Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Re-Visiting My Floral Budget

Oh, what a girl will pay to get what she wants…

Yep, I’m looking at our budget. I’m constantly working on ways to save a little here and there without compromising the overall feel that we want to encompass for our wedding. I also don’t want to skimp on quality too much, either. I may be a “budget friendly” bride, but I’m not a cheap bride! This coming from the girl who spent countless hours making flowers out of TISSUE PAPER…LOL!

In the interest of our budget, I’ve been looking at our floral budget quite a bit. Our wedding budget calculator tells me that my floral expense should be $1500. At first, this seemed like a lot to me, to be perfectly honest. Then I started shopping for flowers online and seeing what my options are. And since I’m one of those stubborn brides who wants what she wants no matter what time of year I’m actually getting married…yeah, that just complicates things.

I mean, if I was getting married right now (let’s just pretend) then I would be able to go down to HEB (my local grocery store) and pick up a dozen nice looking roses for about $10, including tax. I actually think that they’re on sale this week for $7.99 plus tax. CHEAP! And those Stargazer lilies that I have to have at the wedding are selling for $4/stem right now, with 3-4 buds on each stem. NICE. Buying locally would save me a LOT on my floral budget.

But here’s the thing. I’m not getting married right now. I’m getting married towards the end of October. Hmmm…so will these flowers still be available then? I don’t know. So I’ve been researching other options - mainly ordering my flowers in bulk online.

There are several resources that I’ve found for this type of service. Apparently it’s a hit thing to do now (DIY-ing your own flowers) and there are several websites that cater to the bride that chooses this option. The flowers come from all over the world, allowing these vendors to sell their goods year-round. This means (and I checked carefully!) that I can get fresh roses and lilies at any time during the year. I might be limited on some color selection as far as the roses go, but that should be it.

This color limitation brings in another option – artificial flowers – since I have to also have lavender flowers. I know that I’ve posted in the past about this seller that I’ve found that offers some pretty amazing fake flowers. Some of them aren’t so great, but that’s why you buy just one stem of each ahead of time and then you can pick and choose what works best. Incorporating some artificial flowers into my décor will allow me to have some of the colors that I want or out-of-season flowers at a fraction of the cost that I would pay to get them there fresh. Because I’m sure that peonies in October would cost an arm and a leg, IF you could even get them.

So yesterday, I’m crunching numbers on doing a mix of fake and real flowers, trying to see where I stand on my budget. The good news? Even if I paid top price for everything, and ordered WAY more than I think I’ll actually need, I can get all the flowers for around $800. So, as long as I can get the moss, floral foam and various other floral supplies that I need for around $200 that would bring my total to about $1,000 – which is $500 LESS than what the budget calculator tells me to allow for.

This is GREAT! I share the news with Mr. CC the other night in my excitement, and he thinks that spending $1,000 on flowers is a little steep. I explain that it’s actually only 2/3 of the budget that I’m supposed to be spending and he gets a little more on board with my excitement. I guess that not sharing the hours and hours of research on this that I’ve done online does have its drawbacks…

But I get his point too. Since I had to go to HEB that night anyway, picking up stuff for dinner I went through their floral shop looking for the specific flowers that I’ve come closer to deciding that I want in my wedding. Here’s the breakdown:

Online HEB
Roses (125 – 16”) $172.05 $10/doz=$110
Stargazer Lilies (40 stems) $172.05 $4/stem=$160

That’s not as bad as I was thinking the difference would be. I was actually expecting a LOT more – of course I haven’t factored in shipping either. The only other “fresh” flower that I’m buying online will be the rose petals that I want to line the aisle with. I’m still working out exactly how many of those that I need…but they should be less than $300 at the MOST.

But the thing that I just realized? I don’t NEED 40 stems of lilies….I only need 10 stems to give me the buds that I need for my centerpieces, which would also leave me with extras. But 40 stems is the least amount that I can buy through the place that I liked best online.

I guess the search goes on…surely someone out there can sell me only 10 stems of lilies?!?!? In the meantime, I think that I’ll stop and talk with the florist next time I’m at HEB. I mean, who knows, maybe they can get me stargazer lilies in October…as Mama CC always told me growing up – you never know until you ask!

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