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1. Know what flowers are in season and then decide on your colours
Check the availability of your preferred flowers and colours for the wedding date before you decide on the colours. Too often people come to us after they’ve decided on the colours but it makes sense to match the colours to the flowers – not the other way around! The price of the flowers is determined by the supply and demand. At the beginning of the season, when the supply is scarce, the flowers will cost more. The same flowers cost less when there is a reasonable supply as the season progresses. Note that commercially grown flowers come into season much earlier than the same flowers in the natural environment. Another thing worth knowing is that the quality of the flowers often decline towards the end of the season. Most people don’t realise this, but there are actually ‘in season’ times for the flowers that are available throughout the year such as roses, gerberas and lilies. This is when the growing condition is ideal for them, and the flower quality is at its best and more supply means they are reasonably priced. The other way round is also true – we have to pay more for not-so-great flowers outside of their best season because there are less of them (think of the tomatoes in winter – tasteless yet expensive).
2. Peak days – go for something different
Naturally, flower prices fluctuate – but at peak days such as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and Christmas, it gets pretty crazy! If your wedding day is close to any of these days, I recommend you avoid what people are buying. Roses – red in particular, but other colours as well, and flowers that go with the ‘romantic’ theme for Valentine’s Day (therefore, yellows, oranges, blues etc. are less affected). There’s not really a specific favourite for Mother’s Day here in New Zealand, but red, white and green for Christmas.
Consider introducing something other than flowers such as sea shells, starfish, driftwood, pebbles, weaved flax etc. so that you will need less flowers to fill the space. I have used green apples with flowers for a wedding just before Christmas and it was a huge hit.
3. Streamline your choice of flowers
We florists need to have an extra amount of flowers to work with, so that we can choose the exact blooms we want e.g. the size of the blooms, how open they are, to exclude any damaged, weak or deformed blooms. The extras that we didn’t use in bouquets, buttonholes or corsages can be used for decoration, but the more variety you want, the more extras you will need. So keeping the flower choice simple will save you money while leaving a strong impression of the flowers you choose for your guests.
4. Leave it to your florist
Once you’ve communicated with your chosen florist, leave as much as possible for the florist to make choices based on what is available from the flower market rather than going into too much detail. In a small market like in New Zealand, a single big wedding could buy all of the particular flowers available for the day, especially roses. To avoid missing out, w,e have to place orders to the grower, rather than buying at the auction, and the price is always more than what we pay at the auction. So you might want to decide on the main variety, but you'll save money by leaving the sub varieties for your florists to make a choice at the auction for you.
Hope this helps!