Beautiful weddings can be affordable on any budget.
Flowers are often one of the last things on a bride’s to do list, but can you imagine your wedding photos with no flowers? Flowers have been very much a part of wedding ceremonies around the world since time began.
Beautiful weddings can be affordable on any budget. Your venue may have an in-house florist, but make sure you pick one you feel happiest with. It is important to contact florists as soon as possible, as the good ones can get booked up months in advance.
Most florists offer a free consultation. Go and talk to them and see if you like them. Remember that flowers can use as much as 10% of your wedding budget. You need to be confident that the florist you choose is thinking along the same lines as you, so that they can turn your dreams into reality. Think about asking the following questions:
- Can you see examples of their work? Ask to see their portfolio of past work. Be sceptical if they can only show you magazine cuttings.
- How many other weddings is the florist doing on the same day?
- Is the florist you are seeing going to be the actual person doing your flowers?
- Discuss the practicalities – times, venues, number of guests.
- Can they help you keep within budget? Be realistic, a good florist should be able to work to most budgets.
- Take along as much information as you can – pictures of the dress and venue, colour samples, swatches of fabric, a sample of your invitation, magazine cuttings of what you like and don’t like. Florists are creative – the more information you can give them, the easier it is to design the flowers of your dreams to enhance your perfect day.
- Get a written quotation which should include everything such as hire of vases (where needed), delivery and dismantling charges. Make sure there are no hidden charges. For example, do they charge for breakages?
- When will you pay them and how?
If money is tight then prioritise the most important arrangements, such as your bouquet and the top table. Ask your florist to make floral arrangements that will be suitable for both the ceremony and reception. This way they can be moved from one venue to the next. Individual flowers can be picked from church arrangements and placed at each table setting. You can even use the bridesmaids’ bouquets as centrepieces at the reception.
Don’t try to spread your budget too thinly. A couple of large floral designs that make a statement are better than having lots of small details dotted about. Choosing just a single type of bloom is another great way to create wow-factor displays.
We all appreciate the beauty, colour or fragrance of flowers, but our ancestors appreciated them more for their meanings and symbolism. Think about choosing flowers that have a special meaning to you. Perhaps the colours remind you of a special occasion, or the scent reminds you of a special place. Your florist should know meanings of certain flowers. For instance, roses have been used to symbolise love since ancient times, making this a popular choice for brides. It can also be a lovely idea to incorporate special keepsakes, such as a brooch, into the bouquet.
The florist will also be able to recommend the best flowers to use. Although many are now available most months of the year, there are still some seasonal flowers. Remember if you buy the flowers in season, it will reduce the overall cost.
Once you’re happy with your choice of florist, get them booked! Keep in touch with your chosen florist whenever there is a change of plan. Make sure you hold a final meeting a month before the wedding to re-confirm all the details. Most florists expect the bill to be settled approximately days before your big day.
Above all enjoy your day and love your flowers.
Words by Sara Collinge of Flowers with Passion