Over the next few months I will be creating a new blog series on ‘how much!?’. The cost of wedding flowers can sound crazy and if you are not a florist you wouldn’t know what goes into it. So, this series will give you a bit of an insiders take on how wedding flowers are put together and priced.
What are the costs then?
Every florist is different and they price in a different way but it is very much like a plumber – the parts needed (i.e. flowers) are not the majority of the bill. Much of the bill is time and expertise to create you your perfect wedding flowers. If you are working with a shop florist then of course there is rent, bills and staff costs. Independent florists have all of these costs too but they are often much lower.
So, what takes so long?
Most people will think the flowers arrive and a florist has a lovely day putting them all together into pretty bunches. To be fair this is the best part of the job but before the flowers even arrive the florist has to order them and to order them the florist needs to know what you want and create you a design. In reality, bespoke wedding flowers are like having a work of art created for you. There is a lot of thinking time involved in taking your colours, working out what goes best with your theme and creating something just for you. It is actually quite a tricky job as the florist has to know what flowers are in season, what stem lengths are needed, calculate how many of everything is needed and how much it all costs and work out how many days before the wedding the flowers need to arrive in order to look their best.
As well as this is the non-flower ‘stuff’. How many vases, bowls or urns are needed (and are they clean), how many meters of ribbon (to be fair I love ordering ribbon!) plus working out the time needed to create each arrangement and this tells you how many staff to bring in and when the flowers need to be delivered.
Prep, prep and more prep
Even when they do arrive the flowers are not ready to put in bouquets, they need to be prepared. This means the most hated job of all – scrubbing buckets to make sure they are clean enough and bacteria does not kill the flowers. Before they are put in water the flowers need their leaves stripping off and to be re-cut to ensure they drink properly. Even for a small wedding this can take an hour and for a large wedding could be an all day job for two people! All of this time has to be incorporated into the cost of your wedding flowers.
Once in water flowers need to re-hydrate for a while to overcome the stresses of their journey. For some this is a day and for some two days. All of this is planning that the florist has to do to make sure your flowers look amazing on your day. To give you an example I have a separate blog on how to condition (as is the technical term) garden style roses.
The creative bit
Putting all the flowers together is the best bit (and I will do separate blogs on bouquets, buttonholes and other things) but again there is a lot of preparation to make sure everything looks perfect and you don’t use all of something on two arrangements when there are 10! Once everything is beautiful it needs to be packed for transport – think lots of boxes and tissue paper which again takes time, plus loading in the car (or van) and driving to your venue.
Is that it?
Actually, there is still loads to do. It can take hours or even days to set flowers up at a venue. Arches and installations usually have to be built on site and of course then there is all the clearing up after they have been created so your venue looks perfect. That is nearly it, but the last thing is the take down and clear. The day after your wedding the venue has to be cleared of all flowers and associated rubbish and this is usually the florist’s job. This is of course quicker to do than setting up but it is still time and travel. All of these costs and time go into the price of your wedding flowers and why the price can seem a bit ‘ouch’ (but I am hoping by now you can see that it isn’t really that much for the amount of working involved).
The comparison of course is a bouquet of flowers at the supermarket. There is very little time involved in these as all the bunches have exactly the same flowers in them and hundreds of thousands will be made at one time. They are even put together by machine to make it even quicker! I am guessing you don’t want exactly the same wedding flowers as everyone else!? There is also flower quality; wedding flowers should always be the best quality available and this, of course, means they are more expensive than flowers that would go into an everyday bunch.
Has that opened your eyes as to what is involved? Let me know in the comments and stayed tuned (as they say) for the rest of the series.