Quick answer: They’re not!
There is no sneaky florist rule that we charge double for a wedding, just because! I’ve heard so many people say this, and it makes me sad. So please, let me explain…
Most of the time wedding flower quotes seem expensive because, in comparison to what you’ve ever spent at a grocery store or on a holiday, they are! But what you’re paying for with wedding flowers is a product AND a service. You’re buying the flowers themselves AND the labor to design, transport and deliver or install the flowers.
The blooms are expensive themselves! The flowers you see most often on Instagram, (most likely) Pinterest or in magazines are premium, perfect blooms, usually ranging from $2-$7 PER STEM wholesale. I wish they would post the cost next to those pictures, so everyone could understand the thousands of dollars that were poured into each Pinterest picture-perfect photo shoot.
All of the high-end flowers like garden roses, ranunculus, and those wonderful peonies, they carry a hefty price tag. And no florist worth their while will gouge you on the price for no good reason. They know that those wedding pictures you will be looking at for the rest of your life need the very best blooms, the perfect drape of foliage, and the highest quality of flowers available.
The labor! For wedding flower design, logistics can take up to 50% of the total time. When you say “wedding” to a florist, they don’t tack on an extra thousand dollars for the title, they tack on 20 extra hours of work, knowing that that’s what it will take for the perfect floral decorations for your event.
Did you know that in 2018 the average cost of wedding flowers was $2,500? That may seem low or high to you, depending on your budget or overall understanding of flower expenses. Just know that most florists want your day to be exactly how you’ve always dreamed, are prepared to work their hardest to get you there and that what you will pay will match that amount of work.
There is a huge misunderstanding that your budget needs to be kept a secret! There is no trick, no different pricing, no huge upsell. Flowers cost what they cost. Designs, labor, and hard goods cost what they cost.
Your budget doesn’t tell me what I’m going to charge you. What it does is tell me what type of flowers, and how many pieces we can fit into what you can afford. A budget tells me if I should be giving you a proposal with roses and carnations, or peonies and dahlias. A budget tells me if we should just focus on the bridal party wearables, or if centerpieces and ceremony flowers can be included.
When someone says “as little as possible”, I don’t know if that means $700 or $1700, neither of which is wrong! The reason prices aren’t cut and dry listed on the website (as they are for rental companies or other vendors) is that each flower choice changes the cost. Every bloom is priced differently, and there are plenty of ways to increase or decrease the cost of a floral piece by flower selection.
In the same way that you wouldn’t go car shopping without telling the salesperson your ideal budget, shop for flowers with your budget forward and I’m sure any good florist can give you direct and helpful information.
Recently a florist friend of mine wrote a blog post about this subject, and I thought it was fantastic! April from @TheSwedishGarden said this: “We are in the times of the DIY. And that is great! If you have the talent or know someone who does and you can get the same result as a professional, then, by all means, go for it!” Considering grocery store flowers? Many of those look great but won’t last past the day, they’re often older and haven’t always been kept in favorable flower conditions.
April also said; “to put them together into a boutonniere, a corsage or a wedding bouquet takes skill. Takes talent. Takes a florist to be able to give you the Pinterest inspiration you are looking for. Wedding garlands aren’t just stems laid on a table. Wedding bouquets aren’t just flowers picked up and wrapped in a ribbon. Those flowers need to be cared for before they even get home. They need to be cut and handled correctly so they get enough water and nutrients to stay alive. They might need to be wired, glued, and have a hidden water source to make it through a 100 degree outdoor July wedding day… It takes a florist. It takes a professional.”
“Now, one might say, “but that costs so much more money!” True- you are right! It does cost more money. But that money goes somewhere. It goes to a florist who is taking full responsibility to ensure your wedding or event is exactly how you have envisioned… It takes a florist to make a bouquet that lasts the whole day. Think about all of that work- suddenly taken off of your plate, the months, the weeks before your wedding, the night before or even the day of! Yes, going with a florist “might” be more expensive on paper, but in the long run, so is your time and- your sanity!”
I say a huge thanks to April for her well thought out words and explanation, and I think this is something huge to consider when planning your wedding. What is worth saving the money, and what is worth spending to make sure your day is exactly what you want without the needless worry!