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Why are wedding florals expensive? And how much should I budget? Christchurch, New Zealand



If you’ve had a quote for your wedding florals and been surprised at the cost and wondered why they’re expensive, you’re not alone. The simple fact is that flowers are expensive. But it’s not just the cost of the flowers themselves and the product used, but everything that happens behind the scenes. From the knowledge and expertise of the florist, to their business costs, their attention to detail, the quality and variety of flowers ordered for you, plus all the planning and tasks involved from day one, through to after the wedding. This all impacts the cost of wedding florals, and you will also find pricing varies greatly between florists.


A very common mis-perception is whenever the word ‘wedding’ is used, vendors in the industry increase the cost, or put a huge mark-up on, and people generally suspect they’re being ripped off. But this is absolutely false. Wedding flowers may seem expensive but it’s important to understand you’re paying for more than just the flowers themselves. Let me explain about everything that goes into making wedding florals.

Firstly let’s talk about the process.

There is an entire process we will go through to understand your wedding style, the look and feel you want to achieve, your colour palette and any specific preferences for flower varieties; that you love or hate, or a particular flower that has a special significance.


Every wedding is completely bespoke and we put hours of planning into creating your wedding florals. From meetings and emails, to viewing and refining your Pinterest board and inspirational images. We’ll ask you to send photos of your dress, your bridesmaids dresses and fabric swatches if possible.


We’ll discuss options and unique floral ideas to suit your style and your venue. From your ceremony setting, to reception table-scapes, and all your bridal party florals. Plus any special items you may want such as suspended floral features. We’ll create a mood board with images showing ideas and some of the seasonal flowers we’ll aim to include.


If you love what you’ve seen us create for previous weddings, once we’ve gone through the in-depth process above and we have a thorough understanding of what you want, we’ll ask you to trust us to choose the perfect flowers and colours that are available, and we will create absolutely gorgeous florals that we know you will love.




So what happens behind the scenes

This is where the majority of work in preparation to create your wedding florals actually happens. But no one sees this, so here’s what we do…


CREATING YOUR FLORAL RECIPE

We’ll input into our floral spreadsheet the list of all the floral arrangements we’re making for your day, and all the varieties of flowers and product we want to use. We’ll then input the amount of stems we want to use of each flower variety for each type of arrangement. Based on how each grower or supplier provides their flowers (bunches or stems) we’ll calculate the amount of product needed.


This is called a recipe, and because all the weddings we create are totally different we create floral spreadsheets for every single wedding client. It is time consuming as we have to carefully check pricing and ensure we’re meeting the budget, but this does means we know exactly the quantities to order and our florist/s know what is allocated for all the arrangements. So it’s easy for them to prep the flowers before they start making the arrangements.



Once the recipe is completed we’ll pre-order with some suppliers. But as flowers are a living product and many grown outside (not in controlled environments in hot houses), availability is effected by weather. So the majority of the buying happens the week prior to your wedding. This is when we’ll buy at flower auctions, check availability from local growers, order and collect all the product.


Some products we can arrange to be delivered by courier, including ones from growers throughout the country. But if we’re buying from small local growers, the picking plots are often 45minutes from the city. Unless the growers are coming into the city, it can take us quite a few hours to visit the farms to collect all the products. Also often we will forage for greenery and foliage, so we may allocate 1-2 days to foraging, collecting florals and prepping all the product.



FLOWER PREPARATION

Imagine for a minute the amount of flowers and foliage we have delivered to our studio for each wedding. It’s not just a few bunches like you’d have at home. We’ll often have up to 20 bunches of roses, 2-3 large boxes of other varieties which we have to prep, and this process involves:


- Filling all buckets with water and hydrating solution ready to place flowers

- Opening one large cardboard box at a time

- Removing all sleeves flowers are wrapped in and cutting ties from bunches

- Trimming the bottom of all stems

- Stripping leaves and thorns from each rose stem

- Checking each flower head for quality & removing outer petals

- Placing all flowers and produce in buckets and vases

- Keeping the studio clean, discarding of all waste and cleaning up


I do absolutely love when our studio is full of flowers, as it looks and smells utterly divine. I always get excited seeing how beautiful the combinations of flowers are. So I’ll upload images to stories and send my brides photos to show them the flowers for their day.


FLORISTS AT WORK

Even when our florist/s come into the studio, there is still prep work before they get started. They’ll look through the recipes and mood boards to understand the style of what they’re creating, then using the recipe they’ll divide and allocate all the flowers into individual buckets. They’ll make up boxes for all the bridal party florals and get out the wire, tools, tape, glue needed for making all the buttonholes, corsages, flower-crowns. Vases and containers will all be counted, any foam or mechanics created and inserted…and then they’ll start making the florals!


As we make florals for an entire wedding, a typical wedding includes

- Arch arrangement

- Garlands for welcome board and seating plan

- 12 Table centrepieces or 100 bud vases

- Feature floral arrangement for head table

- 4 bouquets, 6 buttonholes, 2 corsages


Many weddings have far more florals, so our florist/s will start creating the arrangements the day before the wedding. Then on the wedding day it’s an early start to make all the bridal party florals so they’re as fresh as possible.



We’ll then load the truck and deliver the bridal party florals on our way to your venue. It’s always so lovely to deliver the bouquets and capture the brides excited reaction.


When we arrive at your venue, we’ll unload the van and place all the floral arrangements throughout your venue. For arch installations or suspended floral features, we’ll carry all the buckets of loose florals, any pre-made arrangements, tools, a step-ladder to the ceremony or venue location. We’ll place a tarp under us to catch all waste as we install your florals onsite.


After your wedding is finished, there are still tasks to complete which include:

- removing florals from arch and signage boards

- separating and bunching fresh flowers for you to keep

- packing all florals and any décor at venue into boxes

- loading van and transporting everything back to the studio

- unloading, then separating waste into rubbish, recycling or green waste

- washing & cleaning all vases, buckets

- re-sorting, cleaning and sweeping the floral studio


And then we’re finished!





If you’re still reading I hope this has given you a greater understanding of how much work is involved in creating wedding florals. One final topic to raise is the different pricing from florists, which I’ve outlined below.


Another point I mentioned at the start of this blog, was that quotes will vary between florists. So why?

Like anything you have purchased - from your bridal gown, to your wedding rings, when shopping around you would have found huge price differences between brands, and it’s the same with florals. The amount charged is about the value the creator places on their work, plus the costs involved in operating their business and the quality produced. So there are always going to be florists that are more expensive, and some who are priced lower.


Some of the variables could include

Experience: A florist starting out may charge lower as they’re building their business, or they could be making florals part-time and not operating as a full time business

Business costs: If a florist works from a home studio without business overheads they may charge lower as they don’t have the same expenses.

Product: The choice of flowers and where they’re bought from, the quantity included, size of arrangements, use of imported and specialist flower varieties. Plus all the vessels and supplies, all impact on the cost and can be significantly different depending on how a florist charges, therefore quotes may not be of equivalent value.

Labour: The value charged and included for the time involved can vary and should include transport, onsite setup, pack-down and labour.

Profit: The markups put on creating florals will vary, and some florists may not charge enough and others may have high markups.


So all the above lead to reasons why quotes can vary between florists. My advice when choosing your florist is to primarily ensure you love what they’ve created for previous weddings and are comfortable with the quote provided.


Thank you for reading until the end. Creating wedding flowers is a complex process, and is costly so we truly appreciate those couples who do trust us to create beautiful wedding florals and give them a magical day.


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So how much should I budget for wedding flowers?


There are many variables depending on your vision, the size and type of arrangements you would love, but to give you an idea to help you budget, I've included a guideline on our pricing and what you can expect to pay for your flowers when you choose to work with us.


  • Bridal Bouquet, from $250

  • Bridesmaid bouquets, from $140

  • Buttonhole with magnet closure, $30

  • Corsage with magnet closure, $65

  • Flower crowns, from $125

  • Arch arrangement, single $250 to large $500+

  • Flower laden arch, from $1450

  • Ceremony ground florals, from $95

  • Feature head table arrangement, from $250

  • Table centrepieces, from $85-$145

  • Suspended floral hoops, from $450

  • Large suspended ceiling feature, from $1450


If you are interested in us creating your wedding florals, please keep in mind we're an event florist and not a retail store, meaning we don't carry floral stock. We order all the flowers specially for your wedding, so all floral orders require a minimum spend of $1000. The majority of our clients spends for wedding florals range from a simple wedding ceremony and bridal party florals averaging $3000 to weddings with lush florals, masses of ceremony arrangements and suspended features, averaging $6500


For those that love what we create, please get in touch and send us an email or book a zoom call and once we talk through what you would love, I can give you a quote to bring your wedding to life. Lisa x


PS: Before you get in touch with us, please ensure you've created a Pinterest board that has your name in the title and saved a selection of images showing weddings and arrangements you love. This helps give us an understanding into your style and we'll use this as a starting point.




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