"cheap" flowers, wedding tax & more!
Not everyone has lots of experience buying flowers, and even if you do frequent a local market for some blooms, the scale of buying wedding flowers changes things a lot.
There is so much information out there on various blogs, magazines, vendor directories, etc. and while it’s all meant to be helpful, there’s a lot of inaccurate info. I always recommend consulting local and specialty publications for your info. What holds true in Alabama is different in DC and different in New England. So I urge my clients to seek info from New England area sources. I also recommend searching in genre. If you are seeking info on stationery, chances are what’s found on a photographers blog is hearsay. That is why I strive to create helpful resources for
couples. And here, I only talk flowers! Your florist or trusted wedding planner are the best resources!
So, let’s take some popularized rumors and get into what makes them true or false!
1. My wedding flowers should cost 10% of my budget.
There is some truth to this guideline, but I think it is important to use it as that- a guide. I would actually open it up to say that florals average between 8-12% of your total wedding contribution. This will depend on how important floral and decor is to you. For those couples that don’t have a bridal party, and are looking for simple table decor, it may be even less. For a more formal, lavish event with an emphasis on the design elements of the wedding, you may see it rise. The type of venue (all inclusive vs space only) and other choices will also effect the percentages you will spend on different areas. I go into more pricing details in this post
2. Centerpieces for rectangular farm tables are at least 3x more expensive than round tables.
It’s true! It’s so true! This is one that I know most clients don’t consider, but it’s an extremely important fact. This choice greatly impacts your budget, because instead of about 2ft of space in the center of the table, there is 8-10 ft that needs coverage. Even full greenery garlands or taking up space with a dozen candles can add up when so much length is needed. You could get almost 3 beautiful centerpieces for a round table for the cost of a full floral garland down one 10ft farm table. I think we can all agree that farm tables provide a gorgeous, unique look and feel, but I know that the added expense can come as a surprise to some.
Worth the splurge? I think mixing in a few farm tables or using them as a head table is a wonderful compromise!
3. Choosing cheaper flowers will save me money and give me the same thing for less.
Here at SOULFLORA, this is a myth. Ok, YES, less expensive blooms are obviously less expensive, but the labor and service associated with creating your pieces is the same. Almost all my designs feature premium focal blooms, supported by accents and fillers that are generally less costly. When you swap out or eliminate the focal blooms, the entire look and feel of the piece is compromised. (This is why in your favorite inspiration photos you do not see cheap, commodity blooms. You see $12/stem garden roses, $35/stem orchids, $25/st pampas grass and $16 local dahilas.) I put an immense amount of thought into the product I choose considering many factors, including the look, the cost and the value. Switching the stars of the show out for stand-ins does not get you the same performance.
Now, it’s up to you to decide how important the look and feel is. Most of my clients ultimately value the premium, elevated look and feel of what is routinely seen in my work and in the arrangements they love!
4. I just need A florist, anyone will be able to match my vision!
This is another myth! If your style is more traditional, a more traditional florist will probably be able to give you what your are looking for, better than someone who has a more modern or wild style! There are florists that can master various styles beautifully and not all my clients come looking for the exact same thing. But, I liken it to asking an abstract painter who uses acrylic paints to paint a landscape with watercolors. They can probably create something beautiful, but there is something to be said about a master creating work in their specific area of expertise!
Designing in a style that I naturally gravitate towards allows me to do my very best work! There are certain jobs that I will say no to, because it is not a right fit. There is nothing wrong with that, and I’m more than happy to recommend someone that may match your look a bit better! When looking at potential floral designers, take a look at their work and ask yourself if the style you see on their IG & website resonates with you.
5. The word ‘wedding’ automatically makes it more expensive.
Let’s end out on something that should be a clear MYTH. It’s not the word wedding that makes in more costly, its the work of a wedding that makes it more costly. Communicating honestly with your vendors is always the best policy so everyone is clear on your expectations. Centerpieces for a wedding vs centerpieces for a birthday are essentially the same cost. Where you see the discrepancy is, weddings often call for upgraded decor elements and vessels, and venues can have stricter load times than a restaurant or private tent. Also, weddings tend to hold more gravity than a birthday, retirement party or other celebration. This often puts even more pressure on your team to knock everything out of the park. The planning that goes into a wedding is generally greater than that of a different celebration, and the more work is done, the more the service will cost. Ultimately, any higher costs are associated with providing you the higher level of service that is called for!
Making sure you have trust with your vendor is essential. If you don’t trust that they have quoted you fairly, that is probably a sign that you don’t have enough trust there to work with them throughout the planning process and beyond!
I hope that addressing some of these misconceptions brings clarity around what to expect with your wedding flowers & shopping for the perfect designer to join your all-star team of wedding pros! Were you surprised by any of these?! Want to learn more?- follow along on IG to join the conversation on all things flowers & weddings!
Photography: K.Engel Photography
Floral Design: Soulflora Floral Design