Why are Wedding Flowers so expensive?
Ever wondered why a bridal bouquet costs more than any other flowers you’ve ever bought? It’s not because you’re being taken advantage of, we promise! I know a lot of brides are shocked to find out that their allotted floral budget isn’t going to cover the wedding of their dreams… and there’s good reason why! I’ve broken down a few key points that you might not know about the tedious world of flowers, to share just why exactly wedding flowers are so expensive:
1. THE BEHIND THE SCENES STUFF
From picking out colors to planning designs and creating a mood board of inspiration, most likely you’ve worked with a wedding florist to set the vision and inspiration of the wedding flowers your big day. Behind the scenes, florists are making mental notes of many other details that make all the difference for a perfectly designed wedding.
At more than a month away from the wedding, wedding florists are seriously hustling to start creating the perfect wedding flowers for a bride’s big day. This can include choosing specific flowers, sourcing vessels and containers from various sources, making sure the needed materials aren’t on back order and getting enough supplies to meet the bride’s needs.
The month of the wedding, wedding florists are getting final counts in, fine-tuning floral recipes, placing orders with vendors and ordering all of the supplies we need to create each of these items (think wristlets, liners for containers, ribbons, wire, pins etc.)
2. FLORIST LIFE IS NOT GLAMOROUS
On a typical week, flowers arrive on Tuesday – Thursday, depending on the type of bloom, and this is where the start of the production week begins. Once the wedding flowers arrive, each bunch is accounted for, stems are cleaned of foliage and/or thorns, and each stems is freshly cut then dipped into re-hydrating solution. We call this “processing.” After the flowers are taken care of, there is the trash (oh, so much trash!) and recycling to take care of.
After all the necessary production tasks are done, some flowers are kept out of the cooler where we monitor their bloom, or placed directly into our coolers to keep flowers tight and ready for the design week ahead. We like to call this “babysitting” the flowers, because each one has different needs.
3. WORKS OF ART TAKE TIME
Believe it or not, there are countless hours that go into the placement and design of each arrangement and/or floral piece: from bouquets to each hand-created boutonniere, corsage, centerpiece, aisle flower and detail. Let’s take the bridal bouquet as an example: an average bridal bouquet will have 2-3 times more flowers in it than you might find in a bunch you order for a friend for her birthday. Your florist will have spent several hours meeting with you, answering your emails and specifically sourcing and ordering the correct specialty blooms to fulfill your vision (as opposed to whatever is available that week). It then takes up to two hours to make the bouquet (compared to the 20 minutes it might take a florist to make a daily order). And then there’s the experience of your floral designer who has spent years honing their craft and perfecting their methods (the same goes for all your other vendors!).
After the hours upon hours it takes to create the perfect floral design, your florist then needs to clean and package the vases, prep votives with any candles needed, and prepare their toolkit for delivery.
4. SPEAKING OF DELIVERY…
The work doesn’t stop when your arrangements and bouquets are designed and fully created! Sometimes the trickiest part of wedding flowers is the delivery! To transport and deliver flowers, each design must be packaged, misted and placed into air-conditioned transportation to arrive in one piece to the wedding venue. Extra time is allotted to ensure arrival with no challenges. Once they have arrived, all flowers are placed in the coolest spot, and then on-site set-up begins. This means your florist places each arrangement, ensures everything is just as outlined in the paperwork, and makes the ceremony and reception space picture perfect. To add to that, any installation that has to be done onsite (arbor, large arrangements, backdrops, hanging florals) requires not just buckets of beautiful blooms, but ladders, rope, nails and sometimes out of the box creative thinking by your florist. Which again, must be transported, set up, cleaned up and hauled off.
5. WEDDING FLORISTS HAVE TO STAY ON THEIR TOES
I’m going to let you in on a little secret… nothing ever goes as planned. No matter how much time and energy we spend on making sure everything goes just as we’d like, something keeps us on our toes for every wedding. Maybe the roses we ordered in aren’t as big as we’d like, or a crop comes in looking not as great as usual, we have to improvise and adjust almost every week due to the changing product we work with. Sometimes this means spending a little more than we budgeted on our end to ensure our product meets our high standards. We’ve learned to be flexible with this process, as there may be something unplanned that comes up (hey, hurricanes!) and needs quick and immediate action to ensure our end-product is up to our standards.
6. TEAM WORK MAKES THE DREAM WORK
Thought that was it? Not so fast: this work doesn’t get done by itself. It takes a team to create a wedding: from the starting stages of prep work to the design and the delivery, your wedding florist has an entire team working on your wedding to make all your visions come to life. Having a team costs your florist money in the form of labor to create and get these products delivered — which is another factor to the cost of your wedding flowers.
When you receive a quote from a vendor, you’re going to want to jump straight to the bottom line to look at the total price (because budget!). But we encourage you to stop for just a minute and think about the value and experience they are bringing to your wedding day. Their creative talent is their livelihood and they’re fiercely passionate about helping you create the wedding you dream of.
~Mash up of my words and thoughts from OnceWed and Audrey Chaney from Botanica Floral and Event Design