Flowers are an integral part of weddings from the bride's bouquet to the reception table centerpieces. If budget is a constraint, choose seasonal flowers or flowers available year round. For example, if your wedding is in November it will be expensive to find fresh daffodils. Roses, carnations and chrysanthemums are in stock all year. Be creative in your choice of floral arrangements and guests will only notice how beautiful the flowers are, not how much they cost.
Garlands are time consuming to make as each mini-bouquet of flowers is wired or taped to a rope that has been covered with greens. The more flowers as opposed to greenery, the more expensive the garland. The flowers are out of water so the garland has to be made no more than a day or two before the ceremony. Flowers used include roses, chrysanthemums, marigolds and, surprisingly, orchids. Drape the garlands around pedestals, over draperies and around serving tables. Don't use them around dining tables because they'll get crushed when diners pull the chairs up to eat.
Float a few large flowers in a clear glass bowl; add floating candles and the centerpiece is done. Camellias and gardenias float nicely and gardenias have the added benefit of fragrance. Cylinder-shaped vases add a different look. Stack clear glasses with a flower in each one and a clear plate between them with a candle in the top glass. Use fat squat glasses instead of tall narrow ones when stacking. Don't go over three glasses high. Glasses don’t have to match from table to table so scout secondhand shops for bargains.
Garden or Park
Select a garden or botanical park as your wedding reception location and nature will provide most of the flowers for you. Use potted flowers in pretty baskets on the tables and around the entryway to the reception. Save them after the reception for the bride and groom to use in their new home or donate them to a children's hospital or assisted living facility. Chrysanthemums, roses and gerber daisies are available nearly year round as potted plants.
Create small individual flower arrangements at each place setting instead of one large centerpiece for the table. Guests take the flower arrangements home as favors. This makes double use of the flowers and saves money in two ways: separate favors aren't required and the small centerpieces are quick and easy to make using fewer flowers. If you feel you have to have something in the middle of the table, use a pillar candle in a hurricane lamp.