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Here’s my latest Ask Amy column from Momclick.com! Have a savings question you’d like answered? Email Amy at Amy@thewallyworldwoman.com!
I have become the accidental wedding planner for a last minute wedding and need some serious help saving money on anything and everything. From flowers to centerpieces, I’m lost in petals and pansies. Can you help me save money on a wedding for beginners?
A 1st Time Wedding Planner
Dear 1st TimeWedding Planner –
There is nothing like transforming what is already amazingly beautiful in nature to something even more spectacular. However, one thing’s for sure – flowers can be expensive and you want them to last as long as possible for the most value for your money.
One way to cut costs is to buy pre-packaged “cellophane” bouquets from stores like Costco (or a wholesaler if you have access) and design your own arrangement. Costco carries high quality flowers at a relatively low cost, and some even come pre-arranged for your convenience. Here are some of my favorite tips for preserving fresh flowers and even arranging them yourself!
Cut Flowers: Re-cut all stem ends under water before arranging. On an angle, cut approximately 1 inch from each stem. Leaving stems with a “flat” cut can prevent full water absorption and the flowers can die prematurely from dehydration. Immediately transfer flowers to a vase or bucket filled with water after cutting.
Use the Right Tools: A sharp knife – NOT SCISSORS, is the key to a successful cut and long life! Scissors can crush stems and cause significant damage to stem structures.
Remove Excess Foliage: Removing any leaves that will be below the water level is a key. If these leaves remain under water they will start the process of decomposition quickly. This promotes the growth of bacteria, which is the cause of those bad odors you may have experienced previously. When removing excess leaves make sure to not scrape and damage the stem.
Check Water Quality: Water quality and temperature is vital! It is best to use clean, lukewarm water in floral arrangements. Luke warm water contains less oxygen and thus reduces the risk of air embolisms.
Arrange Your Own: Arranging your own flowers isn’t that hard! In fact it’s as easy as making a loose triangle. The most basic shape of floral design is geometric and symmetrical. Just envision an imaginary triangular outline and fill in the space. First, fill your vase with any greenery you desire. Next, stage your main (and most expensive) flowers in three’s when possible, one in each side of the triangle at staggered heights. It is not necessary to repeat all the remaining flowers in this “mirror” image. This would make your arrangement appear too unnatural. Last, add any “filler” flowers like Baby’s Breath or Wax Flower. Try to re-create how flowers would grow in nature, grouped together with the smallest buds at the top and the fullest flowers near the base. This concept is the same with boutonnieres and corsages. Head to your local library or online to find a tutorial for making your own floral designs and you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to create your own masterpiece!
Floral design can be very rewarding and ultimately save you money! Try these simple tips to extend floral life and create more beauty for your event!