Everyone who has been married, been in a bridal party, or been in close proximity to those who've taken part in a wedding, has heard someone say…“The minute you say Wedding, the cost doubles”
So what are you paying for when you spend money hiring a professional wedding florist?
The best comparison I can make to Wedding Flowers, is something we all know about, and that’s dinner! Let’s get more specific, and go for a special occasion like a Birthday Dinner. You have three possible options for this meal, including:
= Cooking up your favourite meal at home with guests
= Heading out for cheap takeaway or BYO with friends and family
= Splashing out on a fine dining experience with your loved ones.
There are definite +’s and –‘s to each of these options.
For instance, cooking the meal yourself includes all the prep time from researching what to cook, figuring out ingredients, shopping at the various stores, to preparing the food, then of course cooking, serving and cleaning up afterwards. Majority of people will end up spending more time in the kitchen than with their guests, and feel a lot of pressure making sure that everyone is enjoying the meal that they’ve prepared! On a plus side - you’ve more than likely saved a few dollars by doing the cooking yourself.
Or, how about getting the same group of people, and ordering a takeaway or heading to your local cheap eats? This is potentially an easier option, although the food might not be the best quality, best tasting or best presented. Chances are its more expensive than cooking at home, BUT you get to spend time with your friends and family on your birthday.
Now let’s think about getting that same group of people and taking them out to one of the finer restaurants in your area. This will cost more, but its usually obvious why. With professional wait-staff, highly skilled chefs, seasonal and thought through menu’s, well treated and high quality produce, considered plate presentation and impressive flavour matchings! On top of that, the food tends to be things that we couldn’t create at home due to lack of the right produce, skill or time. Again, you get to share it with your family, and it also creates a memorable experience for everyone.
NOW – Lets actually talk about flowers.
If you go back through each of these options but instead replace cooking at home with DIY’ing your flowers, a cheapo meal with picking up a pre-made bouquet from the supermarket or local florist on the day, and a fancy night out with a booked in advance professional wedding florist, you can start to see what I’m trying to say!
I 100% support D.I.Y brides, in fact, I have workshops to help those who like getting their hands dirty, but although you may end up saving a few hundred dollars here and there, the time required to design, order, condition then arrange can be stressful. The produce may not be the best, and the there may be some flowers that you wont be able to access. D.I.Y’ers also tend to underestimate the cost of the products themselves and how much you will need - keep in mind that weddings can have up to 600+ stems!!!. Now lets not forget the buckets, flower food, twine, pins, ribbon, wire, floral scissors, stem tubes etc. It may be a great experience, but even for some flower lovers out there, it can be really hard going, time consuming and energy taxing – everything that you don’t need in the few days before the wedding.
Again, if you’re not too fussed on D.I.Y and just want a quick, cheap option, then going down the last minute pick up maybe an option. Going down this route makes it much harder to get the right colours to match your theme, flowers that you had your eye on and it’s a high chance that you wont get the quantities that you need. In saying that, if you’re priorities are not flowers, then that wouldn’t worry you!
As a Wedding Florist, our job starts from the moment you contact us – which usually is 6 months plus in advance.
We work hard to figure out exactly what you're dreaming about, from colours, to flowers, to keeping under a specific budget. We have consultations, ongoing emails, quotations, as well as work weekends and late nights to suit brides and grooms who do 9 – 5’s.
Over a month prior to your wedding, florists are not playing with flowers, but doing the behind the scenes organisation that people tend to not see. From ordering your ‘must have’ flowers from multiple growers and suppliers – some flowers need to be ordered months in advance as they are so popular, and most need to come from a variety of different sources. Then we need to start sourcing your vessels, various containers, supplies matching your colour schemes, any general materials, all on top of fine tuning the agreed design – all with the goal of making your floral dream come true.
Once the flowers arrive, its action stations, with many florists hiring more staff to make sure that all the work can be done on time! Now we need to ensure each bunch is accounted for, condition each stem by cleaning off foliage and thorns, and then rehydrate every bloom with the professional solutions we previously ordered.
All our supplies including buckets, scissors and water sources, need to be SUPER clean to prevent the flowers from getting bacteria, so time is spent consistently bleaching, cleaning and drying correctly throughout the process.
After all this work is done, the flowers then need to be monitored to ensure the blooms do not get too hot, too cold or damaged.
With only 24 – 48 hours prior to your wedding left, the flowers finally start going through the design process. Hours upon hours can be spent working on creating your pieces. Ensuring the best blooms are used for your bouquets, boutonnieres, flower crowns, table arrangements and more. Each are personalised, and wont leave the florists hands until they're 100% pleased that the design meets the couples requirements.
Once all the pieces are complete, they then need to be packaged and transported. Transportation isn't as simple as throwing them in the car, majority of the time its to more than one location – One to the Bride, another the groom, then to the ceremony location, then to the reception location. Then if there a bigger pieces, there could be multiple trips or a required vehicle to be arranged...
Then there is set up!
OK – So I expect you are starting to get the picture…
But the most important role that your florist plays, is one that most people do not consider – mainly because they do it so well. And that’s being trouble-shooters of the floral kind!
Nothing ever goes to plan, and many times flowers order those weeks ago arrive too small, too big, the wrong colour. Plans for weddings change, sometimes extra pieces are required last minute, you find out that grandma is really upset that you’re not using sunflowers or you’ve just spotted a great idea on Pinterest that you must have now (that the florist has never seen, let alone done before!)
Sometimes this means the florist spends more money than quoted, needs to hire even more staff to make it happen, or work extra hours to ensure you're happy.
OK – So hopefully I’ve changed your opinion, and rather than the ‘adding dollar signs on because you've said the word wedding’ attitude, its more, ‘adding on dollar signs, because the florist works hard to create a memorable design for your special day’.