Here’s How to Get Lush Wedding Flowers for Less

Whether you hire a top floral designer or go the DIY route, the (high) cost of fresh flowers alone might surprise you.

If your wedding mood board features over-the-top flower backdrops or decadent Dutch still life-inspired arrangements, you’ll probably need to plan for a generous décor budget.

Still, there are ways to thoughtfully — and economically — incorporate beautiful, scene-making blooms into every aspect of your wedding, from the centerpieces to your bouquet to the altar or chuppah, while sticking to a real-life budget. The key? Being a little flexible with your flower choices, and having a few friends or family members that won’t mind lending a helping hand before, and on, the big day.

Arrange a share.

It might be a long stretch, but you could check with your ceremony and reception venues to see if there will be any other weddings or formal events on the same day. Sharing any of the extraneous floral elements such as aisle decorations or welcome table arrangements with the other party, as long as your tastes and colours align, would mean big savings for your pocketbook.  

Embrace local, seasonal flowers.

A quick online search and a few phone calls to local florists or growers will give you a good idea of what should be available locally on your lucky date in your desired colour palette. The selection might surprise you — some Canadian greenhouse growers offer product year-round — and prices are competitive. Of course, sourcing locally can also mean taking advantage of wild-foraged and garden-grown flowers, if you have access to them.

Love your greens.

When placing an order with your florist or floral designer, consider creative ways you can reduce costs without negatively impacting the size and scope of the arrangements at your wedding. Incorporating more foliage and filler flowers, such as baby’s breath or poms, whenever possible will certainly help cut the bill.

Go for less extravagant blooms.

Particularly exotic or delicate flowers such as orchids and camellias can be quite expensive and should be used sparingly, if at all. As you’re deciding on the key colours and flowers for the wedding, keep in mind, as an example, that a dozen roses might cost three or four times as much as a dozen carnations. Accordingly, using roses for your bouquet and corsage, but sticking with similarly-hued carnations for the “flower wall” photo booth might easily save you hundreds of dollars.

Buy at wholesale.

If you’re creating the bouquets and arrangements yourself, save the retail markup and order your flowers and materials in bulk from a wholesaler, grower or importer. Some, but not all, will sell directly to the public, or to your event planner. Larger cities might have a wholesale flower market or district, or you can shop online from a number of reliable sources, including Costco!

Rent flowering plants.

It can be economical, and more environmentally-friendly, to rent flowering plants from local nurseries or event planners to complement your cut flowers. Tulip and hyacinth bulbs in a stylish container make pretty centrepieces for an early-spring wedding, and potted hydrangeas can be used to line the aisle at an outdoors ceremony.

Take a course, then DIY.

Many florists offer workshops on making your own centerpieces, wedding bouquets and flower crowns. You’ll learn to work with different flora, and the tricks of the trade that will help your creations look polished and fresh all day long.  

Ask for assistance.

Most arrangements can’t be made too far in advance, unfortunately, but you could save hundreds of dollars by enlisting a few close friends or relatives to help assemble simple centerpieces or craft floral garlands in the early morning. Just be sure to have someone in charge of the process whose aesthetic standards match yours!