February 4, 2009

Periwinkle's top tips for where to save on your floral budget

Jess- In these trying times of financial gloom and doom, many brides are feeling they need to tighten the budget somewhere. So with that in mind, here are Periwinkle’s top tips for where to save – yes, you can still have the wedding flowers of your dreams, just with a few minor adjustments!

Tip #1-Cut the number of bridesmaids you plan on having (obviously you can't do this if you already asked the girls, don’t want to cause any friendship rifts here, so see tip two!). The bouquets are second only to the centerpieces in how much of the final budget they take up if you have a large bridal party. Having only a maid of honour stand with you means only two bouquets as opposed to the seven or more it may take to cover all your dearest girlfriends, sisters and future sisters in law.

Tip #2- Alright, so you already asked your Friday night party girls to be there with you. Change your vision of what this gaggle will carry! Paring down can still be elegant, and works well with a larger number because of the repetition effect. Instead of a full bouquet for each girl, try doing a staggered cluster of three flowers, or even a single huge headed bloom such as a rose or peony with some gorgeous ribbon in a contrasting colour. See-that cut the budget and no one got hurt!

Tip #3- Consider not decorating the ceremony area. If you are getting married outside, you don’t really need anything anyway- you can’t beat Mother Nature for background. If you are in a large church or synagogue again, the scope of the building and the architecture may be able to hold its own without any adornment. You need to remember that the typical ceremony is only about an hour long and everyone will be watching you the entire time (don’t get nervous now!) so they are unlikely to notice that you don’t have any florals here. Most florists are also charging you for the delivery, set up and transferal of these pieces, so you will see some savings elsewhere too.

Tip #4-Going back to the number of bridesmaids you have- if you are having more than a couple, use their bouquets to decorate the head table. Periwinkle sets up a line of short simple vases filled with a simple tropical leaf (partly so they look cool before the reception begins but also so no one mistakes them for drinking glasses and chugs the floral water down!) and the bridesmaids just set their bouquets in them as they arrive- instant décor!

Tip #5- Find containers yourself for the centerpieces- scour the dollar stores (seriously!) and large stores such as IKEA that can buy in bulk and offer discounts deeper than a regular florist can. The only very important thing here is that you have to choose a vase that isn’t going to take a fortune to fill- the larger the vases opening the more it will take to fill, so try to find something unusual in shape or structure with a smaller opening. We usually ask our brides to bring one in first before they buy 50 of the wrong thing.

Tip #6- You don’t have to have a full arrangement on the table. If you go with a more unusual design you can often get away with less. Let’s say you can find three glass vases of different heights- you could submerge a different flower in each and space them out on the table for the same visual effect as a full arrangement, but with a nice modern edge to it. Or how about a low ceramic tray you can easily pick up in china town for pennies- have your florist fill it with a “carpet “ effect of deep green moss with a diagonal line of three large rich toned open roses, gerberas or peonies flush with the moss- unusual, but dramatic.

So you see, there are ways to get around a tight budget if you are prepared to change your vision a little, without settling for anything less stylish!

Now of course once this “massive world financial crisis” is over I’m going to post again urging you all to fill the ceremony with swagged garlands of orchids and such, so be prepared, but for now there is still style to be found in a recession!