If you're looking for ways to reduce expenses, remember that the ceremony only lasts about 30 minutes, but people may be viewing the centerpieces for four or more hours at the reception. "You will be spending most of your time at the party, so keep the focus there," says Michael George of Michael George Flowers in New York City. "Also, be clever about how you use the flowers. Get as much double service as you can. For example, you might transport the ceremony flowers to the reception."
The types of flowers you use will also affect your budget. If you need bouquets for a large number of bridesmaids, consider using grand-headed flowers such as hydrangeas or peonies. You'll need just a few stems of these to make gorgeous bouquets. Emphasizing one aspect of the wedding is another way to economize. A spectacular array of blooms on the head table, with inventive but less expensive displays on the others -- such as bowls of fruit or stunning foliage -- will be more impressive than half-hearted clusters. Choosing in-season flowers rather than costly blooms will also help lower expenses. But most florists agree you should never scrimp on the bridal bouquet. Pick exactly what you want and revel in your decision.
From Martha Stewart Weddings, Summer 2004