February 18, 2016

Congratulations! You must be recently engaged and dreaming about the flowers for your wedding. You've probably been all over Pinterest looking at everything from types of flowers, dreamy wedding bouquets, DIY flowers, etc. You may be dreaming about filling all your centerpieces with peonies or flowering cherry blossom branches. Maybe you want to know how you can have the Kim & Kanye flower wall or make your indoor wedding venue feel like an outdoor garden wedding. Whatever it is, the fact that you're here must mean you have questions and before you take the leap and make that first wedding florist consultation appointment you're trying to find out as much information on your own. So let's get to it!

Q. How much? This is a loaded question and not a question with a black and white answer. There are many factors involved that allow this question to be answered. Pricing varies based on location or city, are you asking your florist to travel outside of their local area, how many people are in your wedding party that require flowers, what sort of decor do you need for your ceremony, do you want low or tall centerpieces, etc.. 

A. What I will say is this. Don't wait to book your wedding flowers and consult with a wedding florist last. Brides, don't underestimate the budget for your wedding flowers. I can't tell you how many times brides tell me they have no idea how much wedding flowers cost and I'm not surprised when I tell them and they're shocked. 

Myth: They're just flowers. They can't cost that much. The florist cuts the stems, plops them in a vase, and then I dazzle my guests with them the day of my wedding. I'm only using them for one day so why should I spend or invest that much money in my flowers.

News flash! Most elements that you allocate money to for your wedding are perishable or enjoyed for just a few hours just like your flowers. You only eat the hors d'oeuvres once and that fancy three tiered wedding cake, once. The band comes in, sets up, plays, you dance and then they leave at the end of the evening. How many times are you really going to wear your wedding dress? Why should you view your flowers any differently when planning? I always tell my wedding couples that it's not their job to care about the details of designing their perfect wedding flowers but it is their job to understand why the flowers for their wedding day cost what they do. Here's an excellent article by Audrey Chaney of Botanica Events titled "The True Cost of Wedding Flowers" that will further explain why flowers cost what they do. 

Q. I've already spent a lot of money on the photographer, venue, dress, etc. and have a very limited budget for flowers. I'm having 200 guests and want tall centerpieces. I also have 6 bridesmaids, 6 groomsmen, a ring bearer and a flower girl and I'll need flowers for everyone in my wedding party. Can you fit all this into my budget?

A. You can't have champagne on a beer budget. Sorry but I believe in being truthful. You can have the finest quality beer that fits your beer budget but if you want champagne you'll need to find some more money.

Fact: Tall centerpieces require more flowers and preparation than low centerpieces. By preparation I mean labor which means more money. Personal flowers which are the bouquets, boutonniere's, corsages are also labor intensive and are often required to be made last so they stay fresh. It often involves wiring heads of tiny flowers, wrapping stems with floral tape and using fancy ribbons and pins. If someone promises you champagne on a beer budget I'd be a little hesitant if I were you. Do your homework. Read reviews and more importantly meet with them in person.

Keep in mind that tall centerpieces usually need to be removed at the end of the event which requires people and trucks to go back once your event is over. Your florist has to pay their staff to make this happen which means this cost will be passed onto you. Keep in mind things like set-up, installation, removal and tax will all be added on top of the cost of your flowers.

If your ceremony and reception are in different locations there may be additional delivery costs involved. Late night removal and early morning set-up may also be additional. If your wedding ceremony and the dinner reception are taking place in the same room and your florist is required to do a flip (this is when your florist stays through your ceremony and quickly breaks everything down and re-sets for dinner while your guests enjoy cocktail hour someplace else) this will likely cost you more money because it's labor and time.

Q. Using candles everywhere for your decor instead of flowers equals inexpensive and I'm saving a ton of money.

A. It's true that candles do generally cost less than flowers because it requires less preparation and does not require the top designer to set them up. However, keep in mind that it still requires time which includes ordering the candles and the vessel in which they will be displayed. All glass and silver needs to be cleaned and polished before your wedding and it requires someone to wrap and pack them for transport.

Design skills are still required because a plan needs to be put into place on how and where the candles need to be set-up prior to the day of your wedding. Often times, these are items that also need to be packed and removed again at the end of your event. This involves labor and a cost that is passed onto the client. 

Q. It's my dream to stand in front of a flower wall for my wedding ceremony like Kim and Kanye did for their wedding. How much does that cost?

A. It depends on how big the wall is and what sort of flowers are used in the wall. It also depends on where and how the wall is assembled and how much time the florist has in your venue prior to ceremony to prepare. As a general rule of thumb, I would say cha ching! Expensive. Unless you're serious and you have an unlimited budget I would plan on plan B, C and D. A professional floral designer will be able to offer up alternatives that are less expensive and can make a big impact. 

Don't be afraid to set-up an appointment with a florist. It's the best way to get answers to questions that you most likely need. However, only do so once you have booked your venue and have a set date for your wedding. These are necessary details in order for your wedding florist to give you educated answers to your questions. Meeting with a florist prior to this may result in your becoming frustrated or walking away feeling like they were not helpful.

Many florists offer complimentary consultations. Keep in mind a consultation is a meeting where they gather information from you about your wedding details and where the florist is happy to guide you with their expertise. This does not mean that they can give you a price at the end of the meeting. At best you may get a price range based on the average wedding designed by your florist. Usually the next step is for you to request a proposal if you feel that this is someone you think you'd like to work with. A proposal is a general outline of ideas and most often will not include specific details until you contract with them.

Finding the right person to create your dream wedding can take some time. Ask recently married friends and family for recommendations. Keep in mind that the flowers are something that will be noticed so be sure to pick the person that makes you feel the most comfortable and most confident in their ability to understand your vision and that can realize it within your budget. Ask them if they will create a sample centerpiece for you prior to your wedding. This is a great opportunity to see the flowers prior to the day of your wedding and to make small adjustments if necessary. Enjoy the process. It's meant to be fun! It's just flowers after all. 

Anissa Rae NYC Wedding Florist

 

wedding photos via Julia Shakirova 

 


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Size Guide

SEASONAL COLLECTION

Accent- Perfectly sized for a side table or small console. Flowers that stand up to the idea that less is more. Flowers in vase measure approximately 8” in diameter. 

Showroom- An ode to restrained elegance and refined style. Meant to accessorize a desk or coffee table. Flowers in vase measure approximately 12” in diameter.

Feature- This lush arrangement will anchor a dining table or furniture statement piece. Flowers in vase measure approximately 14- 16” in diameter.

Bountiful- The perfect amount of flowers and blooms that will stop them in their tracks. Flowers in vase measure approximately 16- 18" in diameter.

Exquisite- Flat out gorgeous! This lush arrangement is masterfully designed and sure to impress. Flowers in vase measure approximately 20” in diameter. 

Bespoke- An exceptional display of flowers and blooms. Our bespoke arrangements are custom designed and are different every time. Sizing varies dependent on the container and flowers used in the design.

HAND-TIED BOUQUETS

Abundant- Hand-tied bouquet with a minimum of 20 flower stems. Depending on size of flower blooms the bouquet may include foliage and greenery to maintain a generous size.

Lavish- Hand-tied bouquet with a minimum of 40 flower stems. Depending on size of flower blooms the bouquet may include foliage and greenery to maintain a generous size.

Grand- Hand-tied bouquet with a minimum of 60 flower stems. Depending on size of flower blooms the bouquet may include foliage and greenery to maintain a generous size.