Excerpted from Simply Stunning Wedding Flowers by Karen Bussen:
- Stay seasonal:
If you've chosen a date and a location, use flowers that are readily available rather than fancy imported blooms. Peonies, like many other special flowers, including dahlias, cosmos, lilies of the valley, amaryllises, ranunculuses, and hyacinths are only in season during certain months and can be unavailable - or a lot more expensive - in between growing periods.
- Don't overdecorate your ceremony.
Think of your flowers as a tribute, not as an opportunity for excess. Create a beautiful backdrop for your vow space, and place something special at the beginning of the aisle to mark your entrance. Avoid sight-blocking arrangements at all cost.
- Banish random decor.
Stay away from pedestals and small arrangments placed here and there. These random elements tend to disappear in a party space. Instead, concentrate on areas that are focal points (fireplaces, entrances, escort card table, and so on) and create something spectacular there.
- Think double-duty.
Design clever details you can use twice. Don't, however, move arrangements from your ceremony to your reception if it will make for akward timing or will impact your guests ("Excuse me, Aunt Betty, can you move so the florist can grab that aisle marker?)
- Remember, some holidays affect flower prices.
In general, flowers (and sometimes design-labor charges) are more costly around Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Christmas and New Year's Eve.
And I'd also like to add:
When you visit your florist, try to bring a few tears from magazines or pictures from the internet. It is likely that your floral designer has a certain style of his or her own. It will help the both of you determine whether or not you are a good fit for one another.
Feel comfortable asking questions about pricing up front, and if you know that you have a strict budget don't be embarassed. Being forth coming will take pressure off of you and save everyone involved from persuing options that aren't realistic possibilites.