Flowers can add bursts of color and detail to an otherwise simple ceremony room or reception hall at your wedding. It’s no wonder that 70% of couples hire a professional florist to execute their vision on the big day, and 30% are willing to stretch their budgets for upgrades like their ideal blooms, according to data from The Knot surveying couples who wed in 2019.

But with the average cost of a U.S. wedding at $33,900, knowing how to save money on flowers is essential. Professional floral designers generally agree that clients tend to be surprised when they learn how much wedding flowers cost.

Lynne Goldberg, founder of Ms Wedding Planner, which has offices in southern Florida, New York, and Las Vegas, says couples often underestimate the time it takes for florists to bring their ideas into reality. Florists work behind the scenes sketching multiple arrangements for your event, making phone calls to suppliers, creating floral samples, placing orders, and timing blooms so they’re aesthetically at their best on your big day, she says.

To help you understand the costs behind your wedding flowers, we’ve put together a guide and come up with creative ways to save money on this big expense:

How Much Do Wedding Flowers Cost?

Couples spent an average of $2,000 on their wedding flowers in 2019, according to The Knot. The cost covers the design of each arrangement, like your wedding floral centerpieces, but that’s not all. It also includes the unglamorous parts of the process — like hauling heavy buckets of flowers and water, climbing ladders to install wedding arch flowers, and racing against the clock to ensure your blooms arrive plump at the venue.

“Many times, clients don’t consider the amount of work and time that goes into keeping a dead product alive,” says Jeany Kim, founder of Lovesome Blossoms, a floral and event design company in Los Angeles. “As soon as the flowers are cut, they are already dead, and it’s the job of florists to make sure that the flowers stay alive as long as possible.”

According to Kim, florists take many factors into consideration when quoting wedding flower costs. Some of these considerations include:

  • Flower type
  • Guest count
  • Color scheme
  • Event venue
  • Floral arrangement and installation complexity
  • Labor required
  • Logistics and transportation

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Flower pricing cheat sheet

One of the most common factors that will affect your wedding floral budget is the type of flowers you want. Before getting attached to the idea of having the most popular wedding flowers at your event, you’ll want to know how much they cost.

We reached out to several wedding florists and planners who helped us identify frequently requested flowers and their price ranges. Here’s a quick cost guide to common types of wedding flowers:

Flower Pricing Cheat Sheet
High ($$$)Moderate ($$)Low ($)
Blushing brideDelphiniumBaby’s breath
Dinner-plate dahliaHyacinthCarnation
English garden roseHydrangeaChrysanthemum
GardeniaLisianthusCushion flower
Japanese ranunculusQueen Anne’s laceDaisy
King proteaRanunculusFiller flowers (e.g., statice, solidago)
PeonySpray roseStandard rose

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How To Save Money On Wedding Flowers

To help you save money on flowers for your big day, we asked florists and wedding planners to share some of their best tips:

  1. Change it up with dried flowers
  2. Opt for simple but elegant designs
  3. Vary up your reception centerpieces
  4. Stick to in-season wedding flowers
  5. Make a statement with big blossoms
  6. Find dupes for your favorite blooms
  7. Repurpose ceremony flowers for the reception
  8. Decorate using nonfloral elements
  9. Incorporate more greenery

Consider mixing and matching these creative options to get florals that fit your style ⁠— and budget.

1. Change it up with dried flowers

If you’re looking for wedding flowers on a budget, see whether dried flowers would work with your style. With dried wedding flowers, there’s less planning, labor, and coordinating needed to preserve the blossoms leading up to the big day — which can mean lower costs for you.

“The only thing you need to do is place your dried flower arrangements in a cool space, no water required, and you’re all set,” says Sylvia Cheng, founder of Davia Bouquet in San Jose, California. For her company’s wedding floral service, Cheng designs arrangements made out of freshly cut, air-dried flowers.

In addition to decorating your ceremony and reception, dried wedding floral arrangements can become a lovely keepsake to display in your home after the wedding.

a bride holding a bouquet of dried flowers
Courtesy of Sylvia Cheng and Davia Bouquet

2. Opt for simple but elegant designs

Keeping your vision simple is one of the best ways to save money on wedding flowers. For example, instead of choosing grand and elaborate centerpieces, you can use a few affordable stems for a minimal look.

“One of my clients wanted to order a centerpiece but she almost ran out of the budget, so I suggested that we could place 3-5 dried flower stems in a glass bottle to make it a simple centerpiece,” Cheng says. “I chose dried flowers that are easy to get like lavender, statice, thistle, and canary grass to bundle with twine. … Both the bride and I were very happy with the result on her wedding day.”

3. Vary up your reception centerpieces

Not quite ready to commit to minimal florals on your wedding day? One of the most creative ways to save money is through centerpiece variation. Using a few different types of centerpieces at your reception can lower the overall amount you spend on flowers.

“One centerpiece is tall and designed with the most flowers, one is low to the table with the same type of flowers but requires much less of them, and the third is designed with beautiful candles, bud vases, and a sprinkle of coordinating flowers,” Goldberg says. “By doing this, the cost of the overall decor is at least 50% lower than it would be using all high centerpieces.”

4. Stick to in-season wedding flowers

A surefire way to keep your wedding floral budget as low as possible is to choose in-season flowers. When the flowers you want aren’t in season at the time of your wedding, your florist must source those blooms from somewhere else — potentially overseas. That means greater overhead costs tacked onto your invoice.

Leslie McKnight, owner and lead designer at Cvét Floral Design Studio in Santa Monica, California, says thinking seasonally should be top of mind when you’re trying to save money on wedding flowers.

“For example, if you absolutely must have peonies and stick to your budget, late spring and early summer should be your goal for your wedding date,” she says.

If you’re having a fall wedding, you might choose cosmos, camellias, or chrysanthemums. Meanwhile, calla lilies typically peak around winter to late spring, and anemones are primarily available in the spring.

5. Make a statement with big blossoms

Flowers with bigger heads give arrangements a high impact look without the higher price point. The reason: They take up more space in a design, so you’ll need fewer of them to make a statement.

“Lower stem count means lower cost,” McKnight says. “But with a big head like a sunflower or dahlia, you will still have a nicely filled out bouquet.”

6. Find dupes for your favorite blooms

If you’ve been saving wedding floral arrangement ideas to your Pinterest board, chances are those gorgeous flowers will cost more than you expect. Although inspiration photos can be helpful, it’s important to stay open to cost-effective substitutes.

For example, many of Goldberg’s clients love the beautiful peony, which can only be ordered in late spring and early summer ⁠— making it highly expensive.

“To save money, I recommend using roses and double flowering tulips instead,” says Goldberg, who also recommends David Austin roses paired with double tulips as an affordable alternative. These flowers mimic the full-petaled effect of peonies while helping clients stay within their budget.

7. Repurpose ceremony flowers for the reception

Whenever possible, think about how you can reuse your wedding floral arrangements. One way of accomplishing this is by choosing to keep the same color and style for the ceremony and reception, according to Kim.

For example, couples can work with their florist to repurpose bouquets for other areas of the reception. Ask your florist if they can create a sweetheart table installation that seamlessly integrates any bridal bouquets. You can also reuse bridesmaid bouquets for common spaces like the restrooms, gift table, or bar.

8. Decorate using nonfloral elements

Flowers aren’t the only item that professional florists work with to create your ideal wedding concept. If you’re exploring creative ways to save money, try using nonfloral elements to fill empty spaces.

Kim’s go-to is candles, which she says are much more impactful than flowers when the lights go down. To keep candle costs low, opt for tealight candles instead of large pillar candles.

If candles aren’t your style, McKnight suggests using other items, like linens and framed photos, to create a warmer space without going over your floral budget.

9. Incorporate more greenery

Florals aren’t the only element that can add texture and color to a space. Incorporating more greenery and minimizing flower-centric designs are other ways to keep your wedding flowers on a budget. Amy McCord Jones, owner of Flower Moxie in Oklahoma City, loves this low-cost approach that still offers a “wow” factor.

“I really love working with tropical greenery like robellini palm, monstera leaves, and sun fans as they are huge in size and create such visual impact,” Jones says. “I will take a base of simple greenery, add some tropical greens, and follow up with minimal flowers, and the result is always visually impressive.”

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The Bottom Line

No matter your personal style, there are many creative ways to save money on wedding flowers. Explore different options, like using dried flowers, filling space in your bouquet with one or two large blooms, or leaning on foliage-based arrangements. When you’re honest with the florist about your budget, there will likely be a few concessions along the way ⁠— but you can always get an impactful look for less.