How It Works: Flowers
So you're getting married and searching for the right place to find gorgeous flowers for your big day! You're getting groceries and notice a bouquet of flowers for $20, but then when you get a quote from a wedding florist, they're charging a pretty penny more than $20 per arrangement!! Why? Why are flowers so expensive?!
Grocery stores offer arrangements at a reasonable price, so why not just order 30 of those and throw them on your reception tables? It may seem that easy, but believe us, it's not! First, they don’t offer delivery or pick-up service, and trust us, you need that if you’re having more than a 2 arrangements or bouquets. No one but a professional knows how to properly transport a large amount of flowers. Chain grocery stores also won’t do any other kind of flower arrangements, like flowers for your arbor or any of the creative design work (even if they did, how would you get it to your venue?!)
Another option is ordering bulk from one of the popular membership-only stores. We've heard good and bad stories with this route. We had a bride order her bulk greenery and flowers and plan to make her bouquets and arrangements the day before with their bridesmaids. Unfortunately half of what she received 2 ays before her wedding was dead. We have known some wedding groups to pull this off- their flowers came in fine, and they had lots of hands on deck and made very pretty, simple table arrangements. However, there's not certainty, so if you're a laid back kind of bride- go for it! If you know that a worst case wedding flower scenario would ruin your wedding for you- don't risk it! This is a very affordable option, but there's not guarantee of the quality of flowers you will get. Also, it takes HOURS to design bouquets and table arrangements (more if you're wanting a bigger design or have lots of tables).
Another option is a local flower shop. They usually offer delivery service, but not pick-up, so if you're wanting to have someone else deal with the hassle of cleaning up all of the flowers after the wedding, a local flower shop may not be your best bet. Also, keep in mind, they don’t exclusively deal with weddings, so if you're wanting a very unique flower designer who can personalize your event, we suggest a florist who specializes in weddings! However, if you're planning on taking care of the arrangements yourself, and are only needing simple arrangements, a local flower shop may be a great option for you!
If you have the budget for it, a wedding industry florist is going to be the highest quality flower, design, and experience for you. The exclusively do weddings so they've probably worked at your venue before and can suggest some great ideas for floral decor, including what has worked and what hasn't worked in the past. Floral quotes from a professional wedding florist will probably include a few more things than any of the other quotes would, and we'll explain what those are and why below:
Here's what the quote from your professional wedding florist will include:
1. Calculating the exact amount of stems per arrangement
2. Ordering quality
3. Calculating number and size of vases/containers and then ordering those vases
4. Processing the flowers and unpacking, making sure they get the correct refrigeration
5. Hiring a team to design the flowers
6. Team-loading, delivering, and set up to wedding location (extra if there are multiple locations)
7. Having extra flowers in case any flowers get wilted due to hot weather
8. Coming back to the venue and picking up all flowers, bringing them to back to shop, unloading, throwing everything away (if the bride doesn't want to keep them)
9. Renting vehicles for proper transportation of flowers
Keep in mind, florists can't order flowers by the stem- they have to buy them in bulk. So after meeting with a bride, there's a lot of math that goes into figuring out the exact amount of batches to buy of each flower based on what the bride would like. That's why, for example, if your florist quotes you $200 for your bouquet, if you ask her to use a few less stems of one of the flowers to help with the price, it's not going to, because the amount of floral batches he/she would have to buy is likely going to be the same.
We hope this helps you make the best decision for you for your wedding flowers!
Brette and Christina