How to Get Swoon-Worthy Flower Centerpieces for Your Wedding

Weddings are the perfect excuse to unleash a couple’s inner Martha Stuart and bring to life their dream flower centerpieces. While the task seems daunting – after all, these arrangements determine the vibe of the entire reception area – it’s also very fulfilling.

Photo by Paper Antler

All you need is a brief overview of everything there is to know about flower centerpieces – a crash course, if you will. And, that’s what we’re here for, to serve as your personal guide to all things wedding centerpieces. Hopefully, by the end of this blog, you’ll feel excited and confident to tackle your own arrangements with your florist of choice.

How do I know what centerpieces are perfect for our wedding?

Every wedding flower arrangement can be assessed based on three key criteria, (1) style, (2) type and (3) cost. Floral style is usually based off the theme of the wedding, whether that’s traditional elegance, rustic farmhouse or whimsical charm.

For example, bohemian weddings usually feature centerpieces with wildflowers and mismatched jars for vases. In contrast, modern-themed nuptials tend to go for sleek and minimalist flower centerpieces.

Floral arrangements also have different types. They vary in height, shape, color palette, flower choices and accents. What you choose, in terms of style and type, will determine the cost that you’ll have to shell out for these pieces.

 

Amazing Flower Centerpieces for Your Wedding

The centerpiece is the focal point of every wedding reception décor. It turns heads, sets the mood and starts conversations simply by being stunning. That’s why couples, events planners and florists spend a lot of time perfecting each arrangement.


Photo by Amilia Photography; Florals by Enchanted Florist; Design by The New Eclectic

To help you out, we’ve narrowed down some of our favorite types of arrangements. We’ll quickly go through what wedding styles they’re perfect for and where they fall on the high to low price spectrum.

 

Vertical or Tall Centerpieces

Vertical centerpieces are meant to make a statement but, depending on the flower choices, also remain minimal. It’s perfect for modern weddings which require sleek and clean floral arrangements.

Photo by BohemiaDelMar

You can also play up the romance by using softer-looking flowers like cherry blossoms, dahlias, light pink roses and trailing ivy. Because it only takes a few blooms and accents to perfect, these flower centerpieces are usually on the low to average price point.

 

Horizontal Floral Arrangements

Horizontal centerpieces have a rustic, even bohemian, feel to them. Generally, the flowers are either arranged in a row or zigzagged in a container to create a natural and earthy look.

Photo by Pretty Days, Thierry Joubert

Creative containers, like planters, ceramic bowls and oddly-shaped jars, are often used to finish off these centerpieces. Depending on what flowers you use and how many accents you’d like to add, these arrangements are usually also on the low to average price range.

 

 Classic Oval Centerpieces

The oval arrangement is distinguished by its carefully trimmed and skillfully placed flowers to create this full and tiered effect. It’s perfect for traditional and elegant nuptials, especially when the arrangement is made with crisp white flowers.

Photo by Clary Pfeiffer Photography

 

Photo by Greer Gattuso

You can also use a combination of light pinks, nudes or other subtle pastels, then add cascading flowers, for a really romantic centerpiece. The total cost of these arrangements will vary on your flower choice and how dense you’d like each piece to be. On average, they can range from low – for very minimalist designs – to high – for elegant flower options and a really full arrangement.

 

Alternative Flower Centerpieces       

If you’re really going for something different, unexpected and distinct, then you can try something out of the box. With the rising number of artsy and non-conventional weddings, alternative flower centerpieces are growing in popularity.

Photo by Bethany Erin

One of the more famous ones are the garland centerpieces. They mimic the horizonal floral arrangement but are easier to transport and set up. They also have a more rustic and carefree feel to them. Depending on the design and accents, the cost could be anywhere from low to average.

 

Whether you’re having a traditional wedding in your backyard or a quirky destination wedding, we hope we’ve given you a better insight into the options that are available to you. Surely, your creativity can come up with more flower centerpiece designs, but this list is a great place start.

 

 

 

5 Secrets to Getting the Best Wedding Flowers for Your Big Day

Most people have been dreaming of their wedding since they were 5. We know you want nothing but the best. Every detail celebrates the love that you feel for each other and the journey that you’re about to start with your lifelong partner.

One of the key design decisions that transforms this special day into every couple’s fantasy are the perfect wedding flowers. Choose the right flowers and that’s half the mood set for the big day. But, really, how do you know if they’re the one?

Today, we’re sharing a few tried and tested tips to choose, get and save on the wedding flowers of your dreams. Hopefully, this short but comprehensive list can help you get a major tick on your wedding planning list.

 

Embrace your budget.

While blooms are the heart of wedding decorations, you shouldn’t break the bank for them.

Before going on florist appointments or setting your heart on specific arrangements, figure out your budget. Setting that early on saves you the disappointment of seeing samples of wedding flowers you cannot afford from florists who are notorious for expensive arrangements.

Be open and communicate your budget. A great florist will try to deliver the wedding flowers you want within the price point you’ve set.

 

Get to know florals.

Most couples who are getting married are no floral experts. That’s perfectly fine. Research can do you wonders.

Some preliminary things you need to consider when picking out wedding flowers include (1) color, (2) season, and (3) shape.

Color

If you’re working with a theme, motif or a palette, let them determine and weave into what flowers are great as statement pieces and what can accent them.

Season

Knowing what flowers are in season will help greatly in making them budget-friendly. They’ll also lessen the possibility of not getting the exact flowers you pictured because they didn’t bloom in time. Ask you florist for suggestions; they can help you pick seasonal flowers that fit your vision.

Shape

Lastly, play around with shapes. Go on Pinterest and create board or ask a few florists to give you samples. You can even peruse bridal magazines and cut out your favorites. What’s important is you have image of your floral and arrangement preferences.

 

Let them tell a story.

While we suggested getting inspired through research, it’s important to stay open and really assess how flowers speak to the rest of your design choices.

Remember, what you see on Pinterest or magazines are results of different factors coming into play – the bride’s dress, the venue for the ceremony and reception, other decors, the theme of the wedding itself and couple’s aesthetic.

To make sure the wedding flowers fit with everything else and tells a harmonious story, describe your design inspiration to your florist and bring samples and photos they can base their floral suggestions and arrangements off of.

 

Get listing.

Flowers play multiple roles in a wedding. For the ceremony, you’ll generally need bouquets and boutonnieres for the entourage and decorative floral arrangements for the venue. You also need centerpieces for the tables during the reception.

The best way to keep track of every arrangement you need is to list them all down and figure out what you want for each one – with the help of your florist, of course.

 

Timing is key.

Every successful wedding follows a timeline.

A year to nine months before your wedding, start researching and figuring out your floral preferences, then set appointments with florists whose arrangements speak to you and are within your budget. Three to six months later, hire your preferred florist and collaborate on the designs of the different arrangements you want on your big day. Follow your list and stay organized.

Three months before the wedding, finalize everything with your florist, and make sure they keep you updated, in case anything unexpected crops up.

 

Wedding flowers are a great opportunity to explore your creativity and personal aesthetics, and with the tips above, we hope it also adds the perfect amount of romance, character and style to your wedding while keeping within budget.

Spotlight on: Floral Fêtes

Floral Fêtes is a floral and event design studio in Taneytown, MD.

Floral Fêtes is owned and executed by Victoria Clausen who has over 20 years of experience in floral and event design. With an eye for creativity and a passion for making each event one of a kind, the Floral Fêtes Team knows that details bring the big picture to life.

Floral Fetes is based in Taneytown, MD, and serves Baltimore, Frederick, and the surrounding areas including:

  • Towson
  • Upperco
  • Skyesville
  • Westminster
  • Finksburg
  • New Windsor
  • Union Bridge
  • Libertytown
  • Keymar
  • Ladiesburg
  • Butler
  • Stevenson
  • Sparks Glencoe
  • Hunt Valley
  • Pikesville
  • Brooklandville
  • Hunt Valley
  • Lutherville Timonium
  • Hampstead
  • Marriottsville
  • Hunt Valley
  • Reisterstown
  • Boring
  • Butler

Click here to connect directly with Victoria and her team for your wedding or event!

Spotlight on: Love in Bloom AZ

Love in Bloom is a boutique wedding floral and design company based in Mesa, AZ.

Our business was founded on the principle that on one of the most special days in your life, the last thing you should be doing is worrying about the details in design. We place value on and take pride in YOUR vision, whether it be for floral design, event staging, and/or coordination, and we want to ensure that our couples’ experience is nothing short of amazing. Excellent service, continual communication (you can call or text us ANYTIME!), and execution of design will leave you smiling and stress-free on your big day.

Love in Bloom serves Arizona valley-wide, including Tucson, Sedona and Flagstaff.

Click here to connect directly with their team for your wedding or event!

Spotlight on: Pixel Poppy Inc.

Pixel Poppy is a boutique floral design studio in Rego Park, New York.

We strive to capture nature in its beauty through unimposing yet exquisite, refined and unique arrangements. Our creations are always prepared with meticulous attention to detail and utmost care. We hand-craft the elements of your dream wedding and tell the story of your life together through every artfully chosen detail. Whether you’re searching for perfect flowers to complete your vision or a fully curated design package, we are delighted to work with you to create the celebration of a lifetime..

Pixel Poppy serves New York City and Long Island.

Click here to connect directly with Paulina, owner, and her team for your wedding or event!

Why Your Flower Centerpieces Cost 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. 

Introducing Bundles by Bloomerent

New, past and future Bloomerent brides and grooms,

You asked, and as always, we listened. You wanted to change the things that frustrated you about the current customer-to-florist booking relationship to create a better one. We kept everything you love about Bloomerent and added everything you felt was missing when we created our latest product: Bundles.

Bundles by Bloomerent allows couples to purchase wedding flowers from florists in bundles, based off of their budget and needs, to make buying flowers quicker, easier and more transparent. We turned a months-long process into one that takes minutes.

You asked us to fix two problems:

Transparency. Like any good relationship, you wanted the one with your florist to be upfront and transparent before diving in. You wanted to know how much it would cost to buy flowers from your chosen florists right away, which is nearly impossible for a florist to know without more information since it’s dependent on so many factors. We turned the nearly impossible into the immediately possible by working with florists to put a price tag on the most popular and requested flowers for your wedding. Based on flower types and the season of your wedding, Bundles by Bloomerent gives you upfront and transparent pricing on everything from low centerpieces filled with in-season flowers to tall, lush centerpieces filled with peonies and orchids. Cancel those weekend meetings with multiple florists to get proposals for comparison and buy your flowers in minutes instead of months.

Budget. It’s no secret that we are huge advocates for our florists and how much time, effort and money goes into your florists bringing your vision to life. Sometimes couples have strict budgets that unfortunately cannot be accommodated by florists because it is too low, while other times, they just aren’t sure what a realistic budget should be for their needs. Enter Bundles. We worked with florists to create three separate bundles for couples with different budgets and needs. This lets both customers and florists efficiently expedite the process of purchasing wedding flowers and making sure, in minutes, that you’re a great fit to work together. Each bundle tier has different florists who can accommodate the amount of flowers necessary for the price.

 

We answered the most frequently asked questions you had about Bundles:

How does this work?
Couples can choose to purchase their flowers by the bundle based on their needs (amount of flowers needed — centerpieces, bouquets, boutonnieres, whether they want seasonal flowers or premium since the cost will be different, whether they want high or low centerpieces, etc.). This allows couples to get a set price upfront that is transparent and gives the florist all of the information necessary to begin customizing flowers with the couple once they’ve purchased the bundle which means they’ve booked a florist that we will match them with.

How is my bundle price calculated?
We worked with our florists to better understand how they calculated pricing for their customers. By doing so, we were able to land on the best price for flowers (e.g., low centerpieces with in-season flowers versus high centerpieces with in-season flowers), while offering special upgrades to couples who have more specific needs (e.g., high centerpieces with out-of-season flowers and garlands). Our goal was to make sure couples get transparent pricing upfront without having to compare multiple proposals from florists, making Bundles a win/win for couples and florists.

Can the price go up after I purchase my bundle?
When you check out, you pay an upfront 50% deposit of your order to guarantee your florist for the day of your event. Your florist will reach out to you to finalize any style decisions. If you make changes or want more than what your bundle offers, any adjustments will be added to your final payment (due one month before your wedding). If you work with your florist to stay within the means of your purchased bundle and add-ons, the price will not go up.

What happens if I purchase a bundle then change my mind after speaking to my florist?
If you change your mind within two business days after purchasing your bundle, let us know and we will refund you or find you a new florist – whichever you prefer. We encourage you to speak to your florist as soon as they reach out to begin collaborating so that you’re able to let us know if you’re unhappy right away.

Is labor and delivery included in my bundle price?
Yes. All of our bundles include labor and delivery to fairly compensate our florists for their time and labor. At checkout, you will see a breakdown of your bundle and costs. Unless you make any additions between checkout and your wedding day, this will be the final price.  


Can I choose my florist?

At the moment, we’ll match you with your florist. To see which florists we work with, check out the Our Florists page here or head to Bloomerent to view their profiles. We’re working on making this process as seamless and comfortable for you, the couple, as possible so check back often.

What if I purchase a bundle and then there’s no florist available for my date?
In the event that we can’t find a florist due to availability on your date, we will let you know within 2-3 business days and reimburse you in full.

What is the difference between in-season and out-of-season flowers?
Flowers that are considered in season are easier to source and the most cost-friendly option. Different flowers are in season at different times, which is why we ask you which month you’re getting married in so we can keep you informed. Flowers that are out of season are tougher to source and significantly more expensive to purchase (such as peonies and orchids, for example). Some out-of-season flowers have a very short in-season timeframe that even when they are available, they’re still too expensive to be considered in season. For this reason, we make every effort to tell you which flowers are in season and out of season so that you can decide which you’d like for your wedding and what they will cost. You can always make any changes with your florist if you change your mind!

Meet Bev: Bloomerent Launches New Facebook Chatbot

The number one question we get from our customers is how much they should plan to spend on their wedding flowers. Their confusion makes sense when you consider that a wedding is likely the first time couples have had to purchase flowers in bulk (as opposed to buying flowers from the local grocery store or sending someone flowers directly from a florist). Couples experience sticker shock when they receive a quote from a florist in the multi-thousand dollar range and don’t know how to tell whether or not their quote makes sense.

To help our customers, we built Bev. Bev is a Facebook chatbot who helps customers understand what they should spend on their flowers. Bev takes into account the following factors before providing a ballpark budget:

  • The type of flower or flowers customers want to use
  • Whether or not the flower is in season during their wedding month
  • The size of their wedding, which assumes how many centerpieces will likely be needed based on guest count

It’s important to note that Bev’s budget predictions are not final. She has the knowledge to provide you with insight as to what the flowers you want cost in your season and to assume how many centerpieces you’ll need based off of how many guests you expect to attend your wedding. However, additional factors tie into what your true final cost will be which includes labor, delivery, supplies, location and more. Ultimately, it’s always best to have a consultation with the Bloomerent florist or florists of your choice to get a final quote. Bev is meant to help you understand what a realistic budget should be before you head into your florist meeting.

Click here to chat with Bev and learn more about what the flowers you love should cost when you’re getting married.

Wedding Flowers: Cost per Season

Knowing which flowers are in season when you get married is important to know as it will significantly impact what your total bill will be. Below we’ve listed many of the most popular wedding flowers and when they’re in season for the best pricing.

Alstroemeria (also known as Peruvian Lily) is available year-round but most plentiful in June-September.

 

Amaryllis can be accessed year-round but is most available November-April.

 

Anemone are in season November-May. They are available out of season at a higher price point.

 

Baby’s breath is available year-round and is a cost effective option.

 

Bouvardia is available year-round.

 

Calla Lily’s are available year-round but most plentiful November-May.

 

Camellia is available October-April. They are available out of season at a higher price point.

 

Carnations are available year-round and are a cost effective option.

 

Casablanca Lily is the most expensive Lily and available year-round.

 

Chrysanthemum is available year-round and most plentiful August-October.

 

Spider Chrysanthemum is cheaper than traditional Chrysanthemum and most plentiful August-October.

 

Button Chrysanthemum is the cheapest of the variety and most plentiful August-October.

 

Craspedia is available year-round.

 

Daffodil (also known as Narcissus) is available November-April. They are available out of season at a higher price point.

 

Standard Dahlia’s are available late June-October. They are available out of season at a higher price point.

 

Dinnerplate Dahlia’s are significantly larger than the standard version. They are available late June-October. They are available out of season at a higher price point.

 

Daisies are available year-round and are a cost effective option.

 

Delphinium is available year-round and most plentiful in June-October. They are available out of season at a higher price point.

 

Dusty Miller is available year-round.

 

Eucalyptus is available year-round.

 

Freesia is available year-round and has the most colorful variety June-August.

 

Fern is available year-round.

 

Garden Roses are available year-round.

 

Gardenia is available year-round and most plentiful when they grow outside April-August.

 

Small Gerbera Daisies are available year-round.

 

Large Gerbera Daisies are available year-round.

 

Hyacinth (also known as Muscari) is available November-May. They are available out of season at a higher price point.

 

Hydrangeas are available year-round and most plentiful July-November.

 

Iris is available year-round and most plentiful April-August. They are available out of season at a higher price point.

 

Larkspur is a variety of Delphinium. They are available year-round and most plentiful in June-October. They are available out of season at a higher price point.

 

Lilies (or a Lily variation) are available year-round.

Lily of the Valley peaks for a short period of time in May. It is available in April and June or throughout the year for a significantly higher price.

Lisianthus is available year-round.

Myrtle is available year-round.

Dendrobium Orchids are available year-round and are the cheapest Orchid option.

Cymbidium Orchids are available year-round and are the most expensive Orchid option.

Ornithogalum (also known as Start of Bethlehem) is available year-round.

Peonies are plentiful in late May-June. They are available out of season at a higher price point.

Phlox is available June-November.

Poppies are most plentiful April-August. They are available out of season at a higher price point.

Protea is available year-round.

Queen Anne’s Lace is available April-September. They are available out of season at a higher price point.

 

Ranunculus is in season November-April. They are available out of season at a higher price point.

 

Roses are available year-round.

 

David Austin Roses are available year-round and are the most expensive Roses.

 

Ruscus is available year-round.

 

Salal (also known as Lemon Leaf) is available year-round.

 

Snapdragons are most plentiful June-August but can be accessed year-round for a higher price.

 

Spray Roses are available year-round.

 

Stephanotis is available year-round.

 

Succulents are available year-round.

 

Sunflowers are available August-October. They are available out of season at a higher price point.

 

Sweet Pea is available November-June. They are available out of season at a higher price point.

 

Tuberose is available June-September.

 

Tulips have many different varieties and are most plentiful November-May. They are available out of season at a higher price point.

 

Veronica is available year-round.

If you have any additional flowers you would like added to the list, let us know!

Photography Credits

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?