Most people don’t have a clue how much wedding bouquets cost. This becomes evident by the look of surprise or disbelief on many brides faces when I tell them how much it will cost to produce the wonderful bouquet that they found in the latest bridal magazine. Take the picture directly above, a colorful cascading bouquet filled with a wide variety of mostly premium flowers. “Sticker price is $395,” I say. The bride-to-be looks like she might faint and she manages to squeak out, “Why?…I have a bouquet budget of $60.” Let me first answer the ‘Why is that bouquet so expensive?’ Starting with about $150 worth of mini calla lilies, $80 of stephanotis (each inlaid with a decorative pearl), $60 in orchids, $30 worth of tulips– and we are already up over $300. The bouquets you see in magazines are almost never under $200 and often over $400. The main reason is because premium flowers have a high per stem cost.
One of the most popular flowers right now are peonies; in my area they can cost anywhere from $10 to over $30 per stem. Yes, you read that right, peonies are not cheap! First they have a very short season, usually late-May to mid-June. During this time in Michigan (with an advance order) you can probably get them for $10 a stem. Because of their popularity they have become available during an extended season; by special order, and shipping from far away, this can result in a cost of $30 a stem and higher! “That’s crazy!” you say. But that’s what it costs if you want peonies in December. (If you can get them at all.) So the bride wants to know, “If I eliminate the premium flowers, can I get a similar bouquet for $60?” The answer is no. I can make you a bouquet with a similar cascading look using cheaper flowers, but this type of bouquet would still be in the $200 neighborhood. I can make you a bouquet in the $60 neighborhood and an example of one is the hand tied red rose bouquet at the top of this page.
When you hire a professional florist you are paying for their experience, skills, and labor– not just the flowers. Is it worth it? It depends on what your wedding flowers mean to you. Remember: Long after everyone has forgotten what they ate at your wedding, the flowers will still be in your wedding photos!
“Can I have a professional florist and still stay within my budget?” Maybe you can. It really depends on what your budget is and what you need. In most cases we can steer you to selections as long as your budget is realistic for the flowers you need. For example if you have a $500 budget, I can suggest flowers that will enable you to get a bride’s bouquet, three bridesmaids bouquets, 8 boutonnieres, 3 corsages, a flower girl basket and two altar vases. On the other hand I have had brides that say, “My budget is $500 and I need 5 bouquets, 4 corsages, a flower girl basket, 10 boutonnieres, two altar vases, a cake topper, a reception table arrangement, 21 centerpieces, a unity candle and 10 arrangements that clip on the pews.” This is impossible! That is an average of under $9 per item, the cheapest item on the list is boutonnieres and even they start at $10 each. My suggestion: Pick the most important items and either eliminate the rest or figure out something you can do yourself. The breakdown that I think would work best is to have a florist do the bouquets, corsages, and boutonnieres. Then you can come up with a DIY plan for the centerpieces and other decorations. Picking up the order yourself can also save you money, just beware of the best man who once picked up the flowers and left them in his hot car for two hours while running other errands and such… (Personally I think he stopped at the bar, but who am I to say). I am always happy to talk to a bride to be, answer questions and give advice, so use your florist as a resource. Just make sure your expectations are realistic: I can’t make that $300 bouquet that’s on the cover of the magazine for the $50 you want to pay.
More wedding advice soon.
Your Personal Rockstar Florist,
Check out our website at http://www.originallyours.com.
I almost forgot, today’s blog special is a free 1 hour wedding consultation. Call to book by July 6th. What do I get from my free consultation? 1 hour of my time to discuss your wedding and a free quote. Normally this consultation is $50 and is non-refundable. When you call to book please give us your colors and the types of flowers you are thinking about. The more information you give us the better prepared we can be for you.