The One Wedding Expense That Surpises Every Bride-To-Be

I'm sorry, how much?! Learn about this universally surprising wedding expense, and what could drive up it's cost for your wedding.

Picture of outdoor wedding setup with suspended flowers.

Wedding flowers are EXPENSIVE—17% of your wedding budget, expensive.


Yes, the stuff that grows from the earth that you can pluck from your front yard is one of the priciest things you will pay for come wedding time. I mean, you know it’s bad when celebs like Simone Biles are surprised by it!

I navigated these fragant, pricey waters myself for my own wedding. I knew that I cared more about flowers for the reception than the ceremony (ceremonies, actually, we had our Sikh ceremony first and then the Hindu one). I said, “Let’s keep it simple! Minimal ceremony flowers, heavy on the drapery.”


My mom wasn’t too happy about the end result. It looks too plain! Not grand enough! Ritu, what the hell were you thinking! (Ritu is my nickname). She insisted that the venue coordinator drive to Trader Joe’s, grab a couple of flower arrangements, and add them around the mandap. 


Listen, I applaud my mom’s efforts at finding an affordable way to zhuzh up the ceremony decor. I also could’ve predicted how tiny and pathetic the 3 for $12 mismatched arrangements would look next to our formal setup.  


7 years later, wedding flowers have only gotten more expensive. Labor shortages + increased supply costs = a bigger bill for you and your fam. Before we go too far down the inflation rabbit hole, let’s talk about the basics of wedding flower pricing. Why do they cost so much? 

Flower type

Anyone remember the J. Lo movie The Wedding Planner? There’s a scene where she paints a picture of a magical wedding setup for her client. “Candlelight. Wedgewood. Exotic Waringin trees imported from Bali.”


Imported flowers are expensive flowers! Roses and orchids, which are imports, are some of the most expensive flowers you can use for your wedding, right up there with calla lilies, peonies, and hydrangeas. 

Watercolor graphic of pricey wedding flowers

Here’s a helpful chart from Deer Pearl Flowers that breaks down flowers by cost:

How you arrange them

Having a mandap, aisle, every table, every door, and the ceiling covered in flowers is going to be insanely expensive. But having one hanging floral installation may be more affordable than several table centerpieces. 


There’s a great blog by Good Seed Floral that puts a price tag next to pictures of different arrangements, which is AWESOME because I’ve found vendors to be slightly secretive when it comes to pricing things out.

Based on those numbers, I’d wager that the floral covered mandaps that you see all over Instagram are probably around $5,000+.

Remember that if you’re getting married in the US, your flowers will be most expensive here. You’ll pay less for them if you have a destination wedding in Mexico or India.

Labor and time

Okay, so far we know that the cost of your wedding flowers go up based on the flower type, the way that you arrange them, and where you get married.


The biggest cost that goes into your wedding flowers is the stuff that you don’t see. It’s the time, energy, and effort behind helping you craft your vision; sourcing and preserving your flowers; and transporting, setting up, and deconstructing your arrangements. 

Make it affordable

Yes, Instagram-viral wedding flowers are expensive. But there are ways to stretch your dollar and get the most out of fresh flowers for your wedding events. 


Work with your florist to design arrangements that you can repurpose and reuse from event to event.


Use flowers that are local and in season. 🌱


Incorporate lots of greenery and filler flowers, like baby’s breath.


If you’re having events at home, plant American marigolds or hydrangeas in your own backyard. 🌱


Use potted plants instead of cut flower arrangements. 🌱


Pick a venue that has a lot of natural beauty, so you don’t have to decorate a blank canvas. 

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