Planning a wedding can be one of the most exciting periods in a person’s life, but it can also get super expensive — and fast. Luckily, there is the option to do-it-yourself (DIY), which can help some people save money. With an eye for bargains, and a little elbow grease, it can be possible to personalize your wedding without spending an exorbitant amount of money on everything from the cake to the venue to the wedding flowers.

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One of the more expensive wedding expenses that people are hit with can be the flower arrangements, which include everything from the bride’s bouquet to boutonnieres to table centerpieces. While some people hire a florist to help create the floral arrangements for their special day, some couples might opt for cheaper ways to put the finishing touches on their wedding. Here’s are some tips that can help minimize the costs of your floral arrangements.

Decide Where You Want to Buy Your Flowers From

This could require a little bit of leg work, as you might need to shop around a bit. Look at nearby florists for non-wedding flowers you can customize yourself, local flower marts, and don’t forget grocery stores — which can be provide an abundance of options, and often at less expensive prices. The key to success can be to do your research, and find out what things cost in your area.

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Enlist Your Family and Friends

One of the things you can do is call on your close friends and family members to help create your dream floral motif. It’s very possible that someone you know has a natural talent for flower arranging or is great at researching DIY solutions online.

While creating your dream bouquet on a budget is far from impossible, it may require a lot of time to get it right, so you may want to call in as many favors as you can.

Getting your family and friends to help create your perfect wedding arrangements could help ensure that your flowers are completely personalized to your wedding day. Business owner Libbie Jones, who is currently planning a fall wedding, has an unique plan for creating cost-effective — and completely personal — wedding flowers. Jones says, “The way I want to create my wedding flowers is to have all of my friends and family choose a flower each, and then shove them all together. I don’t care if they match or don’t look right, because I will be carrying something that was created by all the people I love. And that is something a florist couldn’t do.”

Create a Budget and Stick to It

Every aspect of wedding planning can quickly escalate, especially when it comes to cost. When trying to keep wedding bills to a minimum, it’s crucial that you try to stay within your budget wherever possible. Splurging on wedding flowers can feel like a rite of passage, but creating a wedding budget and sticking to it could mean that you have more money for the honeymoon and for starting a life together.

The average cost of wedding flowers in the United States was as much as $2,379, according to a 2017 survey by The Knot, which is why endeavoring to save money on the flower arrangements and bouquets can help you maximize the rest of your wedding budget effectively. By planning to turn affordable flowers into elegant floral arrangements, you may cut the average cost down, but you’ll hopefully still be creating your dream bouquets and table settings.

Do Your Research and Prep on Making Arrangements

It’s crucial to prepare for the creation of your wedding flowers. Without a professional florist on hand to fix any mistakes or issues ahead of the big day, the pressure could be on to make sure your flowers look their best when you walk down the aisle. From online videos to step-by-step tutorials, consider the internet your new best friend when it comes to learning how to make your own decorative arrangements.

Florist Elizabeth Jones recommends utilizing the internet to find unique ways of creating bouquets. She tells Discover, “Look online for photos of what you want and ask your local grocery store if they can order certain blooms if you don’t see what you want. Also, I bind flowers together with hessian and secure the bouquets with pearl-headed pins, all of which you can pick up for around a dollar.”

Keep Flowers as Fresh as Possible

While a professional florist might deliver your flowers on the day itself, ensuring that the bouquets are as fresh as possible, store-bought flowers have the chance to wilt before you get to the altar. When arranging your own flowers, the key to keeping them fresh is to store them somewhere cool, and to have lots of clean water on hand.

Jones also tells Discover that one way to ensure you have the freshest flowers on your wedding day is to shop around as many different grocery stores as possible. “Before you actually need the flowers, look around your local grocery stores for the best quality flowers. … And if they don’t have what you’re looking for, don’t be afraid to ask,” she advises. Never settle for what you see on the shop floor, as newer deliveries might be waiting in the store room.

Basically, it can be totally possible to buy and arrange your own store-bought flowers, but you should be prepared to keep them alive, as there may not be be a professional around to do it for you.

Think Outside the Box

DIY bride Pia Reynolds chose her store-bought flowers at the last minute, and she wasn’t afraid to ask for help. She tells Discover, “We got married in Singapore. My mom and I went to the local market a few days before the wedding and asked to buy some flowers. The seller got very excited and offered us all sorts of roses and lilies. However, we opted for their ‘plain, boring, unremarkable orchids.’ So flowers for us were cheap, but only because we picked the plain, normal ones.”

If you’re not set on a plan and are happy to make a spur-of-the-moment decision, it’s possible to pick something inexpensive and beautiful just days before your wedding. Don’t be afraid to do things your way.

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