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So as much as I love and find it necessary to be surrounded in flowers… sometimes they are the first to go in the great wedding budget cut. It’s true. Flowers can be one of the more expensive things in your plan, and people have different feelings about this. You know my feelings. I worked in a flower shop for two years when I was 16 and can’t seem to shake the petals from my hair. I love them. And for me, they’re up there with food, and music as VIP wedding “big bucks” items. BUT, it’s different for everyone, AND it’s absolutely possible to maintain a beautiful wedding sans enormous blooms with simple elegant elements. Here’s how…


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This is one of my favorite rules, and if you are a regular Wedding Belles reader, you know that I talk about this often. You can maintain a really beautiful look at your wedding by using uniform flowers… lots and lots of them. Daisy’s, mums, carnations and tulips look AMAZING in large bunches. Simple and sophisticated.



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Especially if you’re planning a wedding that incorporates natural elements, using branches instead of flowers can be a very sleek and modern centerpiece substitute for mounds of fluffy petals. Incorporating other details like ribbon, hang tags, and even food can give your centerpieces a modern look for less. Just don’t go overboard.



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Candles are a great way to light your party, and your guests faces for photographs. Ambiance is very important, and creating different lighting schemes can changes the theme and style of your event. Substituting high candlesticks with lower votives along with small floral elements can add a unique style to your table. I have something similar to this on my dining room table now. Crate & Barrel, CB2, and Anthropologie have beautiful and really inexpensive faux glass candlesticks with beautiful embellishment. Add bright candlesticks, a dash of floral color and you’re done!



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Showcase  your favors in beautifully packaged boxes as table centerpieces. Fill them with assorted candies, handmade soaps and stacked elegantly on white cake stands. 



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Nix the typical centerpice vases and head to your local flea market in search of found objects to incorporate into your wedding style. Use mismatched shapes and style to create a whimsical look on each table with simple florals.


Etsy Seller Two Inspire You $55

Etsy Seller Two Inspire You $55


Turning a wreath on it’s back and filling the inside with high candlesticks or hurricane lamps with lighting is another way to make a smaller affair seem more intimate. Choose the wreathe carefully, and make sure your elements go together. 

So the Steelers won the SuperBowl, and the all-knowing rodent in Puxatawny saw his shadow…6 more weeks of freezing weather. I’m so over it. I cannot wait for spring. I’m a winter girl. Born and raised in upstate New York plus four years in frigid Boston weather…you’d think I’d be used to this. But I’m totally over it. So I decided to gather some of my favorite flower arrangements to look forward to Spring. We’ll go in color palettes. First up… Pink. ( Everyone secretly loves pink. They just don’t know it.) 

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Photo's courtesy of

I love flowers.  I think they are absolutely necessary to make a good event, and like music, they’re a subtle added detail, but if they’re missing, you definitely notice

My very first job ever… unless you count babysitting…which I don’t, was at a florist.   This is the start of my obsession with flowers.  When I turned 16 I marched myself into a flower shop on Main Street on Mother’s Day weekend, grabbed an apron and kind of fell in love with flowers.

It was really just the flowers that I fell in love with.  Everything else about that job sucked.  The pay was really bad, the tips if we got any, were mediocre at best, the location was less than desirable. (More than once I had to brandish a box cutter to scare away a crazy just before close. )

In the summertime, I stood in the sun for hours watering plants under this ridiculous striped circus tent, popping sour sweet tarts and warding off Sunday morning hangovers with my best friend Jen, doing our best to look busy when “management” came around.

But in between there were the flowers, and I quickly navigated my way through the buckets of gerbera daisies, tulips, sunflowers, roses and lilies in the back cooler.  (Plus it was a great place to hide out in the middle of August.)

We had our favorites. Jen liked daisies and lily of the valley.  I liked tulips, hydrangea and hyacinth.

We both liked Chris & Dave.

Hot, hired and in college.  The perfect summer job trifecta for any high school girl. They were great.

I digress.

Anyway, that was the beginning of my summer love… for flowers… and it has lasted well into adulthood.  It being Spring I have started treating myself once a week to fresh flowers. Yellow tulips with blue hyacinth, white hydrangeas with pink roses, and this week…peonies.

I love peonies. They are BEAUTIFUL and smell incredible. A photo editor I worked with once did her own flowers for her wedding and used all different shades of peonies. I was so impressed then, and when I stumbled across them last week I justified spending $10 on 3 stems of perfect pink peonies.

Because they’re so big, you can really arrange them by themselves in oddly shaped containers.  If you don’t have a vase, use a teacup, a mason jar, or even a little bowl.  using differently shaped containers as a centerpiece gives the arrangement depth and height variation, plus it’s a little bit more fun than flowers in a vase.  They’re also a beautiful bouquet flower because they’re so fluffy and you only need a few to make a statement.

In the April/May issue of Modern Bride, floral designer Kim Hirst of Fresh-Cut Design, creates a spectacular pink and gold centerpiece in their (how-to) guide. This month’s theme… “Have a Luxe Wedding for Less.”

Kim’s ornate centerpiece looks expensive but won’t break the bank, showcasing again how pretty, under-rated carnations used in mass quantity can actually be! She uses bright pink carnations and roses in a three-tiered centerpiece with multiple muted pink/gold shades. We love it! Check it out!

Since Berger gave Carrie that enormous bunch of cotton candy carnations, I’ve had a soft spot for the neglected flower. Often seen sparsely scattered in funeral arrangements (because they last forever) with their neighbors the daisy and the mum, these flowers can brighten any room if designed in mass.

Giant bunches of inexpensive flowers are a great alternative to the stand alone kids in the front of the class for centerpieces and bouquets. Big arrangements of daisies, mums, alstrameria, hydrangea and black eyed susans in the center of any table are just as fabulous as the expensive flowers. Plus you get more for your money!

Skip the babys breath, I say always but it’s up to you, and stick with solid colored arrangements, rather than picking several. It makes the flowers pop and seem bigger and more brilliant.

So skip the froo- froo flowers that cost a fortune like the orchids and the cala lilies and even those pretty little gerbera daisies and go quantity over quality to create a rich look for less!

Multi-Colored Carnations

White Daisies Yellow & White Daisies

Carnation Centerpiece-
Modern Bride
: Paradise Found
Photographer:Luca Trovato

Daisy Balls- Modern Bride
Brides: Michael Luppino

Daisy Centerpieces
Photographer: Anna Williams

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January 2021