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Here Comes The Bouquet

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When it comes to weddings, the floral possibilities seem endless. On The Saturday Early Show, Carley Roney, editor in chief of The Knot,, helps sort out the choices.

Trends include the use of herbs or wild flowers, and another choice might be a monochromatic bouquet – that is, flowers in matching shades or cool contrasts. To achieve this, bring a bridesmaid dress fabric swatch when you meet with your floral designer (to illustrate your wedding colors), and provide a wedding dress photo to give the designer a sense of your personal style.

You also might choose unstructured bouquets, wrapped with ribbons of satin, velvet, or organza. Sometimes, vintage fare is to be discovered at flea markets or antique stores.

Silk flowers can be a cost-saver or a luxurious splurge, depending on bouquet size and the quality of the vendor's wares, so choose your crafts person carefully.

Offbeat blooms can work very well for the bridegroom and his friends. Even mini calla lilies and little sunflowers can refresh the old tuxedo look.

For the bridesmaids, discard the bouquets and have delicate wreaths created for their hair. Give maids small purses to carry down the aisle, or advise them to clasp their hands as they walk.

For centerpieces, dried flowers are beautiful alternatives. You can even use produce like berries, pink grapefruit and lemons' bittersweet and crab apple (in the autumn); blueberries, raspberries, figs, and champagne grapes, citrus fruits, pears, peaches, and you could use green apples as place card holders.

Do you know the flowers your grandmother toted down the aisle? You can honor a family member through your wedding flowers by incorporating their meaningful flowers into your bouquets and arrangements. Infuse your flowers with symbolism, and they'll seem even more beautiful to you on the big day.

Think about drying and preserving your bouquet. Deal with this as soon as possible after the wedding: The morning after, have your maid of honor drop the bouquet off at your florist (who will freeze-dry the bouquet, then frame or mount it behind a glass dome). If you're preserving the bouquet yourself, hang it upside down in a dark, airy spot, or disassemble it and air-dry the flowers individually. Press a few flowers into your wedding album, your diary, or your favorite book.

You can save money by using local, in-season flowers as the bases for bouquets, boutonnieres, and decorative arrangements. Incorporate them into huppahs, arches, or pew adornments, too. But if your heart is set on luxe imported orchids or dreamy white peonies in the middle of February, be prepared to pay at least 25 percent more. Some blooms normally priced at $1 per stem cost $8 each in the off-season.

You can also expect to pay more if your big day is on or near Valentine's Day or Mother's Day. Rose prices, in particular, will be sky high. Also, your florist's time an availability might also be an issue.

This is only a general guide to flower prices, because prices vary according to region.

  • Bridal bouquet: at least $125
  • Maid of honor's and bridesmaids' bouquets: at least $50
  • Boutonnieres for the groom, best man, ushers, dads, and grandfathers: $5 to $10 each
  • Corsages for moms and grandmothers: $5 to $25 and up)
  • Flowers to decorate the ceremony venue: $100 to $500 per arrangement
  • Flower girl's basket of petals: at least $40
  • Reception table centerpieces: $75
  • Other reception flowers, including individual place settings and doorway arrangements: $35 to $50
  • Flower-covered arch or huppah: $350 to $3,000
  • Floral wreaths for bride's and/or bridesmaids' hair: $35 to $100
  • Rose petals for tossing: $10 per bag (150 guests require 10 bags)
  • Tossing bouquet: at least $30
  • Extras (such as row decorations): $15 to $50

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