Flowers are one of the most beautiful and inspiring elements of any wedding, but the price of fancy florals can add up fast. In fact, according to WeddingChicks.com, the average cost of wedding flowers is over $1900! I recently helped plan a wedding for a friend who was set on having at least some blossoming buds at her wedding but couldn’t afford to pay anywhere near that price. After a lot of research, talking to florists, and shopping around, we managed to cut those costs and learn quite a bit. Here are the best tips that I learned to save on those wedding-day flowers:

1. Choose flowers that are in season

If you’re set on having tulips for your fall wedding or marigolds at your summer wedding, you may be in for a bit of sticker shock. Before you get your heart set on a certain type of flower, do a little research to find out which blooms are in season locally during your wedding. This is far and away the simplest way to save on wedding flowers. After all, if they are not currently blooming nearby, they are going to be imported from somewhere — and the farther they come, the more expensive they will be.

2. Make your flowers do double duty

If you were thinking about ordering separate flowers for the wedding and the reception, think again! Why order two sets of flowers when you can simply move them from one venue to another? A good option is to ask family and friends to each transport a bouquet or two when they leave the wedding. Before the wedding day, pick someone that you trust and walk them through the reception area to show them where you want the flowers placed. Before you go this route, just be sure to check with your wedding venue to ensure that they don’t require that you leave the flowers.

3. Skip the flowers

These days, there are so many creative options for centerpieces besides flowers. If you’re having a beachy wedding, consider vases filled with seashells. If you’re having a fall wedding, consider pinecones or pussy willows. There are thousands of options that can rival any traditional floral arrangement. I once attended a wedding where the centerpiece consisted of shimmering floating candles on a water-filled glass dish. It was so simple, but it was beautiful, and I still remember it to this day. Other options for centerpieces are framed photos, fruit, stones, lanterns, and even desserts!

4. Forget fancy flowers

Okay, maybe you have your heart set on peonies, lilies, or orchids for your wedding arrangements, but you might not be so inclined once you see the price. These flowers (along with gardenias and hydrangeas) are some of the most expensive types of flowers and can cost upwards of $4 each. Instead, opt for carnations, chrysanthemums, or daisies, which are typically the least pricey. In fact, carnations can cost as low as 60 cents per stem!

5. Get married in a garden or nature setting

What better way to eliminate the cost of flowers than to be surrounded by free flowers! Many botanical gardens, nature institutes, and national parks are available for wedding ceremonies, and these can offer some pretty spectacular backdrops for a ceremony. I attended a wedding at the Dallas Botanical Gardens, and it was amazing! Their background was filled with lush greens, gorgeous flowers, and even a water feature, which made for some spectacular photos – without the aid of any floral bouquets.

6. Use bridesmaids bouquets as centerpieces

This is one of my favorite ideas because it is so simple! When setting up the reception area, simply place empty vases on the tables instead of full-blown floral arrangements. After the wedding, have each of the bridesmaids place her bouquet in the empty vase, and voila – you have your centerpieces! If you have more tables than bridesmaids then you may want to consider ordering extra bouquets or alternating this centerpiece with another option.

7. Consider greenery

Many brides are so focused on flowers that they don’t even consider greenery as an option. Moss, ferns and branches can create some amazing displays, particularly when paired with other elements such as acorns, pinecones or candles. Greenery centerpieces can be unique, memorable, and much cheaper than flowers. If you’re not sold on going completely green, consider working in a small amount of flowers to a mostly green display and you’ll likely still save a bundle.