How to Save Money on Wedding Flowers

Depending on the style you’re going for, chances are there’ll be a vast array of different flower arrangements at your wedding. The list includes bouquets, centrepieces, boutonnières, welcome arrangements, altar arrangements, bridesmaids’ bouquets, wedding cake flowers… and the list goes on. There’s nothing quite as lovely as wedding flowers and the joy and spectacle they bring.

Wedding flowers being so beautiful and plentiful, they tend to cost. In the UK, couples spend an average of around £1,100 on wedding flowers, which is a not-insignificant proportion of the average overall cost of a wedding at £20,775.

Some couples won’t have a budget anywhere near the national average or want to spend over a grand on flowers, but still want to have beautiful blooms at their wedding. If this is you, there are still plenty of options out there for you.

In this post, we’re going to take a look at all the ways you can save money on wedding flowers while still making sure your venue is full of gorgeous florals. 

Why are wedding flowers so expensive?

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A wedding is a fabulous occasion, and like many celebrations, flowers are the go-to decorative item for adding colour, luxury and elegance. Flowers are also a popular symbol of love, which is why they’re so perfect for a wedding.

As a result, many couples love to use flowers throughout their big day, from the moment their guests arrive at the ceremony to the moment they leave the reception. And because they play such a prominent role, the price of wedding flowers can be somewhat on the high side.

But why exactly are they so expensive? There are plenty of reasons why you may pay a premium for wedding flowers, most notably: 

  • Volume – From bouquets to boutonnières, many different flower arrangements feature in a wedding
  • Quality – When it comes to weddings, florists often use the crème de la crème of flowers
  • Service – Bespoke florals will involve a personalised design process and conceptualisation to bring your vision to life
  • Details – It’s not just about the flowers – think vases, vessels, ribbons, even props – everything you need to create a gorgeous display
  • Availability – Most flowers are seasonal, particularly in the UK, so it can be expensive to import certain flowers
  • Expertise – Florists use their skill and experience designing show-stopping arrangements
  • Time – Wedding flowers often take a lot of time to design and arrange
  • Delivery – Your florist will need to deliver and set up your flowers at the venue

Do you need flowers at your wedding?

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Whether or not you have flowers at your wedding is entirely your decision. It all depends on your budget, your style and – ultimately – your preference. While there’s nothing written in stone that says you need to have flowers at your wedding, your guests will likely notice if you choose not to have them.

Flowers are one of the biggest wedding traditions there is, and the pure presence of flowers denotes elegance and love. That said, there could be several reasons for not wanting to have flowers at your wedding, for example, due to allergies, or you simply aren’t interested in anything floral. 

15 ways to save money on wedding flowers

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Wedding flowers are a big expense, but they’re a non-negotiable for many couples. If you do choose to have flowers at your wedding, but don’t want to spend an amount even close to the UK average, then there are ways around it. Below are 15 ways you can save money on wedding flowers.

1. The bigger the better

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Choose flowers with big heads where possible. Not only do they look stunning, but the bigger the flowerhead, the fewer stems you need to fill out an arrangement, which means you’ll also generally spend less money.

For example, for every peony or hydrangea you have in an arrangement, you would need two or three roses to fill up the same amount of space. The bigger the flowers, the less you’ll spend in the long run.

2. Avoid popular flower choices

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Flowers like roses, carnations and tulips symbolise love, which makes them popular choices for floral arrangements. That means they can also be quite pricey, as demand is high. Instead, why not consider flowers which are both beautiful but which aren’t commonly seen at weddings, such as chrysanthemums, daisies and Peruvian lilies?

3. Be creative with your bridesmaids

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Be a trendsetting bride and instead of full bouquets, give your bridesmaids corsages to wear on their wrists or boutonnières to fix onto a neckline or waistband. It will leave their hands free (to fluff out your dress if need be) and provide the perfect accessory for their outfits. Not to mention it will save you a lot of money, especially if you have four or five bridesmaids.

4. Use flowers as focal points

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Use flowers as your focal points. Positioning some at the bar and on the central table will draw the eye and let you get away with much smaller pieces on the other tables. This will make the room seem full to the brim with floral decoration, whereas actually, you’ve just been clever with how you use them. The key is to position them in a way that works for them and the space. 

5. Less can be more

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We may have already mentioned that bigger blooms can be more cost-effective, but if you’re going for a minimalist and sophisticated theme, then that can also be a great way to save some money. Instead of having big bunches of flowers on every table, try putting single stems in tall elegant vases as eye-catching centrepieces. Because of the impressive height, the room will still look decorated throughout, but this way you’ll use fewer stems and your guests will be able to truly appreciate the flowers you’ve hand-selected.

Roses are fabulous flowers which work well like this, but speak to your florist about which flowers will fit best within your specific budget.

6. Switch petals for paper

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Did you know you can still have flowers even if you don’t want real ones? Switching real flowers for faux or paper-made flowers works a treat and can cost less than the real deal. For example, at Paper Bouquets here on Bridebook, prices start from as low as £8! As an added bonus, you’ll have gorgeous floral paper creations to treasure long after the big day itself. For an extra touch of personalisation, you can also tie it to your wedding theme by making flowers from pages out of your favourite book or sheet music from your wedding playlist.

To save even more cash, you might want to consider making some paper flowers yourself. It’s not like they’ll wilt over time, so if you start early enough you should be able to make plenty. There are loads of paper flower tutorial videos on YouTube to get you started. Though these are unlikely to rival the masterful creations of a professional, if cheap flowers are your no. 1 priority, then the DIY approach can be both cost-effective and fun!

7. Double up

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After the wedding ceremony, your bridesmaids will probably have little use for their bouquets, so why not make them work extra hard and reuse them at the reception? Place them at certain focal points, or even use them as centrepieces on some of the tables. It’s unlikely that your guests will even notice!

8. Choose flowers that are in season

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The time of year at which you’re getting married can have a big influence over the cost of your flowers, particularly if there are specific flowers you have in mind, because seasonality plays a huge part in cost. For example, peonies, when not in season, can be four times more expensive than roses. This includes cabbage roses, which look almost exactly the same.

To keep costs down, choose flowers that are in bloom during the time of year when your wedding is taking place, for example:

  • Spring: tulips and snapdragons
  • Summer: freesias and irises
  • Autumn: roses and dahlias
  • Winter: poinsettias and amaryllis

9. Choose a venue with floral beauty

Photo © Colonnade Florist | See their Bridebook profile

You might not have to as much much money on flowers if you choose a venue that has plenty of floral beauty of its own. An inner-city hotel might need a little extra help in the flower department, whereas a countryside manor will likely have landscaped gardens, wonderful artwork and stunning decor which means you won’t need to rely on having many flowers to add any additional beauty.

For a bit of inspiration on finding a venue with gorgeous natural spaces, check out our post on 35 beautiful outdoor wedding venues in the UK.

10. Consider forgoing boutonnières and corsages?

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Depending on the number of groomsmen and bridesmaids you and your partner will have, one thing that bumps up the cost is the number of boutonnières and corsages you’ll need. Two ways to reduce costs is by cutting them altogether or getting creative to bring those costs down. Why not design your own with faux or paper flowers? Or you could pick them up for less than £2 each by using a website like TEMU or Wish. Just make sure you know what you’re willing to compromise on (obviously cheap alternatives to professionally-crafted florals are unlikely to match the quality and design of the real deal).  

11. Go green

Photo © The Wild Garden Florist | See their Bridebook profile

While flowers are beautiful and vibrant, and can make for some truly breathtaking displays, the more you have in an arrangement, the more you’ll have to pay. So, why not fill some of that space with a little greenery, instead? More greenery, like ruscus and baby’s breath, can bring new textures and shapes to an arrangement and accentuate the flowers so that they pop even more. Not to mention it will help keep the costs of your flowers down. Win win! 

12. Consider dried flowers

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Dried bouquets are versatile and unique, and work whether you’re going for a vintage or more modern style at your wedding. They’re also more affordable due to the fact they last far longer than fresh flowers. Not only that, but you’ll be able to take them home afterwards and they’ll last for months, or even years. Dried florals works particularly well if you’re going with a rustic venue

13. Use your green fingers in the garden

Photo © Abbey Meadow Flowers | See their Bridebook profile

Fancy yourself as something of a gardener with particularly well-attended flower beds at home? If so, you might consider putting together some arrangements of your own? Or, if you’re not quite that adventurous, you could take just a few single stems, such as from a rose bush, to use in tall vases that would work as simple, yet elegant and highly personal, centrepieces on each table. 

As always with the DIY approach, remember that there’s always a risk. Growing and then designing your own bouquets will be no mean feat, and won’t come with the same level of service and quality as working with a professional florist. Your flowers might not turn out exactly as you wanted them or your bouquets might not come together as you’d envisaged them, and they might get damaged on the day, either in transit or at the venue itself. So, carefully weigh up whether saving money is your no. 1 priority, or if you’d rather go for a more hands-off and stress-free approach (which will of course come at a cost). 

14. Choose a local florist

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When searching for a florist to design your flower arrangements for your wedding, make sure you choose one that is local to you. If you choose one based on price alone, you may be in for an unwelcome surprise when it comes to the cost of delivery and setup. Make sure you double-check the catchment area of the florist you hire so you don’t pay any additional delivery costs.

The only exception to this rule is if your wedding is taking place in London. Hiring a London-based florist is often more expensive than hiring one from outside the capital. So, if sticking to a tight budget is important to you, we recommend comparing prices to see if it’s worth hiring one that has to travel a little further, as it could save you money. Just remember to get plenty of quotes and weigh up which offers the best value for money.

Browse our huge range of florists and find fantastic floral experts close to you.

15. Sweep the supermarket for cheap deals

Photo © Bradgate Flowers | See their Bridebook profile

Almost all of the big-name supermarkets sell decent flowers, and if you (or someone you trust with the job) get there early enough on the day, you’ll have a reasonable selection to choose from. You might not want a bunch of supermarket flowers as your bouquet or centrepieces, but they can work well as welcome flowers or accents, and are considerably cheaper than the flowers you’d get from a florist. Though they won’t match the quality or complexity of design of a bespoke creation, they’re a valid choice if you’re on a tight budget.

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