Petals + Price Tags: Why Wedding Flowers Are A Luxury Purchase
Updated: May 8
We often hear prices increase immediately if you tell a florist you are shopping for a wedding. While this may have some truth to it, it is not because vendors are greedy or looking to take advantage of potential clients. Instead, weddings present a lot of variables that require a much higher level of service than a non-wedding event. As a newly engaged couple, shopping for wedding flowers can be one of the most overwhelming parts of planning, mainly because each floral professional has their unique style and pricing. This guide aims to shed some light on what you are paying for when you hire a florist and hopefully relieve some of the stress of planning for your big day.
Our area of expertise is flowers, so that will be the focus of this post, but many of the points can also be applied to other wedding professionals.
Picking A Florist: Why Is It So Complicated?
Ashley Olafsson Photography
Your wedding day is supposed to be one of the best and most memorable days of your life, but most of the time, planning a wedding is incredibly stressful! There are so many things to consider, and most of the time, it is a couple's first experience with event planning. Talk about pressure! You want to be sure you have the right team on your side for your celebration, and in many cases, you can compare similar vendors and their pricing directly; but when it comes to flowers, things are a little different, which makes it that much harder to know where to begin. Each florist will present you with their unique design and level of service so prices can be all over the map. The price difference between basic, cookie-cutter designs with grocery store flowers and bespoke, elevated florals can be vast and confusing. This guide is here to help you navigate the process, understand why wedding flowers are priced differently than an arrangement you pick up at the store, and give you confidence when looking at prices.
First Things First: The Stakes Are Higher With Wedding Flowers
Floral professionals take extra care with wedding arrangements because they need to be picture-perfect. A wedding is a huge life event for everyone involved, and your florist cannot simply drop the flowers and walk away hoping for the best. Wedding clients invest in a product and service that will live on long after the flowers have faded. The pictures taken will be treasured and displayed for many years and generations to come, so the level of craftsmanship is reflected in the pricing. In addition, you are paying for years of professional knowledge, experience, and hours of preparation leading up to the event, which adds to the overall value of the flowers and service you receive.
Alex Paul Photography
Weddings Are Not Like Other Events
Clients often have a particular vision and palette in mind, and designers must go above and beyond to get the needed materials, sometimes to the detriment of their profit margins.
Weddings require much more attention and care than non-wedding events. For a straightforward event, most of the time, the florist will drop the flowers and go. If they cannot get a particular flower, there is more flexibility in choosing replacement materials. Also, deliveries for a non-wedding event usually mean a relatively quick drop-off in one location. Wedding deliveries often require multiple locations and a full day setting up.
Weddings require a lot of time on site. From ensuring the tables look perfect to building art installations from perishable materials in a short time frame and then editing to ensure each detail is in place. In many cases, there is also breakdown and pick up of rental materials at the night's end.
Wedding Flowers Require A Lot of Planning + Elevated Design
Your florist spends hours on your wedding in the months leading up to it, pouring over every detail to ensure things go smoothly. Long before production begins, there are site visits, client emails, itineraries, and orders to create. In most cases, we are working on these events for an entire year, and the work is not limited to the week of the wedding. We need to be on call to make changes and answer questions for this entire period of time.
Most wedding florists will mix in premium flowers to elevate their designs. These flowers are much more expensive than the ones you would buy at the supermarket. If you find that one florist is much cheaper than another, the flower selection and volume are likely very different.
Wedding Flowers Require Expert Care + Timing
Flowers are perishable goods. Most florists will order a bit extra to account for the fact that some of the flowers will not come in looking their best (especially in the heat of the summer) or will need to be replaced on the day of the wedding if something happens on-site.
Flowers do not come into the shop ready to be placed in the designs. Every stem is inspected for quality, and the greens are removed or edited for use. Processing a flower delivery can take an entire day. Blooms must also be conditioned for their specific use, especially in personal flowers and installations. You are investing in the knowledge of a professional to be sure that everything looks its best.
Wedding production happens under extreme time constraints. For a Saturday wedding, the flowers usually come in on a Wednesday. Delivery day is spent processing and prepping, which leaves only Thursday and Friday for production. Staff is needed for large events, and the hours can be very long. You are paying for the expertise of a designer and team who can produce beautiful work under these demanding conditions.
You Are Investing In A Professional Service
You are paying for the design, production, delivery, and expertise involved in engineering things like tall centerpieces, hanging pieces, and installations. Think about when you watch something like a baking competition; what is often the tensest moment? It is the time that the cake has to be moved to another location. Experts not only create beautiful designs, but they also have to get them to the venue and be sure they will be stable and safe.
When floral designers are compensated fairly for their work, they can better serve their clients. No amount of passion can outlast underselling to book a wedding. Unfortunately, some companies out there will undercut their competition to get more work, but this leads to resentment and poor service in the long run, and it is unsustainable.
A lot goes into running a business, including insurance, properly paying your team, and maintaining a studio production space and delivery vehicles.
Sandra Armenteros Photography
Booking Your Florist With Confidence
Yes, wedding flowers are an investment, and if you are looking for elaborate Pinterest-style designs, you should be prepared for the fact that they will be a significant expense. It is best to ensure you are working with a professional you connect with and trust, so you can relax while knowing that the finished product will be florals you love. At the end of the day, the most important thing is that you and your partner are celebrating a huge milestone, and how much you want to spend is up to you. Flowers impact the atmosphere and aesthetic of the wedding; they tell a story, set the tone, and will be enjoyed in pictures for many generations to come. Are they the MOST essential part of your day? No, you and your loved ones coming together to celebrate are the most essential part of the day; but if flowers are important to you, their value can be immeasurable. Hopefully, this guide has given you some behind-the-scenes insight into wedding flower pricing.
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