In it’s original translation, the word budget means a bag, pouch, purse, or the contents. Now, we would think more in terms of what’s ‘in the purse’, such as a collection of items, stock, or money. By taking it a step further, just how much money the purse contains brings us a little closer to the real deal of what amount is needed or allotted for a specific purpose. And this is where the rubber finally meets the road in my world of weddings and brides.
Admittedly, budget is not a word I’m particularly fond of as it usually implies restraint. But the funny thing is that it almost always comes up in conversation with my clients because EVERYBODY has one. I do really like the kind that is synonymous with ‘the sky is the limit’. No spending restrictions is like music to a designer’s ears, mine included. But sadly, not all brides have the luxury of choosing anything they want. More commonly, I meet brides who have a moderate to somewhat generous budget. Although they might allow a bit of ‘room to play’ money wise, they are still hoping to save their shekels as much as possible. But they also know what they want for flowers and are usually willing to strrrretch that budget and spend a bit over their ‘top amount’ if that’s what it takes.
However, the most challenging scenario is when a bride presents with such a tight budget that there’s no ‘wiggle room’ at all. Here I have to work very hard to try and find a balance between what she can afford, while giving her the flowers that are closest to her heart’s desire and/or what she’s been seeing in bridal magazines. That in itself can pose quite a challenge when so much of their content is high end and expensive. Unfortunately I’ve had the unpleasant task of ‘bursting a few bubbles’ with brides who don’t have a clue what wedding flowers can cost. But the good news here is that if a client is willing to look at more affordable options, I can still give her gorgeous floral pieces that will make her very happy.
This leads me to some tips and suggestions for anyone contemplating wedding flowers and how much to spend – IF the ‘sky is NOT the limit’. Your wedding day is an occasion you plan to experience only once in your life. So make decisions that will be reflected in what you want to remember the most when that day has passed. If flowers are important in creating those memories, then perhaps you’ll want to put a higher priority of spending in that area.
A point I often make to budget conscious brides is that they don’t have to have expensive blooms to make their wedding day pop with floral magic. My references to ‘cheap’ are few (& not ideal) because to me all flowers have beauty & value regardless of what their market price is.
If certain flowers are your ‘must haves’, use them only in your bouquet, even if it’s in a limited quantity. Of course your sweetheart should have one or two as well. The flowers you carry are the show piece of the day and should compliment your beauty and personal taste perfectly! Having reserved the ‘special’ flowers for you and your groom only, the rest of the wedding party can be beautifully outfitted with more economical blooms. This can also be said for parents, grandparents and others. Although it is very common for parents to receive flowers, it is not absolutely necessary. Never feel guilty if this is just not within your means. However, if your parents still insist on having flowers to wear, you might suggest – lovingly of course – that they then pick up the tab for what they want.
DIY (do it yourself) is a great option for many things including decorative flowers. I’m finding that a lot of my clients are opting to go this route for things like their centerpieces in order to save a bit on funds. In this case, I do offer a 10% discount on bulk orders of 100 or more floral stems if they are purchased through me for decorating purposes. Finding good resources for your floral stock and supplies (both in quality & price) is an important first step if that’s the direction you choose. And, for Pete’s sake, delegate help for the job because you don’t need the added pressure of putting together 20 centerpieces the day before your event. If you or your help don’t have experience working with flowers, I highly recommend choosing designs that are easy to assemble and require minimal products.
An added note with respect to DIY is that when it comes to your personal flowers such as the bouquets, corsages & boutonnieres, please let the professionals create those for you! It might look easy enough, but if it’s a first time effort on your part, you could encounter challenges with your project(s) that you don’t expect. So then, what you save in dollars may not be worth the inevitable anxiety you’ll experience. Rather, you deserve to feel joyful anticipation for one of the most exciting days of your life without the unnecessary stress of trying to get everything done just the way you want it before you walk down the isle.
Look for more posts coming up relating to floral trends, challenges, and joys!