Information Possibly Outdated
The information presented on this page was originally released on January 12, 2006. It may not be outdated, but please search our site for more current information. If you plan to quote or reference this information in a publication, please check with the Extension specialist or author before proceeding.
Hire a professional for best floral value
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Many couples look for ways to reduce wedding costs, but cutting out a professional florist should not be an option.
Lynette McDougald, an instructor in plant and soil sciences at Mississippi State University and manager of the University Florist, said professional florists can guide couples to effective floral displays within any budget.
“Flowers pictured in bridal magazines can be misleading. They often will contain some of the most expensive options available,” McDougald said. “To keep costs from getting out of hand, it is better to find a trusted professional, provide a color scheme and budget, then allow that person to make recommendations.”
Generally, requests for specific flowers can send the costs up, but flowers with sentimental value still can be incorporated into arrangements.
“Florists are willing to give brides the flowers of their dreams, but a specific budget will enable professionals to shop for the best prices and make sure brides get the best value,” she said. “All types of flowers are available year round, but seasonal options are usually less expensive.”
McDougald said the major costs for a wedding are usually the flowers, the food, the bridal gown and a facility's rental fee. Floral costs typically are divided equally between the flowers that are carried or worn, flowers for the ceremony and flowers for the reception.
“The majority of today's brides choose to carry a hand-tied bouquet. A basic bouquet of a dozen hand-tied roses will cost about $75 in this area,” McDougald said. “Flowers for weddings will cost a little more than other occasions because couples are paying for the service as well as the products.”
Flowers or petals are popular on wedding cakes, which really adds to the price of the cake.
William Brewer of Cardinal Flower Shop in Gulfport said Mississippi Gulf Coast weddings are smaller since Katrina, but flowers have increased in importance.
“Most couples have had to downsized their wedding plans because of the shortage of larger reception halls. More weddings are on Fridays now because churches are not available,” Brewer said. “Because they have had to scale back in other areas, many people are putting more money into flowers. They want the flowers to be the best possible.”
Brewer said after Katrina hit, he had to refund 11 weddings that had been planned. As one of a few florist shops able to return to business, Cardinal Flower Shop has experienced steady business, even with fewer weddings.
“The weddings are trending toward more eclectic arrangements. Brides are choosing many different types of flowers,” Brewer said. “Whether brides live in a hurricane-damaged area or not, they do not want to leave out flowers. Even if they go to a justice of the peace for the ceremony, they want to hold flowers.”
Contact: Lynette McDougald, (662) 325-3585