How Much Does a Stunning Wedding Cost? Breaking Down the Cost of Wedding Florals, Rentals, and Decor

February 12, 2024

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You all LOVED last week’s episode where we kicked off part one of our wedding budget series all about wedding venue fees and how much your wedding venue really costs. Now today, for part two, we are getting into the FUN stuff (like creating your budget for florals!). While venue budgeting is typically centered around logistics, today we’re breaking down florals and rentals which, if you’re like most of the couples we work with, are the things you actually WANT to spend money on! So get ready – we are going to share tips on creating a budget for your favorite categories, tips to save money on florals, pros and cons of DIYing, and deciding whether to rent or buy – oooooh we are covering a lot today. Let get started!



creating a wedding budget for florals and rentals





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To fast-forward to a specific part of the podcast episode, check out the timestamps below:


  • Creating a budget for your wedding florals, rentals, and decor [4:45]
  • The first thing you need to look at when setting your budget [5:36]
  • What you need to include in your florals, rentals, and decor budget [7:51]
  • Tips to save money on your wedding flowers [10:09]
  • Renting vs. Buying your decor [15:20]
  • Tips for saving money on your decor and rentals [20:02]


Links Mentioned in the Episode




And if you prefer to read, here's the summary of the podcast episode!

First things first, let's talk about creating a budget for your wedding florals and rentals. Just like with any aspect of wedding planning, it's important to start by determining your overall budget for the event. Once you have a clear understanding of how much you can afford to spend, you can allocate a portion of that budget specifically for florals and rentals. 

And let’s clarify what I mean when I say “rentals.” Rentals in this sense are all the rented decor pieces that really drive the design of the day. Also, make sure you remember to consider any additional costs, such as taxes, delivery fees, and gratuities when setting your budget to avoid any surprises later on. Ready to dive in?


1. Look at your guest list

First, when you’re creating your budget for wedding florals, decor, and rentals, look at your guest list.

Right out of the gate, we are hitting you with a reality check – every extra person you invite is going to impact your budget, and that INCLUDES your floral budget. So many couples think that florals are more of a set cost because floral chandeliers cost the same whether there are 50 guests or 500 guests below them, but the reality is that your guest count has a bigger impact than you think. 

More guests mean more tables to decorate, more centerpieces to arrange, and more bouquets to distribute if you are having a larger wedding party to match your list. Suddenly, those beautiful floral arrangements you saw on Pinterest aren't just a lovely touch – they're a significant line item in your budget spreadsheet

And let's not forget about the impact on other areas of your budget, like catering and rentals. More guests mean more mouths to feed, which means more cutlery, tables, chairs, and linens to rent, all of which quickly adds up. So as you start to look at your budget spreadsheet and decide how much you’d like to allocate for your florals, decor, and rentals, you need to start by being realistic about how many guests you can afford to invite without breaking the bank. Remember, it's not just the cost of feeding and entertaining each guest – it's also the cost of providing them with a comfortable and memorable experience.

I know that feels like a lot, but now that we have a better handle on the guest list, let’s dive into more things to consider when it comes to your florals and rental budget.

If you want to dive deeper into putting together your guest list, how to know who to cut and who to keep, listen to Episode 40 of the podcast, How to Put Together Your Wedding Guest List.


Tips for saving money on your florals

Let’s move on to some tips on how to save money on your florals. I’m excited to spill the tea on what I’ve learned over the years. As a seasoned wedding planner, I've seen it all when it comes to floral budgets – from sky-high arrangements to DIY disasters. Whether you have a large budget for florals or not, next we are going to dive into a few tips for how to make your budget go as far as it possibly can!

First things first, let's talk about seasonal blooms. One of the easiest ways to trim your floral budget is by choosing flowers that are in season and readily available IN THE AREA where your wedding will take place. Just because peonies are in season in June in New York, it doesn’t mean you can get them as easily in June in Florida. Not only are seasonal flowers more affordable, but they also tend to be fresher and more vibrant, creating a stunning backdrop for your big day. So, before you start dreaming of peonies in December or tulips in August, do a little research to see what's in season during your wedding month. Trust me, your wallet and florist will thank you!


Next up, consider quality over quantity (and I’m not just talking about the quality of flowers themselves, but the placement and arrangements that will make the biggest impact). While it's tempting to go all out with extravagant floral arrangements, sometimes less is more when it comes to saving money. Instead of splurging on elaborate centerpieces for every table, consider focusing your budget on a few statement pieces that will really wow your guests. Think towering floral installations, cascading garlands, or pieces like your ceremony arch that can be reused at the reception entrance or for the sweetheart table. By prioritizing where you want to make a big impact, you can stretch your floral budget further without compromising on the overall vibe of your event.


DIY Your Flowers vs. Hiring a Professional Florist

As much as I love a good DIY project, when it comes to wedding florals, too many couples attempt to tackle it without knowing what it really takes. If you’re thinking hold up Desiree. People do that? People actually make their centerpieces? Or, oh my gosh, how sweet! I would love to get together with all my girlfriends and make the centerpieces together the week of the wedding. Meh, no. 

While DIYing your bouquets or boutonnieres might seem like a fun way to save money, it can quickly turn into a stressful and time-consuming endeavor. PLUS – it has to be done just DAYS before the wedding, it’s not something you can do ahead of time. Also, where are you going to store all those centerpieces after you’ve made them? If you’re getting married in the summer, you’re going to need a lot of fridge space to keep those flowers in good shape, and I’m not talking about your mom’s extra fridge in the basement. 

Trust me, it’s not worth any amount of money saved. Instead, consider hiring a professional florist who can bring your floral vision to life while staying within your budget. 

Many florists offer packages or customizable options that allow you to get the look you want without breaking the bank. Too often couples feel like they need to have it all figured out when it comes to their florals. The truth is, they are the experts! Most will be happy to help you.



Renting vs. Buying Your Decor

SO many people believe that they will save so much money if they just buy a bunch of stuff for their wedding and then sell it afterward. And on one hand, buying your wedding essentials might seem like a smart investment – after all, you'll own them outright and potentially recoup some of your money by selling them after the big day. But before you start filling up your online shopping cart, let's take a closer look at whether buying is really the best option for you.

While it's true that buying your wedding items outright might seem like a money-saving move in the long run, it's important to look REALISTICALLY at the upfront costs and potential resale value. Sure, you might save a few bucks by purchasing your linens, tables, and chairs upfront, but don't forget about the hidden costs, like storage fees, set up, and take down costs, and the time and effort required to sell everything after the wedding. Plus, unless you plan on hosting a lot of fancy dinner parties in the future, chances are you won't have much use for 200 satin chair covers, 150 gold plastic chargers, or 122 tablecloths of the same color in your everyday life.

Never mind finding another bride or groom that has the exact same color palette as you and needs the same number of pieces that you have. Oh, and don’t forget. Sometimes guests spill wine on the tablecloths, so they get soiled anyway and you’re not going to be able to use them again unless you wash them immediately. 


Now, let's talk about convenience. Renting your wedding essentials might seem like the hassle-free option, and for many couples, it is. Rental companies take care of everything – from delivery and setup to pickup and cleaning – leaving you free to focus on more important things, like planning your wedding. Plus, renting allows you to choose from a wide range of options to suit your style and budget, without the commitment of owning and storing bulky items you might only use once. On top of that, rentals are often much higher quality than what we see couples purchasing online off of Amazon or Alibaba. You’re not comparing apples to apples when looking at linens from the providers we use and the cheapest fabric you can find online and trust me, we can all tell on your wedding day.


Grab Our Cashflow Wedding Budget Spreadsheet!

While you may think you can recoup your investment afterward, buying also requires more cash flow upfront, and managing cash flow is already often one of the biggest challenges couples face while planning their wedding. Whether you decide to rent or buy, if that’s you right now, we have a solution. Our wedding budget bundle includes TWO spreadsheets to help you manage the many, many, line items on your wedding budget AND help manage your cash flow and keep track of what’s due when too. You can find it here for UNDER $50 and you can use code PODCAST10 to get an additional 10% off today! 


Tips for saving money on your decor and rentals

Moving on, we talked a little bit about rentals last week when we talked about venues, but now we’re going to take the rental budget conversation even further. From linens and tables to chairs and place settings, the list of rental items can seem never-ending. 

First, let's talk about prioritizing your rental items. Like floral arrangements, it's important to focus your rental and decor budget on the items that will impact your wedding day.

If you’re hoping to save money without sacrificing style, instead of splurging on fancy linens for every table, consider investing in high-quality linens for your sweetheart table or head table, where they'll be front and center in all your photos. I like to get different by choosing coordinating linens for rectangles and rounds, so you can choose less expensive linen for one type of table to save a little money. 

Likewise, opt for simple and classic tableware and place settings for your guests, and save the fancy stuff for special touches like your cake table or bar area. By being strategic about where you allocate your rental budget, you can create a beautiful and cohesive look without breaking the bank. And that’s why you’re listening to this episode, right?

Next, don't forget to shop around and get quotes from a few rental companies to get the best possible price for your items, but if at all possible stick to hiring a maximum of one or two companies. You don’t want to sign 6 different contracts just to save $100. And remember, it's okay to prioritize certain items in your rental budget and stick to it – you don't need every fancy rental item under the sun to have a beautiful and memorable wedding.




Lastly, save the DIYing for a few key pieces designed to add a sentimental or personal touch – don’t just start a DIY project to save money. After purchasing the tools and materials, it rarely saves you money and there’s a good chance you’ll get halfway through the project before scrapping it entirely because it’s looking more like a Pinterest fail than savvy chic. The only times we love a DIY project is if it is something you truly ENJOY (like working with your fiance on a fun seating chart, or writing notes for your escort card display to all your guests. Also, it really only works when at least one of you actually knows what you’re doing).

CONCLUSION: Creating a Budget for your Wedding Florals, Rentals and Decor

That's it for today's episode of Ask the Planner Podcast. Thank you for listening to me share exactly what you need to consider when budgeting for your rentals and florals. Hopefully, you can see that budgeting for wedding florals and rentals doesn't have to be stressful. By following these tips and being strategic with your spending, you can create a beautiful and memorable wedding without breaking the bank. Remember to prioritize what's most important to you and your partner, whether it's show-stopping floral arrangements, stunning decor, or simply celebrating your love with friends and family. With careful planning and a little creativity, you can enjoy an aesthetically pleasing yet economically savvy happily ever after filled with love! Make sure to tune in next week where we will break down even more of your wedding budget need-to-knows.



Please review the podcast on Apple Podcasts and write your questions in the review and I’ll incorporate them into a future episode.  If there are specific guests you want me to interview or topics you want me to cover in a future episode, let me know who that is in your review, too!

If you want even more help with your wedding planning, I’m only a phone call away, and you can schedule a 90-minute clarity call with me where we’ll talk through a specific issue or question you have.

For those of you that are excited to plan your wedding on your own, check out my Ultimate Wedding Planning checklist in the Wedding Planning Templates Shop. It’s one of my most popular items and for a good reason!

If there’s something that you’re looking for that’s not in the shop. Please let me know. I want to create resources that you want and that will help you!



creating a wedding budget for florals