Inexpensive Alternatives to Expensive Wedding Flowers

Inexpensive Alternatives to Expensive Wedding Flowers … While your floral budget is not your largest wedding expense, it is not insignificant either.  What are some fun, cute and reasonable ideas?  Read on…

Above are paper flowers, made by a dear friend of the bride.  She must be a VERY dear friend. Imagine what work that went into these beauties!

“But this is just a wedding cake,” you may say.  Yes, yes it is. But if you choose to have a wedding cake, and not all brides do these days, consider having it be a focal point. This can be a lovely decorating item.  One way to make it a focal point?  Order a cake that is larger than you need, and include some spectacular decoration. This was my daughter, Maggie’s, wedding cake, gifted to the bride and groom by her generous mother-in-law. Photo by Stephen Wang

What about candles?  Not only are they pretty in the daytime, but standouts, literally, in the evening hours.

Daughter number one, Kathleen, cherished spending time with her grandparents in California. One way she honored her history, and her family, was to incorporate oranges as her ‘escort cards’.  And yes, they came from the tree in the photo above in her grandparents’ yard! Above photo: Hannah Rachael Photos

Sometimes decorations are just staring you in the face.  Don’t discount the natural beauty of your venue!  Love the lighthouse and flowers above.

Don’t forget your own crafty side! Brides from two of my weddings created these adorable props.

The above photo is another example of a crafty family member (mother of the groom).  She created a beautiful vase with a wine bottle, a little spray paint, ribbon…and nothing more in it than beautiful, yet inexpensive, baby’s breath.

And while not particularly inexpensive, I’m sure, I love the above fruit carving.  Remember, think outside the box, and you’ll come up with some great innovative ideas.

Photos, with the exceptions of #2 and #6, by Mary P. Karnes

DIY Wedding Flowers

DIY Wedding Flowers!

One of your larger wedding expenses is that of your flowers.  You can save a good deal of money if you do it yourself – or DIY!  Here are some tips:

1 – Go on youtube.com or pinterest, or MY BLOG!  to find out ways to make desired flower items, i.e., centerpieces, bouquets, boutonnieres, etc.

2 – Research local sources for best possible prices.  Remember, when you buy local, especially in snow country, you will need to have a spring or summer wedding.  There is some availability in fall, but not as much.

If you’re lucky enough to live Southern New England, check out Jennys Flowers 

I know from personal experience how lovely Jenny’s flowers are, how long they last, and how personable and easy to work with Jenny is.  Even if you’re not from New England, give the link a click, you’re in for a treat.

3 – Practice, practice, practice.  You’re not a professional, so you’ll need lots of PRACTICE.

4 – Recruit help.  Many hands make light work.

5 – If your wedding day is hot, make provisions to keep the blooms cool.  Refrigerate as long as possible.  Make sure water levels are sufficient in stationary vessels.

6 – Recruit help for flower arrangement.  You, as the bride, will be getting your hair and makeup done.  Who will be arranging the flowers?  Consider a “Day Of” Planner for such needs.

etsy.com

Love the above centerpiece display.  This can actually be created with artificial flowers using a hot glue gun and a styrofoam ball.

 

folier.com

The same is true for the series of photos above.  Click in the link for more info.

afloral.com

The above link gives a great set of photos on how to create a bridal bouquet. Bouquets are very expensive if designed and made by a florist.

 

afloral.com

The above series walks you through making “Tall Centerpieces” a fad that grew out of favor with modern brides about five years ago, but they still have their use.  If you choose this style, be careful they don’t overtake your table.

briandmichael

DIY flower items don’t have to be complicated, or lavish.  Just look at the lovey chair adornment above.  Good luck!

Repurposing Wedding Flowers

 

Could there be anything better than repurposing wedding flowers for those in need?  Jennifer Grove founded a company, “Repeat Roses”, that does just that.  A long time friend sent me a link to Jennifer’s company.   There are  2.25 million weddings a year in the US, with each wedding generating 400 to 600 pounds of trash each. Needless to say, that’s a lot!  What exactly does Jennifer’s company do?

Well, they collect the flowers  from your wedding that you don’t want to save, and arrange to have them distributed to nursing homes for the residents’ enjoyment.

From Jennifer’s website: repeatroses.com

  • Service is available nationwide.
  • Service is currently available for events taking place July 1st or later. We recommend scheduling your event as far in advance as possible in order to insure a spot on our service calendar.
  • For social event and wedding pricing, service fees begin at $750 and are based on the size and scale of your event’s floral plan.
  • For corporate event pricing or information regarding regularly scheduled importer, wholesale, grocery or business pickups, please contact Alexa Ambrose (aambrose@repeatroses.com).

 

Apparently, this service isn’t cheap, but what a lovely idea.  A win-win, I say!

just look at the joy on the faces of the ladies above and below.  Who doesn’t love flowers?

A lovely quote from one who knows…from the repeat roses website:

“A lot of the patients shared memories that flowers brought to them from their own life special events. Some residents mentioned that they did not receive flowers for a long time and it made their day. You brought a holiday to their home and hearts. ”

— Veronica, CenterLight Health System

And listen to the joy of giving from a recent bride who used this service:

“Pure joy is right!! Thank you for this email, I’m so happy with our decision to use your services and I will be recommending you to every bride I know! ”

— Newly married Jessie Friedman, upon receiving her photo delivery confirmation email showcasing how her gorgeous wedding flowers from her celebration at the iconic Rainbow Room were whisked away, restyled and, within hours, delivered to a local women’s shelter in NYC to share the love.

I love this idea, and hope to use it for my next daughter’s wedding!

Fresh Wedding Flowers or Paper?

Can you tell which photo sports real flowers and which are paper?  Will you have fresh wedding flowers or paper?  There are supporting views for both options.  Fresh flowers are more expensive, but they are, well, FRESH FLOWERS.  They have that delicate air, they smell wonderful, there is no perfect substitute.

But…paper flowers have their fans too.  They are beautiful in their own right.  In their artificial perfection, they have no compare.  Just look at the rose above.  It was handmade by a friend of one of my brides.  She made over 200 blooms, it took her forever, but they were just fabulous.  The best part, they can be saved.  My two oldest daughters married one year after the other. Had I know this, I might have commissioned paper flowers.  This way, I would had just paid once for my floral arrangements.  Yes, I would have had to store them, but, not a problem.  And don’t forget…you must also find someone creative to arrange them.

And the arrangement above?  Real or paper?  It’s a fresh arrangement; and it is fabulous.  What about the two photos below?  Believe it or not, they are both made of paper.  I KNOW!  I could hardly believe it myself!

Love, LOVE the arrangement in the foreground of the photo below.  What did the bride do with this exquisite bouquet?

When guests arrived, she had them choose a flower from a bouquet at the ceremony’s entrance.  image

Mid point in the ceremony, she invited the guests up to the front, and asked them to place the flowers in a bucket.   The flowers are then inserted into green styrofoam in order to stand upright.  As the guests placed the flowers in the buckets, they are invited to silently think a kind thought or say a prayer for the couple’s future happiness.  After the wedding, the bride and groom had a beautiful, lasting reminder of their special day.

Would you like to read the whole blog post about “The Flower Ceremony”?  Click on the link to be directed to the post.  You’ll enjoy it!  🙂