I recently polled my Instagram followers on three floral pricing questions: Is floral pricing confusing? Do you have an idea of what your floral budget can get you? And finally, can you tell in you’re getting a fair quote? The majority of responses indicated that more information needed to be available for a bride to make an informed decision in booking a florist. With that in mind, I attempted to put some information together with the hope that it would shed some light on how to confidently book your dream florist for your wedding.
Breaking down industry pricing
Here is how an event florist generally comes up with a quote: the formula involves a markup factor on wholesale flowers, makeup factor on hard goods, labor fee or design fee, sales tax, delivery. The markup factor on wholesale flowers generally range from 3 to 5 and the markup on hard goods range from 2 to 3. The labor fee or design fee may be calculated differently; some florists charge an hourly rate, especially if they are designing and executing a large installation that requires many labor hours, or extra team members. Some florists will charge a flat percentage based on the wholesale cost. The delivery fee generally covers the cost to load the arrangements, and drop off the arrangements to the venue. A breakdown or clean-up fee may be assessed and added on.
How do we know how much flowers we need to purchase? Not guess work! Some math is actually involved – after we design an arrangement, we calculate surface area, that is how much area we need to fill and how much of each flower’s area will fill that space. When we have a count of the stems for each type of flower, then we can place an order with the wholesaler.
What you pay for when you hire an event florist
Here at A’s Floral Designs, we optimize your budget, calculate every stem down to the last eucalyptus branch so there is no waste and design unique florals based on your likes and wants. We then pre-order the flowers listed in your proposal, ensuring that the varieties and quantities needed are secured for your wedding. Leading up to your event, the flowers arrive tight-budded and most of them are dehydrated from the long journey from the farm to the wholesaler. We process each stem individually, with the best of floral preservation products, so your blooms are hydrated, blossoming and ready to be used. This means trimming stems, cleaning thorns, pealing off guard petals, making another trip to the wholesaler if your flowers came in damaged or in the wrong color, cleaning up all the cuttings, preparing vases and soaking floral foam, and all the other mechanics involved in creating your arrangements. When you hire an event florist, you get the peace of mind that nothing short of luxurious blooms will show up beautifully presented at your special day.
How to set a budget for wedding flowers
Generally, most couples will budget about 7-10% of their overall wedding budget. Flowers are usually one of the later budget items that are sought out in the wedding planning scheme. We’ve had to regretfully explain to “price-shocked” brides why their budget wouldn’t get them all the arrangements or the type of flowers on their wish list. Here’s why: not all flowers cost the same! A rose can cost two or three times as much as a carnation, and a peony can cost up to five times as much as a rose. As a reference, carnations, some roses and hydrangeas are on the lower end of floral prices; ranunculus, anemones and spray roses are mid range; and garden roses, peonies, orchids and sweet pea are in the high range. Seasonal availability also can affect prices. Flowers that are going out of season and are difficult to source or that are in high demand (for example roses around Valentine’s day) will be more expensive.
A good start is 15% of your overall budget, with the understanding that if you are seeking Pinterest-perfect designs, with floral saturation everywhere, then you may need as much as 25% of your overall budget. Before you go to your florist- do a little math. How many pieces do you think you’ll have? Leaving out small items like boutonnieres and corsages, divide your floral budget by the number of large items. If you’re getting less than $60 a piece, chances are you’re under budget. If you’re getting close to or over $100 per piece, you have set an achievable budget. Next time you’re in the flower section in the grocery, or at a floral shop, glance at what is being sold for the price you calculated per item. See if it is what you like or are expecting for your wedding, and it will give you an idea about if your budget is realistic.
Why event florists do not have a priced menu
Every order is a custom one, because every couple and event are unique! We style according to your taste and budget, so we need to crunch the numbers every time we prepare a quote. Think of a contractor that you called out for a repair to your home. You wouldn’t expect that they provide a quote without a site visit and checking which/how much material they will need to do the job. It’s the same with event florists, we need time to run the numbers. Standing floral shops work off of recipes they have developed and use daily in their everyday arrangements, which is why they can provide a priced menu.
Saving money on florals but still achieving the look you want
Take the time to schedule a consultation with your florist. Have a discussion on what your expectations are, your must-have flowers, your must not-have flowers and your budget. Optimizing your budget is finding the sweet spot between having your must-haves as focal flowers and balancing the rest with lower budget flowers to still achieve a beautiful arrangement.
Before you go price-hunting, ensure that you know exactly what you are comparing. Ask how many stems of the focal flowers you can expect in your arrangements that is being quoted to you. It isn’t always about the lowest quote! Without knowing the exact recipe or design that your florist is using, it is difficult to compare a second quote. Our advice to you is to focus on finding a florist who fits seamlessly with your own aesthetic, one who has done designs before that you have fallen in love with. At A’s Floral Designs, we will revise your proposal and quote as many times as we need to, in order to fulfill your vision.
I hope this has been helpful in clarifying floral pricing. I wish all engaged couples the very best in their wedding planning adventure! If you liked this blog post, comment below and let me know!