A Fresh Look for Your Wedding: Beach Flowers

By Chris Hwang

It doesn't matter whether you are planning a beach theme for your indoor ceremony or you are having an actual beach wedding, beach flowers are a must. You have endless types of flowers to choose from, and they come in colors, shapes and sizes to suit everyone's taste and budget. All you need to do is invest a little planning time, and you can treat yourself and your wedding guests to a beautiful display of flowers without spending more than you can afford.

Try these strategies and tips to create a beautiful floral beach theme without draining your bank account:

Decide which types of floral arrangements you want

First you need to decide the number and type of flower arrangements you need for your wedding. Beach ceremonies can include loads of flowers or none at all. Traditional weddings normally include the following: Floral arches, a wedding bouquet, a bouquet for the bride, a basket of flowers for the flower girl, corsages for the bridesmaids, boutonnieres for the groom and groomsmen, and floral arrangements for reception tables. Some couples include corsages or boutonnieres for close relatives who attend the wedding. Beach flowers are also often used to create an aisle or path leading to the ceremony.

Tip: You'll need fewer flowers for a beach wedding because you will be surrounded by the natural beauty of the setting. If you have a limited budget, you can get by with flowers for the bride and groom only. Replace the bride's bouquet and groom's boutonniere with colorful Hawaiian-style leis to enhance the beach theme.


The average couple spends $2000 for flowers for their wedding. Beach flowers don't need to cost that much, unless you choose to splurge.

Add up all the flower arrangements you need. Decide whether you want tropical flowers, non tropicals, or some of both. When you have this information you are ready to ask florists about their charges and you'll be able to pin down your budget.

Interview Potential Florists

Unless you have experience arranging flowers, this job is best left to the professionals. Ask wedding planners, hotels or other recently married couples in the area to recommend florists. Try to identify at least three potential florists. Meet with each florist in person. If this is not possible, interview them by telephone.

Tip: Ask each florist the questions below to narrow your search and identify the one that's perfect for your wedding:

What services do you provide for weddings? Do you include your design services in the flowers' cost? Have you designed floral arrangements specifically for beach weddings before? If so, can you show me some examples? Are there any additional charges on top of the cost of the flowers themselves, such as delivery or setup? How much lead time do you need for my order? Instead of an estimate, is a firm price quote possible?

Compare answers and quoted prices. Choose the florist who provides the most satisfactory answers to your questions AND offers a reasonable price in comparison to their competition.

Some other ideas to save money:

Buy flowers grown in the area

Stick with flowers that are indigenous to the area where you'll be getting married. Locally grown flowers do not have to be refrigerated and shipped which means that florists typically sell them for a lower price. This lets you achieve a sumptuous look for your wedding with a smaller budget.

Inform your florist about your wedding's color palate, including the color of your decorations, the bride's dress and the clothing the groom and the wedding party will wear. Your florist will be able to recommend local flowers that are ideal for your wedding theme.

Use your flowers twice

You can cut your floral costs by using the same flower arrangements at your reception as well as the ceremony. Some advance planning will let your florist or a few close friends quickly move the flowers from the ceremony's location to the site of your reception.

Use flowers that have strong, waxy blooms if you choose to use your flowers this way. Flowers like antherium, heliconia, calla lilies and orchids can withstand heat better and will continue to have a fresh appearance for the ceremony, the reception and a few days longer.

Plants and greenery can supplement blossoms

Because potted plants and local greenery are less expensive than cut flowers, instruct your florist to use them generously in your flower arrangements. Palm fronds, for example, are beautiful, readily available, and add a dramatic touch to your wedding. Beach flowers will cost even less if you can find some local greenery on your own.

You can also make your floral budget go further if you use potted plants such as smaller orchids, tillandsia and African violets and give them out to guests as wedding favors.

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