I agree - the flowers die - to save cost on flowers, pick a flower you like that is in season, local and more plentiful. There should be enough that you can find one that you like.
One way I saved on table arrangements was instead of getting full table arrangements, the facility provided hurricaine candles and I had the florists make floral rings to go around them. Sinple and elegant (and much cheaper). That is another thing - thing simple elegance. It tends to cost less and to me looks better than big overpowering arrangements.