This week I would like to focus on one of the prettiest parts of your day – flowers! Depending on what you want, this cost can be one of the highest variables when planning your budget. Also, depending on how creative you’re feeling, you have a few different options as to where they come from. Today let’s take a look at the three most popular options out there, and hopefully by the end you’ll feel better prepared to decorate your day!
Hiring a Professional Florist
Hiring a professional to pull together your arrangements is definitely the easiest way to go. Typically this person has years of experience, knowledge as to what is in season, what is available, and can provide advice on how to work with your budget. They also have a natural eye for design and can provide loads of ideas after just one meeting together. This does all come with a price, however. Professional floral can cost upwards of thousands of dollars given experienced labor, ordering costs, rentals, deliveries and more. If it is something important to you though, it can be totally worth the splurge.
Several reasons came up for us to use a professional florist, but the biggest were the beautiful look and great fragrance. I’ve had friends who head to the farmer’s market and it turned out very nice, but I didn’t want to take the risk on what might be available that day or spend the morning stressing about it. Instead it was spa time with my sister and my groom golfed with his brothers. Plus I loved the rich look that floral professionals can put together. I don’t have that skill set to do that! I’m a fairly frugal person, but when it came to flowers I wanted what I wanted, which was an interpretation of my grandmother’s garden.
Average budget for traditional wedding floral in Wisconsin (personal flowers, centerpieces, and a few accent pieces): $3,000-$6,000
Flower Farms/Farmers Market
If you still like a fresh look, but want to save a bit, another option is to purchase flowers in bulk either from a flower farm or at the local farmers market. This decision requires more work on your end, but if it’s something you or a friend/family member enjoys, it may be no trouble at all. There are some risks that come with it, including not as much guarantee as to what’s available and the potential added stress of finding time to put these together before your wedding. It does however save you quite a bit, and could mean more personally during the day.
I chose to do my own arrangements mainly because I thought that approach would save money. I wanted real wildflowers to be consistent with the fall garden theme of our ceremony, and I wanted them arranged in a way that fit with our quirky reception venue. My flower vendor wasn’t very communicative with me, so I ended up with some bunches that didn’t work for the final arrangements (meaning they went to waste). But I do think I saved quite a bit of money overall, especially since I picked up the flowers from the vendor and my dad delivered them to the wedding venue.
Average budget for Flower Farm/Farmers Market floral in Wisconsin: $300-$800
The ultimate DIY option is to create your own arrangements (or purchase pre-arranged ones) in advance using artificial flowers found either at craft stores or online. These are MUCH cheaper than fresh flowers and from a distance the rouse isn’t obvious You could also start putting these together at any point in the planning process, giving you plenty of time to test out different ideas to see what you like the best. Be cautious though, especially when ordering online, as photos on a website may look very different than what actually shows up on your door. If you have the time though to go through the entire process, well-done arrangements can be an easy lasting memory of your big day.
Being a fall wedding, our selection of live flowers was limited and we didn’t want to have flowers shipped to our house. We really liked the idea of being able to keep our flowers instead of them dying on us. It was a huge stress relief actually – we had all of our flowers done a month before the wedding. Make sure you read reviews online and look into what kind of material the flowers are made of. We bought two sizes of flowers from the same place and it turned out they didn’t match. Many craft stores also offer sales and coupons. We didn’t pay full price for anything and returns are pretty easy.
Average budget for artificial floral in Wisconsin: $100-$200
Ultimately it all depends on your budget and your comfort level, but there are plenty of options available to match your needs. Good luck!