Setting Priorities for a Successful Wedding

For most couples, planning a wedding and figuring out how much to spend is a brand new and often eye opening experience. The number of options, and plethora of people who want to share their ideas, can be endless. As a wedding florist, I see couples struggle with their wants vs their needs, and the decisions about flowers usually come after bigger logistical pieces, such as the venue, caterer, or setting the date.

For today, for right now, I want you to think about one simple idea: The success of your wedding depends on setting your priorities and allocating your funds smartly, so you can have a beautiful celebration that balances your vision with your financial reality.

So how do we get started?

First, I want to know what inspires you? What does it mean to you to have a successful wedding? What defines you as a couple? What do you want your guests to feel, see, and taste? How important is it to you to express yourselves in a personal way? How far will you go, or how low key will you be? At Bloom Magic Weddings, we start with these kinds of questions, because we want to know enough about you to walk in your shoes. Once we ”get” each other, we can collaborate and plan a beautiful wedding that leaves you feeling every penny was well spent, and we blew you away.

It helps to know your budget before you shop.

After you know who will be participating in the costs, and in what ways, and what your potential budget will be, you need to do some research. Are you looking at an intimate, casual brunch celebration with wildflowers on bare wood tables in a barn, or a black tie affair at an iconic hotel in a ballroom filled with sumptuous arrangements at every turn? It can save so much time and aggravation to know about your budget before you shop. When you gather information and set some priorities, you will be better equipped to deal with trade offs that may come up down the road.

How does the floral spend relate to the venue and the size of the guest list?

No surprise here, by the time you meet with a florist, you have often put the 2 conditions that drive your floral budget the most in place: your venue and number of guests. The third condition for the floral budget is the wedding party size.

Your venue will influence the level and style of décor you pursue (think low key or highly formal and elaborate). The number of guests, who will most likely share a meal with you and have a few drinks, determines the number of tables and thus your centerpiece count. And here is the AHA moment: The centerpieces usually eat up the biggest chunk of your florals budget.

Take a look at the math for centerpieces for example: $100 x 15 tables= $1,500.

As for the wedding party, a larger number of bridesmaids and groomsmen can add up as well.
If we think of personal flowers for each added bridesmaid and groomsmen with a bouquet and boutonniere starting at around $120 for the pair, this means you would go from $360 for 3 attendants to $720 if you have 6, and then to $1,200 if you go to 10 attendants on each side.

So it’s time to think about needs and wants.

The flower budget number is often guessed, and couples don’t realize they’ve already set a base with the venue, guest count, and wedding party choices. Remember when you were a little kid, and a nice grown up threw you a birthday party, and every kid got a cupcake? When you get married, every table has to have a centerpiece; you want every guest to feel welcomed and appreciated. You need to do your research and think about allocating funds from the beginning as you plan a wedding, otherwise you may end up with crumbs as you put together the pieces.

Centerpieces and wedding party flowers are essentials. If you want flowers for your ceremony like an arch, or a floor display with pampas grass in a circle, or an elaborate hanging installation of greenery over your sweetheart table, or a flower wall for photos, I would say you are a “flower freak” or “flower aficionado” or “passionate about design” and we love you already! Nothing gets us more excited than helping a couple make a personal statement with their flowers that tells their love story. Looking for roses to match the nail polish you were wearing when you got engaged? Can do! This means you will want more in your flower budget. Which goes back to my point today: setting your priorities so you can allocate funds smartly.

At Bloom Magic Weddings, we develop close relationships with our couples and are very passionate about doing custom work. Although we do an amazing job, we are not just in it for the centerpieces!

Congratulations, you’re getting married! I hope this will help you think about priorities as you explore the possibilities for your wedding. To tell me a little bit more about your wedding plans click here.

In best of bloom from me to you,
Kirsten Gordon


PS. A helpful statistic: In studying data on 2019 weddings, WeddingWire suggests as a guideline, that your venue/catering/food&beverge/alcohol should be around 40% of your overall budget. So if you had an average spend Illinois wedding last year, the venue/f&b piece would be 40% of $39,700 which is $15,880.


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