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Dropping the “B” word.

Updated: Aug 2, 2018

I’m gonna go ahead and say it, and believe me it’s not easy for a girl like me with 18 years of Catholic schooling under my belt.


Now, don’t judge. It needed to be said and admit it, you say it too. You whisper it to your significant other, you scream it in frustration and you have even said it to your parents.


It’s amazing how this funny looking word causes so much angst. The mere thought of it can make even the biggest bridezilla whimper and it‘s guarded more closely than even the President’s Twitter password. But it is very important that you say it to me. I can take it, and it honestly helps me design a plan for your wedding that utilizes the best blooms that you can afford.

Now since I’m the one who dropped the “b” word, I’m going to get us out of this mess and over the next few days give you some hints on how much my florals cost and how to stick to your...budget.

Erin’s beautiful bouquet was loose and full of amazing white garden roses, ranunculus and mixed greens.Photo by Caitlin Thomas Photography.

The first thing you need to do is decide what type of bouquet you want. It’s the most critical floral in your plan because it blends your personal style with your upcoming reception decor. It’s the first glimpse of what’s to come and the pallette from which all of the other floral pieces will be designed.

Natalie’s purple bouquet had dahlia, stephanotis, anemone, ranunculus, roses and stock. Photo by Allison Mish Photography

So where do you start? Decide on your color palette, pick a gown and then by all means, pin away. I love seeing all of your photos, but don’t limit your pins to just those in your color scheme! Pin pics of the size, style and bouquets with your favorite flowers. It’s my job to make the colors work and suggest flowers that are in season and in your... budget. See where we’re going with this?

Sara’s bouquet was all texture to enhance the ruching in her dress. I did a large succulent, popped green dianthus, hypericum and ranunculus with garden roses.

Look at your dress for tips on what type of bouquet to choose. Full skirts call for fuller bouquets, modern and clean lines look beautiful with a structured bouquet. Don’t hide the beautiful details of a glam belt behind a mound of eucalyptus but definitely dress up a more simple style gown with a detailed, textured bouquet.

Sara’s bouquet of dahlia, garden roses, veronica, astilbe and ranunculus added interest to her overall look. The long ribbons elongated her petite frame. Photo by Amanda Brisco Photography

Size does matter. I probably love flowers more than the average person but don‘t let your bouquet take away from you. It should enhance your bridal day ensemble, not steal the show. Use a larger bouquet to balance a fuller silhouette and break up a lot of white or add long ribbons to draw the eye to an intricate skirt and lengthen your frame.

Simple to balance the glam. Nikki chose peonies and olive. Photo by Evalin photography

So hopefully you now have a board full of bouquet pins. Remember that budget? It’s time to get realistic about what you can afford.

Megan’s bouquet had bright sunflowers, roses, delphinium and hydrangea in a structured style. Out of all the bouquets you’ll see in this blog, this is the least expensive one. Photo by LeeAnn Marie Photography .

Season determines availability myth, debunked.

Pittsburgh has a terrible climate for flowers. We get maybe 3 days of sunlight all year and it‘s like the frozen tundra 3/4 of the year. Don’t base what you see in your backyard to what you can get for your wedding date. In this day of airplanes and amazon, I can get almost any flower any time, however this is where the “b” word comes into play. How much do you want to pay for flowers? Are you willing to put my firstborn through college for those Ghost Orchids? No? Then let’s look at a few popular wedding flowers and when they are at the best prices.

Alexa had gorgeous pink and white peonies with anemone and astilbe for her June wedding. Photo by Wild Native

If you want peonies, choose a June wedding date. The prime peony season actually starts in May and runs through July but in June they grow like weeds and are at the best prices. Opt for pink or white to get the lowest prices. Special varieties like Coral Charm will be more expensive. Peonies come back into play in November but cost a lot more. If you like that look, but your September wedding budget can’t stretch to fit them in, opt for a garden rose which are available in many colors and cost less.

Spring flowers like lily of the valley, hyacinth, lilacs, sweet peas, cherry blossoms, dogwood and daffodils have limited availability. March, April and May are prime months to use these unique and delicate blooms.

Juliet garden roses are the perfect peach. Astrantia, callas, ranunculus and scabiosa brought the pop of burgundy.

Love Dahlia? Plan a summer affair. Those dreamy Cafe au lait dahlia are at their best in the middle of summer while other varieties continue into the fall. Dahlia are not cheap and have a limited life span. An alternative to consider are Cremon or Disbuds. Elenora is a favorite variety of mine.

Oh those Cafe au lait! In this bouquet they steal the show mixed in with ranunculus, roses and astilbe.

Ranunculus and anemone are always available but may range in size, color and price. These beauties have short, hollow stems and delicate blooms. Use these sparingly if you are price conscientious.

Flowers that are available year round:

Roses $$

Hydrangea $$

Sunflowers $$

Carnations $

Mums $

Orchids, dendrobium $$$

Orchids, all other varieties $$$$

Calla lilies $$$

King Protea $$$$

Tulip $

Babies Breath $

Eucalyptus $$

Gerbera Daisies $$

Oriental lilies $$$

Succulents $$$

Carnations get a bad rep. They are some of the most beautiful flowers when used correctly, and come in every color of the rainbow! They enhanced Holly’s garden bouquet of dahlia, hypericum, peonies, roses and wax.

Having a basic understanding of what’s available and what style you like will help when you look for a floral designer, however, much more than price per stem comes into play when designing a wedding plan. Certain blooms need to be hydrated, wired and cooled. Some have limited shelf life or have a poor opening ratio which means the designer needs to buy extra to ensure you get a few perfect blooms. And this is why you have to be open and honest about your.....budget.

Just like when you visited the bridal shop and stayed clear of the haute couture gowns that were beyond your price point, I’m here to guide you toward equally beautiful flowers in your budget that you will love.

If you follow some of the suggestions above and choose blossoms that are available during your wedding month, you should plan on spending the following for personal flowers:

Bridal bouquet: $125-$200

Bridesmaid bouquet: $50-$80

Boutonniere: $15-$25

Corsages: $35-$50

Stay tuned for my next blog and I’ll talk centerpieces options and what‘s in and what you should expect to pay. Have a great weekend!


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