Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Budget saver: silk flowers

Wedding planners say to estimate about 10 percent of your wedding budget for flowers: from the centerpieces to the bouquets, the corsages to the altar arrangements, the costs can add up quickly. But you can save some money here by considering silk flowers as an option.

Silk flowers don't have to look fake. Look around before you buy anything, and make sure you are comfortable with your purchases. Sometimes less expensive may mean low quality. If you order online, try to find a site that will send you samples or has an easy return policy. Shop smart, because you certainly can end up spending as much on silks as you would on fresh flowers. Watch for sales and coupons--one advantage silk has in this area is that you can buy the flowers as far in advance as you want.

You can also do a mix of both fresh and silk flowers, either by combining silks with the real thing in all or some of your arrangements, or by picking and choosing which elements are made with silks and which ones are fresh.

Once you've found your flowers, consider whether you want to hire a professional to create your arrangements or if you want to DIY. If you DIY, you can find many Web sites with instructions and tips. Michael's and DIY Network are great places to start.

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