Talking Wedding Flowers with Cotton & Magnolia!

Planning your wedding can be one of the most exciting times in your life - and at times, also one of the most stressful!! Below, my guest-blogger Elaina Scronce, owner of St. Petersburg-based event florist Cotton & Magnolia helps take some of the guess work out of wedding flowers.


floral arrangements, wedding florals, flowers, Cotton & Magnolia, St. Pete Florist, roses, peonies, ribbon
*All photos courtesy of Jenny Ricker Photography

greenery, florals, wedding florals, Cotton & Magnolia, St. Pete Florist
*All photos courtesy of Jenny Ricker Photography

Setting a budget – where do I even start?

When it comes to setting a budget for wedding flowers, the sky really is the limit! Some online resources advise you to set aside 8% – 10% of your total wedding budget for flowers, and that’s honestly a great place to start. Budget can be a difficult conversation to have, but it is one that I urge you to have early and often - with all of your wedding vendors. It doesn’t do anyone any good if you’re looking at a proposal for $5000 when your true budget is $500.

But whether your budget is $500 or $5000, you’re going to want to prioritize. If your budget falls on the lower end of the spectrum, focus on your personal flowers to get the biggest bang for your buck – bridal bouquet, bridesmaid bouquets, boutonnieres – since these items will be photographed the most. From there, think about what you might need for ceremony and reception décor. What items are the most important to you? Are you getting married in a Church that doesn’t allow outside decorations, or maybe your venue is picturesque enough without the extra flowers and foliage? How many guest tables will you have at the reception and what size/shape are they? Talk to your florist. Lean on them to help you decide what will most help you get the overall look and feel you are trying to achieve.


What are the biggest flower trends happening right now?

It’s still all about a more natural, Boho vibe, with brides opting for fewer flowers, heavier greenery, less structured pieces, and cascading bouquets.


I will say that I hear a lot of brides saying that they want to go heavier on greens as a way to keep costs down, and this can be a bit of a misconception. Large greenery garlands are priced by the foot, and depending on the size you need, that can add up quickly. Likewise, when you do a bouquet of all greenery, it becomes all about texture. It is rare that you would only use one type of greenery for an entire bouquet – you need that movement and texture so things don’t look flat. So, while you’re certainly not spending the same amount of money that you would be if you were doing an entire bouquet of peonies, your greenery bouquet is still going to incorporate multiple types of greenery, and those different elements can add up quickly.


wedding florals, greenery, foliage, flowers, centerpieces, Cotton & Magnolia, St. Pete Florist
*All photos courtesy of Jenny Ricker Photography

What about seasonal flowers – will that help me save money?

I’m going to let you in on a little secret – while there are certainly some flowers that I can only get at certain times of the year, there is honestly not much that I truly cannot get my hands on (or at least suggest an alternative for.) With that in mind, the quality might not be what it would have been at the height of their season, you may be limited on available colors, or you may end up having to pay a more premium price from them.