Fun fact: A typical bridal bouquet starts at $200. Yes, STARTS! That’s the lowest amount one should expect to pay for a bridal bouquet from a florist. At least, that’s what I heard when I was flower shopping for my wedding last year. Does anybody else think that’s completely insane? Even if they raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour, that’s still half a week’s work for one bouquet.
Funner fact: Guess how much I spent for flowers at my wedding. $40! That’s not just for one bouquet, that’s for flowers for the entire bridal party (of 3 people) and for the tables at the reception. Forty bucks. That’s it? Want to know how I did it? Shocker: I’m about to tell you.
The morning of the wedding, my daughter/junior MOH and I got in the car and drove to Watanabe Floral, a huge flower shop in Honolulu. They sell bouquets and leis, but they’re also a wholesaler, so you can buy a bunch of different types of flowers and create your own arrangements. We ran around the shop choosing all the prettiest flowers in my color, red.
When I told the sales person what we were up to, she showed me around their walk-in fridge section and even helped me choose a couple of good filler greens to compliment the flowers we’d selected. She equipped me with a roll of florists tape, and took me to the register. I couldn’t believe it when she told me the total. I was expecting to spend at least $100. Nope, just over $40.
When we were ready to build our bouquets, I laid all the flowers out on a towel on my living room floor. We all selected the flowers we wanted, building from the inside out. We taped as we went along, layering flowers and greens. I bought some raffia earlier in the week, and we used that to wrap around the outside of the finished bouquets to cover the tape. Then we trimmed the flowers so they were all the same length.
We just had fun getting creative and finding the look we wanted. Maybe they don’t look like those sparkly $200 bouquets you see on Pinterest, but I’ve never been into looking like everyone else. Each bouquet matched the maker’s personality. Creating our own flower bouquets was probably the funnest part of getting ready. It took us about 30 minutes to put them together.
All the extra flowers went with our friends who set up the decorations at our reception site. I had spent a year prior to the wedding hoarding glass jars and scrubbing off the labels. She filled the jars with a bit of water and cut the flowers to fill the jars. Just a few flowers for each. Simple, fun and elegant. When we arrived at the reception, I couldn’t believe how beautiful it was.
A wedding should be a beautiful day, but I don’t think it’s worth going into debt over. Don’t believe the hype, and don’t get suckered in to paying too much for something just because it has the word “wedding” attached to it. Remember who you are and why you’re there. Support a local flower seller, spark your creative side, reflect your unique style, and just create your own flowers. You’ll have a great time. I promise.