Since no one really mentions this when it comes to floral arrangements, greens can be much less expensive than blooms. You can focus more on greenery and use select blooms to accent and/or berries.
Seriously, when you are a little 'challenged' monetarily or preparing a impromptu get together, go hunt and cut fresh greenery from the woods and arrange it indoors. It always looks gorgeous and people rave about it. (word to the wise: inspect your greenery before you bring it inside.) Anyway- you don't have to go picking, you can buy greenery from floral suppliers.
This is useful for both bridal shower and weddings. If you use the same technique for a wedding you will need a lot more of it. Usually for a bridal shower you can get away with two or three big centerpieces and some small bouquets for accent decorations.
You can even consider herbs for a fragrant alternative which work wonderfully for vintage showers. I've seen gorgeous things done with lavender. Frankly, it might be a good idea to minimize blooms anyway if tis' going to be hot.
You should be able to get away with well under $10 per groomsman - I'm thinking you could do each for around $5 and your girls, easily $20 or less.
Another three options I've seen done to lovely effect is:
- Wristlets for your maids using three or four flowers
- Carrying a single gorgeous flower (think large, like a peony or sunflower). Simple can be beautiful and elegant.
- Carrying a very small sapling (potted part wrapped in burlap and ribbons of course!) that will later be gifted to the church/parents of the bride/groom, grandparents, etc to plant on their property as a memento of the marriage.
I spent about $100 dollars on flowers from Whole Foods & Trader Joe's the day before the most recent bridal shower (yes, vintage) and arranged them myself. I used silk flowers for the centerpieces, but they are honestly not really cheaper, just easier to do if you aren't hiring a florist because you can make the centerpieces ahead of time.
If you use fresh flowers that are in season, and arrange them yourself, you can definitely do 6 bouquets and 5 bouttonieres for under $200. Just depends on how crafty you want to be!