I’ll be the first to admit that flowers are not cheap and in the post covid climate even more so. Many couples are getting married and planning a wedding for the first time. Naturally they have no idea about the costs associated with wedding flowers. They can be shocked to learn that the flowers on their Pinterest boards carry a hefty price tag. You can pick up a nice bouquet at Trader Joe’s for under $15 so why does a bridal bouquet cost $250 or more?
Wedding planning websites typically advise couples to budget 10-15% of their total budget toward flowers. A total wedding budget of $60,000 will mean a flower budget of $6,000-9,000, which sounds sufficient, but it all depends on your wedding details and your priorities. If you have a large wedding party or 200 plus guests the $6,000-9,000 will not be enough to get that Pinterest worthy centerpiece on every table. You can see how a $6,000 dollar wedding breaks down here. The average cost of a wedding in the US in 2021 was $29,000. If we follow the 10-15% rule that would give us $2,900 – $4,350. This is a completely doable budget if you’re willing to have a smaller guest list and not heavily flower both the ceremony and reception areas. If beautiful flowers are a priority for you it’s worth shuffling your budget dollars around a bit to achieve the lush, romantic flowers of your dreams, after all, they’ll be documented in your photos for years to come. Truly the best way to make your flower budget work is to keep your wedding party small and shave down your guest list, and bonus, you’ll save money all the way around.
In this blog I hope to explain why professional wedding florists charge the way we do. First of all I’d like to put to rest the myth that florists charge more just because it’s a wedding, not true! What is true is that we want your flowers to be perfect on your big day and that is no small feat. We also want you to have an overall incredible customer service experience working with us and feel completely at ease. So lets answer why wedding flowers cost so much.
Most professional florists specializing in weddings will have invested in formal studies and/or paid workshops to hone their skill and technique. It takes years to master the skill of floral design just as it takes many years of experience and schooling to specialize in other fields of work. Please be cautious when choosing a floral designer because not everyone has invested in their training and education and this can be seen in the quality of the flowers and overall design. Professional florists need to be compensated for their skills, especially if you value seamless and quality floral designs for your wedding day. Wedding floral design is also a form of artistry. As wedding florists we are offering you a unique floral creation made by hand especially for you.
Like all business owners florist have other expenses that incur. We must pay our taxes, qualified staff, bills for water, electricity, floral coolers, florist tools, websites, vases as well as business licenses, accounting fees, liability insurance, delivery vehicle gas and maintenance fees…well you get the idea. We also need to provide for our own basic needs and make a living, just like in every other profession.
The biggest factor in the cost of wedding flowers is time. We spend time screening inquiries, meeting with potential clients, preparing proposals, revising proposals, sourcing vases, ordering flowers, making game plans for flower substitutions, scheduling our staff, making timelines and checklists for the installation, finalizing the order and proposal. Then, 2-3 days before the wedding actually happens we receive your flowers and have to process each flower by hand, making sure leaves and thorns are trimmed off. Each flower needs to be properly cut and placed in a bucket of water with the correct amount of floral preservative so that they hydrate properly to look their best on your wedding day. Flowers need to be tended to for the whole week before the wedding to achieve that perfect blossom. After the flowers are hydrated there are hours of work that go into separating the flowers for each arrangement and creating each bouquet, boutonniere, corsage, flower crown, centerpiece…you get the picture.
There is the time that goes into packaging them for travel, packing our vehicles, keeping the flowers temperature controlled during transport, unpacking at the venue (service elevators!), set up at the venue. There are delivery and set up fees to help cover the time and staffing needs of your professional florist. Coming back at the end of the night or the next day to break everything down. Sometimes we wait until the ceremony is over and move elements to the reception – it’s a mad dash! There are also times that we have a very limited set up time at your venue so we have to bring extra helping hands and they must be paid.
Hours upon hours are spent on each and every wedding and this time needs to be calculated into the overall cost of your wedding flowers. Due to the time it takes to execute each wedding, our studio has a minimum spend in place and takes a limited number of weddings each week
Many wedding blogs will tell you that flowers in season are more affordable. While that may be true in some cases, the rules of supply and demand apply to flowers too. Premium, in demand flowers are pricey even when they’re in season and they can also be difficult to procure. If you really want peonies when they’re not really in season, we may be able to find them but they will likely not be quality blooms and will cost much more than they normally would. I always try to steer my couples away from out of season flowers but if it’s a must I always have a back up plan.
Now factor in that hand dyed silk ribbon, the perfect silver compote bow, all of those small details factor in the total cost as well as the supplies you don’t see – wire, tape, chicken wire, pins, they all add up. Foliage and rose petals are not always inexpensive alternatives despite what you’ve read. It takes a ton of foliage to get that gorgeous garland down the center of your table. Rose petals come from roses and we hand pluck them for your wedding aisle.
While we are on the subject of foliage let’s debunk another myth. Foliage is not a cheaper alternative to flowers. I am not going to lie there are some foliage that is cheaper than others, but eucalyptus is not one of them. It goes back to the supply and demand we just talked about. A bunch of Eucalyptus is around $30 sometimes more. it also doesn’t go very far.
It is also important to keep in mind what you are comparing when you receive quotes from various floral designers. Are they offering the exact same design? Most likely not, as each florist is an artist and has a unique floral style. In your bridal bouquet for example if one florist is quoting on expensive phalaenopsis orchids for the bouquet while another is quoting on baby’s breath there will be a large discrepancy between the two. It is important as well to choose a wedding florist who understands your floral vision and has a floral style that fits with it. Of course, your wedding florist can provide ideas for staying within your budget, but other times they may not be able to accommodate a lower budget with the floral requirements you are asking of them.
Most in demand floral designers have minimums so it’s best to ask and be upfront about your budget and your priorities. When I provide a proposal the only way to reduce the total is to remove some elements. I cannot reduce the price of your centerpieces or an arch we’ve discussed and I’ve designed. It will not be the same and wouldn’t be up to my standards of design. Think of it as asking your caterer to provide Filet Mignon, but you only want to pay for the sirloin. It just doesn’t work that way.
I hope this gives you a better insight into why wedding flowers cost what they do. If you ever have questions about pricing or budget I am always here to help.