Why are wedding flowers SO expensive?
As you begin planning your wedding and contacting suppliers for quotes, you might be surprised how much things cost. For most couples, this is the first time sourcing wedding services, such as large scale event catering, venue hire and stationery design, and the prices can come as a shock. Floral design in particular can take up a bigger chunk of your wedding budget than you might expect, so why are wedding flowers so expensive?
We asked sustainable wedding florist and Fine Art Curation member CV Flowers to share her insight. "The short answer is that you are paying for beautiful flowers plus all that is needed to prepare and artfully design them, in conjunction with a specialized service," explains founder Christianne, who is based in Colorado. "Read on for a peak behind the scenes on what goes into pricing event floral design to better understand the cost of your wedding flowers."
1. Flowers are expensive.
It is a fact that the most pinned and saved wedding florals on the internet generally feature the most expensive flowers. Think lily of the valley, David Austin garden roses, Japanese sweet peas, Phalaenopsis orchids, and off-season peonies, just to name a few. Flower-filled Pinterest-worthy weddings can fill you with inspiration, that is until you find out the level of investment they require. Contributing to the sticker shock you may feel upon receiving a proposal, is the increase of 10-35 percent in your florists’ wholesale costs in the last few years. Everything from flowers to supplies to truck rentals has gone up. In some cases, a lot!
2. Your florist's skill, time and experience
In total, your wedding florist will likely spend up to seventy hours on the design and execution of your wedding flowers, from the time of the first meeting to the final breakdown and clean-up from your event. This does not include hours put in by additional designers to help. Nor does it include the continuing education and practice that the most sought-after florists invest in, to be at the top of their game with the latest floral sustainability techniques, trends, and design styles.
3. You are receiving a bespoke service
It all begins when you first meet to discuss your style and requirements. From there a mood board and proposal are created as well as an estimate based on the availability of certain flowers at the time of your event. Moving forward to about a month or two before your wedding, your florist will determine the stem count needed for your event, reserve any rental pieces, build fixtures (if required)) and determine the hard goods required so that orders can be placed with the appropriate vendors.
Your florist also must take into account the unpredictability of supply chains and of course, the nature of flowers. Your florist may need to make several quick decisions on substitutions. Rest assured that a skilled and experienced florist will ensure that your wedding day flowers are spectacular, regardless of any glitches that happen along the way.
4. Preparing your wedding flowers takes many hours
About five days before your wedding, your florist will coordinate the pick-up and or delivery of your wedding flowers and greenery. Depending on the scale of your wedding, this may be from multiple sources such as local farms, a wholesale market, and overnighted items from out of state growers. Once they have arrived at the studio, the processing begins; each flower stem is cleaned of leaves and thorns and a fresh cut is provided to the stem. Even with multiple people, this is a process that takes many hours, up to a full studio day. At this point, it is worth mentioning that whether your florist rents or owns that studio space, it is a big expense.
5. Delivery and set-up of your wedding flowers
Finally, it is time to start designing and creating your wedding flowers, about three to four days before your wedding. Usually, at least two or more designers are putting in long days to complete your floral designs. If your wedding has a large installation, such as a floral arch, these flowers are most often designed on-site a few hours before your ceremony. Depending on the scale of the installation and the time allotted for the set-up of your wedding, this often requires multiple designers to complete.
On the day of your wedding, your florals are carefully loaded up, delivered, and set-up at your venue. When your event is over, a team will return to take down, pack up and clean up. Then it is back to the studio, where there is still plenty of work to be done, separating flowers for composting, cleaning and removing wax from candle holders, sanitizing all of the buckets and vessels, as well as returning rental pieces. It can add up to another full day of work.
Photographer: Gabriela Mata Photography | Florals: CV Flowers | Dress: Sareh Nouri | Rentals: Event Rents Vail / Aspen | Venue: 4 Eagle Ranch | Make-up: Sabrina Deemer | Hair: Muse Modern Heather | Flower: Wozani Farm | Cake: Cāk The Bakery | Stationery: AEC Creative | Draping: Ship Our Wedding