Singaporebrides | Essentials

September 2016

Wedding Flowers: Budgeting Truths And Expert Tips

Nothing jazzes up a wedding quite like flowers. But be warned: these delicate beauties may hurt your wedding budget if you’re not careful.

Like many brides, flowers were my choice of decoration when I was planning for my wedding a year ago. I adored the alluring fragility and charming versatility of these dainty blooms and how they were able to dress up any occasion and venue to precision. But, like most brides, I was clueless on how much I should set aside for my wedding flowers and what my favourite floral inspirations on Pinterest actually cost before I showed them to my planner and florist.

To help brides better plan for their wedding flowers budget, we speak to Fleur D’sign, Inside the Knot and One Olive, three veteran wedding florists and planners who have years of experience transforming flowers and venues into wonderful masterpieces for a memorable once-in-a-lifetime, about the average cost of decorating a wedding with flowers, why they are priced as such and ways to stretch your floral budget for that wedding floral wonderland you’ve always dreamed of.

Why wedding floral decorations are so costly

Inside the Knot; wedding bouquet; bridal posy; flowersInside the Knot

It’s normal to get sticker shock after receiving a quotation for your wedding floral decorations from your florist if you are not a frequent flower buyer or handler. But before you start asking your florist for a discount to bring the cost down, you need to understand what goes behind the cost of putting together wedding floral decorations. There are many factors that affect the cost of wedding floral decorations, namely the type of flowers used, time of the year, size of the wedding and of course, the amount of labour needed to put it together.

The type of flowers used and the time of the year contribute to a portion of the cost. “Flower types are heavily dependent on the season”, Clara from One Olive shares. “And that’s why getting out-of-season flowers is always more expensive.” Some flowers such as peonies also cost more than the average rose because they are difficult to grow and therefore have lesser available quantities while others such as daisies and carnations are more affordable because they are comparatively easier to grow and are produced in abundance throughout the year.

Inside the Knot; wedding table centerpeice; floral decorationInside the Knot Inside the Knot; wedding table centerpeice; floral decorationInside the Knot

The size of your wedding celebration also affects the cost of your wedding florals. The bigger the wedding venue and the more elaborate your decorations need to be, the more flowers and materials your florists need for the job and hence, the more costly it’ll be. To transform your wedding venue into a magical floral environment, they will need more hands and means of transport to move the necessary items and put them together for the wedding and take it down after the night is over.

Inside the Knot; chair signage; flowersInside the Knot Inside the Knot; wedding floral arch; solemnisationInside the Knot

How to stretch your floral dollars

While it is true that the bigger a wedding, the more expensive it’ll be to decorate it with flowers, it doesn’t necessarily need to be so. “The expectation brides have for their wedding play a significant part in the cost of flowers and floral decorations,” Esmond from Fleur D’sign shares. It is possible to spruce up a sizable wedding beautifully on a modest budget if you learned how to manage your expectations and be flexible in your needs, cutting down on unnecessary floral expenditure and prioritising the must-haves.

Have Realistic Expectations and Keep An Open Mind

Fleur D'sign; wedding ballroomFleur D’sign

The key to being happy with your floral decorations regardless of the size of your budget is to have realistic expectations of what you can and cannot do with your finances. As tempted as you are by the beauty and elegance of peonies or David Austins, don’t insist on using them or other more expensive blooms for your wedding florals if you have a modest budget.

Brides also shouldn’t let wedding floral inspirations on Pinterest dictate their expectations. Sure, Pinterest makes it easy to search for inspirations for your big day, pin them and show it to your florist. But sometimes, the vast pool of inspirations can end up confusing you and your florist when you end up pinning too many images that are different in style. It is also easy to form an unrealistic expectation when you expect your florist to replicate the desired look with the same flowers and theme within your budget without any understanding on what makes up the cost of such an arrangement or set-up.

Fleur D'sign; wedding aisle; wedding marchFleur D’sign Fleur D'sign; wedding floral decorationFleur D’sign

“Brides these days are leaning towards a fuller look for their wedding floral decorations, which requires a bigger quantity of flowers,” Clara explains. “That also means it’ll be relatively more expensive because unlike other countries like Australia, the United States or Europe, we have to ship all the flowers in as we do not have many locally grown species of flowers. Therefore, comparatively, such a set-up here would ultimately cost more than it would in Australia, for instance.”

Instead of asking for a specific look or flower, let your florist know what you want the general feel of the wedding to be like and allow them be the judge of what best suits your wants and budget. They are after all in a better position to determine which flowers are in season for your wedding and are more cost-effective for your needs, and what can be achieved with the budget you have.

Fleur D'sign; Chijmes wedding hall; wedding aisle; white weddingFleur D’sign Fleur D'sign; wedding aisle decorationFleur D’sign

If you are still adamant on including rarer and more expensive blooms like peonies, consider featuring a stalk or two in your bridal posy or VIP table centerpiece to keep costs low and decorate other aspects of your wedding with cheaper alternatives that mimic the look or feel of those flowers.

Learn To Prioritise

Make the most out of your budget by learning to devote the majority of your finances on more important aspects of your wedding. If you’re having an intimate solemnisation ceremony with close family and friends followed by a simple buffet reception, you may want to invest most of your floral budget on styling the ceremony and keep decorations for the buffet reception straightforward and minimal.

But if the solemnisation ceremony isn’t the highlight of your wedding celebrations, then don’t obsess too much over the decorations for it. Instead, focus the flower power (and your budget!) on the best part of your wedding, be it a memorable floral wonderland in the ballroom for your guests to feast their eyes on and enjoy or a grand floral arch for you to walk through or on stage as a magnificent backdrop.

One Olive; bridal bouquet; brideOne Olive

“Brides can also consider trimming out unnecessary floral expenditure such as bridesmaids’ bouquets and boutonnieres for the groomsmen to further streamline their resources for more essential areas like their bridal bouquet and venue decorations,” Esmond suggests. While bouquets and boutonnieres for your bridal party may not seem to cost a lot individually, together they are going to add up to quite a substantial amount. By omitting such unnecessary expenditure, you may be able to include better flowers or even a floral arch for your wedding.

Recycle The Flowers

But if you’re dead-set on having posies for your girls or dressing up your solemnisation ceremony as luxuriously as your wedding banquet, consider re-purposing the flowers from your bridesmaids’ bouquet and solemnisation ceremony for your banquet to keep the amount of flowers needed and costs low to maximise your budget. However, brides should note that if they choose to reuse flowers throughout the day, they may not be able to use delicate blooms such as hydrangeas that cannot withstand long periods without water and high humidity.

One Olive; wedding aisle decorationOne Olive One Olive; wedding banquet; wedding aisle decorationOne Olive

Opt For Wedding Packages

I’m sure most brides are already aware of this, but opting for a package deal usually costs you less than going for ala carte options. Wedding floral packages tend to be more cost effective as they offer a combination of wedding essentials at a lower cost than they would be ala carte and factor in any labour or transport costs needed, so brides need not worry about additional costs

Cost estimates of wedding flowers and floral decorations

One Olive; wedding floral arch; bridal bouquet; brideOne Olive

So, just how much should you set aside for wedding flowers? While tips on flower budgeting help brides manage their expectations and maximise their funds, it doesn’t exactly inform them on how much they should budget for their wedding flowers. To help brides arrive at a realistic number for their wedding floral budget, the professionals at Fleur D’sign, One Olive and Inside the Knot have kindly provided us with estimated costs of some commonly requested items for weddings.

Wedding Floral Decorations Price List

Brides can use this price list to learn how much each wedding floral essential costs and help them set aside a realistic budget for the items that they want for their wedding. However, brides should take note that this list illustrates only the approximate costs of wedding florals. It is by no means an absolute reflection of actual costs, as prices may fluctuate due to season, add-ons or any additional customisation you might request for.

Ultimately, the beauty or success of your wedding should not be dependent or judged on how much you have to spend on floral decorations. Splurge on flowers if you have sufficient budget for it, but try not to break the bank just so you can have peonies or an extravagant floral arch for your wedding. Remember, it is less about what type of blooms and how much you are using, and more about where and how you are using them.


Credits: Feature Image courtesy of One Olive. All other images featured courtesy of the respective florists.