The Secret to Maximizing Your Floral Budget Without Compromising Your Vision

We are SO excited to have Leah Bayes with West View Florist do a guest post on florals. Leah is not only the sweetest and funniest person, she's also great with florals and budgets - she knows her stuff! So, without further ado, here's what the professional has to say about how to get the look that you want while being budget friendly....

Miss Leah herself! Photo by the wonderful Arielle Peters Photography.

Miss Leah herself! Photo by the wonderful Arielle Peters Photography.

Hello friends!!!

I want to say a special thank you to Bread & Chocolate for inviting me to write this guest post! My name is Leah Bayes and I am the Wedding Consultant & Designer for West View Florist here in the Michiana area. I have loved every minute of putting together these practical tips for you to utilize when planning your wedding flowers! Over the years, I have found most brides have no reference point besides Pinterest when beginning their floral journey, so my goal here is to help provide information that will get you started! So, let’s dig in!

I am positive that you, as a bride, have spent hours on a famous social media site gathering inspiration for your wedding florals.

You are on the hunt for something unique, something different, something stunning.

Anyone care to guess which site I’m referring to?

That’s right, Pinterest.

Yes, Pinterest is dripping with gorgeous images of unique wedding bouquets, lush centerpieces, and stunning floral installations. And yes, while beautiful & inspiring to look at, these images can both help and hinder you as a bride.

Have you ever looked at a bouquet and thought, “Wow, I LOVE the look of this bouquet, but I have no clue what those flowers are?” Or have you already met with a florist and left with sticker-shock over the cost of that “Simple Peony Bouquet”? Trust me, you are not alone!

These images, while extremely helpful in determining your floral likes or dislikes, do not help you in considering the season, budget, or personality of your wedding.

So, what’s the secret? How do you overcome the pitfalls of Pinterest, yet still ensure stunning and unique florals for your wedding?

1. Flexibility is Key

Take a moment to evaluate your wedding planning style. Are you a relaxed, I-wish-the-planning-would-just-be-over- already kind of bride? Or are you thoroughly enjoying the process of seeing your vision play out, down to the very last detail?

Next, consider how this affects your ability to be flexible. Do you enjoy the “look” or “feel” of a design, rather than the sum of its ingredients? Or do you prefer to know exactly which flowers will be used throughout your wedding designs?

Now, I’m going to let you in on the secret! Hands down, the bride who is willing and able to be flexible with her flower choices, as well as trusting her designer to carry out the desired aesthetic will be able to make much better use of her floral budget! Why is this? To answer this, let’s take a look at Secret #2.

With the bride’s only request being a lush, garden feel, we were able to take our creativity to new places with endless colors & textures. The result? Flowers that the bride was both delighted with & were totally unique! Photo by Jennifer Driscoll Photography.

With the bride’s only request being a lush, garden feel, we were able to take our creativity to new places with endless colors & textures. The result? Flowers that the bride was both delighted with & were totally unique! Photo by Jennifer Driscoll Photography.

Another shot of the bouquet above. Photo by Jennifer Driscoll Photography.

Another shot of the bouquet above. Photo by Jennifer Driscoll Photography.

2. Work with Nature, Not Against It

So, what does that mean? And what does that have to do with flexibility?
 
Let’s pick on peonies for a second.

I have met with many brides who have fallen in love with a lush peony bouquet that they saw on Pinterest. Unfortunately, their wedding date is nowhere near the regular season of a peony. Through modern growing techniques, these ruffled blooms can be special ordered for certain occasions, however the price is extravagant. In addition, they need to be sourced from overseas, adding additional costs & tolls on the environment.

So what’s a bride to do when you really want that peony look yet your wedding is the fall?

Let me introduce you to David Austin. A David Austin garden rose, to be exact.

They are very similar in size, fragrance, and shape, in addition to being available all-year round. #winwin

Flexibility allows you to maximize your budget by removing the need to source out of season blooms, and instead work with nature, not against it. The earth brings forth a huge variety of color palettes & textures for us to enjoy in every season. We, as curators of nature, are then free to hand-craft stunning, in season designs using fresh varieties of flowers and foliage that fit within your personal style.

The result? A completely one-of-a-kind wedding bouquet, not a Pinterest copy-cat.

P.S. Don’t panic! If you have an absolute favorite flower that you would love to incorporate in your wedding, please say so! We all have our favorite flowers! Being flexible doesn’t mean you need to give up on what you want. It is your wedding after all! Being flexible means being open to in-season suggestions and allowing us to be creative within your wedding color palette & style, as opposed to pre-determining an exact recipe.

Lush peonies & scabiosa looking stunning & in season for a late May wedding. Photo by M.Rinaye Photography.

Lush peonies & scabiosa looking stunning & in season for a late May wedding. Photo by M.Rinaye Photography.

3. Be Honest about Your Budget

Are you ready for a less “fun” secret?

Those professionally designed, Pinterest-style flowers can cause some major sticker-shock.

There, I said it.

That’s just the nature of this artistic industry. We are working with product that is prone to wilting and dehydration, has a quick expiration date, and can arrive damaged due to rough transportation from the farm to our hands. The amount of labor that goes into carefully and delicately sourcing, cleaning, hydrating, storing, and designing your wedding flowers is extensive.

In addition, a florist differs from most other wedding vendors in pricing. Most photographers offer packages, venues have a chart of prices, and catering is figured per plate. However, a florist must take into consideration many factors. A bouquet’s size, shape, requested flowers, foliage, handle, and ribbon wrap all determine the price.

Sound overwhelming? It can be!

The very best route is to be open and honest about your estimated floral budget when meeting with your florist. Remember, we are experts at wedding flowers! We have all kinds of tips and tricks up our sleeves to help stretch your budget and steer you in a direction based on your overall vision and aesthetic.

If you are struggling to determine what your estimated floral budget should be, take this into consideration!

10% - 15% of your overall wedding cost should be devoted to your flowers. However, that number is not always so cut and dry. How important are the flowers in the overall look or feel of your wedding?  

Do you envision exquisite florals on every table, long garlands running down staircases or saying your vows under a lush floral arch? While extremely beautiful, be prepared that you may have to devote more of your budget for premium designs such as these.


Are you more concerned with only personal flowers for the wedding party, and plan on having alternative non-floral centerpieces? Your floral budget may be slightly less than this percentage.
 

-Quick Tip: Placing your bouquets in vases on the head table adds visual interest & keeps your flowers happy & hydrated! Photo by Grace Pulver Photography.

-Quick Tip: Placing your bouquets in vases on the head table adds visual interest & keeps your flowers happy & hydrated! Photo by Grace Pulver Photography.

4. Love & Trust Your Designer

Last, but definitely not least, find a floral designer who just GETS you.

A designer who is inspired by the same style of flowers that you LOVE.

A designer whose eyes light up when you talk about how much you love greenery garlands & ranunculus & garden roses, because those are their absolute favorites. (If that’s you, I’m your girl!)

A designer who is honest & open with you about their pricing, yet works to stay within your budget because they want to be a part of your wedding day.

A designer who views weddings not just as a business transaction, but as a chance to harness the beauty of nature specifically for you.

This type of connection with your florist will ensure that your wedding flowers will be meticulously designed and cared for, right up until you are handed the bouquet of your dreams!

Thanks for riding out this post with me! If you feel like you are ready to begin dreaming up your wedding florals, feel free to send me an email at leah.westviewflorist@gmail.com. I would love to connect with you!

Xoxo,
Leah
West View Florist
Instagram: @westviewflorist