How to plan your wedding flower budget in advance

wedding-photo-flowers-bouquetPLANNING YOUR FLORAL BUDGET

 

Wedding planning is an exciting time for a bride and groom-to be even though many girls have their dream wedding thought up years before the big day actually happens.

Proper wedding planning can end up saving money in some of the more expensive parts of your wedding budget.

Take the time to know how much you have to spend and how much you are willing to spend in accordance with your personal tastes.

There are so many things to think about when it comes to planning your wedding including your dress, the venue, guest list, menu, flowers and décor, just to name a few.

If you have a tight wedding budget or simply don’t want to spend an outlandish amount of money on your wedding, making a couple of right decisions in the beginning may pay off for you in the end.

My mom is a florist who over the years has worked with many brides-to-be and I am sharing below some of her tips for saving money on your wedding flowers.

 

Skip unnecessary planning costs

 

The internet sure has become a handy tool and is a great place to start to look for ideas for dresses, flowers etc.

As exciting as it may be to run out and buy some of the latest wedding magazines they are not cheap ranging in price upwards of $15.00 or more for some of the best magazines out there is a good chunk of change.

Alternatively you could look online to see if anyone who just got married is giving their magazines away or scour the thrift shops to see what they have lurking about.

If you want to skip the magazines you can easily use the world of information at your fingertips online with no extra fee on top of your regular internet bill.

 

Choosing your colours and doing some research

 

wedding-rings-centrepiece-

The colour(s) you choose for your wedding will impact the choices available to you when it comes to making decisions such as bridesmaid dresses, décor and flowers unless you choose a multi–coloured wedding of course then the options are endless.

If you decide you want to include white wedding flowers in your arrangements keep in mind it is characteristic of white flowers to turn slightly brown.

Some cut flowers may start browning within a few days of being cut even if your white flowers are arranged the day of your wedding you run the chance of having brownish white petals on your flowers.

Generally darker colours such as red and purple are associated with Winter and Fall and the lighter, paler colours such yellow and pink are associated with Spring and Summer.

Your flowers of choice may not be in-season and as easily available to get hold of making them more expensive to buy.

Knowing what flowers are readily available in your season of choice and what colours of each type of flower can be ordered is a good thing to know when deciding the colours you will use.

 

Choosing flowers that are in season

 

Choosing to use flowers that are in season will always be cheaper, they will not only be more easily available but the flowers used will be of a higher quality having grown during their normal growing season.

While roses are available year round and in a wide variety of colours they may not be the first choice of flower that every bride and groom want to use.

There are also other seasonal options such as berries, small pine cones, crab apples and chestnuts for example that can be used as a filler in bouquets reducing the number of flowers used in the arrangement.

 

Seasonal flowers

 

wedding-cake-fresh-flowers

The following is a brief list of popular wedding flowers that are in season throughout the year.

 

Spring

 

Bursting with colour these spring wedding flowers are sure to please.

Roses, Tulips, Peonies, Hyacinths, Anemones, Calla Lilies, Irises, Daffodils, Hydrangea, Lily of the Valley, Sweet Pea, Delphinium, Alstromeria

 

Summer

 

Roses, Sunflowers, Asiatic Lilies, Gerbera Daisies, Peonies, stock, Delphinium, Irises, Calla Lilies, Lisianthus

 

Fall

 

Roses, Gerbera Daisies, Hydrangea, Delphinium, Amaryllis, Carnations, Viburnum, Irisies, Narcissus

 

Winter

 

Frost your special day with these popular winter wedding flowers

Roses, Tulips, Hydrangea, Amaryllis, Lilies, Orchids, Stephanotis, Ivy, Evergreens

 

Exotic flowers including Orchids and the Bird of Paradise flower will always be a more expensive option no matter what the season.

Before your florist places any orders ask them if they have colour charts for the specific flowers you have chosen which are often given to them by the wholesale flower supplier.

Referencing these colour charts prior to ordering can prevent the disappointment on your wedding when your flowers arrive and the exact colour is not what you were expecting.

Ordering pink flowers is not specific enough and looking over these charts with your florist and ordering the exact shade desired can give you the peace of mind that your flowers will arrive in the colours you ordered.

 

Choosing your florist

 

My mom being an experienced florist has heard stories from some clients who have gone to a florist for some advice on wedding flowers and without purchasing a wedding package were refused any advice.

Do not choose a florist who will not discuss your ideas and come up with a plan with you without seeing some money first.

Any good florist will be happy to take the time to see if they can meet your needs and desires.

 

Grocery store florists

 

I have heard of good and bad experiences using grocery store floral shops.

Purchasing your flowers from the grocery store can be used as a cheaper alternative though you may find that they offer only wedding packages with very little room for changes without incurring more fees.

Word of mouth is a great way to find a good florist, ask your friends and family not only about the quality of their work but also how well they worked with them in making decisions and offering money-saving alternatives.

Go in with an open mind and be willing to discuss other options the florist may be able to offer to achieve the same or similar results of designs and arrangements that are of interest to you.

 

Utilize your local farmer`s market

 

You may have a talented friend or family member who has diy wedding ideas when it comes to decorating and flower arranging which might help you save some money in your wedding budget.

If they are interested in decorating for your wedding you may want to consider taking them up on it if you are confident in their ability to make your wedding day look as beautiful as you desire.

Choosing a florist that is not affiliated with a flower shop means they are not restricted to ordering from a specific supplier and you can then utilize local resources such as farmer’s market to purchase beautiful cut flowers much cheaper than being limited to ordering through a specific supplier.

 

Fresh flowers aren’t for everyone

 

 wedding-centrepieceWedding Flowers can swallow up a fairly large percentage of money in your wedding budget and for some the cost can be overwhelming and surprising when they receive the bill.

The flowers will all likely wilt by the time you leave for your honeymoon and some may see this as a big expense to throw away in a few days.

There are people in our world, women included, who do not care for fresh flowers or any flowers at all.

Bouquets and table centre pieces can be made using things other than fresh flowers like brooches and other types of jewellery, paper flowers, and flowers made of felt.

Again, looking on the internet you can find many alternatives to traditional wedding flowers.

Being prepared and knowing a few things beforehand can make dealing with your florist a much smoother and possibly more budget friendly experience.

Taking pictures with you, giving your florist a starting point and visual picture to work with will help to ensure your day is as beautifully decorated as you hoped it would be, whether you chose traditional or alternative wedding flowers.

Plan ahead and be prepared for the expenses wedding flowers may bring you will give you a realistic idea of how far you can stretch your wedding budget.

What ways can you think of to save money on wedding flowers?

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How To Have The Wedding Of Your Dreams And Still Be Frugal

Wedding rings- Roger Kirby

Like most men, I did not have my wedding planned out from the day I turned five. Actually, I never thought I would marry. Then I met my wife. Suddenly, marriage seemed not only possible but desirable. We met in Florida, dated long distance and got married in San Diego. Figuring out what we could, and couldn’t live without helped us say “I do” to each other without saying “I will” to massive credit card debt.

Wedding Costs are Soaring in Canada and Beyond

Anyone engaged, planning a wedding, or recently married knows how expensive it can be to get married. The average cost of a wedding in Canada is $23,330, which is up from $20,129 two years ago. That’s less than what debt-saddled Americans spend  - $27,021, but not by much. Unless you factor in New York, where everything is outrageously expensive; a big wedding in the Big Apple will set you back $65,000! You could buy a home in West Virginia for that amount (which consequently has the lowest average wedding cost of any American state at $14,203).

What Costs so Much, Anyways?

The dress is a big part of it for Canadian brides, who spend more on average than their American counterparts – $1,798 compared to $1,100. In addition to the dress, dinner, drinks, the venue, ring, photographer/videographer/DJ, wedding planner, florist, party favors, gifts for the wedding party, rehearsal dinner, invitations, and postage all add up. If you’re getting hitched in an expensive city where the cost of living is higher than average, it’s easy to see how wedding budgets get bloated. I remember when my wife and I were planning our wedding, we couldn’t find a photographer for less than $2,000 and we were driving all over San Diego, looking for a good deal. We ended up saving $500 by hiring someone who spoke broken English but still knew how to point and shoot.

How to Find Room in Your Wedding Budget for Your Dreams

I’ve always been a bit of a planner (my wife would probably take issue with the “bit” part of that statement) so I had a wedding checklist in my back pocket, right behind the family ring I gave my wife when I proposed. Having my grandmother’s beautiful, antique wedding ring to give to my wife was a lifesaver on helping us stay within our wedding budget. We set a figure and committed to staying within it. By contrast, my step sister, who was also getting married at the time, did not have a budget for her wedding. She spared no expense and ended up spending more than $50,000. As a result, she and her husband weren’t able to take a honeymoon. By being frugal as we planned our wedding, my wife and I were able to visit Ireland for our honeymoon, which was a lifelong dream of hers.

Location ended up being the most difficult cost to keep under control for our wedding. We thought it would be cheap to get married on the beach. Boy were we wrong! It turns out lots of people want to recite their vows with sand between their toes, creating a high-priced market for beach weddings. Our options were either drive down to Mexico and deal with passport issues for our guests, or set up a sandbox in my in-laws back yard, so we opted for a more traditional setting. While we had to sacrifice on the venue, we learned that location was something we could live without. We saved a ton by getting married at our church and hosting the reception on site, in the attached meeting area. We weren’t able to serve alcohol, but that ended up being a blessing in disguise because liquor can be the single most expensive wedding expenditure after the ring and dress.

Be Frugal by Doing Things Yourself

In the 10+ years we’ve been married, we’ve seen plenty of couples keep costs down by serving simple appetizers or enlisting the aid of friends and family to bring desserts to serve at their receptions. They still have memorable and meaningful weddings and we still feel privileged to attend. Other ways to be frugal include making the wedding favors yourself (Hershey kisses and a little tulle go a long way), picking silk flowers at your local hobby store and making the bouquets and boutonnieres yourself, and selecting a simple, basic dress for your bridal party. We asked our bridal party to wear little black dresses so we wouldn’t have to bloat our wedding budget with the cost of custom bridesmaid dresses and shoes.

Keep the Right Perspective on Your Wedding Check-list

Put your love for and lifetime commitment to each other at the top of your wedding check-list. It will impact your wedding budget more than any other item on your list by helping you remember that this day is about the two of you and not impressing your guests. We started our new life together without a load of debt, and as any newly-wed will tell you, there’s enough stress learning how to share everything with someone else without adding creditors to the pile. A little frugality on your wedding day goes a long way in getting you to your 25th wedding anniversary!

If you’re married or planning a wedding, how did you keep your wedding costs down? What would you do differently if you could?

Guest Post Bio: John is the founder of Frugal Rules, a finance blog that regularly discusses investing, budgeting, and frugal living. John is a father, husband, and veteran of the financial services industry who’s passionate about helping people find freedom through frugality.

Photo Source: Wedding- Roger Kirby

It's Not About How Much Money You Make It's How You Spend It

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Frugal Party Planning – Let’s Party!

By Sally Pyle (aka Frugal Sally)
Frugal Party planning is easier than you think. I recently hosted a baby shower and I had to put my thinking cap on to make it a frugal baby shower and impress the guests. Some of the ideas I came up with can be used for just about any party or gathering such as a frugal back yard bbq, wedding, birthday, retirement or graduation party etc. Staying under budget all starts with the planning.  Below are some ways you can host a frugal party and not break the bank.
  • Theme

Having a colour and theme in mind will keep you focused and help you to brainstorm ideas. The theme for the baby shower was rubber duckies. You could even have a color theme, such as yellow and blue or pink and purple. The last wedding I helped with had a green and lavender theme and it was stunning. By having a theme it keeps your eye tuned to watching for ideas that have that theme. Making a list of items you need are also important so you are only purchasing the items you will use and not overspending on items you won’t use.

  • Time

If possible give yourself enough time to plan the event and to shop for it. When your time frame is longer it gives you the opportunity to shop for sales in the weekly flyers or look for deals at your local stores. You may also find offers and sales on-line and have them shipped to you without even leaving the comfort of your home.

For the baby shower I needed a bunch of rubber ducks for decorations. I found them in bulk at oriental trading company at a fraction of the price I would have paid in local stores. I also had canvas bags made for a wedding for out-of-town guests through vista print. I had the time to wait for sales and the time it took to ship them to me.
I also used coupons to make many of the table decorations such as the diaper cake and diaper babies. It took 120 diapers to make the cake and another 16 diapers for the “diaper babies”. I used coupons  together with sales to get the best deals on the diapers and stocked up little by little.
  • Invitations

You can find many on-line companies that will custom make invitations for you at a fraction of the cost. I found a great deal on-line through one of the photo companies to make my invitations. The company had an excellent sale on invitations and I had some credits to use, so I thought why not. You could also print or make your own invitations if you are the DIY type or person. I have seen scrapbook paper that you could use to make your own invitations. You could also buy a  DIY kit at a craft store to design invitations the way you want them, which are also popular.

Think outside the box and you can come up with unique ways to ask guests to attend a party or event. I designed a wedding invite for a beach destination wedding that was very unique and worked out well.  I started by locating some small bottles that I filled with a little sand a few tiny seashells. We then printed invitations on parchment paper and either ripped on burned the edges. We then rolled them up like a scroll and placed them in the bottles and sealed them with a cork and wax. This was going to be a small wedding so we only had to make 12 bottles so the cost was minimal but the impact was huge. You could also do e-invites. There are several sites that offer them including Facebook.
  • Timing Is Everything

What time you plan the event is also very important if you are trying to stay within a tight budget. If you plan an event or party at noon or mid-evening, people are going to expect to be fed a meal. If you plan the party for mid-afternoon, say around 3:00 pm then you can get away with finger foods and snacks. A wedding would be around 2 o’clock and you could do a cake and appetizer reception. Always put that on the wedding invitation too so guests are not disappointed that it isn’t a meal (example: A cake and punch reception to follow). If you are on a tight budget then you always want to plan for a time of the day that the food will not take up the bulk of your budget.

  • Let Them Eat Cake

Food is usually the most expensive part of any party. It is wise to plan ahead and plan well. Call in the talents of friends and relatives to help with this. Do you have a friend or can you decorate cakes.  If not try something a little easier like doing cupcakes instead. Maybe you or someone you know loves to cook or bake. It is always worth asking for help, even if you have to pay for it.

We did a beautiful fruit basket that was shaped like a baby carriage all the way down to the baby (made of fruit) inside. We found the idea on-line. You could easily make a fruit bowl or basket from a watermelon. Use in-season fruit to make it less expensive. Finger sandwiches are also a big hit at any party. You can use cookie cutters to cut them into shapes or simply cut the crust off and cut them into 4 pieces. We were lucky enough to have my son-in-law who has a small BBQ business furnish us with BBQ sliders for the party.

I stocked up on candy after Easter for the baby shower. Pretty pastel candy to put out in bowls on the table. I also found some cute little foil wrapped ducks that were perfect for the party….all half priced!! We did the same for my daughter’s wedding, we stocked up on candy after Valentines day. Heart shapes and the pretty reds, pinks and purples were perfect for her wedding candy buffet that she wanted.

Going to big warehouse stores is another great place to find deals on food like appetizers, rolls, prepared salads, candy, baked goods and on and on. If you don’t have a membership, ask a friend who does to take you as a guest. This is also a fantastic place to purchase bulk serve ware, disposable plates, napkins, cups and utensils. For larger functions (such as weddings) we also use the warehouse stores to purchase the aluminum trays for cooking and serving. Keep the food and drinks simple such as Tea, punch and/or lemonade covers just about everyone.

  • Decorations

With time you can search sites like Pinterest and come up with all sorts of ideas that you can do yourself. Take the theme or color scheme and start a notebook of ideas. I know that each week in the paper there are coupons for a craft store that I shop at. I can buy 1 item at a discount (if it isn’t already on sale). So little by little I stash away the things I need for decorating the party including table centerpieces and flower arrangements, all at a discount.

Check out YouTube also for instructions and ideas on just about everything. Don’t be afraid to try to make something you have never done before. Even if it isn’t picture perfect, the guests will never know and will likely be just as impressed. My daughter made huge tissue paper puffs that we hung from the ceiling for the party. It gave the impression of lanterns swaying in the wind. It was the talk of the party, yet she didn’t like the way they turned out. I thought they were wonderful.

  • For Family Gatherings

My grandmother taught me that you never attend a  party or gathering empty-handed. You always bring a hostess gift, a gift or a covered dish. For the family gathering, it is always best to bring a dish. If we are hosting a party we cover the main dish and ask everyone to bring a side or dessert.  Everyone now has “signature dishes” that are expected at these family dinners or a get-together. One of these days I want to put together a recipe book of all our favorites and give it to the family as a gift.

Well, I hope this helps you plan a frugal party and keep it within your budget. A party is a celebration of friends and family…it should never be a strain or stress financially.  Let’s Party!

Guest Post By: Follow Frugal Sally on Facebook or her blog Being Frugal Sally.

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How To Help Your Wedding Party Save Money!

Weddings are expensive events and they are not getting cheaper any time soon.  Some couples want a beautiful wedding with all the bells and whistles, and some want to wed as frugally as possible. When we got married, we tried to aim for something in between – and yes, we saved for the entire wedding up front.

While the bride and groom certainly should consider their own costs, they should also be mindful of the costs of those very important folks – the wedding party. Accepting the role to take part in a wedding party can really add up these days, but there are ways to keep costs down.  Below are some ways that may help the wedding party and which we used when Mr. Canuck Buck and I got married.

  1. Clothes- Don’t ask your wedding party to buy Italian lace dresses that cost $500  or strange coloured suits that happen to match your tablecloths unless you plan to pay for them.  I let my bridesmaids select their own dresses (I went with black since it was the easiest thing to match), and bought them all gloves to tie them together.  The ushers went with the cheapest tuxedo option.  If you only have one attendant each, they can simply wear something they already own.
  2. Gifts- We requested that our wedding party not buy us any gifts for our special day.  They didn’t listen, but at least we tried.  I actually ended up having 3 (yes, I’m spoiled –I know) wedding showers, but I made it clear that my bridesmaids only needed to attend one.  There was no way I was asking them to shell out for 3 gifts!
  3. Travel-This one is tough. If your bridesmaid or usher lives out-of-town, it’s fairly hard to avoid travel costs. By giving them plenty of notice, you can at least help them book an advance fare or save up for the extra gas in the budget. You may also be able to have them stay with a kind friend or relative, or find someone to share a hotel room to cut down on costs. If you contact your local hotel in advance you might also get a wedding party room rate.
  4. Bachelor and Bachelorette Parties- We had dinner out at a lovely restaurant and then enjoyed the rest of our evening at a bar/club. I insisted on paying for my dinner, and well – I tried to pay for my drinks but didn’t succeed. Mind you, with the amount I had perhaps I wouldn’t have done a very good job keeping track of cash.  If you’ve always dreamed of a spa weekend with the ladies, or a last-minute girls getaway in Vegas, it’s going to cost you.  Keep in mind that’s it’s not fair to expect everyone to pay for this. If the ladies can’t budget the money they might not all be able to attend unless you put the money on the table.  You can always plan something small and low-key with those who are unable to pay for big-ticket affairs.
  5. Hair and Make-up- Okay, this isn’t a big issue for most guys.  I think it’s nice to leave it up to your wedding party what they want to do with their hair and make-up. Some of your party may want to pay for the entire package, and some may only want to get their hair done and do their own make up. One friend of mine who married young simply had everyone’s makeup done at a makeup counter. It’s free, but it’s generally encouraged that you at least buy the lipstick they put on you.
So although Weddings can cost you big bucks out-of-pocket planning and giving advance notice to your wedding party can help ease their budget and yours.

Happy wedding season! What is the best cost saving tip you’ve encountered either a bride or groom or as a wedding party member?

Guest Post By: I’m My Canuck Buck.  I’m a hard-working Canadian (Canuck) who’s decided she wants to get more from her hard-earned dollars (bucks).  I’ve recently joined the world of financial bloggers, and my goal is to learn everything I can, and share what I know, so we can all save more bucks!

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