I am amazed at how many brides come to see me and cannot tell me how much they have budgeted for flowers for their wedding.
Soon after your engagement and even before setting a date you need to sit down with your fiancé (and family if they are to be contributing towards your wedding) and discuss your wedding budget. I think this is vitally important as, not only will you be able to work within a certain parameter, but you and your fiancé will be starting your married lives on a solid foundation. It is so easy to get caught up in the excitement of the moment and easy to get carried away. A little purchase here and a small extravagance somewhere else soon becomes a huge sum of money.
Once you have agreed on a sum of money you are happy to spend, and can afford on your wedding, the next step is to sit down and to decide what your priorities are – size of wedding, wedding dress, venue, food, cake, flowers, music, photographer, videographer, hiring supplies, entertainment.
As I mentioned in my last post, ascertaining the size of your wedding will be your first decision as this will affect your choice of venue. I would recommend that the next most important issue is to choose a photographer that best suits your style and budget. Make a list of possible photographers from recommendations and wedding blogs and then spend a quiet weekend looking at their websites and blogs perusing recent wedding shoots. Make a list of 3 or 4 photographers that have a style that you like and then make enquiries regarding the wedding packages they offer. Always keep in mind that, if you are getting married in the wedding season (roughly November to end April in Cape Town) you will not be able to leave this decision too long. Of course, if you are getting married in off-season months you may even be able to negotiate a wedding package.
You should allocate 10% of your total budget towards the flowers for your wedding (ceremony, reception and bridal retinue). For flowers and table decor, which would include, table numbers, menus, place names, candles etc., you will need to allocate 15% of your total budget. It makes it easier for all parties when you are able to tell your florist exactly what amount you have available for flowers. The florist will be able to show and recommend centrepieces/arrangements that will suit and fall within your budget. As mentioned earlier so many brides say they have no idea what flowers cost but if you have established a budget and allocated 10% you should have a workable amount. I always ask prospective clients what they are currently paying for a bunch of roses purchased locally. There are always 10 roses in a bunch. Now, holding that amount in your mind, envisage the arrangement you are asking your florist to create and factor in the cost of a vase/container, accessories, florist’s time to do the arrangement and delivery. Are you being realistic?
It is important to always bear in mind that events such as Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Jewish New Year and other special religious holidays will affect the price and availability of flowers on the market. Getting married on Valentine’s Day or even the weeks preceeding means you will be paying top price for red roses!
I believe that all weddings can be beautiful regardless of budget. You need to remain realistic about what can be achieved on a limited budget and spend your money wisely and in the areas that are important to you and that will maximise the overall style you are hoping to achieve.
Good luck with this very important aspect of your wedding planning.