1. Glass hurricanes can be found for half price ($7) at Michael’s Craft Stores. Add a single pillar candle with perhaps decorative touches like color coordinating beads, stones or a ribbon and you have an inexpensive centerpeice.
2. Choose in season flowers. Exotic and out of season flowers can be both difficult to find and very expensive. Sometimes eliminating one type of expensive flower like calla lilies from an arrangement can significantly reduce the price of a centerpiece or bouquet.
3. My favorite flower when the budget is tight but there is a need for drama is the gladiola. They come in numerous colors and can be bought at very good prices by bulk. Grouped in a tall, clear vase, the effect is elegant, brings height to the table but without breaking the budget. Plus they have the advantage that they are a hardy flower with stamina that looks great for days.
4. Think outside the flower. Centerpieces can consist of non-floral arrangements of fruit, favors grouped together, even food like individual cakes for each guest at the table. Berries, pinecones, pumpkins, small potted evergreen plants are all viable alternatives.
5. Floral arrangements should do double duty as ceremony florals and reception decor. I did this with my own wedding where I and my bridesmaids carried long-stemmed red roses mixed with greens and baby’s breath and tied with ribbons during the ceremony but at the reception, they were placed in waiting vases for table decor.