So you have a shiny new聽diamond on聽your left hand; congrats! Now that the聽bubbly has been popped and the news spread,聽it鈥檚 time to get to the fun part聽of planning. Over the next few months you鈥檒l be tasked with聽everything from picking out the perfect linens to finding a DJ that will bring聽it on聽the dance floor. With so many big decisions ahead of you, we鈥檙e here (just like聽a trusty bridesmaid!) to help, with Real Brides Ask, a new series聽that tackles your toughest bridal questions.聽

鈥淗ow do I get the most bang for my floral buck?鈥 鈥斅燙hristina聽K., age 27, San Francisco

It鈥檚 not exactly news that聽weddings are a BIG investment, and one of the biggest budget busters is flowers.聽Whether it鈥檚 show-stopping聽bouquets for the bridal party to elegant centerpieces, it鈥檚 easy (soooo easy) to blow an entire budget on聽your floral dreams. We consulted flower powerhouse聽Jinger Leonard of Bay-area go-to聽The Flower House, and she delivered 鈥 scroll down for her absolute best tips.

Wedding bouquet

Keep 鈥檈m moving. According to Leonard, the single best way to get the most value聽for your blooms is聽to make聽them work聽alllllll day, by moving them between your ceremony and reception. 鈥淩eusing the flowers from the ceremony makes [the reception]聽really grand,鈥 she said. 鈥淚t鈥檚 like getting two things for one price.鈥 To make this work, the florist聽suggests聽using聽looser, layered arrangements on showcase spots like the altar and reusing them as centerpieces. (We think this looks especially great on long, family-style tables.) And there鈥檚 more sneaky switches. The flowers secured聽from hanging jars or other聽means at the end of the聽pews can be moved onto guest tables during cocktail hour. Bridesmaid bouquets can double as head table decor. Talk to your florist in advance: Getting her thinking about the specifics of your venue may give you a whole new set of doable moves. And make sure you clue in the event space staff or your day-of coordinator to make sure there鈥檚 a plan for who switches what arrangements, and when.

Wedding Table

Be strategic.聽The types of flowers you pick have a big impact on the bottom line. And if your dream arrangements include peonies, roses, or orchids, you鈥檝e probably already realized just how much. (Ouch.) But Leonard says you聽can treat yourself to all your favorite Champagne-taste blooms while staying on your Miller Lite budget 鈥 as long as you keep them in one special spot.聽鈥淚 take the best of everything she wants聽and put it in the bride鈥檚 bouquet,鈥澛爏he聽says. The bride鈥檚 flowers are typically the most photographed聽arrangement聽(and the one you鈥檙e gonna see the most),聽so include all your must-haves there. Using complementary flowers in the same shades for the other arrangements will keep your florals cohesive, but keep your budget from dipping into the red.

Do you have a wedding planning dilemma?聽Share聽it聽with us @BritandCo聽using hashtag #WeddingWoes for a chance to have it answered in our next feature.

(Photos via Getty)