Flowers can take up to 5-10% of your wedding budget so it is no surprise that they can turn an ordinary room into a striking wedding venue. Having to budget with your flowers does not mean that you cannot create the wow factor. Here are my top tips to help you get the most from your flowers.
Check with your florist which flowers are in season as these will be cheaper. Even if you have your heart set on a particular flower there will normally be an alternative which looks similar and is cheaper e.g. Lisianthus rather than Roses, Iris rather than Orchids.
Choose a few selective flowers to fit in with your specific theme and then use greenery to pad out your arrangements.
Opt for large flowers which will take up more space within your arrangements and therefore you will need less of them e.g. hydrangea or Gerbera Daisy.
If you have chosen a venue where you need tall flower arrangements on the tables this could end up taking a large chunk of your budget. Try having some small arrangements alternating on the tables with the tall ones and this will reduce your budget while still maintaining the height in your room.
Find ways to re-use your arrangements more than once during your day e.g. move your church/civil ceremony flowers to your wedding reception to double up as table arrangements or favours or use the bridesmaid bouquets to decorate your cake table.
Identify a realistic budget and be very specific when discussing this with your florist and they should be able to come up with ideas to fit within this.
As a Mother of the Bride/Bridesmaid treat, arrange to go on a flower arranging course and do some of the flowers yourself. Depending on the scale of flowers you are looking for you need to make sure you are not trying to achieve too much so be realistic e.g. make your own button holes or the bridesmaid bouquets.
Consider cheaper alternatives to flowers for your table arrangements e.g. potted plants for a summer fete themed wedding, tea pots and cup/saucers (which can be bought relatively cheaply from your local garden centre) that you can plant yourself or get a family member to help or fruit centre pieces which can double up as dessert or candles (depending on whether your venue will allow these).
Providing you have a few green fingered relatives, ask them to grow flowers for you in the run up to your wedding. Flowers grown in pots or tubs can be used to decorate the grounds of your wedding venue and single stem flowers can be used in bouquets, as decorations for your cake or as favours tucked into napkins.
If you are getting married in a church and there is more than one wedding on your day see if you can speak to the other brides to see if you can agree on the style/colour of flowers and then split the cost.
For those of you brides who long for an excuse to wear your dress again, I have the perfect solution! The National Wedding Show has teamed up with Breakthrough Breast Cancer to launch a new charity 'Brides at Work' to raise money for this very worthwhile cause.
Brides at Work day takes place on Friday 17 September so dig out your dress and start getting sponsors. If you do not fancy wearing your full outfit (or are like me and probably wouldn't fit back into it if you tried) you could always put on your tiara, veil or any other accessory. Why not get everyone involved and encourage your full bridal party including your bridesmaids, mother of the bride and groom etc to get involved and wear their outfits as well.
Over 46,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year in the UK and Breakthrough Breast Cancer works to save lives and change futures through research, campaigning and education. For more information and to register for a fundraising pack visit breakthrough.org.uk.