Gorgeous Wedding Flowers on a Budget


The most outrageous wedding flowers story that I’ve ever heard was from someone whose friend told them to budget $3,000 just for the flowers in her wedding.

Excuse me?

I plan on buying a dress, shoes, jewelry and ideally a honeymoon with that kind of money for my wedding sooo.. no thanks.

Recently, my friend asked me to help her with her wedding by gifting the centerpieces and a few other crafty notions, to which proposition I immediately had a million ideas and then obviously said yes, in that order. And thus my debut into floral arrangements!


The Flowers

I started by contacting a great local place that Kevin uses for flowers for me. However, the price point was quite steep for what the bride and groom wanted, and I knew I could make something gorgeous, if not more spot on to what they wanted, so I just couldn’t justify it.

There’s no greater feeling than being able to make something for your friends that they actually need.

Where you’d least expect it
Check out your local grocer’s floral department. If you’re in the Chicagoland area I highly recommend Mariano’s, particularly in Skokie, or another store you trust. I say trust because there are plenty of grocers near me that I won’t even shop for groceries at, nonetheless invest in their floral talents for my friend’s wedding. Make sure you not only really like the quality of the product you see, but just as importantly, make sure you like the service. I felt so comfortable with the options and products, and the woman who helped me was UH-mazing! She was helping me make mock-up arrangements within minutes of me walking up, it was such an easy choice to work with them.

bucket-of-flowers-for-wedding-arrangementMariano’s totally hooked me up – even sent me off with a bucket for all of the bouquets so they could be in water for the commute home.

There’s always the local florist
No luck at any of the grocer’s floral departments in the area? Just not digging the selection? Never settle. Try checking out the local florist scene. You can still simply order bouquets without the store arranging the whole centerpiece for you. Head in to check out the different types and amounts of flower options you have, then head home to get some serious Pin-spiration flowing if needed, and head back to order once you know what you want.


What They’re Going In

Think about the theme. Just a few quick ideas:

Country? Mason jars.
Stemless wine glasses.
Elegant? Tall, thin cylindrical vases.
Modern? Short, square vases.

I got my gorgeous vases at Michael’s. I cannot preach the power of a coupon enough, get one here or on their app before you shop! If you have a good amount of notice that you you’ll need vases, keep an eye out anywhere and everywhere you go – Homegoods, Pier 1, Walmart even, you never know where you will find exactly what you’re looking for. No rush to pick the vases at the first store you go to if you have the time; shop around.

Edit: I even suggest the dollar store. I found 22 vases for my own wedding’s centerpieces there. Guess what? They only cost me $22!


Making the Arrangements

Honestly? This was the best part! The bride provided me with exactly what she wanted which is surely made it so simple, so don’t underestimate good ole’ fashioned preparedness. Whether it’s yours or a friend’s wedding you’re playing florist for, go into this with a final, agreed prototype so there is no guessing and no surprises.

floral-arrangement-centralIt’s also important to your sanity to have an organized work station. Keep your trimmings in one spot (or directly in the garbage), keep the finished arrangements away from all the scraps and debris, and be careful when trimming the stems because the harder-to-cut ones will fly all over the place with zero warning.


  • For flowers with bigger stems you may want to remove the leaves if they are disproportionate to the vases. Do this by gently pulling the leaf straight down the stem for the cleanest break. Example:


  • Pull any discolored petals off the blooms. If there’s only a few, no one will notice a missing petal. But if left, people will definitely notice brown spots.
  • If you have a couple of smaller blooms that would look better combined, fasten them together close to the buds with a tiny rubber band that come with the bouquets you bought. The dual stems in the clear vase is subsequently a great look.
  • Cover any larger gaps on your main blooms with larger cuts of the filler pieces. This is a great way to showcase the gorgeous filler flowers where there is already a [literal] void.
  • Don’t completely fill the vases with water, “less is more.”
  • Don’t underfill the vases either though, make sure the bottoms of the stems are completely submerged to keep the flowers fresh all day and night.

Want to make my arrangements?

Total Centerpieces: 6 smaller for tabletops, 1 larger for the card/gift table.
Vases: 6 stemless wine glasses ($2.99/each pre-sale pricing) and one taller vase ($3.99/each pre-sale pricing) – which were perfectly on theme in the cellar venue, and can clearly be used after the event if desired. Total vase cost came out to about $25, which is less than what I was originally quoted for one of the centerpieces from the first florist I asked!
 Three bunches of 3 Hydrangeas each (needed 6 total), 2 bunches of Gypsophilia (used just under 1 full one total), and 1 bunch of 10 mini Calla Lilies (used all). I also had white asters (the mini daisy looking flowers) but ended up not using them based on preference. All in, going this route cost about $55, for all of the centerpiece’s flowers (and I had some leftover).

Total approximate cost for 7 arrangements: $80

First, I picked the best looking Hydrangeas for my 6 vases. I trimmed the stems down to a length where they barely touch the inside of the vase so it is actually sitting on the top of the vase. This prevented them from wobbling/moving at all. Then, I pulled the leaves off gently, where needed, and placed the bunch in the wine glass vase. To polish the look, I trimmed pieces off of the white Gypsophilia filler and placed it in sporadically to create volume and dimension.

wedding-flower-mason jar

Viola! That’s all there is to it, my friends!

Food Wine & DIY

A big perk? Using all the extra flowers around your house – talk about a job perk. 🙂

Share your gorgeous arrangements with me on social media! #foodwinediy


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