More often that not when a new enquiry comes to me it will usually say something like
‘ Can you provide a cost for a bridesmaid bouquet, bridesmaids, buttonholes and maybe some centerpieces’
Well, no not really…..
Here’s why and this is good advice when approaching florists if you want to find a few different quotes.
Firstly, know roughly how many items you need, 2 or 20 buttonholes?
What time of year are you getting married?
Are there any particular flowers your really want or really don’t want?
What colours do you like or hate?
What budget are you thinking you’ll spend?
Where are you getting married? Will you be at the venue in the morning? Where will the groom be?
Are you bringing in a venue dresser we can work with?
Does the venue need us to come back at 1am to pack up?
The budget question is really important, florists will always cost up items based on the best possible flowers available to them, afterall, it’s your big day and you deserve only the best! However, keep in mind that even when flowers are seasonal, they can still be very expensive - hydrangeas a wedding favourite are incredibly expensive and personally I will always order more than I think I need because you’ll always get a couple that decide to die at the last minute unexpectedly! I’ve heard that some florists say 10% of your wedding budget should go on flowers. I’m not sure what this is based on to be honest but I think you should think of a budget and add on another couple of hundred just to be on the safe side.
It’s not just the act of creating your flowers that you’re paying for it’s other factors that are built into the costs such as;
Initial meeting, creating and putting together an estimate , changes and amendments to this
Venue visit - double checking against estimate
Second client visits if meeting was over 6 months ago
Speaking with venue / cake / wedding planners contacts regarding logistics
Sourcing non flower items if necessary - this will include trips to wholesalers or haberdasheries,
Ordering and prepping your flowers, often this will be a split order to ensure some flowers open on time
Care of the flowers whilst they are drinking and hydrating
Creating your bridal party flowers, boxing up , tagging, dividing flowers up
Venue flower creation, I try to do most of this on site if possible to cut down on the time in my workshop. I will probably have had a couple of hours of sleep before this!
Packing up, cleaning up,
Returning to venue to collect items (here’s where you can cut some costs by offering to do this)
So, maybe a bit more than you may have thought and this is why flowers can be 3/4 times more expensive than you see in the shops. Afterall, we are a business and whilst I always (luckily) have had great relationships with all of my brides - I don’t think one of them would like to think I’ve come out of it, out of pocket. Some may ask why on earth do it? My reason is that yes it can be stressful but I love the process and I love creating something different every time - and the biggest reward? Seeing the bride’s face when she sees her bouquet. If they cry, I’ve done my job properly!! ha! I’m joking, some brides aren’t that fussed about flowers and I get that, but as long as they’re happy. So am I. My other half and my lovely assistants will testify that i’m a nervous wreck until that bouquet is handed over. It’s a massive thing to be entrusted with something so important and that’s why I will take 2/3 hours alone creating the bridal bouquet.
I’ve had to make a decision recently that after working in the industry for nearly 7 years and still not really making enough (it’s a labour of love) to be able to warrant not having a weekday job and with there only being a certain number of weekends in the year, that I will no longer take any budgets under £1,000. This is partly down to thinking I still need to build my portfolio up but actually after rejigging my website - I think i’m a bit past this now! I know that rules out some customers but there are plenty of up and coming talented freelance florists who would be happy to take on smaller budgets.
I hope this helps you and keep this in mind when you’re speaking to your slightly frazzled looking florist.