • Move ceremony aisle arrangements or lanterns to the reception (gift table, bar, dessert table, etc.).
  • If you have large ceremony floral arrangements, consider making a plan to break those up into smaller arrangements for the reception (make sure you have someone who can help you with this, and remember to have a plan for what containers/vases the smaller arrangements will go in)
  • Relocate cocktail hour flowers to the bar, gift table, welcome table, etc.
  • Kimberly from Forever In Bloom suggests using one of the bridesmaid bouquets as your toss bouquet and using your ceremony aisle arrangements as your reception centerpieces.

*Professional tip from Nadine at Lancaster Flower Co.: “The cocktail hour is an event “hallway.” If you’re on a budget, there is no need to go overboard with flowers here! Guests will grab drinks and talk while they wait for dinner.”

DIY Your Flowers

A diy bridal bouquet and bridesmaid bouquet
At a wedding that I recently photographed, the bride and bridesmaids made their own bouquets from fresh flowers purchased at Trader Joe’s and Wegmans.

Wedding flowers typically play a big part in the look and design of a wedding, but those breathtaking floral arrangements can sometimes come with a hefty price tag.

A big chunk of that cost is mainly because of the time and effort professional florists pour into making your day picture-perfect.

If you’re willing to roll up your sleeves and get a little creative, you could save a lot of money by going the DIY route.

Just keep in mind that you’ll be trading your time for money.

We made a video showing how we made 1 bridal bouquet, 4 bridesmaid bouquets, and 4 boutonnieres for $36 using flowers from Costco.

It took just over an hour to make all 5 bouquets and the 4 boutonnieres.

Here is the video tutorial:

Purchase Flowers At Stores Like Costo, BJ’s, and Sam’s Club

A bunch of wedding bouquets at Costco
You can buy flowers at Costco and make your own DIY arrangements, or buy these premade bouquets and wrap them yourself. A gorgeous spring bridal bouquet for $13.99…yes please!

When going the DIY route with your wedding flowers, warehouse stores like Costco, BJ’s, and Sam’s Club can be a fantastic place to start.

Not only can you purchase flowers to make your own arrangements, but you can also purchase ready-to-use bouquets, centerpieces, and boutonniérs.

Example:

At Costco, you can purchase wedding floral collections in 4 pieces, 10 pieces, or 20 pieces.

The 4-piece collection costs $219 and includes:

  • 4 centerpieces

The ten-piece collection costs $289 and includes the following:

  • 1 bridal bouquet
  • 2 bridesmaid bouquets
  • 3 pin-on corsages
  • 3 boutonniérs
  • 1 bag of rose petals

The 20-piece collection costs $549 and includes the following:

  • 1 bridal bouquet
  • 3 bridesmaid bouquets
  • 2 centerpieces
  • 6 pin-on corsages
  • 6 boutonniérs
  • 1 toss away bouquet
  • 1 bag of rose petals

Costco wedding flowers are amazing!

Using succulents and cactus instead of flower centerpieces
This wedding we helped plan had a Western theme, so the couple used whiskey bottles and desert cactus/succulents instead of flowers for their centerpieces.

Mix and Match Real Flowers with Fake Flowers

Mixing real floral arrangements with fake flowers is another great way to save money on your floral budget.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Use real flowers for places that will be in lots of photos – Bouquets will be in a lot of your wedding day photos, but flowers in places like the gift/card table or dessert table will only be seen for a few minutes. Consider putting more of your budget towards real floral bouquets and using fake flowers in those less visible locations.
  • Use faux garland – Garlands made with real greenery can be very time consuming to make (and cost a lot of money). Purchase pre-made garland and places like Hobby Lobby or Michaels to save big!
  • Use fake flowers for outdoor ceremonies – If you are getting married where it’s hot and humid, consider using fake floral arrangements if your ceremony is outside. You won’t have to worry about flowers wilting and you will save a bunch of money.

Use All Fake Flowers

A bride holding her bouquet that she made with fake flowers
This bride made her own bouquet and all of her centerpieces using fake flowers. Photo by MG Photography

Even if you do not want to make your own flower arrangements, you can still go 100% fake using sites like Etsy and Amazon, where you can purchase done-for-you fake flower bouquets and centerpieces.

On Amazon, you can purchase floral centerpieces for as low as $3 or $4 each.

If you want to purchase fake flowers that you can arrange yourself, here are a few places to check out:

  • Temu
  • Hobby Lobby
  • Michael’s
  • SHEIN

If you are looking for done-for-you wedding flowers, check out the following sites:

  • Ling’s Moment
  • Temu
  • Something Borrowed Blooms (Rent your flowers!)
  • Sola Wood Flowers
  • SHEIN
  • Etsy
  • Facebook Marketplace

Have The Bridesmaids Walk Down The Aisle With Something Besides Bouquets

Bridesmaids holding snowflake wands and single roses instead of bouquets.
I photographed these two weddings where the bridesmaids did not have bouquets. On the left, the bridesmaids are using snowflake wands. On the right, the bridesmaids carried a single rose wrapped in ribbon.

The average cost of a bridesmaid bouquet is $100.

If you have 6-8 bridesmaids, that is $600-$800 just for their bouquets.

An easy way to save money on flowers is to have your bridal party walk down the aisle with something besides a flower bouquet.

Here are a few ideas that we have seen at our weddings:

  • Lanterns
  • Candles
  • Parasol
  • Purse/clutch
  • Single flower with a ribbon
  • Signs with cute wedding/love sayings
  • Framed photos of parents/grandparents on their wedding days
  • Framed pictures of the couple together
  • Bells
  • Ribbons
  • Fake floral hoops or wreaths
  • Glasses of wine
  • Books

Ask A Local Florist for Advice

Nadine from Lancaster Flower CO. advises couples to give a little creative freedom to their florist by allowing them to make substitutions for flower varieties that will help lower the price of their florals.

Local florists can also tell you which flowers are easily accessible when your wedding is taking place and which flowers will need to be imported.

Flowers that need to be imported are going to cost a lot more money.

Go With Smaller Floral Arrangements For Centerpieces And Bouquets

Choosing smaller bouquets and centerpieces is a simple way of cutting some of your flower costs.

Melissa at Events By Melissa Flood recommends “mixing in smaller, less expensive centerpieces on 25-50% of your tables. This will add visual interest to your reception decor and help keep costs down.”

I have photographed many weddings where the bride wished she had gone with a smaller bouquet. Out of the 500 weddings I photographed, I never heard a bride say she wished her bouquet was bigger.

Use Wedding Centerpieces Without Flowers

A wedding centerpiece using books instead of flowers. This is for the the article called wedding flowers on a budget. how to save money on your wedding flowers.
We helped plan and photograph this wedding, where the couple used books with their favorite quotes on cards. They decorated the rest of the table with different wine bottles and small jars.

There is no set wedding rule saying that you have to use flowers for your reception centerpieces.

In fact, we have photographed many weddings where flowers played only a small role in the wedding day decor.

Here are a few ideas to think about if you want to cut down the cost of your floral budget:

  • Floating candles in hurricane vases or glass bowls
  • Books
  • Bowls of fruit/vegetables
  • Lanterns
  • Wood slices
  • Wine bottles
  • Personal items that show off your personality
  • Glass jars/bowls with sand and shells
  • Wine corks
  • Board games
  • Vintage items (typewriters, cameras, antiques, etc.)

Check Your Local Farms For Local Flower Opportunities

Local farms and farmers’ markets are great places to find great deals on real flowers.

We have a farm here in Central PA (Paulus Farms) that allows you to pick your own bucket of flowers (enough to make a few bouquets) for about $20.

Check your area for amazing deals like that.

Add More Greenery To Your Arrangements

Adding more greenery to your bouquets and centerpieces can save you money for a couple different reasons:

Filler and volume – Greenery quickly fills up space in your arrangements, reducing the number of premium, more expensive flowers needed to complete the bouquet or centerpiece.

More options and availability – Many types of greenery are available year-round, which keeps the price lower than some flowers that need to be imported.

bridal bouquet and bridesmaid bouquets made with sunflowers
Use big blooms that are less expensive, like sunflowers, for your bouquets and centerpieces. Mix the centerpieces with baby’s breath and greenery for a gorgeous look.

Skip The Boutonnieres

Boutonnieres do not make up a huge part of the floral budget, but if you have 8-10 groomsmen, a groom, and a couple of dads/grandpas, those little suit flowers can quickly put you over budget.

Here are a few ideas to consider instead of boutonnieres:

  • Pins that fit with the theme of your wedding
  • Pocket squares
  • Natural elements like twigs/berries
  • Nothing at all (a well-tailored suit can look really sharp on its own)

Don’t Worry About Corsages

Like boutonnieres, corsages can quickly put you over budget if you have a lot of them to buy.

If corsages are not important to you, there is no need to spend your money on them.

Here are a few corsage alternatives to consider if you still want to give your mom/grandma something nice:

  • Necklace or bracelet (this something that they will keep and cherish forever)
  • Brooches or pins
  • Ribbon or fabric tied in a nice bow or knot
Wedding centerpieces using both tall arrangements and short arrangements
If you love the look of tall centerpieces, mix in a bunch of shorter/smaller arrangements to save money.

Only Use Flowers Where You Want Them

Notice that I did not say “where you need them”?

Flowers at a wedding are not a necessity. So talk with your partner and make a plan for where you really want flowers.

Many couples think they must have a floral arrangement for every little thing at their wedding. Not true.

I have photographed many weddings where flowers were a minimal part of the day.

Consider skipping flowers for the following locations:

  • Dessert/cake table
  • Gift/card table
  • Bathrooms
  • Escort card tables
  • Ceremony aisle
  • Favor table

Make A Budget For Your Wedding

Setting a realistic budget is one of the first things you want to do when planning a wedding.

Many of the big wedding planning sites say that, on average, couples spend around 8-10% of their wedding budget on flowers (If your wedding budget is $15,000, your floral budget would be $1,200-$1,500).

I don’t really pay attention to those averages. Spend what you want on what’s most important to you. If flowers are not important to you, do not feel like you need to spend 10% of your budget on them.

But you still want to have a budget so that you know the maximum amount that you are willing to spend on flowers.

Check out this article for great info on setting a wedding budget (plus lots of other things you will want to do in the early planning stages).

Buy Your Flowers In Bulk

Purchasing your wedding flowers in bulk will lower the cost per stem if you plan on making your own wedding bouquets and centerpieces.

Check out stores like Costco, BJ’s, or local farmers markets for great prices on bulk flower orders.

Invite Fewer People

This is one of those little budget tips many couples forget to consider.

Inviting fewer people to your wedding can save a lot of money (including on flowers).

Let’s say that there are eight wedding guests per table.

By cutting your wedding guest list by 16 people, that gets rid of 2 centerpieces ($150-$600), plus 16 meals/drinks ($600-$2,200), favors ($50-80), plus invitations/postage, transportation, desserts, etc.).

Cutting your guest list by only 16 people can save you between $1,000-$3,000+

Have A Smaller Wedding Party

A small wedding party with only 2 people on each side
I photograph many weddings where the couple only has 1-3 people on each side. The couple had two on each side for this wedding and two kids.

Having a smaller wedding party can save you a lot of money on your flower budget.

The average number of bridesmaids and groomsmen for the weddings we photograph is 5-6 for each side.

Bridesmaid bouquets average about $100 each, and boutonnieres for the groomsmen average $15 each.

That’s an extra $575-$690 for flowers.

Downsize your wedding party and save.

For our wedding, my wife and I only had one person on each side (and my mother-in-law made our flowers). The cost was about $20 for the Maid of Honor bouquet.

Rent your Wedding Flowers

You can rent 100% of your wedding flowers (fake flowers), have them delivered to you three days before your wedding day, and then ship them back right after your wedding.

Something Borrowed Blooms is a great place to check out if renting your wedding florals sounds like a good option for you.

Understanding Wedding Flower Costs

A bride and her bridesmaids holding gorgeous bouquets
I loved photographing this bride and bridesmaids. Those flowers are gorgeous!

When it comes to wedding flowers, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the many options and prices.

To make this process easier and less stressful, it’s a great idea to know why wedding florists charge what they charge (and what you can do to save money).

When you work with a professional wedding florist, you pay for both a product and a service.

While most wedding florists buy their flowers in bulk, the actual flowers are just one part of the cost.

You know the saying….time is money.

I have personally worked with many wedding florists and the time and planning that goes into a single wedding is often overlooked. We are talking about 50-75 hours for some of these weddings.

So when you receive a wedding flower quote that is several thousands of dollars, know that a big part of that cost is the time it will take to bring your floral vision to life.

Let’s talk about the average cost of wedding flowers. This can vary greatly depending on the types of flowers, the size of your wedding, and your location.

We talked to 10 different florists and a bunch of couples in our area, and here was the average floral budget for the 2022-2023 wedding seasons: $3,800 (some were as expensive as $12,000, and others were done for as low as $700)

To get a better idea of how these flower budgets were allocated, here’s a rough breakdown of where the money went:

  • Bridal bouquet: 10-15%
  • Bridesmaids’ bouquets: 10-20%
  • Groomsmen boutonnieres: 2-5%
  • Corsages: 2-5%
  • Ceremony flowers: 10-20%
  • Reception flowers: 40-60%

Something to keep in mind: Many wedding florists require a minimum spend ($2,000-$4,000 in my area of Central PA), so always read your contract carefully.

Also, ask about any service fees that might not be included in their quote. These can include things like delivery, setup, and tear-down fees.

A winter wedding that used hurricane vases with floating candles instead of centerpieces with flowers.
I photographed this wedding where the couple used hurricane vases with floating candles, pillar candles, and pinecones instead of using centerpieces with flowers.

Wedding Flowers On A Budget (FAQ)

What are some affordable alternatives to fresh flowers?

There are several affordable alternatives to fresh flowers that can still provide a beautiful and elegant atmosphere. Silk flowers and dried flowers are both cost-effective options, offering a similar appearance to fresh flowers. If you’re looking to be more eco-friendly, you can also use potted plants or even incorporate edible arrangements like fruits and veggies as unique centerpiece ideas.

Will using seasonal flowers help cut costs for my wedding?

Using seasonal flowers in your wedding is an excellent way to cut costs and ensure the freshest blooms.

Start by researching which flowers are in season during your wedding month, and then ask your florist how they could incorporate those flowers into your bouquets of centerpieces.

What are cheap flowers for centerpieces and bouquets?

Here is a list of some cheap but beautiful flowers to use in your wedding bouquets and centerpieces:

  • Baby’s Breath
  • Daisies
  • Carnations
  • Gladiolus
  • Roses
  • Hydrangea
  • Sunflowers
  • Queen Anne’s Lace
  • Chrysanthemums
  • Alstroemeria
  • Zinnias
  • Wildflowers
  • Marigolds

How to save money on wedding centerpieces

As mentioned above, you can save lots of money on wedding centerpieces by using non-floral options.

Another way to save on centerpieces is by alternating taller arrangements and shorter arrangements for your tables (this way only have your tables get the bigger, more expensive centerpieces)

Why are wedding florists so expensive?

As we mentioned earlier, wedding florists spend up to 75 hours per wedding between consultations, designing, delivery, set up, tear down, etc.

When working with a professional wedding florist, a big chunk of the floral budget is their time and expertise.

Plus, many wedding florists are purchasing only the best flowers. They have a reputation to uphold and don’t want to cut corners.

What is the average amount spent on wedding flowers?

According to this article on The Knot, the average amount of money couples spent on wedding flowers in 2022 was $2,400.

However, we did our own research here in Pennsylvania, and we found that couples who purchased their flowers from a professional wedding florist spent an average of $3,500, and couples who went the DIY route spent an average of $1,000 on their wedding flowers

More Money Saving Tips For Your Wedding Day

Here are a few more money-saving tips to use while planning your wedding:

We just put together this video giving 10 practical ways to save money on your wedding:

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