Western style arrangements typically consist of a free form assemblage of flowers in a container. In contrast, Ikebana is more of a disciplined form of art, governed by well_defined rules, principles and techniques. For example, certain precepts regulate elements like the light and the shadows. There is also what is known as the three points of balance _ shin_fuku_tai in Japanese _ which symbolize man, heaven and earth, respectively, and that have to be in harmonious equilibrium in order to give true life to an Ikebana flower arrangement. This and the fact that stems and branches are used in addition to flowers, are perhaps the most obvious differences with western_style flower arrangement.
Purchase synthetic flowers instead of the natural ones. Synthetic flowers may cost a bit more when you buy them in bulk, but they could save your money as they last longer than the natural ones. Here is how it will be worthy to buy the synthetic ones; when you buy the natural flowers for flower girls, bridesmaids, as well as for yourself, they tend to whither rather quickly, more so in case of indoor weddings. As a result, you may end up buying more fresh flowers. One more advantage of buying synthetic flowers is, you can chose any petal color, any bloom shape as per your preferences and thus giving you more freedom in planning the decoration at your wedding.