Flowers are arguably the single most important element of wedding decor. They provide color, life and uniqueness, laying the foundation for a memorable and enjoyable wedding. So if you’re planning to get married in the near future, consider the following tips and tricks on how to effectively use flowers in your wedding.

Select Your Venue First

You should choose their wedding venue first before choosing your flowers. Different flowers work best in different venues. While one variety of flowers may work best in a church, a different variety could be a better solution for an outdoor country wedding. Choosing your venue first allows you to match your flowers to the surrounding environment, creating a more uniform and cohesive appearance.

Choose the Right Florist

Unless you plan on doing your wedding flowers yourself, you should hire a florist who’s experienced and trained in weddings. Ask to see his or her portfolio to get a better understanding of their work. There’s no better way to size up a florists’ work than by looking at his or her portfolio. In addition, you can ask for referrals from other vendors with whom you are doing business. Assuming you’ve already chosen a venue, ask the venue owner or manager for recommendations on a good florist.

Reuse Ceremony Flowers

Wedding flowers can be downright expensive. According to a 2014 study conducted by TheKnot, the average cost for wedding flowers, centerpieces, bouquets and other floral arrangements was $2,141. While you can always opt for fake flowers, they don’t offer the same aesthetics and visual appeal as the real thing. Another way to lower the cost of your wedding flowers, however, is to reuse your ceremony flowers for the reception. Once the ceremony is over, designate someone to transfer the flowers over to the reception area.

Mix Colors

While there’s nothing wrong with focusing your wedding flowers around a single primary color, you should still include other colors in your floral arrangements. Feel free to incorporate two, three or even four different colors in your wedding flowers. Doing so creates a more dynamic appearance that enhances your wedding decor.

Contrast with Dress Colors

Don’t make the mistake of giving your bridesmaids flower bouquets in the same color as their dresses. If your bridesmaids wear pink dresses, for instance, don’t give them pink floral arrangements. Instead, consider using contrasting colors and tones to make the flowers “pop” with greater visual appeal. Deep red roses against light pink dresses are an excellent choice, as the two colors contrast with one another.