There's always a big part of the wedding budget that brides underestimate — the wedding flowers. The surprise that most brides feel when they discover the true cost of wedding flowers can also be mystifying — I mean, how on earth can wedding flowers cost so much?! If you're wondering the same thing yourself, then prepare to have that question answered today! We've invited Audrey Chaney from Botanica Floral and Event Design in Sacramento to tell us all the secrets of wedding flowers: what goes into creating a dream wedding floral arrangement, how to make a wedding vision a reality and (most of all) why you might need to allocate more than you thought to your floral budget. Take it away, Audrey!
I’m sure a lot of brides are shocked to find out that their $1500 allotted floral budget isn’t going to cover the wedding of their dreams… and there’s good reason why! It seems like such a cliche question, but really, why are wedding flowers so expensive? I’ve broken down a few key points that you might not know about the tedious world of flowers, to share just why exactly your wedding flowers are so expensive:
1. Wedding flowers take a LOT of preparation
From picking out colors to planning designs and creating a Pinterest board of inspiration, most likely you’ve worked with a wedding florist to set the vision and inspiration of the wedding flowers your big day. Behind the scenes, florists are making mental notes of many other details that make all the difference for a perfectly planned wedding.
At more than a month away from the wedding, wedding florists are seriously hustling to start creating the perfect wedding flowers for a bride's big day. This can include choosing specific flowers that are suitable for your wedding vision, sourcing vessels and containers from various resources, making sure the needed materials aren’t on back order and getting enough supplies of each to meet the bride's needs.
The month of the wedding, wedding florists are getting final counts in, fine-tuning floral recipes, placing orders with vendors and ordering all of the supplies we need to create each of these items (think wristlets, liners for containers, ribbons to match, etc.)
2. Wedding flowers take production
On a typical week, flowers arrive on a Tuesday, and this is where the start of the production week begins. Once the wedding flowers arrive, each bunch is accounted for, stems are cleaned of foliage and each stems are freshly cut then dipped into re-hydrating solution.
Flower buckets are bleached every week to prevent bacterial growth and to make sure the flower production process is executed as cleanly as possible. Flowers such as roses may be stripped completely of thorns and foliage depending on their use. After all the necessary production tasks are done, flowers are kept out of the cooler where we monitor their bloom, or placed directly into our coolers to keep flowers tight and ready for the design week ahead
3. Wedding flowers and floral designs are works of art
Believe it or not, there are countless hours that go into the placement and design of each arrangement and/or floral piece: from bouquets to each hand-created boutonniere, corsage, centerpiece, aisle flower and detail. The process requires that each stem is given a fresh cut, carefully placed into an arrangement, is misted, checked for ample water and then is carefully placed into our coolers.
After the hours upon hours it takes to create the perfect floral design, your florist then needs to clean and package the vases, prep votives with any candles needed, and prepare their florist's toolkit for delivery.
4. Wedding flowers need to be transported
The work doesn't stop when your arrangements and bouquets are designed and fully created! To transport and deliver flowers, each design must be packaged, misted and placed into air-conditioned transportation to arrive in one piece to the wedding venue. Extra time is allotted to ensure arrival with no challenges. Once they have arrived, all flowers are placed in the coolest spot, and then on-site set-up begins. This means your florist places each arrangement, ensures everything is just as outlined in the paperwork, and adds any other finishing touches to the wedding day look.
5. Wedding florists have to stay on their toes
I’m going to let you in on a little secret… Nothing ever goes as planned. No matter how much time and energy we spend on making sure everything goes just as we’d like, something keeps us on our toes every week. Maybe the roses we ordered in aren’t as big of heads as we’d like, or a crop comes in looking not as great as usual, we have to improvise and adjust almost every week due to the changing product we work with. Sometimes this means spending a little more than we budgeted on our end to ensure our product meets our high standards. We’ve learned to be flexible with this process, as there may be something unplanned that comes up and needs quick and immediate action to ensure our end-product is to our standards.
6. Wedding flowers are a team effort
Thought that was it? Not so fast: this work doesn’t get done by itself. It takes a team to create a wedding: from the starting stages of prep work to the design and the delivery, your wedding florist has an entire team working on your wedding to make all your visions come to life. Having a team costs your florist money in the form of labor to create and get these products delivered — which is another factor to the cost of your wedding flowers.
About Audrey & Botanica Foral and Event Design: With over 15 years of experience in the wedding and event industry, Audrey Chaney started Botanica Floral & Event Design over 7 years ago. Since then, Botanica has expanded to include studios in Sacramento serving Northern California, and a studio in San Luis Obispo. Audrey’s work and designs have been featured on countless National and International blogs, print, and even WE TV’s Platinum Weddings television show. Learn more about Botanica online and follow them for limitless wedding inspiration on Facebook and Instagram.
Photography via Kori and Jared Photography