There’s a word often used in Event Planning that gets a bad rap. It’s not a dirty word, but it can be if you don’t use it. The word is “budget”.

There isn’t anything worse than going through the planning process with a bride and groom, picking every flower that they adore, beautiful custom containers, plans to import the best orchids from Thailand - and then find they’re so far out of their budgetary restrictions, someone ends up crying! And it’s usually me! NOT a good look for me, or the bride and groom.

That’s the old way of doing business, sell a dream and figure out how to get the couple to pay for it.

We don’t think that works very well. For anyone. Brides of today are better informed, have full time jobs and busy lives, and no time to waste. The planning process should be as easy as possible. Toward that end, here are a few of our thoughts to streamline your floral planning.

Get an idea of who really needs flowers - brides and bridesmaids are probably definites, Moms may or may not want a corsages but Grandmamas love to be recognized as being a special part of your special day.

And if you’re adorning the ladies, don’t forget the gents ---your Groom and the Groomsmen, Ushers, Dads and Granddads. One common question I receive pretty regularly is about your Officiant - to bedeck with blossoms or no? If they are related to you or they’ve been a part of your life - married your parents, baptized you, First Communion, etc….I would. If it’s a hired officiant, don’t feel obligated.

Ceremony: designs for the altar? Something to line the aisle or a bouquet for the chairs or pews? Flowers for the broom, a beautiful rose for the glass, an arch or chuppah?

Reception: this is typically where the bulk of your budget is spent, which makes sense as its more than likely most of your and your guests’ time will be spent here. The venue you choose should inspire your choice of decor and the design elements you choose. Church in Gainesville and then off to The Piedmont Club? You’ll probably want a little more formality. Ceremony in a field and then into the barn for a down-home BBQ? Country chic is the way to go. Flowers are so versatile, they can fit every budget and any style.

For planning purposes only, we have compiled a range of costs for some of the typical items ordered for an Event here in Northern Virginia. There are not hard and fast numbers, but a general range of what has been ordered over the past couple of years, in our experience.

Bridal Bouquets - $125-$325
Bridesmaids Bouquets - $50-$150
Corsages - $18-$40
Boutonnieres - $5-$25
Reception Centerpieces - $45-$250

Now that’s not to say we haven’t done a bridal bouquet for $75 or a centerpiece over $250. We have, but these are the general ranges most brides feel comfortable keeping to.

When you arrive for your initial consultation, there are some things you’ll want to be sure you know, or have on hand.

  • the style of the bridal gown and the cut and color of the bridesmaids’ attire
  • fabric swatches, if available
  • suiting color choice for grooms/groomsmen
  • names or pictures of flowers/designs you like
  • favors/invitations/other decor items that you may have invested in that help define the style of your Event
  • a rough guesstimate of where you’d like to be with your budget

This may seem like a lot to consider, but it is a great help to ponder each of these before we ask you about it. No One Likes the Spanish Inquisition (forgive me Monty Python), and it will seem like that if you arrive to be peppered with a thousand questions you’re not ready for.

By mentioning the “B” word upfront, we hope to be able to guide you to making the best floral choices for your wedding day. At or
under budget!

***A quick note on the excitement of planning a wedding and running out to buy all the pretty things….***Before you head to Michael’s or ACMoore with visions of ribbon bedecked lanterns, talk to a decor professional! Items may be available for rent, saving you both time, money, and space when it’s time to bring everything home. Unless there’s somewhere special you were thinking 12 lanterns would make a nice statement. Perhaps the dining room? You’d be amazed at what we have in storage waiting for just the right opportunity to come out and shine while saving you $. Another thing to consider is the continuity in your overall decor plan, which can be very difficult when you’re so emotionally invested. A good professional will help you edit, honing your design until it sings in just the right key for you. Avoid The Tchotchke Environment!