Flowers are among the first things wedding guests notice, so getting them right is important. Floral expert Michael Gaffney, of the American Schools of Flower Design, suggests ways to save money on wedding flowers and offers advice on the latest spring trends.
up the leaf-flower proportion
One way to cut corners is to include more greenery in your bouquets and arrangements than blossoms. Foliage is much less expensive than flowers.
go smaller but bolder
The larger the arrangements and bouquets, the higher the price tag. Budget-minded brides should consider smaller arrangements with high-impact flowers such as calla lillies.
Some brides-to-be love adding feathers, jewels and gemstones to their bouquets for a little sparkle, but these increase the overall cost of flowers. Instead, add more affordable touches such as satin ribbons to make the flowers stand out.
focus on color
Many brides get stuck on a particular flower -- such as roses, hydrangea and peonies -- for their bouquets and arrangements. Instead of focusing on a particular bloom, zero in on the color palette. Ask your florist to create a sample bouquet that fits your preference and budget.
Wedding flower care
Take them swimming
Keeping buds well hydrated is critical in preserving flowers for the wedding day, Add life to flowers by dunking them upside down in water when you receive them. The water will coat the petals and make them last much longer. Place the flowers in water buckets as soon as possible.
Trim, trim, trim
To prolong the life and beauty of flowers, clean and trim them each day. Clip three inches off all the stems when you receive the flowers; immerse the stem in water, leaving flower heads wrapped in paper until they'll be arranged.
Ask your florist
Every flower is different, so be sure to ask the vendor how the flowers have been handled and what might help prolong their life.
Spring 2011 wedding flower trends
Mixed European styling
The monochromatic look is out this year.
The color of leaves is the new go-to color du jour.
Soft romantic colors
Think pastels instead of brights.
Mix & match
Assemble a mixture of unusual fresh spring greens like pittisporum, ruskus and bear grass; accent them lightly with pretty flowers.
?DIY wedding flowers
How to make boutonnières
Learn to how to create chic boutonnières for your groomsmen.
More wedding planning tips