Flower & Diamond Buying Myth Busting

When it comes to engagement and wedding season, people have a lot of outdated opinions in the diamond & flower world. We’re here bust some diamond & flower buying myths & save you some money in the process.

Mythbusters

You can’t believe everything you hear, especially when it comes to flowers and diamonds! When it comes to engagement and wedding season, people have a lot of outdated opinions on what’s what in the diamond and flower world and we’re here to set the record straight and save you some money in the process.

Here are few “myths” we commonly hear and now we get to bust!

For flowers:

Greenery is always cheaper

While this is true some of the time, it is not a hard and fast rule. Certain kinds of greenery, such as eucalyptus, often requires more branches to look full, which can increase price. Greenery is also often used as table runners, which can reduce the cost if you’re flexible on the density of the runner. Generally, local and seasonal greens are the best way to keep the cost down.

Carnations aren’t a sophisticated flower

When customers often think of carnations they think of supermarket quality in primary colors. Recently however, farmers have started to grow really interesting varieties of carnations that look more like peonies or ranunculus.

Flowers are only good for one night

When you buy flowers from the market they don’t die after 6 days. You keep them for at least a week and then replace them. So why, when you’re spending thousands on flowers, would you toss them after 5 hours? We (obviously) are big believers in repurposing flowers.

Whether you’re repurposing the flowers from your rehearsal dinner for your ceremony or even sharing your flowers with another wedding entirely, you should expect your flowers to be beautiful the day after your wedding.

For diamonds:

Colorless is better

Icy-white diamonds just happen to be the modern standard for diamonds, but that doesn’t mean they’re prettier or “better” diamonds. Just more popular and more expensive. In fact, if we took a trip down memory lane to the Gatsby era, you’d find that warm diamonds (with hints of hello) were considered more romantic. Warm diamonds throw fire that’s equivalent to a candlelight glow, and white diamonds have more of an icy rainbow effect. It’s all just a matter of personal choice, but there’s a lot of money to be saved when going against the grain and investing in a warm H-K diamond.

Emerald cut diamonds don’t sparkle

That’s not entirely true. In fact, this statement is a lot like comparing apples and oranges.  If you’re part of the “emerald diamonds don’t sparkle” camp, we’d bet you’ve never seen a truly beautifully cut one. There’s a reason that icons like Grace Kelly and Elizabeth Taylor preferred this glamorous cut.

The reason that emerald cut diamonds get this bad rep is because they’re unfairly compared to round, cushion and oval cuts – which are brilliantly cut for maximum fire and sparkle. An emerald cut diamond is NOT a brilliant cut diamond, but a step cut diamond. And so the stone is cut to reflect light like a mirror, not twinkle like it’s brilliant cut counterparts. The idea is more understated glamour, rather than blinding sparkle.

Diamonds are expensive because they are rare

Yawn.

Look, we love diamonds. Our name is Rare Carat for Pete’s sake — but we’re not going to let you believe that garbage. White diamonds are not rare. And the entire reason we’re in business is to start bringing that cost per carat down to size, because the truth is, white diamonds are one of the most common materials on earth. The reason they’re so expensive? It’s a little trick in the diamond industry, called false scarcity. Meaning the industry holds back a certain number of mined diamonds, to make sure they don’t exactly have enough for the buyers — meaning they can charge more because now they’ve created scarcity out of a very common stone. Pair that with some awesome “ a diamond is forever” marketing, and you’ve got a stone that everyone wants, an industry that knows how to parcel it out as needed.

We’re working hard to bring those prices back down to size. Learn more about Rare Carat’s mission here.

* This blog is part of a week-long series in partnership with Rare Carat. To get more tips and facts about flowers and diamond costs, make sure to check out the Bloomerent and Rare Carat blog. 

Why Your Centerpiece Costs So Much (& How to Fix That)

Learn why flower centerpieces cost more than your engagement ring & get floral insider tips on how you can save big on gorgeous wedding flower arrangements.

When breaking down the wedding budget and deciding how much to spend, we tend to list the biggest (and most expensive) items first. You know: the dress, the venue, the centerpieces.

Yes, you read that right: the centerpieces. Flowers can cost as much as a small country. OK, maybe a really small country, but still they’re shockingly expensive.

Be prepared to be quoted a number that rivals what you and your SO spent on your engagement ring.

And while a diamond is forever, flowers most certainly are not – so that makes the price tag all the more shocking.

In fact, it’s not uncommon for us to hear about brides quoted $25K for centerpieces they thought would cost $10K or less.

How does that happen? How do flowers end up costing more than diamonds?

Thanks to the Internet, it’s easier than ever to not only comparison shop, but to find the actual  value of the exact diamond you’re looking for — without compromising on style, look, and quality.

But when it comes to picking the perfect blooms for your big day without going over budget, it can get a little more tricky, which is exactly why Bloomerent was founded. Bloomerent helps couples in the same area, who are getting married just a few days apart, share floral arrangements – while saving money for sharing.

Still wondering why flowers cost so much? Here are three reasons your florist is set to charge more than you think.   

Flowers have a very short lifespan (but longer than you think)

One of the reasons that floral arrangements can easily run upwards of $5K+ per wedding may seem obvious, but it’s worth repeating: cut flowers have a very short lifespan.

But not as short as you think.

While you’re paying for the fragility of fresh flowers, they aren’t as frail and fragile as you’d guess and actually can survive longer than the big day itself. Fresh flowers can actually last anywhere between 5-13 days which is why it makes perfect sense to share the floral budget with a nearby bride who shares your sense of style.

Local vs Global

Think of florists as artists. And we love that about them. But as with all artists, cost isn’t the first thing on their mind. Creating their vision is.

And there’s a place for that.

But if you’re not a multi-millionaire, or you simply don’t want to overpay for flowers, then paying an extra $20K to ensure that your Japanese rose blossoms are actually from Japan, just isn’t going to be worth it.

Also, you’ll pay a lot more money for flowers if you select blooms that aren’t local to your area, since it costs a pretty penny to import fresh flowers.

Of course, you can get any kind of flowers you want, but know that if you stick to a local palette, your costs will be much, much less.

Labor and Delivery

And we’re not talking babies.

Another reason your bill from your favorite local florist can suddenly skyrocket is all that time spent on designing your dream arrangement – and then of course the fees associated with delivering them, assembling them, and making sure they look perfect before you and the guests arrive.

Keep in mind the more complicated your arrangements – the more “design” that goes into them, jacking up the amount of work, the care during delivery, and of course the price.

So what’s a bride-to-be to do instead?

Only use flowers that are local and in season. Allow another wedding in the same weekend and area as yours to reuse your flowers so you both save money.

The key to staying in your budget when planning your dream wedding…

Is not only to comparison shop (thank you Internet!), but to do your research, and have a working knowledge of what you want and what you’re willing to compromise on.

If you go into flower-shopping knowing what elements of your arrangements are non-negotiable and what price-pits to avoid, you’ll be able to get your dream centerpiece for a fairy-tale price.


This blog is part of a week-long series in partnership with Rare Carat. To get more tips and facts about flowers and diamond costs, make sure to check out the Bloomerent and Rare Carat blog. 

5 Things you Should Know About the Cost of Wedding Flowers

What Determines How Much My Wedding Flowers Will Cost?

  1. Wedding Location – Where you get married plays a role in the cost of your flowers as price varies by location. It may be more expensive to fly flowers to your location if they aren’t in season or grown locally. Many flowers are flown into the U.S. from South America and Europe, meaning you’re paying a premium to have your flowers sourced and shipped from overseas.
  2. Type of Flowers Wanted – If you have flowers you know that you must have, check to see when they’re in season and how much they cost versus when they aren’t. You can also ask your florist these questions directly for a clear answer, price, and alternative floral options that are in your budget.
  3. Month You’re Getting Married – When you get married is important because many flowers are seasonal. Many popular wedding flowers are grown year-round, like Roses and Hydrangea, while other popular flowers have a small window where they are considered seasonal, easy to source and cost less, like Peonies or Calla Lily.
  4. Size of Arrangements and Amount of Flowers – Tall centerpieces cost the most due to the larger vases and flowers required. Garlands are often mistaken to be budget-friendly, but they are typically considered to be a more expensive option (and charged per foot) because they include a lot of greenery, including eucalyptus which is considered high-end, along with other flowers of your choice. Mixing high and low is a great way to save while still having the best of both worlds. Low, romantic centerpieces are also trending this wedding season and a great way to save money and create a space for your guests to easily see and speak to one another at the table.
  5. Labor – Like most things in life, you get what you pay for is also true when it comes to choosing your florist. That’s one of the big reasons why we’ve hand-picked a community of florists for customers. Each florist is different whether it’s their time in business, experience, pricing, style and more. That said, all of our florists are top-rated and always worth what you’re paying for.

Now that you have a better idea of what your wedding flowers will cost, you’re ready to connect with a Bloomerent florist in your area!

Wedding Budget: Ways to Splurge vs. Save

You just got engaged (Congrats!). You’ve spent more time on Pinterest planning your big day than you’re willing to admit, but have no idea where to start in reality. Don’t worry, this is a judgment-free zone and we’re here to help. Whether you have an uncapped amount of money to spend on your wedding or you have a budget to follow, there are plenty of ways to have your guests wish you were getting married every weekend. We put together a detailed guide of the “big vendors” on your list and how you can splurge versus save. 

1. Venue – Arguably the most important part of your planning process. First, this is where you’re going to celebrate your newlywed status with all of your loved ones – make sure you’re happy with your choice. Secondly, once your venue and date is set, you can now book all of your vendors since you have officially have a wedding date.

  • SPLURGE: As you’ve probably learned by now, where you get married makes a big difference in how much you’ll end up paying for the wedding. If you’re in the NYC area, most venues in Manhattan can be considered a splurge. Most venues charge per-person and others charge a (large) fee to rent out a ballroom for your wedding – and that’s just the beginning.  Not in NYC? Still easy to splurge. If you or any of your relatives happen to have one or some acres to your name, you could set up a beautiful wedding in your backyard – literally. Contrary to popular belief, this definitely gets filed under splurge. You’ll be responsible for hiring every vendor and renting every item needed to make your backyard rival North West’s birthday party.
  • SAVE: Most venues have a per-person minimum and that number will also place you in a specific ballroom, assuming your venue has more than one room for events. Other venues charge a fee to rent their space but require you to hire outside vendors for everything else. Having a smaller wedding is the easiest way to save here, but certainly not the only way. Make sure to ask your venue a lot of questions – if they allow outside vendors, you have more flexibility to choose your vendors on your budget. If your venue requires you to use their in-house services for everything, ask them what that will include. A lot of times that per-person rate includes more than just the entrée and cocktail hour, but it can include the open bar, linens, custom menus, cake, lighting, and so on. If your venue adds all of this into your per-person price, not only does this make life easier for you but depending on what the per-person number is, it may be a really good deal.


Photo Courtesy of Buds of Brooklyn

2. Menu  If you’re planning on having a ceremony and reception that lasts more than 2-3 hours, your guests will expect to be fed. This will also ensure your guests don’t skip out early to grab some grub (side note: make sure to feed your vendors too).

  • SPLURGE: For your menu, go all out – full open bar with top shelf liquors (might want to add some Advil to your favors for your guests’ next-day hangover), no shortage of appetizers during cocktail hour (and that includes the seafood station), a fancy selection of entrée plates for the actual dinner (don’t forget about your gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian friends!) and the dessert bar that no one will have room for by the end of the night, but everyone will indulge in. This is pretty easy to splurge on – a simple “I’ll have everything” will do the trick.
  • SAVE: Consider having a brunch wedding or a buffet dinner. Weddings that take place earlier in the day are great for saving. For starters, most venues charge a lot less to get married during the day as opposed to having an evening wedding – the very same day. Also, you could get away with doing a lot less while still putting together an unforgettable event for you and your guests. Instead of having a full-blown open bar, create a boozy brunch bar. Skip the cocktail hour and opt for a buffet of all your favorite brunch foods and have a bartender whip up some of the best brunch booze (Mimosa, Bloody Mary’s, Bellini’s). We’ve been to this kind of wedding before and it was perfect, especially because you could go back for seconds, thirds, fourths, and so on. What? We love brunch. If you’re having an evening wedding, have a few items for your cocktail hour instead of an entire room worth of food and go easy on the alcohol by offering complimentary beer and wine only. Not willing to skip the cocktails? Another idea we love is to put together a list of his and hers favorite cocktails and have them flowing through the night. Love a good mango margarita? Put it on the board and give it a fun name. Whiskey on the rocks for the guys? Done. You can mix this with beer/wine or just put together a few cocktails that are available for your guests instead – this way, you know exactly what kind of liquor you will need ahead of time and can budget for it.

Photo by Emma Cleary

3. Bridal Party – If you decide to have a bridal party, that is. It is not easy deciding which of your girlfriends and bros will get the honor of being your VIP guests, especially when you’re worried people who get cut will get upset. We would like to seriously encourage you do to something here: what YOU want. Your wedding day is all about you and your partner and your friends should be excited just to be there. Now that we’re done ranting…

  • SPLURGE: Have all your closest girlfriends, cousins, family – etc. There’s no set number of what is and isn’t acceptable, it’s whatever you are comfortable with. Keep in mind that every bridesmaid needs a bouquet (assuming you’re opting for flowers – we’ll get to that soon) and usually gets a gift for all her help and money spent for your big day. Since we’re in the splurge column, let us remind you that getting ready in the same outfit is fun for pictures and treating your ladies to some pampering pre-wedding won’t upset them either. Hair and makeup is another thing to consider – if you have a specific request that your ladies wear their hair a certain way and/or do their makeup a certain way, since we’re talking splurge, consider taking care of this tab for them. If you can afford to cover the tab for everything, your girls would seriously appreciate it – but there is no obligation to do so, even on a splurge.
  • SAVE: Cut it down. If you have a lot of family you want in your wedding party, consider having just family – your girls will understand. Otherwise, choose a few of the people you really want up there with you and keep the number as low as possible. The less amount of people you have in your bridal party, the less you will have to pay for their flowers and gifts – two things that the bride should always take care of, unless you really can’t justify it in the budget. Ask your ladies ahead of time if they are financially comfortable with paying for their dresses, shoes, accessories, hair/makeup (if you are set on them getting this done professionally), and all pre-wedding festivities such as your bachelorette party, bridal shower and everything in between. Also, consider letting your girls wear their own shoes and accessories – this will help their budget and yours.

    Photo Courtesy of Fern Studio


4. 
Guest List & Invites – Who’s paying? This is a serious question and one that is debated a lot. If one set of parents is paying on their own, they should be allowed to invite whoever they want. If both sets of parents are paying, both should be allowed to invite whoever they want. If no sets of parents are paying and the bill is yours, you make the final decision on who mom and dad can invite and what the cap is, if any.

  • SPLURGE: You and your partner invite all of your close friends and your parents invite all of their close friends. The more the merrier! I mean, we’re splurging here, right?
  • SAVE: Since this is YOUR day, we think you should be inviting all of the people you want there first and foremost. Remember that while this is your day and we are all about you having the final say, it is important for your family too and they want to share it with the people they love so if you can compromise and stay in budget, everyone is happy.

Photo by Daniela Constantini

5. Dress & Accessories, Hair & Makeup – This one’s easy. You are really, really, ridiculously good looking and you are going to look really, really, ridiculously good looking in anything you decide to wear. Do not let anyone tell you differently because they’re lying. Here’s some advice anyway:

  • SPLURGE: Any bridal shop your heart desires. Customize your gown and veil. All of the diamonds. Slide into a Kardashian hair or makeup artists’ DM’s for pricing and availability. Let’s be real, you don’t really need advice on how to be a bride who’s balling without a budget.
  • SAVE: If you’re great at doing hair or makeup, consider this approach if you’re comfortable with it. There are plenty of incredibly talented stylists and makeup artists that are reasonably priced, so don’t feel like you need to settle! The same goes for dresses – you don’t need to spend a couple month’s salary to look beautiful on your big day, and there are plenty of sites out there that offer brand new dresses worn only once for a fraction of the cost (sounds kind of familiar to us…).

Photo by Daniela Constantini


6. Flowers & Décor –
This is really important but doesn’t have to be expensive anymore. Flowers are used to decorate your ceremony and reception, first and foremost, but also to decorate your name card table/entry table and much more.

  • SPLURGE: Peonies any time of the year! Peonies are a very popular flower but only in season for a few weeks every year, and when that time ends, they are really expensive to get. With no budget for flowers, you can do anything your heart desires from building a flower wall for your guests to take photos in front of, decorate your arbor or chuppah in any creative way with tons of flowers, have the centerpieces of your dreams on each table and so much more. Another option for splurging is Bloomerent. We may or may not be biased, but hear us out – Bloomerent is not only for the bride who wants to save money or spend it elsewhere, it’s also perfect for the bride who wants to have flowers decorating every part of her wedding – from ceremony to reception and everything in between. While everybody likes getting money back, even on a splurge, you’re also paying it forward by helping the environment and giving another bride the chance to share the beautiful blooms you put together. Full creative control, choice of a top-rated florist, sustainability and money back? No brainer.
  • SAVE: Consider local flowers that are in season only to save. This will eliminate the time and cost of flying flowers in and sourcing them from overseas. Bloomerent: reuse fresh floral centerpieces from a wedding or event the day before yours to save money and make a sustainable decision. You save 40%-60% on the centerpieces you reuse and have your flowers designed and delivered by a top-rated florist who you get to work with for all of your extra flowers. Want to make minor changes to the flowers before your big day? Go ahead! Since your florist is the expert repurposing your reused flowers, you can make custom changes ahead of time if you want to make any minor adjustments or add any flowers. Aside from your centerpieces, another way to save is having your bridesmaids bouquets double as your sweetheart table décor after the ceremony. Let your florist know you want to do this ahead of time and they will make sure it’s all set up when you walk into the ceremony for your first time as Mr. and Mrs., Mr. and Mr., or Mrs. And Mrs. If flowers aren’t your thing, there are other beautiful non-floral options for your centerpieces that are cost efficient – Pinterest, anyone?

Photo Courtesy of Fern Studio

7. Photos, Videos and entertainment – Every couple is different. Some prefer to have both photos and video while others prefer one to the other. Some couples prefer to have a band while others go with a DJ. There’s no wrong answer here! 

  • SPLURGE: A great band is usually more expensive than hiring a DJ. These amazing bands book up quickly, so act fast! When hiring your photographer, ask how many people you can hire for your wedding. If you’re splurging, you’ll likely want at least 2-3 photographers on hand so they can capture different angles and areas of your wedding throughout the night. Hire a videographer, too! Get those vows on video and all of your guests’ questionable dance moves so you have them for years to come. Don’t forget the photo booth. When you look back on your perfect wedding day, you’ll be happy you have photo and video memories for you and for your future children to get to experience your big day with you!
  • SAVE: One photographer, one cameraman and a reasonably priced band or DJ. Ask your band or DJ questions – how many people are in the band and what does pricing look like? If you opt for a DJ, shop around to get prices then compare. If you want to cut down the costs even more, some people don’t hire a videographer and prefer to spend on photos only. Besides, who knows if you’ll be able to watch those DVDs in 10 years – I mean, do people under 15 even know what VHS was? #TBT.

Photo Courtesy of BloomBar

Ultimately, there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to planning – every couple is different and each decision is personal. We hope the above tips help you plan your big day or at least get some insight into how to plan. Did we mention that we are really good wedding guests?

How Much Do Wedding Flowers Cost?

How Much Should I Budget For My Wedding Flowers?

It’s recommended that you budget 10-15% of your overall wedding spend on flowers. This does not mean that you can’t have beautiful flowers if you budget less – it’s all about preference and seasonality.

If flowers are one of the most important investments in your wedding and premium flowers are a must, you can expect to pay more and likely go beyond the recommended allocation for flowers. If you’re more interested in less flowers consisting of what’s in season when and where you’re getting married, you can allocate a smaller percentage than what’s recommended while still having exactly what you want.

This is not a one size fits all number – there is no set price. Consider how many arrangements, bouquets and ceremony flowers you’ll need, as these will cost the most, and mention this number to your florist when you speak to them. Ultimately, your florist will be able to help you figure out the best flowers for your budget, or lack thereof, and help bring your vision to life.

The more prepared you are for your first florist meeting, the more you can expect to get out of it in return.

9 Questions to Answer Before your First Florist Meeting

Before you meet with a florist for your wedding, it’s helpful to have a general idea of what you’re looking for. This will help your florist give you a quote and help you understand what to budget for based on your needs.

9 Questions to Answer Before your First Florist Meeting:

  1. What are the most important things for you to have at your wedding? Are flowers on, or at the top of, the list?
  2. How many people are you inviting and how many do you expect to attend?
  3. Where is your wedding? Is it one of the more expensive areas to be married?
  4. How many people are in your bridal party? Include anyone who would need flowers.
  5. Do you have any flowers that are must-haves for your wedding? If so, which flowers?
  6. Are you flexible around aesthetic or do you have a specific vision you want brought to life?
  7. What is your overall wedding budget?
  8. Are you planning to decorate any or all parts of your ceremony? (e.g. arbor, chuppah, aisle, seating)
  9. Are you planning to decorate your reception space beyond having centerpieces on every table?

Once you answer these questions, you’ll have a general idea of what flowers you want and how many, roughly, you’ll need. This means you’re ready to start speaking to florists!

What I Look For in a Florist

Our co-founder, Danit Zamir, explains what she looks for when she signs a Bloomerent florist to our community and why.

I didn’t know where to start once I became engaged and began to plan our wedding. Specifically, I wasn’t familiar with what things should cost, especially flowers. What I did know was that I had standards for who I was going to book as my florist and that I’d leave most of the creative control up to them since I didn’t have a strong preference. For me, it was important to know that I was working with a great florist who I could trust to deliver fresh, quality flowers and a beautiful display. Still, my flowers came at a steep price for someone with no preference. I would have loved to reuse someone else’s vision for a fraction of the cost and the same quality and florist.

I love getting to find and speak to new florists every day and make sure that our customers are always going to be in great hands when booking a Bloomerent florist, no matter who they choose or where they live.

Here are the top 5 things I look for in a Bloomerent florist:

  1. Response Rate
    • I value other people’s time and I do my best to show this by replying to every email I get in a timely manner. I expect the same when choosing a florist. While taking into consideration that florists are busiest on the weekends and the 1-2 days leading up to it, I expect a response within 48-72 hours of sending my email, even if it’s just to tell me that they will get back to me at a later time. If a florist doesn’t reply to an email in that time frame, it immediately makes me feel like customers won’t be able to rely on them to respond in a timely manner when they are planning their wedding. In many cases, florists will have an auto-reply on to let customers know that they are busy for wedding prep and when they will reply. Otherwise, I don’t want to feel like I’m chasing someone to allow me to give them my hard-earned money.
  2. Customer Reviews 
    • What are other people saying about their experience with you? Were they happy? Was the delivered product what was discussed in meetings? I check every single review available online before ever contacting a florist.
  3. Past Work
    • I always review photos of past work to get an idea of what the florist can do. Customers want to see photos of the what the florist has done in the past, especially to see if they’ve done anything that’s similar to their vision.
  4. Online Presence
    • This one’s tricky. I say that because not having a strong online presence doesn’t say anything about the ability of a florist or their great work and service; however, most customers want to see a website and presence on some, or all, social media platforms for their vendors. Our preference is always to work with florists who have a strong online presence but it’s not a requirement if everything else is met.
  5. Repurposing
    • Something I learned at the very start of Bloomerent was that most florists already return to venues after events because the vases are rented. When they return to pick up the rented vases, they also pick up any leftover flowers. When I speak to florists, I always ask them if they do this, because it immediately lets me know that they know exactly how to make sure that every second event will have a great experience and beautiful flowers.

It’s important to note that florists work so hard and it often goes unnoticed by customers until they see it first-hand upon meeting with and booking a florist. There is a lot that goes into creating your perfect event blooms, beyond arranging them for hours (think sourcing the flowers, ordering, delivery, dealing with anything that goes wrong, labor, delivery, setup, to name a few). Just as we value our customers choosing a great florist and having the best experience, we also educate our customers to understand florist pricing and creating a happy experience for the florist, too.

Do you know a florist who would be a great fit for Bloomerent? Let us know!

 

5 Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding Flowers

Couples are always looking for cost-saving tips while planning their wedding (hey, things add up!). Below are Bloomerent’s suggestions on ways to cut costs while still having the blooms of your dreams on your big day.

  1. Share your flowers with Bloomerent! Sharing your flowers is the easiest way to have beautiful fresh flowers at your event while having the option to save money. When you head to Bloomerent.com, you have the option to be the first or second event. As the first event, you find and book your florist through Bloomerent and have complete creative control of your flowers. After you choose your centerpieces, Bloomerent lists them on our website for another event to reuse the next day. If another event chooses to use them second, you will get 10% back. As the second event, you head to Bloomerent.com and browse our reused floral marketplace for centerpieces available in your weekend (and save 40%-60%). Flowers have a lifespan of 3-14 days and both events work directly with the florist, so your flowers always look perfect.
  2. Only work with in-season flowers. Many couples make the mistake of walking into their florist meetings with very specific flowers in mind. If you’re on a budget, the best mindset to have is a flexible one. Tell your florist what flowers you like, show them pictures, and then ask them what seasonal options they would suggest to keep the cost down. For example, if you know you want peonies, January is not your month.
  3. Repurpose your bridesmaids bouquets from the ceremony to the reception. If you’re already having low arrangements on the table, ask your florist to repurpose the bridesmaids bouquets as centerpieces before your guests enter the reception. You can also reuse their bouquets to decorate your sweetheart table.
  4. Add Greenery. Have a lot of greenery in your arrangements or opt for a green floral table runner. Having fresh flowers at your wedding or event doesn’t mean you need 20+ flowers in a centerpiece to make it look stunning. Opting for more greenery and fewer buds in your centerpieces will keep the cost down while still allowing your arrangements to look lush and full.
  5. Go local with your flower choice. Similarly to choosing out of season blooms, choosing rare varieties of flowers that need to be shipped from across seas have a higher price tag. Start your meeting by asking your florist what local flower varieties you can consider for your blooms and you will immediately begin to cut costs.

Choosing Your Wedding Venue

The first and arguably most important decision you’ll make when planning your big day is your venue, which is also when you nail down your wedding date. After all, this is where you’ll celebrate your newlywed status with all of your loved ones and will be the backdrop of all your beautiful photos. Once you have that down, you’re ready to start planning the rest of your wedding (if you haven’t already, time to create a Pinterest account). What are some helpful tips for choosing a venue, you ask? Here’s what we think:

1.     Consider your guest list. Many venues, especially indoor, have a maximum capacity rule and charge a per-person fee. Think about how many people you think will RSVP yes and triple check that your venue and budget can accommodate that number.

2.     Speaking of per-person fees, ask what that includes if your venue offers it. Most places are all-inclusive and aside from dinner and drinks, also provide tables, chairs, linens, silverware, cake, etc. This can make planning a bit easier and sometimes more budget-friendly, but make sure you love what they’re offering so you can plan around it.

3.     In-house versus outdoor vendors. Many venues require that you use some or all of their in-house vendors, from catering to floral and even music. Others allow you to bring in any vendor of your choice or some compromise of the two. Discuss your preferences with your partner and venue before booking so there are no surprises later.

4.     Consider the weather. Unfortunately the weather is unpredictable and what’s supposed to be a sunny day can end up in rain or snow, depending on the season. If you’re planning on having an outdoor ceremony and/or reception, talk to your venue about their last-minute weather alternatives. Can you move the ceremony indoors if needed? Where would it be? How many people can they accommodate? Make sure you’re aware of their policies and space in case of a weather emergency.

5.     Ask others who were married there for advice. In today’s social media world, it’s easy to find other brides and grooms on community boards who have said their vows at your preferred venue. Ask them what the pros and cons were and if they have any advice before booking.

6.     Wedding coordinators. Many venues offer day-of wedding coordinators/maître d’s as part of your all-inclusive price. Ask if this is an option and who would be there for your big day so you can meet them and make sure you’re happy.

7.     Same-day weddings. Some venues with more than one ballroom will have more than one wedding taking place at the same time. You’ll never see the other wedding but if this is something that would bother you, make sure to ask your venue ahead of time. Extra tip: if you’re set on a venue and they typically have two weddings, ask if you can reserve the entire venue and what your options would be.

Have any other tips? Let us know below.

10 Wedding Favor Ideas Your Guests Will Actually Use

Wedding favors are adult goody bags for your guests – but that doesn’t mean everything needs to be 21+. Whether you’re merging your escort cards as favors or separating the two, here are a few ideas that will send your loved ones home with something they’ll love back. These ideas also work well for welcome bags when your guests check into the hotel.

1. Edible favors. Give your guests something sweet to eat before, during or after the reception. Think cake pops, jam, s’mores, honey, heart-shaped chocolates, and on. 

2. Tote Bags. This is the ultimate adult goody bag. Fill it with some of your favorite candy or leave it as it is. Many couples do this for their hotel guests upon check-in. 

3. Custom lip balm. If we were stranded on a deserted island and could only bring 1 thing, it would be lip balm (and we know we’re not alone). Send your guests home with something they’ll remember you by – daily. 

4. Custom Tumblers. Everyone can use one of these on-the-go bottles whether it’s for water, coffee, tea and beyond.   

5. Sunglasses. Give your guests custom sunglasses to wear long after your big day, especially if you’re having an outdoor wedding during the warmer months.  

6. Hangover Kit. The standard thanks-for-partying kit including advil, water and some snacks (don’t forget to add fruit for your healthy friends). 

7. Coasters. We love the idea of giving your guests coasters to take home. Customize them with your wedding day, color theme or initials. 

8. Candy Buffet. Have a candy buffet with to-go bags or boxes so your guests can customize their own favors. 

9. Shot Glass. “I don’t need another shot glass,” said no one ever. Your guests will have to toast to you each time they use it. 

10. Flip flops. The best no-excuse-for-sitting party favor: comfortable dancing shoes.