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Last year, I judged some high school speeches on alternative energy with a colleague. Essentially, the students gave short speeches on what they thought was the best form of sustainable energy, then the judges shared some of our thoughts.
My colleague made a good point: There's not one form of alternative energy that meets all of our needs; we need to use different forms of energy for our different uses. And that wise counsel she shared with the students also greatly helped me think about wedding decisions, especially in terms of wedding flowers.
Fresh flowers were a personal priority, not a budget one. My wish list for wedding flowers wasn't short: bridal bouquet, bridesmaids bouquets, 20+ boutonnières, 12+ wrist corsages, 25 centerpieces, etc… I also had a dream bouquet in mind, but didn't figure I'd be able to afford it.
I had originally planned on buying all of the wedding flowers wholesale, and making all of the arrangements myself with the help of family and friends. I also considered buying a wedding package from a store. I'd make their pre-arranged flowers work for my needs, I thought, by buying some extra flowers in the colors I liked. It was a good plan, but still required more work than I would have liked, and I wasn't getting exactly what I wanted for my bouquet. I then decided to meet with a local florist, and that was a game changer.
In short, we've decided to use the portfolio approach to our wedding flowers– different sources for different purposes.
Wedding Flowers Sources
Source #1:Wholesale Retailer — We're using these flowers for our centerpieces and other decor. Our centerpieces are going to be one of my favorite features of our wedding, and a huge reason why is because there will be beautiful roses.
Source #2: Local Florist — Much to my surprise, the florist in the town where I'm getting married was able to do one bridal bouquet, two bridesmaid bouquets, four wrist corsages and eight boutonnières for just over $500. This is a bit of a splurge, but we're not really decorating the chapel, so our flowers will warm the space and add some color and pull everything together. And the best news? I'm getting my dream bouquet.
Source #3: Pre-arranged Package — Because we have 20+ people helping with the wedding, we wanted to provide flowers for them. We'll purchase a 24 count white boutonnières/corsage set for a nifty $170.
There's a lot of discussion about wedding flowers, but I'd recommend assessing your needs, doing your research and make your decisions based on what's important to you!
Editor's note: Due to the pandemic, some of the general wedding planning advice we share may not be applicable or possible due to restrictions on events. Please adhere to all current regulations and stay safe and healthy! Get more resources for planning a pandemic wedding here.