1. Work out your priorities
One of the most commonly made mistakes amongst brides-to-be is underestimating the cost of creating beautiful floral displays. Before you get too carried away, decide where flowers rank on your list of wedding priorities. As a general rule of thumb, you should aim to allocate around 10% of your overall budget to your flowers, and significantly more if you want to fill your reception space with elaborately-designed displays. This might mean you have to cut back the proportion of your budget you allocate for food and drink or your dress.
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2. Limit your choice
It's always best to stick to just one or two flower varieties. If you try to incorporate all your favourites into your designs, the costs can quickly escalate. Instead, ask your florist to use foliage to add texture to your displays or choose a striking contrainer to enhance a simple design.
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3. Be flexible
You may need to compromise on specific flower varieties and the size or style of your arrangements in order for your bill to come in on budget. Your florist should be able to suggest less expensive alternatives that will look just as good as your first choice, so make sure you're open to suggestions and take full advantage of their expertise.
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4. Go for potted plants
Pretty flowering pot plants work brilliantly on tables in place of elaborately-created centrepieces. They can also make a lasting, thoughtful thank-you gift for your mum and mother-in-law, as well as helpful members of the bridal party.
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5. Fake it
Instead of using fresh flowers, consider silk ones. They won't wilt or squash, they're easier to transport and can be kept as a keepsake to use again after the big day.
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6. Keep it simple
Time is money. If your florist has to spend hours creating complicated arrangements, you will be charged more, especially if they have to individually wire each flower to create a traditional trailing or shower bouquet. A more cost-effective option is to go for a simple hand-tied bouquet instead!
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7. Double up
Make the most of your church flowers by transporting them to your venue to decorate the reception space. Pedestals and potted bay trees are easy to move (give your ushers the responsibility of this job) and look fabulous used as entrance displays, while pew-ends can double up as chair-back decorations.
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8. Be creative
Be savvy about your flowers. A few statement blooms surrounded by lots of inexpensive greenery can look striking, so consider having less flowers and more foliage. Fishbowls of flowers floating in water require very few blooms to create a lovely effect. If you've got your heart set on an expensive floewr, use it sparingly - carry just a few blooms in your bouquet so you feel surrounded by it all day.
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9. Pare it down
The cost of your bridesmaids' bouquets can soon add up, so be inventive. Think about giving each girl a single statement stem to carry. If you're set on bouquets for each of them, consider reusing them after the ceremony as tablecentres.
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Use mirrors and glass to add the wow factor. Simple tablecentre designs incorporating large circular or square mirror tiles look great. Simply scatter fresh rose petals around the base and surround with stylish votives - the flickering candlelight will be reflected in the glass to create an eye-catching and romantic display.