Why Wedding Flowers Cost What They Do . . .by Karma Flowers

Friday, March 2, 2012

One of the first pieces of literature we ever read about the flower industry {before we established our company} was a magnificent editorial on how florists/floral designers arrive at their pricing. I remember it being so eye-opening and if I am lucky enough to come across it again, I will share it with all of you.

What the author of that article attempted to do is what I am going to attempt to do here. Explain why wedding flowers cost what they do. You can buy a dozen roses in your local grocery store today for about 10 bucks. So how can a bridal bouquet possibly cost hundreds of dollars? Let me break it down.

First of all, 'grocery store flowers' are far different from the flowers you see in those gorgeous bridal bouquets featured on blogs. A rose is not always just a rose.

The Wedding Chicks
The peach roses in this stunning bouquet featured on The Wedding Chicks by Lindy Floral, {photographed by Ryan Ray} are garden roses and they ARE NOT 10 bucks a dozen. In fact, David Austin Garden Roses are selling wholesale for about 32 dollars a dozen at the moment. That is our cost! You can just imagine what they would cost in a retail grocery store, and for that reason, you won't find them there.  Therefore, flower selection is a huge factor in the overall cost of your wedding flowers. Peonies, specialty roses, ranunuculus, orchids, and gardenia {along with others} are going to require a bigger budget because the material cost to the floral designer is high.

Additionally, you must keep in mind that floral designers HAVE to over-order to have enough usable flowers for your bouquet and centerpieces. Sometimes it is almost double the amount actually needed. While we find the imperfection of flowers charming, we understand that they need to be visually stunning for your big day so a lot of what we get in a shipment or order, we are going to find unfit to use for your event. Remember flowers wilt and stems crack. That 32 bucks for the dozen garden roses just became 64 bucks for your bridal bouquet and we haven't added any other stems yet.

In fact, let me break down this beautiful bouquet also featured on The Wedding Chicks blog. {I chose to use their features because they offer the flower "recipe" for DIY-ers and therefore we are sure that we are pricing the same bouquet} This bouquet was created by Janie Medley Flora Design {who has amazing taste in website design ;) } and was photographed by Jodi Miller Photography.

Recipe from The Wedding Chicks blog:

The Wedding Chicks
5 stems of coral peonies...........30 bucks/5 stems
10 stems of Juliet Garden Roses..32 bucks/dozen
10 stems of white veronica........11 bucks/10 stems
10 stems of white ranunculus......12 bucks/10 stems
10 stems of lite pink ranunculus...12 bucks/10 stems
7 stems of fresh lavender............. .8 bucks/bunch
7 stems of blue tweedia...............10 bucks/bunch
5 stems of queens anne’s lace......12 bucks/bunch
6 stems of dusty miller...................8 bucks/bunch

= 135 dollars in flower material cost for the bouquet {without ordering extra peonies, roses, and ranunculus in case some can't be used. If we do, you are easily looking at 220 dollars for just the stems!} The truth is, very little would be left over from that order to make bridesmaids bouquets and bouts, so you can easily times that order by three if you want to consider having flowers for your bridal party. And we haven't even begun to touch the ceremony and reception decor. Again, this is just straight material cost. Without going into my pricing metric I will tell you that this bouquet would cost at least double what it does in supplies {read below to find out why...}

Are those the best prices you ask? To be honest, I probably could have checked a few more suppliers, but this is a blog post and not a contract. Which brings up a very good point.

Time.

First time is spent artistically creating your perfect floral and event decor design. For us, this almost always includes a visit to your venue {time well spent}. Then time is spent searching for the best suppliers of all of the types of flowers to assure that we are getting the best prices, as well as, the containers you wish to have them in and any other materials you may request or we may need {floral frogs, tape, oasis}. Then time is spent writing the proposal based on the items and prices we find. Time is then spent on proposal edits and revisions, until we arrive at contract you are happy with. Then time is spent compiling the materials lists and placing the orders with the suppliers.

Now I can belabor this point but remember all of what I just mentioned above happens long before the actual days leading up to your event. With a countdown of days until the nuptials we are picking up and receiving orders, preparing for the shipments to come in, caring for the stems in the meantime, cleaning vases and containers. . .and then we build our designs using all of the materials we purchased.... And then we deliver them.... And then we set them up at the venue.

Like every craftsman or artist, or hey just any employed individual, we can't work for free. Our time is valuable and we prioritize so that we are spending an appropriate amount of time one each event, but it is still a huge commitment and one we take very seriously.

Many would say that there need not be a justification for pricing because after all it is an art and a service, and so you pay for the quality, ingenuity and timeliness of a designer's work. I tell you this because most brides' minds go directly to the freezer next to the produce section of their local Shop-Rite where those 10 dollar 'grocery-store flowers' lie in wait, when they think about wedding flowers. I know I did once. But, we are happy to offer you the alternative -beautiful, bountiful flowers and more- with your new found trust and understanding. . .


19 comments:

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    Beautiful Beyond Dreams, LLC

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