Morning all! Did you have a lovely weekend? The blog survey has closed, I received some wonderful feedback and really helpful criticisms. I will try to meet as many of your requests as possible, though sourcing unicorns or the ability to force glitter out of the screen on to your laps may not be possible. Today we are back with the wonderful Jay Archer as she has written a fantastic piece on the cost of wedding flowers. I knew as soon as I got engaged that Miss Pickering would be my florist, but I went in to our first meeting not really knowing how much it would cost so hopefully this post will help. The last estimate I read in a wedding magazine was £459 for flowers. Read on to see just how realistic that may be…*spoiler* not bloody likely.
I read loads of articles laying claim to talking about the real cost of flowers, but they all still fairy around and don’t give you actual, broken down real life figures… I appreciate however, there’s a bit of ground work to do first, and ‘setting the scene’ and so, I’ll start at the beginning.
There is a misconception that ‘stick wedding front of it and the price doubles’. In some instances, not all, it’s fair to say it does and I would like to explain why… In writing this article, I have tried to provide average prices, and they are not specific JAFD prices. I’ve also tried to provide several price points, and advice notes on ways to save or splurge.
One reason for why wedding suppliers can cost so much is that many are self-employed, sole traders or small business owners. There are only a limited number of days in the year where we can offer our services- everyone wants a Saturday wedding for example, but with only 52 in the year with the most desirable in the Summer months we often get 10’s of enquiries for one specific date. Setting a minimum spend or taking on a higher budget client is, at times, essential and you can expect that whilst prices won’t necessarily be inflated, suppliers will be less likely to want to negotiate with you.
When you start your florist-finding journey and you begin to get quotes back, ask them if they’ve included the below, or if there are any hidden costs as some may add these when they send the final invoice. Arm yourself with prior knowledge and keep an open mind- as with most things in life, research is key and you may have to compromise having all rose candelabra in favour of something more cost effective, if you only have a £500 budget! Be honest about your budget too- it isn’t fair on a florist if you don’t book them because they were too expensive, yet you never told them your budget. If you like them and their ideas, give them a chance.
We try not to offer unrealistic prices, because we actually do need your bookings- this is our livelihood after all- and we wouldn’t want to scare you off! But at the same time, it can be very demoralising when people argue over a few pounds- get a fantastic florist, and believe in them and their worth. If you are struggling to understand exactly why flowers cost what they do, your florists, and other suppliers, should be able to provide you of a breakdown of costs, so per item you can see:
Their time- yes, this is chargeable
Set up fee
Clear down and cleaning fee
Equipment hire cost
Labour of hired in staff
On the day refreshments/ crew meal
Many relative newbies do not charge a design fee, set up fee, VAT or for their time simply taking whatever is left as their profit- this is not a way to run a business, and is nothing more than an expensive hobby. The more established the business, the more you’ll probably pay as you’re buying their brand, expertise and specific style.
Seasonal bridesmaid bouquet from £40
To give you an general idea of costs, see below. If you are on a budget then work out your priorities first, and then anything left in the pot can be attributed to your wish list. If you have a larger budget, its really about picking the flowers you like and going from there.
Seasonal bouquet from £75
Bridal party flowers
- Hand-tied bridal bouquet, from £75. For small, meadow like flowers and herbs/ foliage expect to pay about £75. Start adding roses, peonies, lily of the valley and you could pay anything up to £150. On average, a rose bridal bouquet costs from £95.
- Bridesmaids, from £40. For a smaller version of your own bouquet, deduct £30 from your bouquet cost. For more seasonal bouquets, including stocks, berries, foliage, dahlia, then the price could be bought down to about £40 each. Add to this fancy ribbons, or embellishment and the base price will go up.
- Buttonholes. I’ve heard them go for as little as £3.50, up to £25 each… again, it depends on ingredients but generally, allow about £7 each.
- Pew ends. How long is a piece of string! Pew ends can be reused in vases for the drinks reception, so based on this they shouldn’t be as cheap as people try to get them for! Essentially, they are a hand-tied bouquet which are about the same price as a thank you bouquet or bridesmaids bouquet, but with cheaper flowers or more foliage, they can start from £15 each.
- Archway flowers. It all depends on the archway, and the logistics. Many old church archways have nooks and nails you can hang flowers from, but some don’t and the florist may have to hire in a free-standing support, bumping up the cost considerably. Even using cheaper flowers, the cost can still be substantial. I’d say a minimum of £350 for a church archway, with a free-standing one at a minimum of £550 using very cost effective flowers and foliage! For a floor to floor archway, with roses, hydrangea etc, you may be looking at about £1200 min.
- Large urn arrangements. For rose-full, scented stocks, foliages and seasonal flowers, you;d be looking at around £150-£275 dependant on size and ingredients, but these could be bought down to £110 as I have seen some florists advertise…
Urn arrangement from £125
- Small posy vase, from £45. Approx vase size 15cm, with flowers another 15cm higher than this
- Mixed bottles or glass jars, from £30 per table. Bottles with single flower heads in
- Silver footed bowls, from £75 with seasonal flowers.
- Tall flower-filled candelabra, from £150 plus hire charge. People do not realise how many flowers are needed to fill candelabra. The price can be bought down if using more foliage.
As a general rule of thumb, ‘seasonal’ flowers are more widely available than out of season flowers and therefore more cost effective. It does not however mean they are cheap- hydrangeas can cost up to £5.50 per stem- that’s the wholesale cost to us, the florist!- roses approx £2.50 per stem and delphiniums up to £4.00 per stem. We have to buy flowers in, usually, min quantities around 20 stems, meaning we pay £2.50 per stem for 20 plus VAT. When you start seeing this broken down, adding a profit on and labour etc etc, you can easily see why flowers are so expensive.
Large arrangement from £250… JAFD would charge £325 for this
Ask your florist if they’re available on the day of your wedding to move arrangements between ceremony room/ church and reception, to get the most for your pennies, and consider a few larger arrangements to create real wow factor, meaning you could do less elsewhere on tables. Again, a good florist should want to work with you and I, for example, only do one wedding per day meaning I can indeed move bits around for you.
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