Getting married on a shoestring: The flowers

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My bouquet was a bit of a disaster. I mean, it was a pretty bouquet but it wasn’t what I was expecting. They gave me the wrong colour roses and instead of the lovely trumpet shaped arum lillies I ordered, a completely different kind. I wasn’t one of those girls who spent years imagining and planning for their wedding but I had always really wanted those lillies! Never mind. The thing is, by the time you pick them up on the big day it is probably too late to do anything about it if they aren’t what you wanted (trust me – I know). My advice would be to get a recommendation from someone and to be very, very clear in your instructions. Also, phone around for quotes and make sure you are getting the best deal.

Better still, if you are trying to keep your budget down, arrange the bouquet yourself or ask a creative friend to do it for you. I have a friend who has put together a simple bridal bouquet on more than one occasion. Since the current trend seems to be for simple bunches of flowers (often all one colour of all one type) instead of more formal arrangements I doubt there has ever been a better time to do it yourself.

For the budget conscious bride, here are some things you might want to consider:

  • DIY: Look online for tips and ideas. Practice. If you have very specific requirements then make sure you order the flowers rather than just turning up the day before and being disappointed.
  • Hire a florist to do it for you: In my experience, a high street florist is the cheapest options but shop around for quotes.
  • Flowers for venues: Consider bunches of flowers all of the same type and colour on tables or single stems. They look amazing and cost a lot less than professional arrangements.
  • Rope friends in: (You’re going to see this option a lot!). If a creative guest asks what you’d like for your wedding present, ask them if they will do the arranging for you (though don’t expect them to pay for the flowers unless they offer to as part of your gift).
  • Buttonholes: Not very expensive to have done up actually but even cheaper if you can do it yourself. Look online – there are loads of websites showing you how to do make your own. Also consider how many people really need a buttonhole.

What kind of flowers did you choose for your wedding or what would your fantasy bouquet contain? Do you have any advice for people trying to do it themselves?

Categories: Shoestring Weddings | Tags: | 7 Comments

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7 thoughts on “Getting married on a shoestring: The flowers

  1. I had red and white roses and gum leaves- you can see a pic of my bouquet here

    however disappointingly it was falling apart by the time we got to the photos after the ceremony!

  2. I was lucky to have a flower arranging friend of the family do everything as a wedding present. I had pink roses, and an english summer garden theme. For the venue, she bought the flowers for me via a wholesaler – I think you can do this if you find a flower wholesaler yourself, ours was in a warehouse in Ipswich – which made everything waaaaay cheaper – and I got all my girlfriends -= well 5 of them – to arrange them in a mis match of crockery and vintage cut glass and vases I had picked up from boot sales, along the english tea party them…. I have to say that this was hard work. It took 5 of us, a lot of hours. I thought it would be easy, but it is quite hard to do. It was fun though and looked amazing.

    another tip from an event manager friend – was that she did everything in gyp. this is the white flowers that look like little bubbles, and is generally used as cheap ‘filler’ in cheap bunchers of flowers. But having LOADS of just these little white flowers, every where, looked amazing and was really cheap.

  3. p.s I also wore my mother’s dress and did my own hair and make up. I went to a posh department store and got a makeover and bought that make up and copied the look. My brother was the DJ and we found a brilliant caterer that did a barbeque buffet that was delicious and £15 a head. A friend who runs a hotel bought the wine and champage wholesale. And my mum’s best friend made the cake!!! it was a proper budget wedding. But no one would have known. It was beautiful!!!

  4. My wedding bouquet was, like yours, disappointing because the colour of the roses was not what I asked for. However, my MIL crocheted baskets for the flower girls’ flowers and my husband (to be) grew carnations in his greenhouse for buttonholes.

    As for the rest, my mother and I made the wedding dress, the bridesmaids dresses and her outfit. The cake was made as a gift by one friend and decorated by another and the photographer was also a friend (not professional). I had no plans for having my hair/make-up done for me but (as fate would have it) we had someone staying with us as the time who was a hairdresser and she did it (but I’d rather not have had it done under the circumstances!).

    My older brother was in the army and not able to get leave for the wedding, however, my younger brother died in a road accident the Saturday before the wedding and older brother had leave to come home for the funeral. His girlfriend was the hairdresser. If it had been longer until the wedding we would have postponed but we were in no state to think about what needed to be done.

    The reception was small and quiet anyway and we cancelled the evening party. Local people were very supportive and helpful. One of the saddest parts for me was taking my brother’s suit back to the local outfitters where I’d been with him a couple of weeks before to buy it. They were very kind and refunded the money.

    Sorry about the change of tack. I didn’t intend to say all this but it’s coming up to my 25th Anniversary in a few weeks which also means 25 years since my brother died.

  5. Frugal Trenches

    lol my frugal wedding will be to elope!

    great post!!

  6. lindsey

    I hate to tell you what my daughter’s wedding cost! More than our first house. But we did economise in some ways. She and I went up to Covent Garden (the new one) and bought the flowers for the reception tables and I arranged them. For less than £200 we had beautiful (if I do say so!) flower arrangements everywhere. We had a florist do the bridal party and church flowers which cost a fortune. My daughter wanted scented roses in her bouquet and my advice is not to bother. They cost more and, lets face it, nobody sniffs the bouquet. Glad I talked her out of that one.

  7. Wow loved reading your post. I added your rss to my blogreader.

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