How to Plan Your Floral Budget
One of the trickiest things to do when planning your wedding is budgeting. The table plan might seem like a mountain to climb, but before you even get there, you need to sit down and get the calculator app up and start thinking money. How do you start to budget your wedding when you don't know how much things really cost...
Ideally you should sit down and start setting your budget, even just outlining it, even before you find your venue. However, once you have your venue sorted, it is worth sitting down once more and recalculating, rejigging and perhaps this may lead to increasing budgets due to your venue decor or the space, or perhaps it may reduce it too.
One thing to remember is about a budget is trying your best to stick to it, but also keeping in mind that in most cases you will probably go over it to some extent. Unlike a venue which is a set amount, florals can be a variable expense and can often be as low as you like, but of course the quality or amount of the item will just decrease.
You may not need many flowers, or you may absolutely have your heart set on something magical and wonderful - either way, figuring out this figure at the start of your wedding planning journey plays an important role in how you see your wedding in your head. It will set out a vision that you will run with as florals play a role in almost every element of the wedding day journey and it will impact what else you might spend on styling and decor.
Every florist is different but on average you might find that £1700 typically could cover an average sized bridal party, simple centrepieces and a few other pieces of floral decor like cake flowers, or welcome sign flowers. When you start to think of installations such as a ceremony arch, aisle flowers, backdrop for pictures, mantlepiece arrangements or hanging installations, the price jumps up because as you can imagine, these items are typically larger in size, need to be designed on site and also might include the help of an assistant as well as the amount of flowers needed.
You might like to take a look at what might make the most impact and where to place budget. The impact of an installation on the event is absolutely worth the cost as it will be in photos, make a statement, welcome your guests and be likely remembered as part of your big day in comparison to say a corsage or buttonhole.
Once you have a good idea of what you would like, and perhaps an idea of how much you are happy to spend, you can approach your chosen florist with a few ideas, as well as some images that can give them an idea of your vision.
Look at the images you are sending as a recipe for a cake, if you send lots of different sizes of bouquets the florist will struggle to give you one very solid answer or outcome for the price. So if you are looking at bouquets or anything, make sure they are cohesive in size as this can really alleviate any misconstrued costings and reduce any surprises for you when the final bill comes in.
One easy way to save on your floral budget, rather than reducing the items, could be looking at mixing and matching your centrepieces. I'm loving this trend that seems to be happening more and more each wedding season. By having half of the tables deigned with full or tall floral arrangements, and then the other half with something simpler (and as such, more budget-friendly!) it can really reduce your final bill, but also still give you a really lovely look. The mixture of different centrepieces also can add depth to the venue, intrigue for the guests and can work really well in different venue types.
Simple designs might include candles with some greenery at the base, 3-5 bud vases with single stem flowers or perhaps utilising greenery loosely on long tables to create a very relaxed garland. These are more cost effective, yet will still give you a lovely and pretty table for your guests.
Repurposing is another amazing way to save on your floral budget and is something I will always try to offer in my proposals. However, it should also be done carefully and thoughtfully as not all designs can be moved, some are designed for their intended use and as such moving the items make it difficult or might even end up costing you more if the florist has to stay to fix anything that gets broken in the move. Bridesmaids bouquets as centrepieces are a really easy method of repurposing, and work best when the bouquets are a bit larger with the centrepiece vases chosen intentionally for these.
You might also repurpose aisle meadow flowers in windows at a venue, or at the base of a top table (if rectangular). You can move urn arrangements around to surround the wedding cake or top table or if an arch isn't rooted down, you may be able to move to another location for a great backdrop for photos later on in the evening.
The best thing to do when looking at your floral budget is to sit with your florist and go through options that work well for the venue, your vision but also the bottom line... your budget. There may even be some different out-of-the-box options your florist has that might not have been in the initial proposal... Communication is so key in all aspects, but often I find I can create something a little different to help focus a budget and still get something gorgeous created!