Flower power

How to decorate your ceremony with flowers without wilting your wallet
Jun 24, 2011 | By: Lindsey Marshall

The most beautiful and memorable time in life can also be one of the most expensive. Although flowers for a wedding ceremony can usually take up a considerable portion of the budget, there are many affordable ways to decorate your location.

Putting money towards a large focal point instead of placing flowers all around the ceremony will help you save money. “Instead of having pew markers, rose petals for the aisle, an aisle runner and so on, pool the funds towards two large ceremony arrangements at the front for a focal visual impact,” suggests wedding planner Wendy Lee. After the ceremony the two arrangements can be placed behind the head table when it is time for the reception.

Renting flowers instead of purchasing is also an option for those who are open to the idea. “Centrepieces, place card table arrangements and head table arrangements can sometimes be rented at a fraction of the cost of purchasing them,” says Lee.

Remember to be holiday conscious as well. “If you are getting married around Valentine’s, skip the red roses,” says Lee. Buying flowers that are most commonly purchased during that season will come at an even greater expense. Holidays can also be an advantage, though, if the wedding date is a time when the church will already be decorated.

The type of vase chosen for the flowers should also be put into consideration. “Choose a small mouth vase that requires less stems to fill them,” says Lee. Wide mouth vases need more flowers, and therefore increase your flower costs.

High quality artificial flowers are also an option instead of going with freshly cut. “They look so realistic that no one really ever suspects that they aren’t fresh,” says Lee. They can be purchased at the local craft or department store and are generally used in museums and high-end hotels. Artificial flowers are also a great choice for destination weddings. “They travel very well and make a nice sentimental memory when you bring them back home,” says Lee. 

Don’t automatically go to a florist who specializes in weddings, as this route can cost double the money. It is best to choose in-season blooms from local growers or simply grow flowers right in your own backyard.

Ultimately, the best way to have the most flowers for the least amount of money is to choose an outdoor venue such as a park or garden, which is already surrounded by nature’s beauty.

Being cost effective does not have to look cheap; there are many ways to save while still having an elegantly decorated wedding. 

Wendy Lee is the owner of Asian Fusion Weddings produced by Weddings By Wendy, which provides professional event planning services for any type and size of wedding in Toronto, Ont. To learn more, e-mail weddingsbywendy@sympatico.ca.

Want beautiful flowers to decorate your wedding ceremony? Find florists on iDoo.ca, Canada’s Local Marriage Services Directory.

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