After getting sticker shock from the Buzzfeed article that recreated the 1970’s wedding of an APW editor’s parents, we decided to see what it would cost to DIY the flowers from that wedding using wholesale flowers… and managed to pull it off for today’s dollars.

Meg Keene from A Practical Wedding recently wrote an article for Buzzfeed where she recreated her parents 1970’s wedding to see what it would cost in 2017, and the results were shocking. Her parents spent $2,000 on their wedding, which would translate to around $10,000 today. Except that when Meg started getting quotes from all of venues and vendors, she found that it would actually cost her $47,286 to recreate her parents wedding in 2017.

One of the biggest price jumps? The flowers! Right behind photography, the ceremony and reception, flowers alone are 483% more expensive in 2017 than they were in the 70’s. Flowers can make up 8-10% of that cost, which means the average bride can expect to spend around $3,000 on flowers alone!


The 1970’s Wedding

“My parents got married three days after Christmas, so for the ceremony, they used the flowers that were still up from the holidays — which means their floral needs were relatively small: one bridal bouquet made with holly, ivy, and irises; three bridesmaids bouquets full of daisies; flowers for the flower girl (same); and two arrangements for the cake table at the reception with chrysanthemum and ivy. All in all? $50 in 1974 terms … As it stands, flowers can come from anywhere, so we sent some photos of my parents’ bouquets to our friendly florist Belle Flower for a quote, and the estimate came in at $1,400. (That said, many florists in San Francisco these days don’t get out of bed for less than $4,000, so in reality you may end up with more flowers than my parents had…and a much higher bill.)”

The Cost

According to Meg, this $50 flower expense should equate to $240 in today’s dollars, but a variety of factors have made that price skyrocket to a whopping $1,400!

All of these numbers made us curious, so we decided to see what it would cost to DIY those wedding flowers in 2017 using wholesale flowers. After coming up with a rough estimate of the arrangement sizes and flowers used, we were able to recreate everything for only $270! Not much higher than the $240 quoted by Keene in the article – and a whopping 80% less than the $1400 estimate! 


*Flower prices are subject to change, this is an estimate based on the average cost of those flowers in those specific quantities.

1Bridal Bouquet10 Stems Irises
3 Stems Baby’s Breath
5 Stems Ivy
5 Stems Holly
3Bridesmaids Bouquets12 Stems Daisies (36 total)$90
1Flower Girl1 Bag Freeze-Dried Rose Petals $68
2Centerpieces15 Stems Chrysanthemums (30 total)
10 Stems Ivy (20 total)


See how much you can save on flowers when you DIY your wedding flowers with wholesale flowers. offers a wide selection of beautiful DIY flowers for any wedding budget and style! We let you buy as many or as few flowers as you need with low minimum buying requirements, while offering next-day delivery! Want to DIY but not sure where to start? Our friendly floral experts are just a call or chat away, and will help you curate a cart of beautiful blooms that fit your style and your budget! Need inspiration? The Blooms Blog offers galleries of styled photo shoots, step-by-step flower arranging tutorials and more!


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