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Inspiration » Wedding Planning » Wedding Flowers Without Breaking the Bank: Your Guide to Working With a Florist

Wedding Flowers Without Breaking the Bank: Your Guide to Working With a Florist

by Allison Hata
wedding flowers

For many people, flowers and weddings just go together. Aside from being a very common way to decorate a venue for a ceremony or reception, they are a part of many wedding traditions all over the world. The cost of hiring a pro to handle the wedding flowers can be a surprise to many couples, however. Your wedding can totally have gorgeous floral decor and professionally arranged centerpieces. That is, if you’re willing and able to budget for it.

But whether you want flowers at your wedding at all is really up to you. It is possible to have a wedding without flowers. Most couples, though, are probably looking for something in between a no-flower wedding and something like a float from the Rose Parade. If that describes you, here’s our guide to wedding flowers and working with a florist!

So should you hire a florist?

The short answer is yes–if you’re using flowers for your decor and you can afford it. You can DIY, but it can be tricky if there are lots of flowers involved for arches, centerpieces, the altar, and so on. You have to take into account that all of that has to be set up the day of. After all, freshly cut flowers don’t tend to stay fresh for very long! For this reason, hiring a professional to handle finding the flowers, arranging them, and setting everything up can really help.

If you’re considering hiring a florist, do some searching online. Find some florists that seem like a good fit and call to ask about prices. If you’re set on having lots of floral decorations but want to save money, you can hire a florist for some arrangements and DIY others. You could have a florist handle the bouquets while you create the centerpieces, or vice versa. And if after doing the research you find that the cost of hiring a florist still exceeds what you’re willing or able to pay, you always have scaling down your expectations and DIYing your flowers as a backup option. If you do decide to hire a florist, start looking early–as early as 8 months ahead of the wedding date.

Florist vs. floral designer

You may see mentions of “floral designers” when doing research on wedding flowers. A florist, or course, is someone who cuts, arranges and sells plants and flowers. How creative a florist will get with designs will really depend on the individual. A floral designer, however, is a designer who uses flowers to decorate. They usually specialize in decorating big events like weddings and are all about creative uses of flowers.

So which should you use? Which is more expensive can really depend on your area and what you want for your wedding. You can do web searches for both, call to ask about pricing, and figure out what suits you. At the end of the day, go with who seems like the best fit for your style and budget, regardless of whether they call themselves a “florist” or “floral designer.”


Florist or floral designer, don’t neglect to do the proper vetting. First things first, make sure a florist can work within your budget. The cost of wedding flowers can really add up, and you’ll want to find a florist that is willing to be flexible.

Next, ask if they have worked in your venue before. (BTW – You should have secured a venue before looking for a florist!) Talk through your ideas about what you want for your wedding so the florist can give you a more specific estimate of how much it would cost. It can also be really helpful to have your table rentals lined up if you are planning on having floral centerpieces, so you know exactly how many you will need.

Of course, you’ll also want to make sure that the florist has the right style. If you’re visiting a florist’s shop–and you should if they have one–take note of the quality of the flowers and the style of the arrangements. Ask the florist about other weddings they have worked. If the florist has experience with weddings, you’ll want to see a portfolio of their work to see if their general style works for you. Feel free to share photos and ideas, but also be prepared to take their advice on whether certain arrangements aren’t realistic for your budget.

Working with a florist on your decor

Once you’ve decided on a florist, you’ll be working with them to plan out all of your floral needs for the big day. Your florist will handle most of the details, but there are a few things that you can ask if you are particularly budget-conscious. For example, you may want to ask if there are cheaper flowers you can substitute for more expensive ones. You can also request that arrangements be a mix or cheaper and more expensive flowers to cut costs. Reusing flowers from the ceremony in the reception is another way to economize that your florist may be able to help with. Remember that you’re hiring the florist as a flower expert, so don’t hesitate to ask about the best lighting to complement arrangement, preserving your bouquet, or anything else flower-related.

Payment and logistics

When it comes to payment and wedding-day logistics, there are some key questions you should ask:

  • Will there be a delivery fee?
  • Any there any additional fees you might run into?
  • Who will be setting everything up on the wedding day? What time will they begin? What time will everything be ready?
  • Can you get an itemized quote?
  • When does the order need to be finalized?
  • What is the cancellation policy?

And of course, all of this needs to be in a written contract. See our vendor guide for more contract tips!

wedding flowers

DIY wedding flowers

Reminder: you can still DIY if you have the time and the help of a few friends. Buying flowers at a local flower market and arranging them yourself is a great option if you have lots of help to get everything ready on time. Check out our guide to saving money on wedding flowers for more awesome ideas!

Get Started – Your Wedding Style

Get inspiration for you wedding decor from your Joy wedding site! If you haven’t already, you can change the design of your Joy wedding site, and we have plenty of awesome floral styles to choose from.

  • Preview different styles for you wedding site.
  • From your dashboard, click “Styles.”

styles icon

  • You can select from lots of styles on the left. Click on some of them to see a preview of what it would look like on the right.

wedding styles preview

    • You have the option to adapt the design to the color scheme you already have. Just click “Use My Color.”
    • Once you’ve found a style you love, you can click “Save” to apply it to your wedding site for everyone to see.
    • You can also create prints based on the style you choose!
  • If you’d like this style to be a part of the actual decor of your wedding, show your site to your florist and have them use it as inspiration for the flowers used at your wedding.

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