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Weddings can be expensive. Invitations, photography, the venue, entertainment, catering, clothing and a planner are some of the bigger costs. 

And don’t forget flowers. A natural part of any wedding, flowers may be used for table centerpieces, bouquets, corsages and other event decorations. Your wedding flower bill can easily reach $500 to a few thousand dollars. However, it doesn’t have to be that expensive, and there are always alternatives.

The first is to find a flower wholesaler that sells to the public and not just to floral shops. If you live in or near a city, chances are there’s one there. You may have to arrive early on the morning of your wedding—or send a bridesmaid or friend—to get the best selection, but the prices should be half of what they are elsewhere.

While a couple is unlikely to change the wedding date to find better prices on flowers, if you’re having a wedding around Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day, you’ll likely see a spike in prices. And some flowers are more expensive at certain times of the year, such as orange-toned flowers around Halloween.

The variety can also change the price. Ranunculus flowers can be found during most of the year, but one variety, the Clooney, is only available for a few weeks and is very expensive. Additionally, South American hydrangeas are much cheaper than hydrangeas from Holland. 

Bigger blooms can also help save money, mainly because the bigger volume takes up more space in a vase and fewer flowers are required to fill a centerpiece.

Flowers from one wedding can get a second life at another one. A company called Bloomerent helps brides and grooms rent back their wedding flowers locally through a florist. The florist picks up the designs at the end of one wedding and delivers them to another wedding to use the next day.

The first bride receives a 10 percent refund on the total cost of her flowers, and the second pays 40 to 60 percent of the original cost.

Another option is to do the flower arrangements yourself instead of hiring a florist or floral arranger. It can be as easy as cutting wildflowers from the side of the road, or as extravagant as you want it to be. However, it can be a lot of work and can lead to disaster if you don’t know how to balance flowers correctly in a vase.

On the day of your wedding—when dozens of tasks have to be completed—it may just be easier to spend a few thousand dollars and let someone else deal with the flowers.

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