Budget can be a tricky topic for some brides and grooms and their families. Though everyone has a budget, even the Trumps and Kardashians, it can sometimes cause embarrassment and an uneasiness to discuss. Yet, your budget is such an important piece of the puzzle for many different reasons. First, by definition, budgets should keep you in line so that you don't overspend. Budgets also offer another advantage- they keep you in balance. You don't want to overspend in one area and have to settle for something less in another. For instance, opting for invitations that are out of your budget may result in cutting back on the actual wedding programs, menus, etc.
As floral designers, our parameters are set by two things- flower season and flower budget. We make our suggestions based on what is available in nature to use and what can be artistically done within a certain budget. What makes our jobs even more challenging is when a budget is exceeded to afford a grand line item and the remaining balance leaves little for decor.
How does someone go about setting a floral budget? Take it from us, don't gauge your flower spending on what your sister's wedding cost five years ago or on how many bridesmaids you have. Better places to start would be on-line sites that offer wedding budget guides or a hired coordinator that has lots of experience setting balanced wedding budgets. A good starting point for a flower budget is 10% of your TOTAL wedding budget (including dress, reception, transportation, etc.). This will give a very balanced look for your whole event. For example, two different wedding receptions taking place in different venues would certainly have different floral budgets. Just as the total spent on each wedding would fluctuate depending on the price of the venue, guest count, etc., so too would the flower budgets for each wedding. The flower budget would likely NOT be comparable for the same venue with 350 guests versus 100 guests.
Here are two pictures that might help show what a difference flowers and decor make in a room. The first image is the blank room and the second is the obvious addition of the guest tables but it is the design elements that make the room pop. These elements include specialty linens, lighting, and, of course, the flowers.
Throughout history, flowers have remained an integral part in weddings. Think back to your mother's and grandmother's weddings. They also had flowers that made a statement for the time. Even if you think flowers aren't that important to you, stop and think about all the places they appear in the ceremony, reception, and the pictures that follow.
Use the tools at your disposal to create an overall budget and then a budget for each specific item needed for your event. This way, each category will be in balance with the next and no one element will be seen as an afterthought. This will only take a small amount of planning and discussion on the front end versus the strife and confusion that will result with no guidelines at all.
Flowers can convey your personal style and the feeling of the day. Don't forget how important these elements are in making your day special to you, your family, and your guests.