No money, mo’ problems: Your precious flower(s)

Bad news. The topic of today’s post doesn’t make me feel very snarky. Flowers are pretty! Every time I leave a flower shop, I talk about how much I would like to work in one. I’m sorry if my tone is disappointing.

If it helps, your hair is looking kind of fucked up today.

No offense.*

Flowers & Decorations — 10%: arrangements for ceremony, flower girl’s petals and basket, ring pillow, bride’s bouquet, bridesmaids’ bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages, reception decorations, lighting and misc.

Here’s the weird thing. If you think about it, flowers are just like food. It’s all produce, really. So, the same rules that applied to catering your wedding, almost apply to your floral arrangements. The word “SEASONAL” is always our friend. If the flowers you want are out of season, you’re going to pay more for them. And, just like your caterer, you want a good florist, not a cheap florist. A good florist will not only be able to help realize your vision at your price, but they’ll also be able to adapt to any changes that you need to make.

If you haven’t set a date yet, our florist told us flowers were more expensive right before major floral holidays. Our original date was the same weekend as Mother’s Day, and she flat-out let us know that our arrangements were going to be more expensive then. So, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day…all bad. You’ll pay a lot more for your flowers, and they might not be as nice. Very expensive and not fabulous? The exact opposite of my point here.

The best approach isn’t to go to your florist with specific flowers in mind, but specific colors and textures. Be up front about your budget and be willing to be flexible. I really wanted peonies, but peonies were really expensive. I told my florist that what I really liked about peonies were their luxurious, ruffled petals, and she put together centerpieces that were not hurt for their lack of peonies, lush English garden roses took their place, and I never missed them. Take pictures of what you want to your meetings, and allow them to be your jumping off point. We went through several different styles before I finally realized what I wanted, but once I did, everything clicked into place.


When you have an interesting mix of textures and colors in your arrangements, you don’t need giant centerpieces and bouquets. Nobody will know you picked the smaller option, they’ll just know you have exquisite taste. Unless you picked red roses. If you picked red roses, I can’t help you. Your taste has flatlined. It was probably stillborn. Awww….what a sad story.

Detail is what makes your look seem expensive. I wanted black vases and urns to hold our flowers, but our florist said the ones she had were going to be really costly. She suggested I buy them myself and have them shipped to her shop. I bought a combination of vases from Ikea and Jamali Gardens, for much less than we would have spent if we had used her vases. I got exactly what I wanted, for less money. You have to dress your table up with more than just flowers. Your touch really shows on your tables and decorations. I really wanted mercury glass candleholders. Do you know expensive those stupid little things are? More than you should spend on candles. I was determined to make it happen though. I spent hours combing the internet for a good deal on them, but I could never find anything. I lucked out on one of my many, many trips to Michael’s. There, in the middle of their Halloween display, under the watchful gaze of a maddeningly obnoxious talking skeleton, were silver mercury glass votive holders for $1.99! About $3.00 cheaper than I’d been able to find anywhere else. I bought up all of them, and then made my own in gold. I ended up being able to put 3 candles on each table for less than the price of just one internet mercury glass votive holder. Success! Keep looking, be willing to compromise and adjust, but keep your style and theme in  mind, and you’ll have what you want without going too far into debt. If you say you did this without going into any debt at all, I’ll probably think you’re a liar, so don’t even bother saying it.

There are lots of wholesale craft and floral stores online and in your town, they’re full of good ideas and fun little pieces of inspiration. Ribbon, confetti, glitter, sequins, feathers, color, MARTHA! These things are there for you! Use them! Utilize the things you love, your guests should know this is YOUR wedding. The most “wedding-y” weddings look so cookie cutter and almost sterile. White roses, white tablecloths, giant gown, blah, blah, blah. You might as well just hang a giant, “I’M BORING: ENJOY YOUR JORDAN ALMONDS” banner across the front of your reception venue.

Being boring is almost worse than being tacky. However misguided that thought may be, at least tacky people think they’re stylish. Boring people just gave up before they even started. Your friends will go to so many weddings over the course of their lives, make yours stand out! Be super chic or be super gaudy, just BE something! Your flowers and decor are as much a display of your personal style as the dress you send yourself down the aisle in. Don’t neglect this opportunity to show who you are!

If you let red roses and baby’s breath speak for you, do you know what they’ll say? “Put me out of my misery.”

Tomorrow, get ready to put on your red shoes and dance the blues. We’re going to talk music!

*If I say no offense, you can’t get offended. I’m sorry if you don’t like it, those are the rules. I don’t make them, I just take advantage of them. The system works!

Photos: Jennifer Williams Photography