When meeting with wedding clients and discussing flowers, a major part of the conversation is always how and where to spend the majority of the budget. While most couples go straight to centrepieces and bouquets which are of course major elements of the day, I feel there are a few spots that are often overlooked. While there is no place at a wedding that flowers don’t work, there are certainly some places I believe you need to consider more than others. I always tell my clients to think about the photographer’s perspective. What areas will be most visible and most photographed?
Let’s break down the floral spend and what areas you might want to consider allocating a more of your budget to.
Your Wedding Ceremony Space
With most wedding ceremonies being short and sweet these days there is a thought that this space doesn’t need as much attention as your reception space. The truth is, your guests are sitting enjoying that space much longer than you are, so I feel having beautiful décor there is essential. The space also sets the scene for the rest of your day. You want to evoke a feeling and a mood with your ceremony space which you will build on with reception décor Another thing to consider with your ceremony space this is where a large portion of your wedding photos will be taken, actually the most heartfelt and important ones all take place here! This is where wedding day emotions are raw and real. These are the photos that are framed and displayed in your home, your parents’ home, friends’ homes. Florals add so much beauty to this intimate space and add so much to the capture. I have had many conversations with photographers about this. While on site installing a large-scale altar design or mantel piece they often come in and say how glad they are that the couple opted to go for dramatic florals in the ceremony space.
On a note of sustainability, where possible we always aim to repurpose the florals used for the ceremony and incorporate into the reception. Most often ceremony florals end up being used as a photo backdrop for the guests to enjoy during cocktail hour. Depending on the structure of the ceremony design, we are also often able to move the structure or large arrangements to sit behind the couple at the head table to frame them for photos.
Your Bridal Party
The size of your bridal party will absolutely impact your floral budget. The larger your bridal party, the bigger your floral expenses. If you are looking to save money, consider having a small wedding party. For a more-the-merrier approach there are also a few ways to be savvy. Without question, your bouquet should be the most expensive item in the personal floral budget. You are the star of the show, it’s your day and you should absolutely adore the flowers and arrangement you carry down the aisle. Never compromise on this; your bouquet will be in every photo and even some stand-alone ones, you do not want regrets! For bridesmaids, outfit them with petite bouquets that compliment yours and if you want some luxe details to pump them up ask your florist to get creative with ribbon. I also love the idea of being a little unconventional with their arrangements—hoops and wreaths are my current favourite bouquet alternatives.
Another area to consider saving on is the mothers corsages. Most women would rather wear a beautiful bracelet or are worried about the flowers being crushed and hot during a long day. I love the idea of creating a small nosegay bouquet for them. They look beautiful in photos and are a beautiful keepsake of the day for them to take home. The last personal floral element to decide upon are boutonnieres. A bout is essential for the groom and for the dads, but groomsmen can get away sans florals. Outfit them with a colour pocket square in the tones of your florals which makes for a perfectly complimentary style vibe.
Your Wedding Gift Table & Seating Chart Area
This is a space I often hear “we will just use a bridesmaid bouquet or something simple for the gift table.” While using the bridal bouquets may be a good way to save money on extra reception decor, the gift table is not the space for them! After the ceremony while the guests are giving their gifts, signing the guestbook or looking over the seating chart, the bridal party is off taking photos which means bridesmaids need their bouquets at this time. I always suggest creating something beautiful and impactful for the gift table that is a stand-alone piece. It’s a nice way to welcome guests to your reception space and also shows you have put some thought and care into their guest experience. I also suggest your seating chart should have some embellishment as well as this is an area where guests mingle. Often some of the greatest photos are taken while the guest do these things. It is nice to have a little extra decor in the background of the candid captures.
Your Head Table
It is essential to have something low, long and sprawling sitting in front of you and your partner during the reception. The head table is special. So many photos are taken here. Having a large piece on the front of the table is also a good way to tie in any ceremony components that are being reused. Next to the ceremony space, it is the most important place for florals! Spend extra on these florals and get creative with your florist to dream up something that is beautiful, impactful, bold and uniquely you.
The Important Little Extras
Another small but important place often not considered when it comes to planning your florals is your getting ready space. SO many photos are taken here, documenting the process of you and your ladies getting glammed and dressed for the day. It’s nice to have a few subtle floral pieces in the space to style it and set the stage. Any arrangements can be moved on to your reception space and incorporated into décor there. I also recommend arranging with your florist to send along a mixture of loose buds, blooms and foliage for your photographer to use in those beautiful styled detail shots of your dress, rings, invites and accessories.
Krystal Young is a WPIC certified wedding planner and the owner of Snowberry Botanicals. She has been in the business floral design for seven years and credits her love of florals to growing up in the country and to her parents, both who are avid gardeners. Sustainability is hugely important to her and her business and she works with local products and farmers whenever possible.