There’s a reason why flowers and weddings go together like peanut butter and jelly or milk and cookies.

“Flowers are the language of love, and where is love more abundant than a wedding? Flowers and decor can make a plain room explode with happiness,” explains Vicki Sanders, owner of Branching Out Event Florist.

However, just because flowers are almost a given part of wedding planning doesn’t mean you won’t have questions about them. So, to help you navigate all the ins and outs of bouquets, boutonnieres and arrangements, here are answers to some of the biggest floral questions. 

1. Who gets personal flowers? 

Before you can think about the budget, you’ll need to determine the number of arrangements you’ll actually need, including personal flowers. 

In addition to the obvious candidates (the couple and the wedding party), it’s also traditional to have flowers for your parents, officiant, ushers, and the flower girl and ring bearer. It’s also common for couples to have wrist corsages and boutonnieres for other close family members, like grandparents. 

2. How can flowers be used as décor?

There are endless ways flowers can be incorporated into the decorations for both the ceremony and the reception.

“Ceremony flowers may consist of an arch with all greenery or loaded with lush florals, or perhaps one or two large floral designs that often are moved to the reception. Most [couples] choose to have some decor down the aisle, i.e., florals tied to the chairs or rose petals lining the aisle,” says Sanders. 

The reception, though, is where couples can really get creative with florals and greenery. 

“From hanging floral installations to vignettes for seating. Most round guest tables are 60” in diameter, which gives plenty of room for florals and candles. Cakes or cake tables need some floral decor, along with buffet tables, bars and bathrooms,” explains Sanders. 

3. How much should we budget for flowers?

According to the WeddingWire’s Newlywed Report for 2020, U.S. couples in 2019 spent an average of $2,000 on flowers for their weddings. However, it’s important to note that your exact cost can vary widely depending on where you live, the number of arrangements, and the types of flowers you’re using. 

“Although most wedding website guides say 10% or less of the total budget, that is unrealistic in today’s pricing. Just as everything one purchases, like groceries, and clothes, prices do increase over the years, same for flowers,” says Sanders. “We as florists are now paying as much for a bundle of “greenery,” as we are for flowers.”

Additionally, if you’re using a full-service florist, the final cost will also include labor to install, deliver and take down florals. 

4. What are some tricks for saving money on flowers? 

One way to cut floral costs is by swapping out fresh blooms for silk replicas, advises Sanders.

“We suggest using silk flowers with real greenery for their large focal pieces, (i.e., arch, hanging florals, etc.). The [couple] ‘rents’ that from us, which saves a lot of money for them,” she says. “The key is using real greenery.”

Another common trick is to reuse arrangements from the ceremony as décor at the reception. For example, you can stick bridesmaid bouquets in empty vases as table centerpieces or transfer aisle arrangements to the bar or escort table. 

5. When should we book our florist?

Like many other parts of the wedding, the sooner you get started working with a florist, the better – preferably six to nine months before the big day. 

6. What should we bring to the first meeting with our florist?

To ensure you get the most out of your time with your florist, don’t come to the first consultation empty-handed.

“[Couples] need to have a full count of everyone who will need personal flowers, an approximate guest count and with that, the number of estimated tables. We need to know are those tables round, square, farm tables, etc.?” says Sanders. “Most [couples] today have a Pinterest page, so be prepared to share that with the florist and tell the florist which of those looks are your favorites and why.”

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