Flowers are a staple at weddings, but these vibrant blooms can put a major dent in your budget. Fortunately, you can have cheap wedding decorations that include floral arrangements, as long as you’re smart about finding them. Here are some savvy ways to keep the wedding flowers but ditch the hefty price tag:

Alternate table arrangements
You may want your reception centerpieces to include towering structures dripping in petals (not a bad ambition on its own), but your wedding budget might not allow it. Get the drama for a fraction of the price by alternating the height of your centerpieces. What I mean by this is that half of your tables will have your huge flower tower while the other half will get a more modest arrangement. You can also include nonperishable decor on the tables in addition to the flowers. For example, try placing a beautiful lantern next to a smaller vase. You’ll have the organic petal look along with a cute table adornment. This option, as opposed to flowers only, will cut down costs.

Budget-friendly floral tips

Save the flowers for the reception
While your ceremony is the focus of your wedding, all eyes will be on you rather than the decor. Ergo, it’s a good place to limit flower expenditures. Save the stunning arrangements for the reception, where your guests will really be looking around, in an effort shave a few dollars off the price tag. Use props, interesting fabrics, candles or silk flowers at the ceremony. If you want to be escorted down the aisle by a sea of petals, consider holding onto them for the reception. Transport the flowers from one part of your big day to the next (reduce, reuse, recycle, right?).

Go fake
If you’re not too to the idea of having flowers at your wedding, consider purchasing fake ones. Some varieties look real but will save you a pretty penny. Plus, if you make a bouquet of silk flowers you’ll have it for life! You can also include a few fake flowers amid your real ones in order to have the look of volume at a budget price. Use fake flowers in background spots, such as the ends of the rows at your ceremony or framing your ceremony archway.

Instead of silk, make flowers out of paper – great for literary couples! Get a few books from the thrift store and create flowers with the pages, the way this bride did. Get your bridesmaids together and work on the paper petals as a team.

Photo credit: Jodi Miller Photography via Style Me Pretty