Flowers can be the most beautiful as well as the most pointless part of your wedding day. The cake will be smashed into your husband's face and enjoyed by your guests. The invites and favors will be nice keepsakes. The dress will live on in pictures and one rainy day 20 years from now you'll do your best to fit into it. The flowers...will most likely end up in the garbage. Why are they so darn expensive? Because they are essential and florists know it. There are all types of brides out there. There are low maintenance brides who want a small barefoot ceremony on the beach, and there's brides who want the 5 star experience complete with every Hollywood wedding detail. They will all carry something down the aisle, and 99% of them will carry flowers. A bridal bouquet alone will cost at least $150. Factor in bridesmaids bouquets, boutonnieres for the groom and groomsmen, corsages and boutonnieres for family members, and any other miscellaneous floral needs and you're looking at yet another $1000.00 added to your growing budget. What ever happened to the days when you spent $7.00 on your prom date's boutonniere? You didn't order that from a florist...Your mom called the local supermarket and picked it up on her way home from work, right? Exactly.
When planning your bouquet and floral arrangements for your wedding, my best advice is to contact your local supermarket (provided they have a floral department, of course). Many times a grocery floral department will do just as good of a job as a traditional florist, and sometimes they will do better! A bridal bouquet from a grocery florist will run between $25.00 and $50.00. A standard bridal bouquet from a traditional florist will be typically between $100.00 and $200.00. A boutonniere will run around $10.00 from a grocery store, whereas a florist may charge $30.00-$50.00. Most grocery store florists will also sell bunches of flowers to you at cost. If you are thinking about using gerbera daisies floating in shallow bowls or carnations in mason jars as centerpieces, you will save considerably if you order this from your local grocer and ask a friend or family member to set them up for you before the reception. If you decide to go with a supermarket florist, you will literally save HUNDREDS of dollars. So why doesn't every bride do this? Well, even though it is usually your least expensive option, there are some drawbacks.
1. No delivery.
This one is not a major problem for many brides who have family and friends offering to help out with anything they can in preparation for the special day, but for some brides with limited resources or large orders, this can be a draw back.
2. Your options are limited.
Most supermarket florists order the standards only: Roses, tulips, gerbera daisies, carnations. You may get lucky and have a fabulous florist in your local market that orders (or has the ability to order) different types of flowers like peonies, freesia, hydrangeas and callalillies, but most likely you're looking at the typical rose bouquet. You will also only be able to use what is "in season." Grocers do not typically go to the ends of the earth to get an out of season flower the way that a traditional florist might.
3. You will probably not get the full on "bridal experience"
One would hope that employees of supermarket floral departments are there because they love arranging flowers, but some employees may have ended up there because they weren't fast at scanning cans of beans and laundry detergent. Worse than that, some may not care at all and just be there for the paycheck. At a quality florist, you will get a full-on consultation, where the florist will ask you to describe your vision for the event, show you pictures from bridal magazines or samples of different types of flowers that they have on hand, and truly help you come up with the perfect arrangement. For some brides, this is worth the cost. At a supermarket floral counter you need to already know what you want, more or less. Chances are the employee will not give you much one-on-one time to create something unique. If you are a "red rose only" kind of bride, or can already envision multicolor gerbera daisies and baby's breath, this may be a good fit for you. Something I would encourage every bride to do is set up a consultation with a traditional florist, decide on what you like, ask for a quote, and then head on over to the local market to see if they might be able to meet your needs at a fraction of the price. You are not locked in to anything with the florist unless you put down a deposit, and when planning a wedding, price shopping is a must! You may find out that you want to spend the extra money for the quality experience of working with an experienced florist.
4. Customer service may be lacking.
The best advice that I have for brides on a budget looking to use a supermarket florist is to make sure that they are able to accommodate your needs when you first start planning the wedding, place the order about a month to two weeks in advance, confirm a week ahead of time (so that you know your flowers are ordered), and finally confirm a few days before the wedding. Again, these people may be completely professional and organized, but grocery stores have large numbers of employees and there may be some miscommunication. I have had a few brides use this option only to get there on Saturday morning to pick up their bouquet and have the worker behind the counter stare at them with a blank expression and then scurry to make something with whatever's been picked over by husbands picking up ready-made bouquets for their wives the night before. This option IS the least expensive way to go, but it is not the easiest. So please check, double check, and confirm EVERYTHING leading up to your special day. My advice is to find out when the floral manager is working and place all orders with he or she directly.
So, now that we're done with the disclaimers, you will have a lot to think about. If you know exactly what you want right now, and it seems to fit with what you've seen at your local grocer, it is absolutely my best wedding tip to save money. If you want callallilies in November, you may need to contact a traditional florist.
Hi! I'm Andrea Cummings. I am passionate about living a healthy lifestyle that I can MAINTAIN and that still lets me feel like I'm not being deprived. I like to exercise, but I also love to eat (nachos!). My main focus is to be healthy, not skinny, and to help others do the same! I love Jesus, but I also say fuck a lot, so if you're offended, I may not be the gal for you.