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Weddings are expensive. That goes without saying, but instead of resigning yourself to the idea that good quality must equal spending exorbitant amounts of money, why not look for small ways to economize? One way to cut costs is with your bridal bouquet. Traditionally something that can set you back a couple hundred dollars, you can easily DIY it without sacrificing appearance (or a ton of money).

To get expert tips on how to create an affordable wedding bouquet that doesn’t look cheap, we asked Elena Seegers of NYC-based floral design company Le Fleuriste. Seegers first started the self-described “botanical creative agency” in Paris in 2011. After going back to school to study florals and moving to New York full time, she launched her current company to help people with all their flower-related needs. Today, she offers her services on Thumbtack in many capacities spanning large scale installations and styling for editorial or film shoots.

According to Seegers, there is no such thing as “the ideal bouquet,” as florals are entirely subjective. To begin, Seegers advises doing some floral research before recruiting the help of a friend to get a second opinion. “Try to get florals from your local green market or forage from around the venue if [the wedding] is in the country,” says Seegers. “Flowers are like food: Great ingredients make the dish, great blooms make the bouquet.”

Want to try compiling your perfect wedding bouquet at home? Here are Seeger’s suggestions that’ll help you get a professional-looking floral arrangement for less.

5 tips for DIYing your wedding bouquet

1. Quality, not quantity, is the easiest way to make your bouquet look more expensive. Even a few top-quality local roses will look like a million dollars compared to a large bouquet of blooms that have been flown in from across the world. Mix a couple of expensive blooms (double roses, peonies, or dahlias, depending on the season of your wedding) with some foraged elements from the wedding venue or a friend’s garden.

2. Follow your heart, not trends; so what if you’ve always loved your grandma’s proto-hippie wedding pics? Go for it: The things you love will always be more awesome than anything a trend dictates.

3. Bouquets are heavy—depending on how you envision your day, consider a bouquet on the smaller side. Pictures of grand bouquets are lovely, but photoshoots aren’t IRL and oversized florals are top-heavy and get tiring quickly on the hands.

4. Consider floral pins (small or large) rather than bouquets for your wedding party. Your bridesmaids will be happy not to have their hands full, and so will you when they’re able to give you a hand.

5. Have just one bouquet. Many brides want a second, smaller bouquet to toss so they can keep their main one forever. It may seem like a nice idea to keep your bouquet eternally, but full disclosure, it will probably be on the sadder side by the end of the night due to it being out of water and bashed around from so many hugs. Plus, how long will you actually want to keep the dried bouquet on view?

Keep your new husband’s boutonniere instead—more generous at the toss, more minimal on the keepsake, and all around less Miss Havisham.

How can people make their wedding bouquets (or other wedding floral arrangements) last longer than just the one day? Any tips for preserving the bouquets?

That’s always a tough one. After it’s been out of the water for hours and been constantly put down and scooped back up, it’s pretty unlikely that your bouquet will look like it did at the beginning of the day. That said, if you give it to your wedding party, and they know to give the stems a fresh cut, and put the bouquet back in its vase, it should be fine for a couple of days.

Related reading:

How To Choose The Right Flowers For Your Wedding The Right Way To Match Your Wedding Makeup To Your Bouquet These Succulent Centerpieces Are The Ultimate Alternative To Wedding Florals