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8 Beautiful and Budget-Friendly Alternatives to Expensive Wedding Flowers

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I’m an avid fan of any TV show related to a wedding. I get caught up in the fantasy of the $100,000 ceremony and reception, but in reality mine was a mere $5,000. Saving for a down payment on a home and paying off school loans was top priority for me and my fiancé. However, I couldn’t help but fall in love with the floral arrangements I found in the bridal magazines, and dreamed of huge centerpieces with gorgeous flowing branches. Imagine my surprise when the local florist quoted a figure of $2,000 for the table centerpieces without even including the wedding party flowers. I quickly realized that flowers would need to be 20% of my $5,000 budget versus 40%. Plus, I needed to drastically trim my plans if I wanted to plan my wedding according to my budget and not just my dreams. Here are eight beautiful—but budget-friendly—alternatives to expensive wedding flowers.

1. Use your ceremony flowers at the reception

Via Porter and Reel Photography

Because wedding flowers are usually coordinated with the wedding colors, they can easily be interchanged between the ceremony and reception. For example, your attendants’ bouquets make a charming display on the cake table versus having separate arrangements. Another great idea is to place the bouquets in vases at the attendants’ table for the centerpieces.

2. Choose one specific flower and less expensive accents

Via Bridal Musings

Keeping your flower selection limited will keep you within budget, maintain the elegance of the occasion, and make arrangements less complicated, decreasing the costs. I love this example of pink roses accented with baby’s breath.

Related: How to Get Great Wedding Photos Without Breaking the Bank

3. Choose flowers that are in season

If your florist can purchase your flowers from a local grower, you’ll save more money versus being charged for the cost of having flowers shipped in from out of state. Plus, if the flowers you want to use are in season, their cost will be significantly lower than out-of-season flowers. I love this guide to seasonal flowers in the U.S. I found out tulips are in season December-April, so they would be more expensive to feature in a June wedding.

4. Consider having your wedding in a garden

Our local community college has a beautiful rose garden maintained by the horticulture department. If you’re a student or belong to the community, you can have your wedding there free of charge. Finding a free garden in your community is a great option if your budget is limited and flowers are considered a luxury instead of a necessity. Surrounding yourself with a garden of beautiful flowers can decrease costs immensely.

5. Increase greenery in arrangements

Via Style Me Pretty

Greenery in floral arrangements adds to an elegant presentation and increasing greenery accents can decrease your flower expenses. Consider greenery arrangements for chair accents, pew markers, or child attendants to carry. Use greenery as your main base then accent with flowers, which will greatly reduce costs.

6. Go for alternatives

Via Society Bride

A person who is sticking to a budget has a certain degree of flexibility when considering specific floral tastes and the appearance they are trying to achieve. Think of alternative, less expensive ways to add color to your ceremony without the big expense. Consider feathers for color, faux pearls with candles to set the mood, and experiment with combinations of natural elements.

Via Etsy

7. Decide between faux and real

Via Our Wedding Day Blog

I have my original silk bouquet safely stored away! I take it out on my anniversary and it brings back such pleasant memories. Faux flowers can save you a bundle, can be prepared in advance of the wedding, and will last for a very long time. Plus, today’s faux flowers totally look real! If you want to recoup your money, consider selling your silk wedding flowers on eBay after your event!

8. Be inspired by nature 

Via Bridal Musings

Have your flower girl throw out birdseed instead of rose petals, and incorporate fruit into your table centerpieces for a rustic setting. Your wedding will be the talk of the town if you change up traditional to quirky!

Saving money on flowers doesn’t have to be hard if you get creative with your ideas and stay within your flower budget for your wedding!


This is a post by Tammy from St. Pauls, NC.

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