“Why are flowers so expensive?! They don’t even last that long!”
Welcome to the life of a florist :)
In this blog post, we are here to answer your questions about the cost of wedding flowers, and we hope to give you a better understanding of those prices! If you have more questions after you read this, feel free to send us an e-mail and we would be happy to chat with you.
Let’s start from when our clients first reach out to us! Normally, a client reaches out to us via our submission form on our website, and sends along some inspiration pictures or Pinterest page, along with the flowers needs for the wedding (number of bouquets, corsages, centerpieces, etc). If we have the date available, we usually try to schedule a call so we can get a better idea of what a client might be envisioning before we send over a detailed quote. During this phone call, we like to get to know our potential client, to make sure we would be a good fit for them! We also see if there are any blooms in particular that they are looking for.
After the phone call, we start putting together a detailed proposal to send over to the client. This proposal usually takes a few hours to put together, as we want it to be perfect and exactly what our client is looking for. Pricing these proposals is what really takes the most time. We need to calculate how many stems of each variety of flower goes into every arrangement, and then what each of those stems cost us. It’s important to know that each variety of flower has a different cost. For example, a peony or garden rose is going to cost quite a bit more than a carnation or standard rose. Other factors that go into the cost per stem is if it is in season during the date of the wedding, if they are local flowers, if the wedding is close to Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day (prices per stem definitely go up on these busy flower holidays), etc. Just a heads up: if a bouquet or centerpiece is on Pinterest, it probably has LOTS of those premium blooms in them. When we send over the proposal, we usually like to walk through it with the client, either over the phone or in person, to get their thoughts and to talk about pricing. At this point, we have already invested quite a few hours with the client!
If the client decides to book with us (yay!), then we spend the next few months answering any questions or e-mails leading up to the client’s wedding. A month prior to the wedding, we schedule an in-person final consultation with our client to talk about the actual table set ups and to confirm all of the floral needs. After we confirm the number of arrangements, we can then place the orders for the flowers. This is one of the trickiest parts about being a florist! You do not want to buy too many flowers and waste money on flowers that you do not need, but you also want to make sure you have enough to bring the client’s expectations to life. It’s also important to note that when we order from wholesalers, the flowers come in certain amounts. For example, we can’t just order one rose, we have to order 25 roses! Another important part to remember is that not all of the flowers that we order are going to be wedding worthy. When working with perishables, you can expect some of them to be crushed or dead when they arrive from the wholesaler. These are all facts that we have to consider when ordering.
Being a florist is also rather labor intensive! This is the part that often gets missed when people start dreaming about what it would be like to be a florist. Lots of buckets full of water, heavy boxes, and carrying loads in and out of venues! Once the flowers come in to our shop, we quickly get them into buckets of water that we have already filled. The first thing you must do when the flowers come in is process them. This means giving each stem a fresh snip, removing leaves and gross petals, and removing thorns from roses. When you order hundreds of flowers, this takes up at least a full day! *If you have decided to have DIY wedding flowers, make sure you understand that processing flowers is very important and does require some time!* Processing helps prolong the life of the flowers and ensures that they will be beautiful and alive for your wedding.
Once all flowers are processed, we usually start designing the next day. This is our favorite part of course, but also can cause the most anxiety when you consider yourself a perfectionist! We spend hours putting together the perfect arrangements, bouquets, corsages, and boutonnieres that have been requested. Sometimes, we put together a whole bouquet just to take it apart again because it does not look perfect to us. Even those tiny boutonnieres take some time - more time than one might realize!
Once designing is done and it is the day of the wedding, we play Jenga trying to get all of the arrangements into the van and secured. This can be quite stressful, as we do not want anything to tip over and get messed up. Once we arrive at the venue, we start setting up and working on any arbors or other installations for the wedding. With some venues, we can be on quite the time crunch, so it’s important that we have a plan put together for how we are going to execute everything.
Sometimes after the wedding is done, we have to go back to the venue to clean up any installations or to pick up any vases or candles that were rented. We might be a little slap happy if you see us at this time! But overall, we are just so happy knowing that our clients were satisfied and that they had an amazing wedding. We still aren’t quite done with our job though! After everything gets back to the shop, it needs to be cleaned (whoo hoo!). This usually takes a full day as well, since we have to clean every bucket, vase, and get candle wax off of things it shouldn’t be on. ;)
Overall, being a florist is much more than throwing pretty flowers into a vase! If you read the whole blog post (it was long, I know) hopefully you can get a better sense of why flowers are so expensive. Lots of love, care, and math goes into each and every arrangement. Tears of frustration and joy will be shed and lots of coffee will be consumed…..
But it is so worth it! We love what we do and hope we get to share our passion of floral design with you :)
Thanks for reading!
The Glamour and Grit Team