I love flowers. They're beautiful and they smell great, and always make me happy. That said, I don't care about flowers at all. I've never had any interest in paying thousands of dollars for designer bouquets from a florist. In my mind, it's hard to mess up flowers. Designer bouquets look about the same as the ones that I pick up at the grocery store – flowers are flowers, and as long as they're alive, I'm happy with them.
For my brother's rehearsal dinner and wedding a year ago, my mother, who regularly puts together arrangements in her own home, found a local master gardener who let her walk through vast gardens, pick her choice of flowers, and sold them to her at a great price. My mom did the arrangements, which were beautiful. (That's her with them in the pictures!)
She offered to do the arrangements for my reception, and I was happy to put her skills to use. I set about finding somewhere to procure some fresh, local flowers on the cheap.
After an exhaustive internet search and a handful of phone calls, I located a farm that sells flowers by the bucket. So many places only sell them by the stem.
My vision of reception flowers is lots of white flowers like daisies and baby's breath, along with lush greenery. These are not typical “by the stem” flowers, so the chance to fill a bucket with all the white flowers and greens that look beautiful that morning was perfect for me.
At $30 per bucket, which will fill 3-5 vases, the price was perfect. We're not sure yet how many buckets we'll need (we don't even know how many tables we'll have!), but the farm is flexible, since we'll be picking up the flowers the morning of the wedding, so we don't need an exact number.
The farm owners are also happy to put together a few small bouquets and boutonnieres for the wedding party, at prices that make florists look like thieves. We are so happy we decided to source local, fresh and affordable flowers! Though we don't know an exact cost breakdown, we're assuming it'll all come out somewhere between $300 and $400. Not too shabby!