Updated: Apr 12, 2019
Wedding flowers seem really expensive right? How can the local super market have flowers so cheap and yet as soon as someone mentions the W word prices sky rocket?
Here’s a little industry truth that not many are brave enough to say yet we desperately want to for every time someone comments on Instagram “How much for this?” on a wedding bouquet, wondering why the price is different to a regular bouquet or for the times we hear “As soon as you mention it’s a wedding everything becomes so expensive.” or “Do you supply flowers so that we can DIY?”.
While we definitely appreciate that everyone has budgets and their own personal style so do florists. The best advice I could give to anyone is to find the florist you love and book them. Your flowers are in almost every photograph. Along with the dress, the venue and the styling, it is one of the main things you and your guests will see. A florist who has a style you love will create something they love. They will put passion, time, money and hours….many hours into creating your floral dreams for your special day. Trust me, it’s worth it.
You have found a florist, you must have them but they are out of your budget. Re-assess what you really want. Do you want and need everything you thought you would or would you be more at peace knowing your florist is giving it their all to make your vision come to life and trust that they can do so? Knock off a few items here and there and invest in the must haves.
So I mentioned the breakdown, here’s a little on what we do.
Flowers are seasonal and if not they’re often imported. For every flower grown there is a farmer who works their butt off to grow the most perfect quality flowers to then, once grown be cut, sorted, stored and then delivered to the markets or local florists. Your imported flowers are flown on a plane to various countries then transported via truck to the markets to land in a florist shop. The florist who creates your wedding flowers gets up at 2am to drive to the market to battle the crowds hoping to get in first to get the best quality and variety. They then drive back to their shop, cut and strip all flowers and hydrate. They’re put in a fridge which is expensive to run just to make sure that they are kept at their absolute freshest. The difference between wedding bouquets and regular bouquets is the most premium flower is always selected. With this comes a price difference and longevity.
Floristry is a trade that’s often undervalued. Yes it’s a beautiful job but it is hard work too. Most florists have a minimum cert 3 in training which equates to 5 years experience on the job. We often get told that we just “play with flowers” and in a sense, we do. We play with flowers on our days off to work on a design were doing for a future bride or learn new techniques and master the ones we already know. For a wedding we begin by firstly researching into flower types, organising colour palettes and contacting growers for prices and availability. We then design and breakdown pricing for each item we quote. We check we’re available and have the staff available. Do we need to hire in machinery or vans to transport? All of this; the quoting process can take anywhere from half an hour minimum and upwards per each quote. Often this is done for free and on our time and not to mention the back and forth emailing with brides to make sure that everything is organised and we're on track to making your vision come to life. Then there’s the practical part. The early starts, the lifting, the prep and the making.
Each flower and piece of foliage is prepped by stripping, cutting and hydrating. In a bouquet there is anything upward of 30 flowers per bouquet (this is the difference between a regular bouquet and bridal bouquet; the quantity). Think 1 bridal bouquet, 4 bridesmaid bouquets, boutonnieres, arbour displays etc etc. Each flower is carefully prepped for this, this takes time, it all adds up.
During this, we make mess. We clean and sort and dispose of rubbish. We scrub our vases before and after each wedding. This takes time. Whilst making this mess, sometimes stems break, vases break. This costs money, this takes time.
We then design and create. This too, takes time. From the time we first learnt how to create floral designs, all the times we created for previous weddings, every practice bouquet. All this experience and time is put towards creating your wedding florals. After carefully making your wedding items we then need to finish each item. We check over to see that no flower is out of place, we bind bouquets, ribbon corsages, making presentation displays and boards. We make sure everything is perfect. This is what we do instore. On the day, we deliver, we unload and we create again. We head to the venue, we create amazing displays, we hang them, we place them, we secure them. Once the day is over, we go back to the venue often at 1am or early the next day. We deconstruct, we pack up, we clean. All of this from start to finish can be anywhere from 5 hours up to 50 hours of hard labour, sometimes more. What I am saying is, if you ever see a florist. Give them a hug, they need it.
Disclaimer: Some prefer wine, bring wine.
The Other Stuff
Back to the “play with flowers” thing. You see our Instagram accounts, our beautiful shops, our stunning websites. Yeah, it looks so pretty and like all we do is play with flowers, right? As much as many in this day and age loves some time on social media, we use this as a platform to showcase our work. We spend time curating our Instagram page, creating our website and keeping it fresh…after all, this is generally how you find us. We pay for our website, our email accounts our styled shoots. Then there’s the things you don’t see. Rent, staff training, wages, study, insurances, accounting, electricity etc etc (you get the drift). This too takes time, takes money.
So I guess what I am saying is, find YOUR florist and give them love. They work hard, and they will work hard for you! Each and everyone of us LOVES what we do and put so much into making sure that your wedding day is all that you imagined. For every long day, sore hands and tired minds please know that for us, it is all worth it. Why is it worth it? We get to meet you, and make your day. The happiness we see when we deliver our flowers makes everything worth it.